A local flower farm will be hosting weekend markets, allowing creators to showcase and sell their work while families enjoy a peaceful morning on the farm.
Thompson Flower Farm, located at 932 Keithley Road in Walnut Shade, recently started a summer series event called ‘First and Third.’ The events are held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of every month until the end of August.
Stephanie Thompson, owner of Thompson Flower Farm, said the event is intended to provide women and moms with a cost-free alternative to farmers markets to express their talents and creativity.
“You pay a flat fee for a farmers market. It could be $200 to $300 for the season, and then you have to pay 2-3% of what you sell every weekend. For people that maybe are just starting out, they might not have that kind of inventory or that kind of money to spend,” Thompson said. “What my husband and I thought we would do is just have no vendor fee for really small, female-owned businesses in the area.”
As a mom herself, Thompson and her husband want to cater the first and third Saturdays to moms who want a creative outlet.
“I’m a mom, so I juggle my small business with being a mom,” Thompson said. “I have a lot of other mom friends who feel so much better when they have that creative outlet, so they make earrings or they make T-shirts, or do this or that, but don’t necessarily have the time or the money to go to a farmers market every week. I want to be really flexible with that. It gives them so much confidence. There’s really nothing that can replace that face-to-face action, and it’s a whole lot of fun.”
Thompson said the event is an opportunity for these women to connect with customers, sell their products and make money without a big commitment.
Each Saturday will look a little different as new vendors bring their products in.
Thompson said they plan on taking a maximum of six vendors each week.
During the event there will also be live music and specialty coffees, and visitors are welcome to wander through the flower fields.
“You can walk around and look at the flowers that I have growing. I have a little front porch coffee shop, so I make specialty coffees, hot or iced. People (can) just come out with their families, hang out and do a little shopping,” Thompson said. “It’s really a fun kind of escape, because most of the time farms aren’t open to the public, so I think people find it to be a fun experience to bring their families.”
Thompson and her family are originally from Tennessee, and after searching for farm space to pursue her passion, they made their new home in the Tri-Lakes community.
“I bought it sight unseen. I remember we had already bought it, and we had got here, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is even more beautiful than the pictures.’ I was so happy; it’s a really beautiful place,” Thompson said. “Most of the time when people come out, they’ll kind of look around and say, ‘Wow, it’s really peaceful out here,’ and it really is.”
The flower farm opened Easter of 2020 and has held a few events including a fall festival, an apple orchard and an Easter day event. Thompson said after the success of those events they knew they wanted to expand and allow more people to check out the farm.
This year they plan to add a sunflower field that will be open the first Saturday of August and another fall festival featuring apple cider from the apple orchard.
In addition to these events, Thompson makes custom bouquet orders using the flowers she grows and sells leftover bouquets from those orders on her Instagram and Facebook pages.
“The best way to order from me is to follow me on Instagram or Facebook because I’ll post what’s blooming every single day. If I have (extra) bouquets for sale like today, I have three more in addition to the deliveries that I’m doing this weekend, and people just see that post and message me on Facebook and Instagram to claim them,” Thompson said.
Thompson said she is excited for the first and third events and hopes to give people, especially moms, a fun and creative outlet to enjoy.
“I just love people, and I love it when I see another momma who spends most of her days at home with little kids, get to come out to an event and she’s like her own woman again for a couple of hours,” Thompson said. “To have that moment of just passion and creativity, I think that helps us be better moms too when we can have that outlet.”
For more on events and vendor information or to place orders visit the Thompson Flower Farm’ social media pages.