Distribution News

After being let down by the leading e-commerce companies time after time, Christina Stembel decided the flower industry needed innovating. That’s when she started Farmgirl Flowers from her dining room table and with her personal savings in 2010. Her business model is inspired by In-N-Out Burgers’ menu , the primarily West Coast fast food chain. “They just do what they do, and they do really well,” Stembel told “Marketplace’s” Amy Scott. “And they always have a really long wait.” Like In-N-Out’s basic menu with only a handful of options, Stembel’s flower company only carries a select number of curated daily arrangements. Customers choose an arrangement style rather than specific flowers. Nine years later, her direct-to-consumer flower business is flourishing and will hit $30 million in revenue by the end of this year. The following is an edited transcript of Scott and Stembel’s conversation. Amy Scott: So you started with $49,000 in savings, no degree, no outside capital, no credit. And a year and a half in you were pretty much broke. How did you do this? Christina Stembel: Yeah, I started out with $49,000 of personal savings, and that savings was like for me to live on as well. So it went really quickly. About a year and a half in, like you mentioned, I was down to $411 in my bank account and didn’t know how I was going to pay rent and anything else. And, thankfully, I’m really good with money and just really was frugal and was able to keep it going. Even though there’s been many times where I’m like, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done is not running out of money for my company.” We reinvest all of our profits back into the company for our growth, and we grow it as quickly as we can in a really healthy way. It’s a weird narrative that we now have, where we think that you have to have outside funding in order to be successful. And I just don’t think that’s the case. This is how companies used to be started and run, […]