Gill started Daisy Chain Gifts in her hometown of Leeds in Yorkshire, England, attending local (and some not so local) craft fairs and farmers markets. At the time, most of the items for sale were bought in wholesale. She started out on her soap making journey after seeing an online "how to" video and thinking "I can do that!".
Lots of failed attempts followed but despite that she absolutely loved the process and with practice progressed from simple melt and pour bars, to more complex cold process soaps and other bath products such as bath bombs and liquid soap. Gradually the products gracing the craft fair tables became handmade rather than wholesale. Marriage to Steve meant a move to the US and new opportunity for Daisy Chain. Initially an online business, the perfect little storefront in Orange, VA was found and the brick and mortar operation was born.
"We wanted the store to have a strong nod to my English roots, especially because of the Colonial links to Virginia, so all our stock is either handmade in-house or sourced from sellers in the UK, meaning we have a wide range of products, some of which are not available anywhere else in the United States. Unfortunately, it didn't work out so now we sell from our home here in Orange County, VA and of course, we're still online."
Steve is a certified instructor in Shaolin Five Animals kung-fu, a board certified holistic health practitioner, parapsychologist and certified Shodan (black belt), Okinawan Hakutsuru (White Crane) karate.
He holds a PhD in Metaphysical Humanistic Science,(Summa Cum Laude); several certificates in counseling, complimentary and alternative medicine; Chinese QiQong Energy Healing and G-jo (Chinese First Aid) acupressure. He also has several prestigious memberships, is a licensed ordained minister in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a certified public safety chaplain. When not busy doing all that, he spends his time making beautiful floral arrangements for Daisy Chain Gifts.
He practices Buddhism and says his love of the Orient and its culture stems from his childhood and the knowledge passed down by a Japanese neighbor who taught him the art of Ikebana floral arrangements; a knowledge built on by his father and uncle who were both avid and skilled horticulturalists. "We are proud to think that Steve's creations bring joy and pleasure to people's homes and work spaces."
Margaret (Gill's Mom) is the knitter extraordinaire! She is responsible for creating the luxuriously soft and snuggly scarves, hats, and baby blankets found in-store. She is also an avid photographer with a keen eye for a picture, often spotting images no one else notices. It is Margaret's photography (most of which are scenes from around Yorkshire, England or the flowers in her garden in Leeds) which grace the prints and handmade cards in the store. Margaret was also responsible for taking the photos that are now available as postcards in store after trying to find some of the town to send back to her friends in Leeds and failing miserably!
Margaret is a regular visitor to the States (bringing yet more knitting) and loves to pop into the store for a chat. "We are delighted to be able to feature some of Mum's photos on our cards and prints as it is a way to share our hometown with our customers and friends."