COVID-19

This flower company survived Mother’s Day, but the future remains uncertain

Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst May 11, 2020
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For companies like Farmgirl Flowers, the second weekend in May is one of the most important of the year. Boris Horvat/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

This flower company survived Mother’s Day, but the future remains uncertain

Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst May 11, 2020
Heard on:
For companies like Farmgirl Flowers, the second weekend in May is one of the most important of the year. Boris Horvat/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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For companies in the flower business, Mother’s Day is essential.

This year, Christina Stembel, CEO and founder of the direct-to-consumer bouquet company Farmgirl Flowers, had to scramble to set up new distribution centers after San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order forced the company to close down its main facility. 

“There were a lot of unknowns,” she told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. “But it all went well, and all the planes took off, and all the trucks left, and delivered thousands and thousands of bouquets to happy moms.”

Stembel said she’s hoping a strong Mother’s Day will carry Farmgirl Flowers through the slow summer months into fall, when sales typically rebound. “However … if there’s a recession on the horizon, we’re all just going to be at the mercy of what that looks like,” she said. 

After missing out on a Paycheck Protection Program loan in the first round of funding, Stembel kept applying. “I spent hundreds of hours applying, and one of them came through,” she said. “This is the thing that might be able to take us through if the economy does decline considerably.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

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