"We come from a long line of farmers. From livestock and horses to corn and beans, agriculture has ran deep in our veins since the very beginning."
In 2011, Jessica Hall bought the farm with her mother, Christine Auville (aka, The lady Monarch), and moved to the property with her husband and kids. Jessica, who studied horticulture at Virginia Tech, experimented with growing different vegetables but quickly realized the market was highly saturated by robust generational produce farms in the Shenandoah Valley. Then, on a family vacation to the beach, Chris suggested a different direction: flowers.
With over 80% of the flowers grown in the US being imported, the girls were passionate about giving floral professionals access to seasonally-rich, American-grown flowers. For the next seven years, the farm transformed into a bustling flower farm that specialized in weddings and bulk flower sales to local florists.
In 2017, Jessica and Stephanie were approached with the opportunity to purchase the last US manufacturing company that made sustainable floral design mechanics, flower frogs. Stephanie, a business-minded marketing professional then residing in Charlotte, agreed to take on this new adventure with her sister, and Floral Genius was born. As the flower frog company began to gain traction, Jessica began to wonder “if the flower frogs can leave this farm in a box, why can’t the flowers?” It was then that the girls began their journey of shipping flowers.
A COVID-19 Phenomenon
Since deciding to ship flowers, Harmony Harvest Farm offered bulk flower collections for catering to florists across the country and distributed mixed bouquets to Whole Foods stores along the East Coast. In March of 2020, everything changed. Events were canceled, the grocery stores stopped buying, and the farm’s revenue stream came to a screeching halt.
With Jessica’s four kids at home, the girls decided to put together something to help parents cure the boredom until what we all expected to be a temporary storm had passed. They created a box that had a handful of daffodils (the only thing growing in the Virginia climate in March), a flower frog, and an interactive science project that was co-developed with a 4-grade science teacher. They called it The Happy Box and sold over 100 boxes on the very first day.
Though the launch of The Happy Box gave the business hope, the danger of the pandemic loomed and the girls made the decision to furlough their entire team for 30 days in hopes that the dust would settle. At the very least, they needed time to ensure the farm was a safe place for their team and their family. The Lady Monarch was quarantined in her home managing the swells of phone calls and emails from those looking for a Happy Box, and the sisters worked around the clock to keep the farm running and orders fulfilled. During those 30 days, the three of them created a new Harmony Harvest Farm by reworking nearly every process and launching their two best-selling flower boxes, The Bouquet Box and the Farmer’s Choice Box.
It was in those 30 days that they discovered their mission to make American grown flowers available to everyone, everywhere.