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Breaking Through Insecurities & Rising Above Rejection with Christina Stembel, Founder of Farmgirl Flowers

Season 2, Ep. 100

Christina Stembel is the Founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers, a national floral delivery that offers high-quality and beautiful arrangements.  


11 years ago, Christina set out to transform the way we shop for flowers by providing fewer, better options. Today, her beloved brand, which started out of her tiny apartment using $49,000 in savings, has scaled to tens of millions of dollars in revenue – without a single cent from investors. To this day, Farmgirl Flowers remains completely bootstrapped and is recognized for its signature whimsical and eco-conscious designs.


In our conversation, Christina shares what it was like growing up on a soybean farm in rural Indiana, how it shaped her perceptions of gender roles, and why she didn’t end up going to college. We also spend some time discussing the early days of Farmgirl Flowers, some of the biggest challenges she faced (like getting over 100 rejections from investors), and how she built her company into a multimillion-dollar business with no network, no support, and very little money.


Christina’s business journey has required a tremendous amount of resilience and growth. She also shares how she saved Farmgirl Flowers from almost going out of business in COVID, the steps she took to accelerate the growth shortly after & have the most profitable year in the business, and so much more.


In this episode, we'll talk to Christina about:

* Christina’s upbringing on a farm in Indiana and how their view of gender roles meant she could not pursue a college degree. [3:01]

* Christina’s move to San Francisco, why she’s grateful to have worked her way from the bottom to the top, and why college isn’t the right path for everyone. [5:16]

* Why we need to challenge the narrative that women are lucky to turn their hobbies into businesses, while men start businesses based on research. [7:39]

* Common biases among funders and how Christina’s pedigree posed an insurmountable barrier to attracting funding. [8:38]

* The years Christina spent researching different industries, and how she chose to start her company and disrupt the flower delivery industry. [13:59]

* Why Christina’s company needed to be bootstrapped. [16:03]

* How Christina decided to leave her stable job and use 49,000 dollars in savings to build her company. [16:57]

* An early instance where Christina almost had to close down her business, and how she built it back up. [19:49]

* How Christina gained traction and built momentum through word of mouth and very little money. [22:12]

* What sets Farmgirl Flowers apart from other flower delivery companies. [25:44]

* The highly perishable nature of flowers, and the stressful nature of Christina’s supply chain. [27:53]

* How Christina has built resilience and deals with the stress of running her business [29:57]

* Why learning to compartmentalize and create distance from your business takes practice [31:57]

* How COVID forced them to pivot in multiple ways and become a more profitable company. [35:14]

* Why funding doesn’t equal success and the freedom that comes from that. [43:24]

* Christina shares three pieces of top advice for women entrepreneurs. [50:05]

* Some of the exciting plans that Christina has for Farmgirl Flowers. [53:46]

* The importance of paying yourself as an owner and CEO. [55:15]


This episode is brought to you by beeya: 

* Learn more about beeya's seed cycling bundle at https://beeyawellness.com/free to find out how to tackle hormonal imbalances. 

* Get $10 off your order by using promo code BEHINDHEREMPIRE


Follow Christina:

* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/farmgirlflowers/

* Christina's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinastembel/

* Website: https://www.farmgirlflowers.com/

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