Flower Farmer Thrives by Getting Creative

Lourdes CasaƱares bought the SPIN flower guide in 2016 and we helped her shape up a plan using 1,660 sq. ft. and targeting $9k in revenue. Now she’s converted all of her lawn to flower beds, is looking forward to her first full-time season as a flower farm owner, and hiring her first employee.

Like all SPIN farmers, along the way she’s gotten a better read on what she can sell, and defining her niche. Here’s what she’s found to differentiate herself and build a full-time flower farm business on: value-added products and experiences.

Her big business breakthrough had a very practical motivation. By 2018, she was producing more than she could sell. Her house was filled with fresh flowers (nice perk), and her compost bins were full. It didn’t sit well with her that the flowers she grew only had one use.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears, as they say. Lourdes learned of fibre farmers who cultivate dye gardens, growing flowers as the source for botanical dyes for their yarns. She took a workshop at one of these farms, and from there sprouted several product extensions, and a new brand: Tinta Studio (tina means dye, color, paint).

For the do-it-yourselfer, Tinta offers dye plant seedling bundles and flower press kits. Great for people still stuck at home with time on their hands. For the eco-conscious fashionista, the studio sells naturally tinted scarves, bandanas and shawls. Great for adding some flair to those Zoom calls.

Now she’s betting that with everyone in a post-pandemic frame of mind, they’ll be venturing out more. What will they be looking for? Experiences. The first one she is offering is a combination garden tour, flower u-pick and natural dyeing workshop. She’s calling it the Tinta Experience. Price: $160 per person.

Of course at root Lourdes is still a flower farmer, with a recent offering being tulip subscriptions – watermelon pink, golden apricot, coffee mousse and caramel honey colors as well as moody tones of velvety dark maroon and some soft dusky mauves. Price: $120 for 3 weekly deliveries.

Between trying to juggle the planting, growing, dyeing, and running the business, it’s no wonder Lourdes is hiring. Job description? To help her grow both flowers and her two brands: Masagana Flowers and Tinta Studio. Her brands’ tag line? Cultivate. Create. Collaborate. It’s a beautiful farm identity for a beautiful business.