Meet Amy and Cody.
These two are the husband and wife team behind Lucky Bee Cut Flowers. They invited me out to their flower farm near Longmont to do a personal branding photo shoot.
What a place! They have sheep and ducks and the cutest border collies. Oh and flowers, all the flowers! It's actually a pretty small farm but they pack in rows and rows of beautiful blossoms - they even have a towering wall of sweet peas and huuuuuuge dahlias.
For Amy and Cody's personal branding shoot, we focused on each of them individually - putting together bouquets and hanging out in the flower field. It also happened to be the day before their third anniversary, so I made sure to get a several cute couple shots as well.
Cody and Amy spilled the beans on what it's like to run your own flower farm and how much they love sharing their beautiful products with others.
Kasey: What is Lucky Bee Cut Flowers?
Amy: Lucky Bee is a a flower farm north of Longmont that my husband and I created. We are a small-scale farm with high-intense organic growing methods. Meaning that we focus on using every inch of space we could possibly use. Even though we have a small farm – only 2 acres – we can produce a surprisingly large amount of flowers.
Kasey: Why did you choose to get personal branding photos from Fractured Frame Photography?
Amy: To Cody and me, flowers represent a connection between people. We have pictures of our flowers, but to connect with our customers we wanted to put our faces out there too.
I've been dragging my feet on getting professional photos for a long time. I don't like having my picture taken at all, it's not my thing. But when we met you, you were so positive and interested in learning about who we are - not just our business. I knew it was a good fit.
You made our photo shoot fun and relaxed and it wasn't stressful. We both really enjoyed ourselves. And we love the photos! We're going to use them on our website and social media pages to help people get to know who we are, like us, and trust us with their flowers.
Kasey: How did you two start your business?
Amy: It started when we decided to grow our own flowers for our wedding – three years ago. We loved sharing our extra flowers with people and decided to leave our corporate jobs and start our own flower farm.
Cody and I met, embarrassingly enough, on the Farmers Only online dating website.
Cody: I saw the advertisement for Farmers Only and thought “this is ridiculous, but I’m going to check it out.” The first time I was on there I found Amy’s profile and I was like “this chick looks pretty cool”. So I sent her a message and she sent me a message back! We went on a date in December and it was below freezing – like 10 below. It was a pretty decent date, I thought. But I didn't hear back from her until a month later!
Amy: I was so busy working!!
Cody: We went on a second date to the Western Stock Show and that’s kinda what sealed the deal. We’ve always been big gardeners, so we decided to grow our own flowers for our wedding. She wanted to grow a row of dahlias in our vegetable garden. And I was like “really, you want to take up vegetable space with some flowers? This is ridiculous!”
Amy: I had never seen a dahlia in my life, but I thought it would be fun!
Cody: So we grew this whole row of dahlias and we found out this is awesome because we always have fresh flowers in the house.
Amy: We started giving them to our neighbors and our friends and realized how much joy we could bring to other people. This made us so much more happy than all the yuckiness of corporate America.
Now, when there is an especially beautiful flower out in the field he’ll pick a bunch and hand it to me and say “will you marry me?”
Kasey: What is it like to work with your significant other every day?
Amy: It’s all about balance and we’re still learning. It's only been three years. On the positive side, you have wins that you get to share with each other. Sometimes we’ll grow something that we never thought we could grow and we’ll give each other high fives. Other times you over-step each others bounds. Sometimes we’re like “can you believe we grew this? Yaa!!” And then we high five in the field.
Cody: It’s nerve racking! We’re both the boss at the same time. So sometimes I have an idea on how to grow a flower or how to pick a flower and she has a different idea. Sometimes I win, but mainly she wins. The key is getting our argument over quickly so we can enjoy our time together. It takes both of us to make this business successful. I can’t do this by myself and Amy can’t do this by herself. We need each other.
Kasey: What is it like to run a flower farm?
Cody: It’s a lot of work. Flower farming is not all skipping through flowers and having a great time. We get up at 6 in the morning, we harvest until 3pm and then we go in the shop and turn flowers into bouquets. People often assume that it’s an easy thing, but it’s not.
It’s so satisfying though. Everyday I learn something new and Amy learns something new. That’s the coolest thing about our business. We learn so much about how the different plants grow. I can’t wait for next season because I want to apply all the new things I’ve learned this year to do even better next year. This year was the first year we grew ranunculus – and it's my new favorite flower. Most people don’t know what it even is. It’s amazing. We definitely high-fived over that one. We’re going to grow twice or even three times as much next year.
