Welcome to Kristina’s Garden, and my very first blog post! I want to use this space to tell everyone a little bit about where this business is coming from, and where it is going. This will be an ever-evolving work in progress, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me and my little garden.
First of all, I’d like to thank you for being here, and your interest in my business. Keep checking back, I will constantly be adding new photos to the gallery, and blogging about all my current projects! Follow me on Instagram, (link at the bottom of this page) to stay updated on my adventures. My business Facebook page will be coming soon as well!
A special thank you to Mom and Dad, because I know you’re reading this. Thank you for encouraging me to get this thing going, for designing the perfect logo, and for the unconditional support. And I don’t mean just right now, I mean always. I mean when I was in high school and you told me I could go to Harvard if I set my mind to it. And when I was 18, and decided that college wasn’t for me after all, and you told me that I was destined to carve my own path anyway. And in the years since, all my crazy ideas and unfinished projects. You supported them all. You have always told me that my art was beautiful and to stick with it, even at my worst. The life you have built is proof and inspiration that successful self-employment is possible with enough hard work and determination. I would be nothing without you guys.
Although this business is brand new, the idea for Kristina’s Garden has been growing in my mind and heart since I was a little kid, when I wrote my first short story about a magical garden of the same name, with the power to heal the ailments of anyone who walked through and picked flowers from it. As an adult, I came to realize that this story wasn’t so much of a fantasy.
I struggled for years with debilitating mental illness, and found that no combination of medication and therapy could make me feel whole. I always felt at ease when I was in the forest, close to the earth, or among the flowers. Maybe nature would be enough to heal me, just like in my story.
But simultaneously, mother earth was suffering too, sick with a disease caused by our careless modern ways. And to me, this seemed to be connected to my own sickness. As a society, we are poisoning the earth and we are poisoning ourselves. Surely there are no coincidences between global climate changes, crimes among the food industry, and current trends in mental illness.
I knew that if I wanted to feel well, I had to change my lifestyle. I wasn’t going to change the world, but I could change myself, limit my toxic contribution, and maybe help others do the same.
I started small. I began organically growing some of my own vegetables, which was truly empowering. And I found a job working in a flower shop. Just as I hoped, I felt serenity and joy in being surrounded by gorgeous gifts of nature every day. I learned all about the surprisingly complex floral industry from a talented mentor, and fell in love with the art of floral design. I got to work with my hands, bring people joy, and even be a part of beautiful moments, especially weddings. It was an incredible experience.
However, I soon became aware of some issues within the industry, such as the disappointing lack of sustainability and eco-friendliness. We were using beautiful works of nature, but at the same time allowing the creation of our products to be harmful to the earth. It didn’t seem right to me. With the help of my sister, the environmental engineer, I began brainstorming some ideas for how to make the business better. It could be as simple as using cleaner products and less chemicals, recycling more, and developing better waste disposal practices. The process of transporting the flowers from international growers to US wholesalers and finally to me on Cape Cod was also a huge concern for me, so I looked into using local farms, and eventually, growing the flowers myself. In doing this research, I found incredible networks of farmers and florists all over the country with the same vision and passion that I had. They had already found the solutions, starting from the seed and following through to the designs that leave their shops. I knew I needed to be a part of this world.
This discovery excited me, and also opened my eyes to the possibility of working for myself. Why not start my own business, and do it exactly the way I wanted it? Not only could I make my own creative decisions and be my own boss, but I would be able to monitor and control the sustainability of everything that went on. So I launched Kristina’s Garden, with a small studio out of my home. I decided on the bee as my logo, for a variety of reasons. I am fascinated by the insect, and of course, what’s a flower without its pollinators? But I also chose it because its endangerment symbolizes the current crisis our world is in, and the importance of my mission.
What you see now is the miniature version of a lofty goal. One day I will have my own farm, and my own store front to sell locally grown products, handmade gifts and artwork, and lots and lots of flowers. There is so much more work to be done, and so much to learn. And it certainly won’t be easy. But I know that it will be worth it, and I know that with many long days and your continued support, I will get there. And every time I worry that I am not ready, that I am starting this journey too soon, I remind myself of the words of Anais Nin, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I can’t wait anymore. It is time for me, for Kristina’s Garden, to blossom.