Christina Stembel was dedicated to bootstrapping her floral bouquets business and upending the industry. But it was a goal that nearly cost her all of her money.
In 2010, Christina Stembel had the itch. She wanted to start a business that was massive but sustainable, fast-growing but bootstrapped. She set her sights on floral bouquets, founding Farmgirl Flowers with the aim of cutting into FTD’s and ProFlowers’ market dominance. (Other San Francisco-based upstarts, such as BloomThat and the Bouqs Co., entered the field later.) For Stembel, launching without outside investment felt natural, but less than two years in, her bank accounts were empty and she was ousted from her home office. Fortunately, just as the situation became dire, she got an unexpected sign that things were about to turn around. – As told to Christine Lagorio-Chafkin…[READ MORE]