We are so excited to introduce our next #FREDAGIRL, Christina Stembel, founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers. Her unique and beautiful burlap-wrapped bouquets went from being seen all over San Francisco, to being seen nationwide. Naturally, we couldn't help but be intrigued by her girl boss story. Read on to find out how Christina disrupted a multi-million dollar industry and built a floral empire.
Please tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m Christina Stembel, the Founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers.
What was your impetus of starting Farmgirl Flowers? Did you always know you were going to have your own business?
Starting a business was in the position of my bucket list for about 10 years before I started Farmgirl. I didn’t know what industry it would be in, and I toyed with ideas in several before I settled on flowers. I knew it would probably be creative in nature, as that’s where my talents lie, but I didn’t start Farmgirl out of a passion to work with flowers – it was a burning desire to start a company that could grow big and do some good in the world.
We know first hand how much work goes into running your own company. We'd love to know how you wind down. Do you have a daily ritual or regime that helps you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
As the world typically sees the work/life balance thing – I don’t do it well. I have a little different view on this though. As we all have the same amount of time in the day, and days in the year, I believe that we all have the opportunity to fill those hours and days with the things that we prioritize as important to us. I’ve chosen to start and grow a company from zero to (hopefully) hundreds of millions of dollars one day, and that takes just about all the hours and days I have to accomplish that goal. I don’t consider that not having good work/life balance – I see it as choosing to fill my life with work, which is my balance.
I do find time to spend with friends (although not as often as I’d like), walk on the beach near my home several times a week, sleep at least 10 hours each Friday night to recharge, and lately fit in a few pilates classes each week – all which all help me find enjoyment outside of working.
Sending flowers is such a beautiful gesture. What makes you happiest about Farmgirl Flowers?
I am so incredibly grateful that we get to play a part in bringing joy to so many people’s lives every single day. That’s the absolute best thing about what we do – showing people in a real tangible way that they are loved. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
What's next for you and your company? Where do you see Farmgirl heading?
We’re working hard to continue our national expansion. We already ship anywhere in the continental US, but we’ll be setting up distribution centers so we can get closer to more people’s homes, which means we can then lower our shipping rates and be more accessible and affordable for everyone. We also just launched our shippable events program with our City Hall collection, and will be launching more this Fall – so we can deliver beautiful wedding and event flowers to your door anywhere in the continental US as well!
Finally, do you have a mantra or words to live by?
Work hard, be kind, and keep it real. That’s the triple threat in my book. Also, my business goal is to create a company I’d want to buy from, sell to, and work at – which is the lens I use when making business decisions - and it hasn’t steered me wrong yet!