Take 5 With Nikki Hollier, Creator And Owner Of Border In A Box
From designers and architects to ethical entrepreneurs, the Flymo Lawn Lives interview series gets to know the stories behind the people who started inspiring ventures from their back gardens.
This month, Nikki the designer and creator of Border in a Box, is talking us through her business journey starting, you guessed it, in her back garden.
Tell Us About Your Business?
In a nutshell I am a garden designer for bespoke and ready-made borders. I love creating planting plans to bring life and colour to people’s outdoor space.
Why Did You Start Your Business?
The idea for the ready-made borders started when I moved into a new-build property and it was a very dull patch of turf and wooden fence. I had no funds left to do anything with the garden but I was desperate to get it looking lovely. I didn’t know where to start with it either and couldn’t afford a garden designer. So I joined the local horticulture college to learn about plants, not expecting to develop a love of plants and colour and to turn it into a new business.
Like most people I went to the local garden centre to buy some plants, but it’s overwhelming seeing so many plants and not knowing anything about them and they all have tiny labels which didn’t make much sense. I anticipated I wasn’t the only person that were facing these issues, so I created the prototype of Border in a Box, which included a planting plan/design and a plant list which solved the problem of what plant goes where, with year round colour and texture. It includes a plant shopping list which makes it a really easy solution for people who are non-gardeners, short on time, and they could buy the plants online or from the local garden centre and plant them within a day.
Border in a Box is a kit to make life easy for everyone to create a beautiful garden. There are currently 7 versions to choose from – Sunny, Shady, Evergreen, Contemporary, Clay Soil, Cottage and Butterflies & Bees.
What Has Been The Highlight So Far?
There’s been many! But creating my first show garden was the best project I’ve ever done. It was also the hardest and the most rewarding. It’s an experience! I finished my garden design course in November 2015 and I submitted my application to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) three weeks later. I got accepted in January and started the build on April 10th 2016.
I won a Silver Medal and also the People’s Choice Award which was definitely the highlight of my career. I met Alan Titchmarsh, who presented my People’s Choice Award and he is as lovely in real life as he is on TV! He was really kind and has been a great support to me ever since. I showed him the prototype of Border in a Box and he gave me some top tips to improve it. I then rebranded and repackaged and launched the gift tins in March earlier this year.
I also was awarded Garden Product of the year by Country Homes and Interiors in July and I’ve also been shortlisted as Entrepreneur of the Year, start-up, by NatWest and will know if I’ve won later this month, which are also exciting milestones.
What Do You Love About Working In Your Garden?
That’s easy – I switch off from the outside world and it’s the most soul restoring place to be.
Describe Your Dream Garden
I have a very simple taste – a garden filled with flowers, shrubs and trees with lots of colour and scent. I also love sculptures and would have them throughout my garden too.
Are You Inspired By Your Garden?
Always! The garden changes daily and with the change in seasons, light and weather, the garden looks different all the time. However, I always love reading gardening books and blogs for more inspiration about plants and design – you can never stop learning.
You can now shop Border in a Box on Not On The High Street. Got a #LawnLives story you’d like to share with us? Share it with us over on the Flymo Facebook page. .