With flowers cut in the kitchen and stored in the fridge next to the butter, and used orange juice containers serving as watering cans, Christy Tehven’s first three months’ worth of floral arrangement orders were fulfilled from her own home.
Fortunately for her, and her husband, Christy moved her floral studio into the back space of a vintage boutique next door to Twenty Below Coffee Co. by fall of 2016.
The workspace, and access to proper tools, like actual watering cans, allowed her to run her business more efficiently, but also provided a partnership with her coffee-stocked neighbor – she provides arrangements for their shop and they serve up coffee when she brings clients in for meetings.
But coffee hasn’t been the only perk of moving her business downtown. Christy praised Fargo’s entrepreneurial community of support – one that shares resources, like their accountants and HR – and coworking at the Prairie Den as integral to overcoming challenges early on, like the loneliness associated with solo entrepreneurship.
“Fargo is incredibly generous and supportive. My first customers were also entrepreneurs, asking how they could help out,” Christy shared.
And their support often arrived in the most pragmatic of ways: They bought flowers.
Among these entrepreneurs were Christy’s fellow cohort members from CO.STARTERS, a nine-week program guided by the Folkways team that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools needed to launch their business ideas.
Most people who join CO.STARTERS haven’t yet quit their jobs, Christy said. But before starting the program, she’d already quit hers and was ready to dive into launching her floral business.
In addition to the camaraderie developed among her peers, Christy said that one of the greatest takeaways from the CO.STARTER training was found in going over cash flow statements. Being guided to know her exact margins helped her accurately predict profit percentages – vital information for the sustained success of any business.
Now, with a team of four part-time employees, her business, Love Always, specializes in floral design for most any occasion – from weddings, events, and custom, one-of-kind arrangements.
“Fargo's floral scene is quickly growing,” Christy reflected. She added that the arrival of more floral studios would provide healthy competition and collaboration in Fargo, ultimately pushing everyone to be better.
Inspired by recent conversations with her husband, Greg Tehven, and a recent podcast from business guru and thought leader Tim Ferriss, Christy feels inspired to do things that are more niche rather than moving with the masses.
“[Fargo] gets behind new things, and they’re looking for creative and fun ways to support their community.”
She believes Fargo will continue to become an even better place to live and work as it dares to do more things that are considered to be “out there.”