Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacey Slupik.
Hi Stacey, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
In 2014, we bought a fixer-upper with a couple of acres of land with the dream of slowing down the pace of our lives and really focusing on the time we have together as a family. We’ve been working for the past seven years to turn our home into a place we really love, a place where we can raise our children, create lasting memories, and surround ourselves with friends and family. We want our home to be a place where our kids can ‘be kids,’ the old-fashioned way, running barefoot outside, climbing trees, getting their hands in the dirt, sitting by the fire under the stars.
A couple of years ago, my husband bought me Floret’s “Cut Flower Garden” book as a gift, and when I started following her on social media, I felt an instant connection. I had been home caring for my kids and our home for almost 15 years and had the urge to do something more for myself, something that would allow me to tap into my creative-artistic side and really challenge myself. In 2019, I completed Floret’s online workshop, which teaches you everything you need to know about starting a small-scale flower farm, and I was hooked. We already had the land and a corner of it sat empty and unused. Starting a flower farm felt like the perfect fit. I decided then that I wanted to build something big. Something beautiful. Something that would make an impact. Something that would grab people’s attention, make them stop. Something that would move people, inspire them, make them feel something deep down. I’m a very visual person and I felt that I could connect with other people that way.
In 2020, we built the flower field and started experimenting with growing different types of flowers. I started everything from seeds in my basement. I started a subscription in the spring and fall, and a lot of my friends jumped in to support me. We also set up a small stand at the corner of our property selling wrapped bouquets and a few veggies from the garden on the honor system. Since we were starting in the middle of a pandemic during the lockdown, people were excited about the contactless stand where they could safely buy flowers to cheer up themselves, or their loved ones, in the middle of a pandemic. Word spread quickly and I went from not knowing what I would do with all these flowers to selling out on the weekends.
This year, I doubled my subscriptions and sold out quickly. We built a larger, more visible stand at the corner and I added more growing space to the flower field. Word spread around the community about my flowers, and more and more people have reached out to me for flowers. It’s been so amazing to watch the effect that flowers have on people and the excitement they cultivate.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a business is never easy, and starting one during a pandemic presents extra challenges. Being in lockdown made it hard to get supplies and materials as we were building up our flower field and getting growing. The gardening industry skyrocketed during covid as people were stuck at home and looking for fulfillment, and everything gardening-related sold out quickly: Seeds, potting soil, planters, buckets, etc.
Starting a business while maintaining my role as mom-of-three and wanting to be available for my family has also been a challenge. In the summer, my days have to start early, and I’m often out in the field in the evenings when the temps are cooler, which means I’m often away for mealtimes and bedtimes. And I’m often physically exhausted, which makes it harder to be present for my family. I’m incredibly blessed that my family has supported me completely and everyone has stepped in to help me whenever I need it, both with flowers and with household chores. This flower farm has been a team effort and I honestly couldn’t be doing it without their support.
Managing our roadside stand has been another challenge that I hadn’t anticipated. With a roadside stand, you really put yourself out there. You put your trust in people. While the majority of people have been overwhelmingly supportive, we have flowers go missing or unpaid for almost every weekend. People take flowers without paying, thinking they’ll come back and pay another time (and sometimes they do, but not always). Or they’ll only pay for part of the flowers because that’s all they have on them.
It’s disappointing that people can take something from in front of your home without paying for it, something you have worked extremely hard to produce. We’ve had to spend more time managing the flower stand and keeping our eye on it, and we will have to reevaluate how we manage the stand moving forward.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I run a flower farm where I grow and sell unique and beautiful cut flowers locally. My flowers are available through our spring and fall subscriptions, in wrapped bouquets at a roadside stand on our property, and through special orders or buckets of flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, special events, etc. My flowers are unique, unlike anything you’ll find at a grocery store. People come to me because they want something that’s special, unusual, and fresh.
Sometimes people ask how my flowers compare to grocery stores and grocery store prices, and the answer is, they simply don’t compare. What you get from me is unique and locally grown. You won’t find the flowers I grow at grocery stores. Local flowers are the freshest you’ll find. Not only are they recently harvested, but they aren’t treated with chemicals, and they are gentler in the environment because they aren’t shipped from far away. I grow everything organically and never use harsh chemicals, which is better for your health, your family’s health, and the health of our environment. When you buy flowers from me, you can see where they’re grown, you can see that they’re grown with so much love by our family, and that matters to a lot of people.
I also focus on growing the varieties of flowers that I find to be the most beautiful and unique. Not necessarily the ones that I can grow the cheapest or the most of, but the ones that really make you stop in your tracks. That’s where I think my specialty is. I’ve had so many people comment on how unique and unusual my flowers are, and people go out of their way to get flowers from me because they really want something special.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
My whole life I’ve always felt a little different like I didn’t quite fit in. I don’t enjoy doing a lot of the things that other people do. I rarely enjoy parties or crowds or big events. I prefer to spend quiet time with one or two friends, or even by myself. I prefer a quiet cup of coffee with a friend over a girl’s night out. I crave deeper, more meaningful relationships over having big groups of friends. I love time with my family, and I love, love to be at home! The world feels overwhelming to me at times. Too fast, too demanding, too loud. Way too loud. I need quiet and space and time to think (lots of time to think!). I need to move at a slower pace. I crave a life that has intention, is full of beauty, and that puts family above all else. I need a lot of time outdoors. I don’t want to live the fast-paced, over-scheduled, screen-focused way of life that has become the norm.
As I began to help my kids navigate their own sensitivities and sensory limitations, I started to learn a lot about myself in the process. I’m one of those people who’s considered to be highly sensitive (if you like the labels, which I don’t). I can still hear my parents telling me “Don’t be so sensitive Stacey.” I always thought there was something wrong with me. But what I’ve recently learned about myself is that being “sensitive” is what makes me good at all the things that I’m good at. It makes me a loving mother, a devoted wife, an empathetic friend. It has led me to create a beautiful and comfortable home for our family, one where everyone who visits feels welcome and at peace.
It makes me a good photographer because I see and notice all the little things. And it has led me to this beautiful journey of starting a flower farm. And the best part of starting this flower farm is that it has led me to so many other people who are just like me! It has confirmed what I’ve been discovering, that there is nothing wrong with me! There are plenty of people out there who go through the same things that I do, who feel overwhelmed by our loud and fast-paced world, who crave quiet and beauty and stillness, who look for the deeper meaning, whose children struggle with the same things. It’s just harder to see them sometimes because they’re not the ones making all the noise.
The people who have been brought to me by my flowers have been the best and most unexpected part of this journey. They are the meaningful connection that I’ve been looking for and longing for. So for all, you highly sensitive people out there, embrace it! Don’t run from it. The world needs us to slow it down, quiet it down, and preserve its incredible and delicate beauty.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.slupikminifarm.com
- Instagram: @slupikminifarm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slupikminifarm
Jackie Cooper, Stacey Slupik, and Molly Slupik