I Had No Idea What Was Coming: The Story of Acre Wood Flowers
My flower story began in the fall of 2019 when a friend introduced me to homegrown zinnias. I was so in love with them I decided to turn my vegetable garden into a flower garden. I wanted to try something different. I was burned out on the vegetable thing. I was excited to dive into the world of growing flowers that were not available for purchase at the garden center.
Little did I know when I ordered my seeds in fall of 2019 that in just a few short months the world would come to a grinding halt. March 2020 found me with a three month old baby, a two year old, and a couple packets of seeds from Floret.
As the weather and the ground began to warm, I anxiously anticipated my last expected frost date so that I could plant those little seeds that held such hope and promise. I visited the garden twice a day at first, watering and watching. Then just in the evenings as the weather began to heat up and the zinnias sprouted. Watching those seeds grow into seedlings and then large plants that began to form buds got me through the isolation of being home alone all day every day with two littles. The flowers were a salve for missing my family and friends, no more park playdates, or lunches out at Chick-Fil-A.
Let me tell you – those zinnia plants absolutely cranked out the blooms for me that summer. Gifted arrangements to family and friends brought huge smiles. Each evening as I worked out in the garden, people driving by would slow down to admire the rainbow of color. Little bud vases cheered me on as I did the dishes, made lunches, changed diapers, read books, and snuggled my little people.
Needless to say I was hooked on flowers and there was no going back. I wanted to share the joy they had brought me with others. I had already started one business – a one-woman (me, haha) administrative services and recruiting company – and decided I had to give the flower thing a real go. In 2020 Acre Wood Flowers was born and it became my goal and mission to share the joy of flowers with as many people as possible. But how to make this idea, this dream, into reality?
“How am I going to do this? Where do I even begin?” I asked my husband one night. That’s when he gave me the advice I needed so badly to hear….
He told me that worst case scenario, there wouldn’t be a market for my flowers and they wouldn’t sell. Then I could give away what I grew and still bring joy to so many people. I could still grow flowers for me and for the ones I loved, and wasn’t bringing joy to others my goal anyways? He was right. No matter how this turned out, it wouldn’t be a failure.
I spent the winter of 2020-2021 pouring over books, blogs, and any resources I could get my hands on. Evenings after putting the kids to bed found me reading books on soil health, cleaning up from the day while listening to flower farming podcasts, and watching videos on how to build arrangements. Then, the time came to put everything I had learned into practice. I pushed all the fear-based questions out of my mind and got to work preparing my garden, starting seeds, and planting bulbs.
I set my first arrangements out on cool Monday morning in March. I hadn’t build the flower stand yet so I used a card table. I didn’t have a sign (or a logo!) so I ran to Home Depot the night before and grabbed one of those blank signs people use for yard sales. I wrote “FRESH FLOWERS” on it, hoping people driving by would see it. I advertised on social media and said a prayer some people would check it out.
Sure enough, the next morning a car pulled into the driveway and I anxiously peaked out the window to see what would happen. They pulled away without buying anything. I was DEVASTATED. Thankfully my husband was home and talked some sense into me. I decided to stop watching the stand for the day. That night I found I had sold two arrangements and I was elated! Several months later I found out it was my sweet brother-in-law – my first official customer. We laughed about it, but it was the encouragement I had needed to keep going.
From there I continued to learn and grow Acre Wood Flowers. I built a flower stand, made a logo, expanded my garden, and in 2021 I made the decision to shift my season from Summer to Spring (a story for another day). It’s a treat to be able to share bright, cheerful blooms with people after a chilly, rainy, cloudy Carolina winter.
These days I only open the flower stand up a few times each season and primarily offer bouquet subscriptions, DIY buckets, and prom flowers. I still deal with the nagging fear-based questions – Will the flowers grow? Will people want them? But I’m continually reassured each season as the weather warms and my little seedlings take off, and as my awesome customers show up time and again for me. Y’all are the real MVP’s and the backbone of Acre Wood Flowers. Your feedback and support has built this company and I’m forever grateful for you!
So there you have it, the story of Acre Wood Flowers in a nutshell. Thank you for sticking with me and letting me share it with you!