The idea of Bloomhouse came about when we were constantly struggling to find a place to hangout with friends that wasn't a typical bar or coffee shop.
Farm Alliance fundraiser at Local Color Flowers, 2017
We love being outdoors and found it challenging to find a casual place to hangout in nature that offered amenities and things to do. We were always searching for a specific atmosphere that didn't exist. There were a few events in that time that sparked our interest in flowers. Jess attended a flower workshop where she learned they didn't know the original source of the flowers then had the opposite experience at a foraging and natural dying workshop at Wollam Gardens in VA, where they used flowers right from the farm. We also attended a workshop with Hilton Carter at B. Willow and made a visit to Local Color Flowers to make an arrangement. Without realizing it, we were finding pieces of inspiration from all these places we were visiting which would ultimately turn out to be our idea of, Bloomhouse.
Wollam Gardens Flower Festival, 2017
But it wasn't until we visited Wollam Gardens flower festival that it clicked! The flower fields, the music, the food, the groups of friends and families, the hands on flower workshops. The festival had it all and it was a place we wished was available to us all year round! We understood that working flower farms are not designed to have daily visitors (what we wished we could be) and that's when we decided we wanted to create a space of our own. A place that would be immersed in nature that you can enjoy while relaxing, creating or celebrating.
We hit the ground running
We started at the bottom, no experience no connections and no idea what we were doing really. We used the Local Color flowers website to find local flower growers in our area (they source within 100 miles of their shop!) We reached out to Maya from Hillenhomestead and Laura Beth from Butterbee farm and asked to volunteer.
Both Maya and Laura Beth happen to train new farmers through a program called, Beginner Farmer Training Program, which is a free program you get paired up with a farm and you train there once a week for the season. We got accepted and were paired up with Laura Beth at Butterbee farm for the season of 2018! It was an incredible learning experience and not only did we make a great connection through the program, Jess is now officially working at Butterbee two days a week.
At the same time we were training at Butterbee we were working to transform Jess's backyard into our own small scale flower farm.
Jess landed a job at Local Color Flowers at the same time as well! She eventually quit her stable 9 - 5 job as a display coordinator at Anthropology to dive into our dream. At the time it seemed as though it was effortlessly coming together but looking back its easy to see it was our ability to take risks and put ourselves out there.
2019 was our first full season on our own but we were still looking for more challenges.
Holt Park is a park at the end of Jess's street that we often visited, it has an area designated to the "Garden Club" that no longer exist. We reached out to the Parks and Rec and asked if we could adopt the garden as it was the perfect balance of nature and a place to bring people together. We ended up joining the Overlea Parks and Rec council and revamped the Garden Club into, Garden and Events.
We started in June and by August we had a dreamy flower oasis. We held a fundraiser picnic late Summer to keep the project going and later that winter we held a holiday toy drive where we collected toys for a nearby school.
We are so grateful to be able to look back and see all the helping hands that got us here and we can't wait to see what the future holds as Bloomhouse grows!