ONE Hereford woman has found a novel way to combine protection with aesthetics in her unique mobile phone cases – and has even gained a celebrity customer.

Chloe Bell started up her own business – Twelve Trees – in May this year, making handmade phone cases from pressed flowers in her garden.

And what began as creative experimentation has led to a whole new exciting venture for the mum-of-one.

"My interest in pressing flowers started at a wet and windy car boot sale," explained Miss Bell, 27. "Having always been drawn to new creative outlets, I couldn’t resist the traditional flower press I had seen staring back at me all morning.

"Within hours of returning home I had filled the press with flowers from the garden. I waited patiently for four weeks, took off the top and knew they would make something beautiful."

She added: "Apparently, there is nothing more fascinating to a toddler than an iPhone and after mine had been dropped, licked and thrown one too many times my phone was in bits. My fiancé took it upon him to buy me a phone case, simply to hold it together. The result was a boring plastic case completely lacking design or creativity.

"I was determined to beautify them with my pressed petals and flowers. After much trial and error I eventually had a much more beautiful case."

After posting a number of photos of her unique phone cases on Facebook, Miss Bell – who completed a foundation degree in art and design and a degree in photography at Herefordshire College of Arts – began to receive more and more requests.

Starting initially with a Facebook page, she then set up her own website and has been receiving a steady stream of orders and positive feedback ever since.

"People are very impressed by the vibrancy and variety of flowers I use,” she said.

“I have been lucky enough to grab the attention of a celebrity, Marina from Marina and the Diamonds, who has ordered two cases from me.

"I hope that my business keeps growing and would love to expand into other products. In three years I hope to have worked my way out of my desk in my kitchen to my own studio."

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