Workshop Alumni Interview: Jackie Gardner
We had the pleasure of meeting Jackie at the 2015 Team Flower Workshop. She and her husband started Moonset Farm in 2007 in Porter, Maine with three rescued Katahdin Hair Sheep, two horses, two dogs, three cats, and a few chickens. As their livestock business grew with each passing year, cut flowers stealthily worked their way into the production of the farm. Now, Moonset Farm not only yields fresh meats but is also a fully functioning flower farm & design studio. We recently spoke with Jackie about her story.
Where was Moonset Farm when you attended the 2015 Team Flower Workshop?
“We were growing flowers, but we were only growing them for ourselves. I was the house florist at a few wedding venues nearby and was booking around 20 weddings a year. I wasn’t really seeking out any other wedding business. I wasn’t actively advertising for weddings. Right before I came to the workshop, my husband and I had just purchased a small trailer home across the street from the farm. He suggested we make it my floral design studio - and that’s what we did!”
How has Moonset Farm grown since then?
“For one, we have tripled our flower production. We not only produce cut flowers for ourselves but for others as well. Last year, I designed for 58 weddings. This year I have already booked 42, which is more than I had booked at this time last year. Most of the weddings in our area are between $1,000-$3,000, but every year I also book some higher dollar weddings ($5,000-$10,000). Our little town is struggling somewhat, so it is really great to be able to help out the local brides because of the destination brides. In October, we are hosting the New England Flower Farmer Connection Conference! There will be 75+ flower farmers attending to learn from & network with one another.”
What would you tell someone who is on the fence considering joining a workshop?
“If you haven’t been to a workshop, go. You have to be a hard worker as a florist or farmer florist, and it can be a really isolating occupation. There’s something so powerful about knowing there are others who are in the same boat as you. Being around like-minded people, and getting positive feedback on your work will give you a huge confidence boost.”
Describe a few of the key items you gleaned from the Team Flower Workshop that have impacted Moonset Farm.
“The biggest thing I gained from the workshop was confidence. I’ve been in this business for over 20 years, and with so many young designers coming up and the constant style changes, I was doubting weather or not I still knew what I was doing. By attending the workshop, I was reminded how important a foundation of knowledge is and how powerful experience is. Through that, I gained a confidence that I knew what I was doing. I also began implementing social media strategies (Instagram + facebook). I don’t know exactly where all of my brides hear of me, but since I’ve begun advertising on social media, my numbers have continued to increase, so there has to be some kind of connection there!”
Did you make any long-lasting flower friends at the Team Flower Workshop?
“Yes! Everyone was great, but I really hit it off with Jean Thill. She is such a kind lady! She has come to help me with large weddings several times. In fact, she’s coming again this year to lend a hand with another!”
Jackie is a floral designer inspired by nature, on her farm, and in the surrounding woods. Her floral arrangements combine farm-grown elements with that of local producers and flower suppliers. From country to contemporary, Jackie's flower designs are original, timeless, and enchanting. To learn more about Moonset Farm, visit their website or follow along on Instagram.
Click here to read more about the Team Flower Workshop.