A Letter From Our Founder: 10 Years of Native Poppy

Ten years and six months ago, I applied for my last job. I was anxious, sitting in my black and white polka dot pencil skirt as I interviewed for a role that I knew I didn't want. The problem was, I had no idea how to break into the career of my dreams.

Natalie posing inside a pink Native Poppy flower van with flowers and a farmer hat

Photo credit: Brogen Jessup

So I took that office job: alphabetizing five years worth of paperwork in a windowless room with wall to wall brown filing cabinets. For eight hours a day, that uninspiring environment motivated me to plant seeds for a career change. I stopped wearing pencil skirts (there was no one in my closet-like office to impress with my fashion sense, anyway) and I passed the hours by consuming business audiobooks and podcasts, gaining the skills and confidence to believe in myself. Ten years and two months ago, I quit my last job, and founded Native Poppy.

I can close my eyes and transport myself back to the pure excitement, energy, and hope of my first months as an entrepreneur florist. The memory is powerful enough to make my stomach ache and bring tears to my eyes. Some days I wish I could go back and live in those moments where everything seemed possible if I could just say it out loud. That feeling of creative magic is still deeply part of Native Poppy. I see the magic in our ability to evolve and push design boundaries, in our dedication to taking care of the planet, and in our ability to build community. The Poppies and I want to share that spark. It’s become Native Poppy’s motto: “sharing love through the power of flowers."

While I didn't technically become a mother until 2023, I feel like I gave birth to my first baby, Native Poppy, in 2014. I don't mean that in a corny way – I mean it in a crazy, passionate, life-got-turned-upside-down kinda way. The first years of business were 24/7 dedication – countless sleepless nights. My self care suffered. During business infancy, I was learning and developing every single day. I learned that floral tape existed and I didn't have to try to stick flower crowns together with scotch tape!! I learned that you don't actually own the money you collect in sales taxes (ouch, that one hurt). I learned that walking this path with a friend was so much more powerful and enriching after Meg became my business partner in 2017.

After a decade as a florist and business owner, I have so many stories. Some stories are about finding inspiration. Some are about me peeing my pants from laughing with my team. Some are about having breathless panic attacks, and white knuckling through design projects where everything seems to go wrong. Flowers have connected me with an incredible community. We may never meet, but I love the connection that comes from handwriting your message on a card, and attaching it to a flower arrangement I carefully crafted for the occasion. How incredible to find that some clients have become true friends, and that I’ve been lucky to collaborate with insanely talented florists from all over the world. 

To everyone who has supported Native Poppy in the last ten years: I am sending you my deepest gratitude. Our team feels so lucky that you trust us with your special occasions, tender moments, and sweet messages to your loved ones. We are honored to have the opportunity to bring beautiful floral artistry to our community. Perhaps one day I will write a memoir of my life as a flower lady. For now, I will wax poetic about my love for this business, my love for flowers, and seeking a life of passionate purpose… to whoever may read it.