one big step

Last year I began to seriously consider the fact that my business had a bit of an identity crisis.  When I began Stems my intention was for it to be a flower farm selling to florists and at farmer’s markets, maybe an occasional wedding. Well that occasional wedding turned into a nearly every weekend occurrence and it soon became evident that I was running two separate businesses. It eventually seemed like a good idea to officially make it two separate businesses. And after much deliberation Wood Violet was born. Being that the wood violet is Wisconsin’s state flower it seemed an appropriate name for a business that is focused on using locally grown blooms.

Why in the world would I walk away from a name I have spent years branding? Well there is the accounting aspect. I am hoping to actually be accountable to myself for the flowers that I am growing and using. Realistically I know that it is not going to happen this year. I am hoping that if I can get the systems in place and scrape by this year, that moving forward I should have two sister companies which are both fending for themselves. Now this really can be done by setting up Quickbooks properly and without creating a different entity.

Which leads to the main reason, the big motivator behind taking this plunge was marketing. I was having a hard time targeting my audience. I realized I had a few different audiences with varying degrees of overlap. I have done fine with marketing the farm. But I have decided that I need to make more money and I feel like a flower shop is more feasible than a farm for my life right now. In these parts no one calls a farmer for flowers in the winter time, or even in the late fall. People also don’t generally call a farmer when they want fancier wedding flowers. So there you have it I decided to really push the limits of my sanity and begin another business.

There is a third reason for this new business and it may not be a good reason by itself but given my supporting arguments I will mention it. I really am excited for a new beginning. Stems has sort of consumed my life for the past few years in good ways and in bad ways. I feel like my own personal momentum behind this new venture is greater than if I just opened up a shop under the same name.

OK fine, there is another reason. Since this is apparently a denial free post we’re going to jump right in there and put it all on the table. Gramps is not getting any younger and when he goes I do not know what will happen to the farm. I do not know if I will be able to buy part of it. I do not know if I will want to buy part of it. I do not know if I will want to pick up and move it all somewhere else. This uncertainty used to cause me a great deal of anxiety but I have made my peace with the situation. That being said there may come a day when the flower growing part of my business ceases to exist (and that day is likely to coincide with the loss of my last grandparent). I think separating the two aspects will make that day a little easier…. Easier as far as the business is concerned. I’m not sure anything will make it easier on a personal level.

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3 thoughts on “one big step

  1. Honest, bold and insightful – thank you for sharing your thoughts. Life is full of these wonderful opportunities (moments) when reinventing yourself becomes a way of life. I am a 59year old native NYC girl starting again – learning to become a flower farmer in the Hudson Valley. This is the path we take when honesty is all we know.

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