Amy: When we first brought ranunculus to our customers, they didn’t know what it was. It was an opportunity to teach people what it’s all about. And then people started coming back again and again until we were out! We grow these high-end flowers that people usually don’t ever get to see. But we get to bring it to them at a reasonable price. I love hearing people getting excited and saying “I’ve never seen this flower before!”.
All the hard work of running the farm is worth it because we brighten people’s lives every day through our flowers. We have customers that come and give us hugs. New customers that we’ve just met this year will say “I love you because you’re part of our lives every day because your flowers are in our house every day – with us every day”. We bring flowers onto their tables, to their celebrations, into their homes. We get to be part of that.
Kasey: What is something that people don’t expect about running a flower business?
Cody: Some people think we’re just skipping around through flowers all day, but it’s a year round labor-intensive job. Even when we don’t have stuff blooming, we’re doing all the preparation and planning ahead of time to make the blooms happen. It takes so much planning. The ranunculus that we’re going to plant next spring is already coming in tomorrow.
We’re planting through November. December is the only month that we don’t plant anything. Then in January I’ll turn the heat on in our propagation house and we start seedlings. In February we move those into the hoop house and plant plugs we get from other places through March. April is when we start planting stuff out in the field, and May is crazy town. May is when we plant the majority of our stuff in the field. After that it’s succession planning. Every week I plant a row of sunflowers. Every two weeks we’re going to plant a row of this, and then every three weeks we’ll plant a row of that. We plant plant plant plant plant – starting in February all the way to November. It’s insane.
Kasey: Looking back did you ever think you’d be doing this?
Cody & Amy simultaneously: No!
Amy: It’s a completely different experience for us from the corporate world. At my old job I’d get job satisfaction at my quarterly performance reviews but now, I get it every week. Every week that a customer tells me how much they love my flowers.
Cody: It’s so satisfying and we want to do it. We want to make people happy by growing flowers. Just this last weekend one of our favorite customers gave us a card to tell us that they’re going away for three weeks and they’re going to miss seeing our flowers everyday.
Amy: The best thing is that these flowers aren’t just flowers. This is someone’s apology, this is someone’s love. They’re compassion, they’re sympathy and empathy. Especially with life celebrations, you get one shot and it better be amazing. Our flowers have to represent that family and that person – and that that’s what our flowers are about.
When I sell a bouquet to someone and they hug it, it’s like wow. Holy cow I did that, I get to bring that joy to people. That’s cool. And so, I’m going to go back out and I’m going to put on the bug spray and it’s going to be amazing.
Kasey: What are you most excited about right now?
Amy: I’m super excited about our flower arranging workshop this September! It’s the first workshop we’ve ever done but we’ve been asked over and over and over to do one. I’m going to teach how to make beautiful arrangements using our flowers – talking about color coordination, fillers, and design tips. We’ll bring all different colors of flowers and fillers and I’m so excited to share our dinner plate dahlias. Then I’ll send everybody home with the bouquets they made, snippers, and a worksheet so they can create their own arrangements with whatever flowers they find. It’s a new adventure and I’m so excited about this opportunity to meet different people in a different element. This will be our only workshop this year, and we plan to offer more next year as well as tours of our farm.
Learn more and sign up for Amy’s Sept 18th flower arrangement workshop HERE
Kasey: What tips do you have for others who want to leave their job and start their own business?
Amy: The biggest thing for me was eating a big piece of humble pie - especially if you’ve already established yourself in another business like we had. You have to pay your dues all over again when you start your own business. You’re on the bottom again and you have you work it on up.
Kasey: What other local businesses do you love and support?
Amy: The buyer at Alfalfas has been unbelievable to us. She gave us a chance when we were first starting out and she’s been so wonderful to work with.
Cody: I also want to give a shout-out to some of the other flower farms around here that we’ve learned a lot from, like Fresh Herb Company, Arrowhead Dahlias, and Miss Alice Blooms. There’s a lot of other flower farms out there across the country that are doing the same thing we’re doing that we’ve learned so much from. Everybody has been super helpful.
Amy: They’re not competitive, it’s amazing. Everybody is open and sharing. They’re building a community of some of the nicest people we’ve ever met.
Amy and Cody Stoker
Lucky Bee Cut Flowers
If you would like to see more, check out my Personal Branding photo gallery.
Sending good vibes and love! - Kasey
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