Photo by Lauren Frances / Submitted
Story by Kristen Brothers / Contributing Writer
It’s the age of Pinterest-perfect weddings and breathtaking bridal bouquets; the only problem is, sometimes those wedding boards are far from realistic. However, that could changing here in Middle Tennessee, as former MTSU student Lauren Frances has got your flowers covered.
Frances often created beautiful arrangements and centerpieces until one day she was designing the flowers for her own wedding. Naturally, friends of Frances began requesting her flower arrangements for their big day.
“Hey, this might be something I could maybe do,” Frances thought as her list of potential customers only grew.
Frances and her husband both attended MTSU, where she majored in integrated studies and he in agriculture, specifically plant and soil science. She spent her days as a student (and a short time after she graduated) working at First Bank, but Frances knew banking wasn’t a career that she could see herself pursuing for the rest of her life.
She decided to quit her job at the bank. Shortly thereafter, she began looking into growing a flower business. Soon enough, the Murfreesboro native was well on her way to a path of flowers.
“I had an opportunity to do a pop-up shop, and I was like, ‘You know what, let’s just launch this,'” Frances said. “Let’s just see where it goes.”
And with that leap of faith, Frances launched Forage Flower Co., and it all started with a love for flowers that bloomed into a love for growing them. Many people would be happy choosing the beautiful displays from Fiesta Flowers Plants & Gifts, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a market for a custom order either.
“Next thing you know, I’ve got 12 weddings booked and four pop-up shops,” Frances explained. “And I’m like, ‘OK, this could work.'”
To date, Forage Flower Co. is just two months into business, and it continues to grow drastically in more ways than one.
With the idea of visiting local shops to help spread the word of the up-and-coming business, Forage launched an invitation to do a pop up shop. Although Frances plans to continue using pop-up shops to advertise, she sees her business ultimately becoming a company focused on brides and large events.
“We don’t have a storefront. I don’t know if (we) ever will have a storefront,” Frances said. “But as of right now, we really are a niche market (focused on) weddings, events and stuff like that.”
In fact, Forage gets its initial ideas from the bride or the event planner.
“They show me their Pinterest boards. Most of them have Pinterest all picked out,” Frances said. “And then we go through each thing that we need: centerpieces, bouquets, garland, everything, and then we just customize it to what they want.”
Forage’s target market is Middle Tennessee: Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Nashville, Franklin and the surrounding areas.
“I love being here,” Frances said. “I love Middle Tennessee. It feels like home.”
Though their target market is local, Frances explained they would travel a pretty good distance for a wedding.
As Forage continues to grow their business and move into the wedding and event market, they currently offer some unique opportunities. The floral company has previously visited different locations for pop-up shops, including Jae Lynn Boutique in Shelbyville and Quinn’s Mercantile off the Murfreesboro square. Catch Frances and her latest picks at Quinn’s in the coming weeks.
Forage also currently offers a subscription with options ranging from weekly, bi-weekly and monthly deliveries — a great way for customers to keep farm-fresh flowers on the table while establishing a loyal customer base for the business.
For now, Forage orders wholesale and from farmers, but Frances and her husband have just begun the process of growing full-time, so the flowers will soon be coming straight from their own farm.
And though they don’t have a website yet, that is certainly in the works.
“I want to grow our marketing and who we’re targeting and get in front of brides and really be the face for floral design,” Frances said. “We’re not a flower shop. What we’re doing hasn’t really been done.”
Forage, means to search widely for provision, and there is no better way to describe their mission and the strides they’re taking to become the face of the floral design industry.
“We’re taking a different take on the flower business,” Frances said. “I want it to be fun, I want it to be different and I want it to be what brides want.”
Follow Forage on Instagram at @forageflowerco.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email email@example.com.
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