I am moving toward getting my flower farm up and growing!
In some ways, it's a crazy time to do this.
We're still not back in our house, I have a 9-month old baby and her 3 active siblings to care for, and it's not like I have nothing else to do in my life.
However, I do have significantly more garden space than I ever have, my older kids are old enough to help, and I'm in a community that doesn't have ready access to fresh flowers.
In short, I decided that there's never going to be a perfect, ideal time to do it, so it might as well be now. Also, my husband is a wonderful provider, so I don't have to feed our family with what I make. That gives me the luxury that many don't have: I can build up the business over time, learning as I go.
I am so excited!
The name is (drumroll please):
Bluebird Flower Farm
I love that the bluebird is a symbol of happiness.
Flowers spread happiness by their very existence.
The two belong together!
(More prosaically, the name and web domain were available.)
Speaking of names, I just can't seem to help naming my bouquets.
I've stopped trying to fight it.
Yes, "farm" is a bit optimistic at this point, since at this point it will all be flowers from my garden and yard. I prefer to think of it as a name I can grow into. :)
In addition to the shrubs and bulbs, I'm going to grow flowers from seed to fill out the bouquets.
"Big and Little"
The paperwork has taken much longer than I thought it would.
When I first picked up the business license applications from the city, I thought,
"Oh, I'll fill this out and get it turned in by the end of the week."
Well, that turned into a month.
There were unforeseen issues and potential issues, as well as decisions about things I knew nothing about. For example, did I want this to be a "Sole Proprietor" business, or an LLC?
What would be the advantages and disadvantages of either?
Another small example: I am doing this as a "home occupation," but the stated laws for home occupations in our city are that you can't have anything outside, or say--run your business out of your garden shed. Um...problematic for a flower growing business!
Fortunately, the ladies at the city licensing office seem to be just as excited about my flower farm as I am, and were eager to figure out how this would work with the stipulations.
I've been working through the issues one at a time, with the (FREE!) help of some great people at our Small Business Resource Center.
And...now I'm waiting to hear back from the city.
I turned in my application 2 weeks ago.
In the meantime, I'm working on a business plan, pricing supplies, getting ready to start seeds in the next week or two, and keeping a close eye on my spring bulbs that are coming up.
Flower purchases from here on out will be a tax write-off for my business! I'm so excited!!
In related news, my husband has hidden the credit cards.
Ha! Just kidding.
I don't want to get a startup loan, so I am watching the budget, while simultaneously feeling no guilt at all for said flower-related purchases. :)
I'm going to rent a vendor space from a local store and plan to do a lot of direct sales.
I've got a former college roommate, who is an amazing artist, working on a logo for me.
My goal at this point is to open up for business officially May 1.
More details (and pictures) to come as I get them nailed down.
Friends, this is going to be great!