(Story and photos are reprinted by permission from Living Art Blog)
Though she's only in her 20s, Lindsey Crump has found her calling and is working to make The Stalk Market the full-service floral shop of her dreams. "It's like my baby. I take pride in every single thing that's in here."
Family tree: Lindsey is the latest in a long line of florists and nursery owners, five generations to be exact. Her great, great grandmother enjoyed selling cut flowers that were grown on the family's property, but it was Lindsey's great grandparents that are credited with really starting the family business which included a retail nursery, as well as a florist. The family sold cut flowers and plants at the farmers' market until the 1940s when they opened their first shop in downtown McKinney. They outgrew the shop in 1977 and decided to build a retail shop on the family's land. Crumps Garden, as the family business was named, sadly closed on Dec. 24, 2013.
Schooling and such: Lindsey earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Arkansas and had various jobs in sales and marketing after graduation, but found herself spending more and more time at the family business. She began speaking with the family about coming to work for the business and became a full time florist in 2011. During her time at Crumps Garden Lindsey helped build up the company's wedding profile. Luckily for the several weddings already booked when Crumps Garden had to closed, Lindsey had begun the journey to opening her own shop and was able to reassure the brides to be that their weddings would indeed include that special beauty that flowers bring.
And so it begins: There was less than a month between the closing of Crumps Garden and opening day of The Stalk Market on Jan. 14, 2014. Lindsey said it all happened very fast. Once she was aware that the family business would be closing, Lindsey came up with a plan and began looking for a retail space. Her idea was to create a shop that would not only create floral pieces for you, but would also provide the customer with the materials to create their own, like the flower shops in France and England. In less than four months she began her search, found her shop, helped close the family business, found items and stocked her shop, cleaned out and decorated her new space, got a website and business cards set up and hit the ground running. Whew, it makes me tired just thinking about it!
Making her mark: A selection of cut flowers in rustic, brushed nickel buckets greet you outside The Stalk Market, but they are just the beginning. "I want it to be a welcoming place. There is no better way to greet someone at the door than with flowers ... except maybe Justin Timberlake." The shop is filled with a variety of items, though no Justin Timberlake, from the decorative antique pieces to the selection of items to create your very own fairy garden, not to mention a variety of finished floral arrangements and all of the materials to design one of your own.
"My shop is set up for DIY." Lindsey has taken that idea one step further and in May she began hosting classes roughly once a month. Past classes have included wreath making, creating a terrarium, a vase arrangement and a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Lindsey provides wine and dessert, as well as a demonstration of that month's project. Students then eat and drink their way through creating their own floral masterpiece. Depending on the supplies, the classes are generally $50 to $60 and students not only get a fun evening out, but they get to take home their creations. Classes are announced on Facebook and through The Stalk Market's e-mail list.
Visions for the future: Lindsey has plans for more classes in the future, as well as increasing the number of classes given for private parties, so keep an eye out. She already surpassed her wedding goal for the year, providing flowers to over 65 weddings ... that's more than one wedding a weekend! And she hopes to raise that number in 2015. She also wants to establish a signature look for the arrangements that The Stalk Market produces. Lindsey wants people to be able to identify her arrangements as soon as they see them, and that starts with a clear vase. Lindsey says that a clear vase allows the flowers to be the focus and bring the color. She enjoys the clean, modern simplicity of a clear vase that houses a unique arrangement. Lindsey wants for each piece that leaves the shop to be one of a kind.
Lessons learned: Lindsey said that she is really enjoying having her own business, though she is having to deal with the usual growing pains. She currently has one full time employee, her mother. She also has, what I jokingly called her indentured servants, her maternal grandparents who enjoy helping out when they are in town. The most important part of her business is the customers. "Every time a customer comes in I want to meet them." At the end of the day Lindsey and her mom share stories from and about the customers they meet, what was bought, and where it's going. They learn about the lives of their clients and Lindsey says that, "the best part is meeting the customers and getting to know them."
So next time you’re in downtown McKinney, stop by The Stalk Market and have a cup of coffee and a chat with Lindsey while putting together your own special floral arrangement.
About the author: Elizabeth (Beth) Matlock is a native Texas artist based in McKinney, Texas. Beth found her love of art early in life and turned that into a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art. After that she spent nearly three years studying in New Zealand before coming back to Texas where she finished her Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture. Beth's Flora and Fauna series combines her love of nature and her passion for art. The evocative photographs are reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe and her digital art is inspired by the gilded age of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. One of her pieces, “Lupinus texensis and Coccinella septempunctata,” was chosen as one of the 43 finalists, out of over 100 entries, to be displayed in the first annual Juried Art Show put on by the Arts and Music Guild at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Beth has recently started a blog where she has begun to share her art with the world wide web, LivingArt-ArtPhotography.blogspot.com. She is also starting a landscape blog and a garden club. For more information on Beth's art, landscape designs, and/or garden club, please e-mail her at LivingArt.ArtPhotography@gmail.com or call 972-542-9036. Various prints are available at Diggin' It in McKinney and Fine Art America.