The owner of her very flower garden boutique in Athens, Ga, Melanie's best advice to those trying to find their passion is to listen to your 10-year-old self. As a little girl, Melanie loved to paint and color for hours. She also played pretend as a plant store owner, a profession that seemed like make-believe at the time, but is now her reality.
Formerly a sales and marketing guru in Atlanta, then at Johnson & Johnson and eventually the owner of her own successful consulting business, Melanie never pictured her life slowing down even after becoming a Mother.
Once she and her husband, Drew, had their two sons, Macon and Landry, Melanie yearned to find a way for her young boys to connect with nature. So, she decided to learn how to grow vegetables and flowers.
Melanie began gardening while receiving formal, online education in growing specialty cut flowers. During this time, she quickly became fascinated by sustainability and conservation growing practices like seed-starting and sustainable soil. She noticed the cheap grocery store flowers that had been harvested by underpaid workers in third-world countries. She also wondered about the environmental impact from the planes and trucks that transported them out of season.
She thought, what if she could grow and harvest intensely vibrant, scented and fresh, natural flowers and supply them to the tables of her community on that same day? Determined, she and her husband turned their residence into a permaculture garden, building raised beds where they amended the soil and planted a variety of seasonal blooms for different times of the year.
Before she knew it, she had an urban micro-cut flower farm that was home to naturally-fed chickens, a pollination garden, and other natural means of organic growth. Melanie had always been fascinated by watching her Mother, Grandmothers and Aunts tend to their gardens. Now, she bases the foundation of her creations on the teachings she learned from these important women in her life.
These days, instead of working with numbers, Melanie defines life by the environment around her. With her naturally-grown flowers, she’s able to hand-deliver kindness and love, bring comfort in times of loss and remembrance, and provide herself and others with joy every single day.