Debra Prinzing

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Episode 438: Rooted Farmers: A New Online Marketplace for Selling and Buying Local Flowers

January 29th, 2020

Today we have a very cool segment with Amelia Ihlo and Althea Smith, partners in a brand new farmer-to-florist sales platform called Rooted Farmers.

You’ll be hearing much more about Rooted Farmers in the future because  we’ve partnered for 2020 to bring this resource to the Slow Flowers Community. As you know, Slowflowers.com is an online directory to help connect U.S. and Canadian consumers with domestic flower sources AND to help farmers and florists find one another and do business with one another. However, as I frequently admit, I think like a journalist, not like a business person. I always had a desire for Slowflowers.com to include a sales mechanism, but the skills required to do that are way beyond me.

Amelia Ihlo, flower farmer and co-founder of Rooted Farmers

Then last fall, a Slow Flowers member named Amelia Ihlo of Reverie Flowers in Etna, N.H., reached out to tell me what she was doing.  She wrote this:

I am a Slow Flowers member based in New Hampshire and a huge supporter (and beneficiary!) of your work.  I spent this past year testing a business model that works exclusively with local flower growers, and had a tremendous response from both our grower network and all of our floral buyers. My partner are at a point to begin discussions with other folks within the industry, and as such, I am reaching out to see if you might have some time to connect on the phone.”

It was the beginning of a conversation that led to in-person meetings and eventually Rooted Farmers joining Slow Flowers as a major sponsor for 2020 and Slow Flowers endorsing the Rooted Farmers platform for flower farmers.

I alluded to the launch of Rooted Farmers in my 2020 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast, in the section on “Agriculture-driven Design.” I wrote this: “The next chapter in this shift is being authored by designers who weave the agricultural narrative through their aesthetic and branding. From creative collaborations between flower farmers and floral designers to new apps and online resources that help florists learn who is growing what and when that’s available, the direction connections between the field and the studio are more important than ever.”

That paragraph was a direct reference to Rooted Farmers and the exciting way Amelia and Althea are solving problems and addressing pain points in the sales and buying process.

This is a screen capture of how you can present your INVENTORY to buyers

Having worked with developers on Slowflowers.com since 2013, basically using an off-the-shelf directory software designed for a “one-size-fits-all” marketplace, I have had multiple conversations with myself where I’ve thought, “if women were designing this product, it would be so much more intuitive.”

I’ve since considered that all young women should go into UX Design because our world would be a better place. It is so refreshing that Althea and Amelia are bringing a different sensibility to Rooted Farmers’ design. Yes, they have all the technical skills that are needed to create a highly-functional platform, but they bring with that a different intuition that I’m so grateful for. The lack of common-sense thinking I’ve run into in my own efforts to build a user-friendly platform, even though there isn’t an e-commerce component, have been frustrating, to say the least. Amelia IS the customer, which helps tremendously in translating to Althea what and how Rooted Farmers needs to work.

Find and Follow Rooted Farmers on Instagram

If you are a Slow Flowers member flower farmer, you are invited to join Rooted Farmers for a free, one-year registration to participate and market you flowers. Of course, there is an application procedure, which we’ve just discussed. Feel free to reach out to me or to Amelia with any questions!

If you are a Slow Flowers Florist, by all means, sign up and participate as a buyer. This is a farmer-to-florist platform, specifically designed to help you source domestic and seasonal flowers. It represents the best of modern technology and the values of the Slow Flowers Movement.

Clockwise from top, left: Susan Mcleary, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Molly Culver, Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, Jennifer Jewell, Pilar Zuniga and Emily Saeger

Registration continues for Slow Flowers Summit and we’re more than 50% sold out, which is amazing to me! Please join me on June 28-30th and connect with our fabulous speakers, enjoy the incredibly beautiful venue at Filoli Historic House & Garden, and experience the many features that will immerse you in the people, principles and practices of Slow Flowers.

As I mentioned earlier in the episode, Amelia Ihlo and Althea Smith of Rooted Farmers are supporting the Summit as our Premier Sponsor. They will be in attendance at the Summit and they will be sharing a demonstration of their new platform – and more!

We also want to welcome Mayesh and say thank you for joining the 2020 Slow Flowers Summit as a Supporting Sponsor. It will be wonderful to partner with Mayesh to help connect attendees with more U.S.-grown flowers and expose flower lovers to the amazing resource of Mayesh, now at the San Francisco Flower Market through its Brannon Street branch. Thank you again.

It’s time to grab your seat at the Slow Flowers Summit! Check out our special registration discount for members here.

Reverie Flowers’ repurposed U.S. Postal Delivery Truck — where it all began!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 570,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Lupi (uptempo); Lupi (cozybeat lead); Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

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