Every industry has its frustrations. From farming flowers to designing them, the seemingly endless requirement for me to chose one over the other left me continually telling myself, “there’s got to be a better way.” Walking a unique balance of both supplier and consumer, the distinct disconnection between these two has bothered me since the beginning of my journey.
Since I started the farm, I've found myself facing the same problems as many other flower farmers. The first hurdle to jump is mastering perfect blooms. You read the blogs, take the classes, watch the videos, and eventually, you’re able to grow a quality product consistently.
As awareness for local flowers grows, many designers are drawn to the quality of small farm product, but the joys of working with farmers can quickly turn into the same anxiety attack faced by the farmers. You *need* to know what’s available to you so you can plan your look. You *want* to be flexible with your farmer, but your bride wants what she wants (peonies, it’s always fricking peonies. Oh, and local ones - THE IRONY).
While you'd sometimes rather support your local farmers, there never seems to be a seamless way to get the products you need. Your days are packed with consults, designing, and all the other nuances that come with owning a business that, and the end of the day, it’s easier to add a few bunches to a shopping cart from the comfort of your couch.
What I’ve learned from being on both sides of the coin is, farmers and designers, speak different languages. Designers are visual and know the aesthetic, but they are often limited by their botanical vocabulary. Farmers, on the other hand, may not be able to see the vision but can rattle off 40 different varieties of “blush” options designers likely didn’t even know existed. Seems to me, both farmer and designer want to help each other, but it needs to be easier.
As I look into 2018, I’m determined to run towards a solution. While it may not be the answer to all everyone’s issues, it’s certainly a place to start in upsetting the supply chain applecart. Getting small US flower farmers a foothold we can expand on, and giving designers access to the quality product they need to create their masterpieces.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more about our exciting new ideas; all of which will be released in our newsletter (sign up for it here!).
I genuinely believe that together, we as farmers and designers can make this better for one another and the only way to do that is to have some honest conversations. So, are you a farmer, a designer, a florist, or just a flower lover at heart? What are your stress points? What struggles with our supply chain give you heartburn? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.