We recently caught up with another inspiring entrepreneur from our inaugural class of American Made Award honorees: Flora Grubb, owner of San Francisco–based garden center Flora Grubb Gardens. Here, Flora let us pick her brain on what it means to be a modern-day maker.
What kind of response did you see after receiving your American Made award?
It’s been tremendous. Martha Stewart’s support has drawn new customers to our store, attention from bloggers and the media, and made our spring a major success!
As we approach spring and summer, what are you most excited about growing/gardening?
We’re lucky to be able to grow salad greens and hearty veggies like broccoli year-round in San Francisco, but spring is the time to get citrus, like Meyer-lemon trees, into the ground. Every Bay Area garden with a sunny spot should have a lemon tree.
What do you find fulfilling about creating and being a maker?
Making places beautiful with minimal impact on California’s resources, one customer at a time, is gratifying. Bringing people who’ve hardly gardened before into greater love of nature is a mission.
What do you find fulfilling—or challenging—about being a small-business owner?
I started my store with the love of gardens and design, but I am finding the work of making the business efficient, managing and developing an incredible staff, and propagating in our customers the love of nature to be just as fulfilling these days. What’s toughest is always time management. It sounds so simple….
What do “Made in America” and the American Made movement mean to you?
We see the economically globalized world becoming a smaller place. Our planet is changing in response to our human imprint, and transporting vast loads of disposable goods across oceans is part of that imprint.
People everywhere love to make things. American industry is not just a business sector known as manufacturing—it’s a cultural trait as well. My business gives people the opportunity to make things: gardens, homes. Meanwhile, our customers appreciate high-quality products made by people paid a liveable wage. Good things are well-made things with a happy history behind them.
How would you describe the national maker community today?
What’s on the horizon for Flora Grubb Gardens?
We celebrated 10 years in business on April 27!
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Kelsey Mirando is an editorial assistant in Books and Special Projects at Martha Stewart. She’s endlessly inspired by art, travel, and life in the Big Apple. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kmirando.