From Garden To Basket: Farmgirl Flowers’ Daily Prep Shows Unstoppable Dedication To Floral Arranging

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Starting in the wee hours of the morning to create beautiful and long-lasting bouquets — Farmgirl Flowers is taking over the order to customer experience with diverse taste and unforgettable flare. See how the women (and men) of FGF prep for the day ahead. Call time: 5 A.M.

Walking into their previous space in the Flower market was incredibly eye opening — table to table floral dreams coming to life. Whether it was pruning dead leaves, wrapping flowers in quality burlap, the team at FGF work as one unified unit. With bushels of beautiful wildflowers lining buckets across the cement floor, the dedication to providing one of a kind and fresh bouquets comes clearly in the team’s mastery.

We got to sit down with the founder and creator of FGF, Christina Stembel to talk everything flowers, her team members, and what’s in store for the FGF family in the future.

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BC: Give us the FGF background, from dining room table to Dogpatch expansion — what has been the biggest change to FGF over the year?

FGF: I launched Farmgirl Flowers 5 years ago from my tiny Russian Hill apartment in San Francisco. I took my little savings account of $49K and decided to take the plunge and quit my job and finally fulfill my dream of starting a business. For the first two years, I operated pretty much solo out of my apartment, and then in 2012 moved into the SF Flower Mart. We’ve now outgrown the flower market and are moving to a larger warehouse space in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. When we moved into the SF Flower mart, I hired my first full-time employee, and now 3.5 years later, we’re a team of 61. I sometimes can’t believe it! There are always lots of challenges when starting a company, especially a boot-strapped one where you’re competing with many funded competitors. Cash flow is always a challenge, as is hiring talent for non-tech roles in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Even with all of the scaling challenges we’ve encountered, it’s still SO worth it!

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BC: Christina, tell us a little bit about the florists feature, highlighting the team’s individual skills, let us know more.

FGF: Yes! This year we launched a “Farmgirl Makers” series where we’re featuring some of the other creative talents of our team members. I’m blown away by how talented they all are and want to highlight and help bring awareness as a way to thank them for how hard they work for Farmgirl. Every few months we launch another product hand made by one of them, and have been beyond excited by how well received they’ve been. In fact, we sold out so quickly of our most recent one – ceramic mugs that we sold as bud vases paired with one cup coffee packs -  that she’s making more for a second round!

BC: Plans for 2016, we’ve seen some new partnerships with FGF, anything else we could let our readers know about?

FGF: This past week (As of Apr) we just launched a partnership we’re really excited about for Terrain. It’s a custom bouquet design, available in two sizes, that we’re offering exclusively on Terrain’s eComm website. We’re really excited about this partnership because our brands align so well together, and the design is a very wild, whimsical look that is very on trend right now.
We’re also working on a new website and mobile optimized site right now, hoping to launch later this year!

“Our biggest focus for 2016 is national brand awareness since we’re now able to ship nationwide!”

BC: Could you also give us some background info on the growers that FGF sources from, are they local? family run? or other?

FGF: We currently source from approximately 50 US flower farms, and are continuously adding more to that number. We’re working with some to contract grow for us, as having enough flowers to continue to grow at the rapid rate we have been is a concern for us in the future. We work with all size of farmer – from the micro ones with a couple acres to the much larger ones with thousand of acres. Many of them are second through fourth generation farmer, which is really amazing to hear their stories and makes it even more special to work with them!

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BC: If you weren’t doing FGF, what could you see yourself doing now?

FGF: If I wasn’t doing Farmgirl, I would definitely be doing another company – hopefully one that was equally creative and innovative!

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// Want to order a beautiful bouquet from the ladies at Farmgirl Flowers? You need to check out their selection asap!


Interview conducted by Anthony Rogers, photographed by Ashley Tarr at the flower market in San Francisco. Get to know other Bay Area business owners,  they are all gems.

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