Learning through failure.
I typically like to share my successes, but today, I’m going to share a failure. Trust me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes on this journey, but this one really set me back. Maybe more so mentally than flower-wise.
Last week I went out to cut some flowers, and man, was I excited! I’d waited so long, with no clear end date in sight, to finally have some beautiful dahlias and zinnias, and then I would be back at the market. I started cutting, and harvested short stem after short stem.
The realization finally set in. I forgot to snip.
I read books, and blogs, and articles, telling me to snip my zinnias and dahlias before they were full grown to promote longer stems in the future. I had planned on doing it, but in the excitement of watching my tiny seeds and roots grow into healthy green plants, I forgot to do it when the time came.
I was devastated. Mostly just frustrated at myself for forgetting to do something so simple. I might have just messed up nearly my entire summer crop! It was over.
The next day, feeling a little more positive, I decided to try my hand at snipping. Sure I won’t have any flowers for at least a few more weeks, but if/when they do grow back, they’ll at least be usable.
My best friend came over and helped me snip-snip-snip away, probably more so emotionally than anything. Cutting off perfectly good buds and blooms! It was border-line traumatic.
Anyways, now that I’m feeling a little less dramatic, I’ll be ok. My flowers will be ok. If anything, I’ve learned a hard but important lesson. For those of you asking when I’ll be back at the market, I really have no clue, but I’ll be sure to make a big announcement when I am.
Thanks to everyone who’s been super supportive along the way! It’s so hard telling you that I don’t have any beautiful blooms available, but thank you for being understanding.
I get a lot of different questions about my flower business, so here is my attempt at answering the most common ones! If you have more questions, feel free to drop a comment below or send me a message.
1. I buy wholesale flowers and arrange and sell them. I actually grow all my flowers from seed/bulb at my home in Olympia, WA. That's why I don't have a consistent stock of flowers ready to sell. As I get more experience, my "bloom" schedule will get better and better, and hopefully the only break I'll have to take is in winter!
2. I am a master gardener. My flowers grow on Google, my mom, and prayers. Oh and tears. Lots of tears.
3. I have a fancy greenhouse. Maybe someday I'll invest in an industrial greenhouse and be able to expand my seasons. For now, I have a dinky little 7'x15' "tarp" house that treats me well enough.
4. I do events. As much as I would love to do wedding flowers, I do not do events or large pre-orders. I'm too new to the business and lack experience, and I would hate to not be able to meet your expectations on your special day. Feel free to ask me about a pre-order, and I will give you my honest answer if I can make it work or not. This is a case-by-case scenario.
5. I did this all by myself. Far from the truth! I have so much help from my friends and family. Specifically, My dad and boyfriend help me with some heavy machinery and manual labor, and my mom gives me her expert advice and stays up late with me on market nights.
6. This is my full-time job. I currently work a marketing job in Tacoma Monday through Friday, 8 to 5. Growing and selling flowers is my side hustle (for now). I don’t advertise deliveries just because the hours I am available are pretty inconvenient, but feel free to message me and we can attempt to work something out.
7. I have experience in floral arrangements. I didn’t/don’t know much about floral design. I was lowkey panicking a week before my first market day because nothing I did seemed to look “just right”. Luckily for me, my friend Allie, who has years of experience in a busy floral department, was willing to come over and teach me her secrets and hold my hand through the process.
8. I know what I’m doing. I have no clue what I’m doing.
Thanks to everyone for being patient with me while I figure out how to maintain and grow a flower farm! I appreciate you more than you know.
I’ve been putting off my first blog post for awhile now. I wanted it to be about my purpose. If you knew me before my flower farm, you know that this was a very “out of the blue” thing for me.
I’ve been asked so many times “so why’d you do it?” And honestly never had a great answer.
I mean I like flowers. A lot. I don’t mind hard work, or working outside. I stumbled across a few flower farms on social media, did a little research, and said “hey, I could do something like that”.
Well, today I found my purpose.
My best friend from growing up is currently serving in the Peace Corps, and she asked me to deliver her mom some flowers for May Day. I told her I would have to make do with what flowers I have left (it’s the end of my tulip season), and that I couldn’t come until around 7:30, after I got home from my desk job.
I arrived at her parent’s house, bouquet in hand. Her dad greeted me at the driveway with a big grin, and her mom stepped outside from the backdoor, first with a puzzled look, and then a familiar glow. Her eyes immediately began watering as she hugged me. I stayed to catch up for a few minutes. She couldn’t stop saying how thoughtful it was of her daughter to send flowers (along with a familiar face).
Without getting too into detail, they were so touched and happy of the small gift that the daughter they missed so much sent to them.
Back to my purpose: Seeing the reaction of a surprised mother made it so clear to me that my purpose is to spread joy. Those emotions sealed the deal for me, that it’s not necessarily about hard work, or the pretty flowers, or the sales, but about the people.
Happy May Day!