Mother’s Day has boosted the flower business, but the future remains uncertain – Marketplace


For businesses in the flower industry, Mother’s Day is a must.

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

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

Stembel said she hopes a strong Mother’s Day carries Farmgirl Flowers through the sluggish summer months until fall, when sales typically rebound. “However… if there is a recession on the horizon, we are all going to be at the mercy of what that looks like,” she said.

After missing a paycheck protection program loan in the first round of funding, Sembel continued to apply. “I spent hundreds of hours applying, and one of them was successful,” she said. “It’s the thing that could help us if the economy goes down dramatically.”

Click on the audio player above to listen to the interview.

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