Business Basics Plant Seeds for a Successful U-Pick Flower Startup
Kedron Nicholson’s father, a florist, arranged flowers into symphonies of sight and scent. Her grandfather, a horticulturist, made simple grafts that would change the floral destiny of a camelia bush. As a young Episcopal seminarian, Kedron regularly filled campus with beautiful, joyful flowers.
So, when she and her husband James had their “what’s next” conversation after having twins and moving several times for her ministry, these University of Georgia graduates decided to purchase 10 acres of hayfield in Watkinsville, near Athens.
Before they moved in May 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Kedron began planning her new business, Twin Run Flower Farm.
“I was ecstatic to find the UGA SBDC,” she said. “I’ve run churches, but knew I needed help in planning and running a business. So, I signed up for SBDC small business classes – how to start a small business, writing a business plan, QuickBooks, marketing, social media and Google analytics – and took another on flower-planting businesses.”
She started working with Laura Katz, area director of the Athens office of the UGA SBDC, in July 2020. “I was trying to figure out the next step,” Kedron said. “I had the business plan and needed a little bit of guidance in setting up the business side of things.”
“Kedron had a contract on the land but had not yet done her financial projections or market analysis,” Katz said. “We were able to do some market research and look at industry reports and success stories on flower farms to find the best way of doing it. She was certain this would be a great business to go into.”
“Our tag line is, ‘We Grow Joy’,” Kedron said. “We live in a world overridden with anger and violence and our souls long for beauty and joy. When we encounter it, we are kinder: to each other, the world, ourselves. So, for me, it is more than offering folks a place to pick a flower. It’s offering a place to feed our deep hungers, which changes hearts.”
She closed on the land on September 1 and planted 4,000 daffodil bulbs in late October. The farm finished its first successful season, three weeks of daffodil picking, in March 2021. Twin Run’s next crops are planted and promoted on its website and Facebook page.