Christina Stembel is an Indiana farm girl who changed the traditional way of selling flowers. She created a unique model that streamlined the process by offering one new floral arrangement each day. Raised on a farm in rural Indiana, Christina grew up respecting the American farmer and appreciating the amount of hard work it takes to be successful.
Using inspiration from local farmers and merchants, Christina worked hard to open Farmgirl Flowers. Customers were no longer burdened with deciding how to arrange the flowers they purchased. Christina created a unique, new floral arrangement every day. The process cut out the stress of the buyer and significantly reduced waste.
All of the flowers from Farmgirl Flowers came from American planters. Supporting the type of farming communities she grew up in and guaranteeing her customers get the freshest product at the best prices was essential to Christina.
Business was good and growing to the point where Christina wanted to take Farmgirl Flowers to the next level. She looked to Marcus Lemonis and The Profit to evaluate the progress of the business and find out what it takes to continue the upward trend.
Farmgirl Flowers on The Profit
The Profit Season 3 Episode 20
Marcus was excited to meet up with Christina in San Francisco, where Farmgirl Flowers is based. He respected her and was impressed with the business model she has instituted. The flower business is a large, competitive market that is saturated with big companies that have a significant presence and full name recognition. Farmgirl Flowers has seen success and growth, and Christina is always actively searching for ways to maintain and increase a cut of the billion-dollar industry.
The first thing that Marcus notices is that Christina runs an incredibly tight and efficient shop. Her employees work hard with a purpose and follow an active process within an effective structure.
Because of the unique presentation of offering just one floral arrangement each day, Christina and her staff know exactly the amount of type of materials that will be needed on any given day. This method generates just 1% in waste, compared to traditional flower shops, which can produce up to 40% waste, creating significant savings regularly. Offering one arrangement a day also reduces operational costs. Christina passes these savings on to her customers, who are excited to come back and see her latest creation.
Farmgirl Flowers is a West Coast business that ships throughout the country. Shipping fees significantly increase the costs for customers on the East Coast. An additional distribution center would help to reduce those shipping costs but would mean a substantial investment to get one up and running. Farmgirl Flowers was also badly in need of website redesign to make it easier for customers to navigate and make purchases.
Christina has found that being a woman has made it difficult to raise capital to expand her business, as investors are far less likely to take her seriously as her male counterparts. It has been an ongoing struggle to find serious investors who will trust her judgment, work ethic, and the business model she created. Someone had actually suggested bringing her husband to negotiate investment deals, which could have been the very worst advice to share with Christina Stembel. She has put everything she has into setting up her business the proper way, with a focus on empowering women to succeed in the heavily male-dominated business world.
In fact, she was at first hesitant to even reach out to Marcus because she was not interested in having a man be the one to save her business. Unfortunately, Farmgirl Flowers found itself $800,000 in debt, and she did need help. Marcus told her he could help with her debt, but they would need to come to an agreement.
Marcus and Christina sit down to try to come to some sort of arrangement. Christina comes at Marcus pretty aggressively, and he does not take kindly to the way she is treating him. He does not seem to be able to get across to her how much he cares about her business and its success. Marcus feels he can help Farmgirl Flowers with the operation of the business and thinks Christina just wants to get some money to work with. She is asking for $1 million in exchange for 5% of the business. It takes Marcus a beat to process the offer and counters with $1 million for 25% of Farmgirl Flowers. Christina said she is only willing to go as high as 7.5%.
Though he is impressed with that Christina has built and sees a bright future for Farmgirl Flowers, Marcus does not feel as though she understands what he has to offer and what he can do for her business. He makes one last-ditch effort, asking her for 20k$ equity in the business and a $500,000 credit. Christina holds firm, and the two walk away without striking a deal.
Farmgirl Flowers After The Profit
Despite not being able to strike a deal with Marcus, Christina has made great strides with Farmgirl Flowers, and her business continued to grow and prosper. The company is now generating millions in business every year, and she feels Farmgirl Flowers is on the way to becoming a $1 billion company. Farmgirl Flowers ships hundreds of flower arrangements across the nation every day, and Christina has more than 100 people working for her.
Christina has stuck to her principles and is proud of the kind of business she has created. Farmgirl Flowers still uses only American grown flowers and maintains the highest ethical standards. Christina is dedicated to supporting farmers who supply living wages and medical benefits to their employees and avoid chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.
Farmgirl Flowers website has also been updated, and customers can input their zip codes to find the daily arrangement in their area. Local orders in San Francisco are delivered by bike and couriers, and customers can order Farmgirl Flowers arrangements from anywhere in the lower 48 states.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Farmgirl Flowers, The Profit, or any of its subsidiaries.