For those who love anything floral, you're definitely going to want to know our friend Kelly. In this post of Blond Genius Spotlight series, we're highlighting Kelly Martin of Lux Farm. A floral designer. A tea entrepreneur. A friend.
Kelly is from DSM, but she's lived in a variety of cool places like Boston, Portland and Amsterdam. She graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, majoring in accounting and finance, but when that path didn't quite suit her soul, she got creative. Really creative.
Keep reading to learn how a past Thanksgiving experience unknowingly set her up for a new career path.
"I've always loved the creative process," Kelly says. One of her first internships was an accounting internship at a florist in Omaha, where her interest in flowers began to take root (see what we did there?) She's also created personalized note-cards, and then later hair clips called Hippie Clips, and she even had a small cupcake biz in Amsterdam.
"I had been searching for something," Kelly says, "And when I stopped searching and started doing what I loved, is when I found it.”
When corona-virus changed the way we interacted and spent time with those we love, Kelly wanted to bring a little cheer to those around her and also embrace one of the fun Des Moines traditions that she missed while being away, MAY DAY! She and her kids delivered little posies to her neighbors and she caught the bug. The May Day flowers were a hit and she started getting requests for Mother’s Day. And there it was - the fresh flower side of Lux Farm - came to life. "It is such a gift to be able to deliver flowers to people. It always makes them happy and at a time like this we all need a bit more happy."
She continues to bring cheer throughout greater Des Moines area with her home deliveries and monthly subscriptions - The Lux Club!
One Particular Thanksgiving
Kelly's foray into winter bulbs, started perhaps indirectly, in 2019.
"Last year, I was going to a friend's for Friendsgiving, and I wanted to bring her some paperwhites for a hostess gift, and I couldn't find them anywhere in town," she says.
"This would be something that I would very easily just go grab from our specialty grocery store or one of the local flower shops in Portland. And there was nothing—I mean, I spent hours driving around calling everywhere."
Finally, she realized that if she wanted paperwhites - or amaryllis - in Iowa, she was going to have to grow them herself.
Green Tea - Dream Into Reality
We were lucky enough to sample the Green Tea before it launches at the Lux Farm Open Houses on November 14 and 21. Let us tell you - it’s literally all we’ve been dreaming about for the past 2 weeks! So naturally, we needed more details!
“The green tea has been an idea, dream and focus for over 5 years. We wanted to develop a green tea line that is made with natural, organic ingredients that taste amazing.”
Well, we’d say you delivered! We can’t wait to try all 3 flavors (Roma, Jamu & The OG) at the Open houses!
Create, Curate, Celebrate
One of Kelly's life motto's is something really special: create, curate and celebrate. She believes in the power of creating and making things with your hands, which is partly why she grows the paperwhites and amaryllis along with other flowers as part of Lux Farm. For Kelly, curating is about bringing special things from other places to Iowa and bringing a bit of Iowa to other places. And finally, celebrate, which we're all looking to do in some way this year, aren't we? Kelly believes flowers are for celebrating, and she loves writing out the cards and everyone's little messages to each other. "The fact that people invite me into their celebrating is really a gift," she says.
We also asked Kelly a few more questions for our readers!
BG: What’s the best advice you have for other women in business?
Kelly: "Find something that speaks to you," Kelly says. "Follow what you love, and it will turn into something."
BG: What's your favorite place to escape it all?
KM: Black Butte Ranch, Oregon. I love it in the summer because it's high desert, so it’s hot and dry, and in the winter, it snows and there is great skiing. There's hiking and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. I love it because of the active, laid back lifestyle, but mostly because our friends are there.
BG: What do you do to manage your stress or relax?
KM: I don't really relax. I can't sit still. I do feel relaxed after I run or if I go to yoga. I'll meet friends there, and I'm excited to see them for the 5 minutes before and after and I also won't cancel because I know I'm meeting friends.
BG: Who are your favorite designers?
KM: Ulla Johnson, AGOLDE, Vince is always such a great staple. I love the Sam coats, Chloe and Gucci for very special purchases that I have for a very long time.
BG: What is the most coveted item in your closet?
KM: My initial necklace and ring with my kids' initials.
BG: Where do you draw inspiration for your business life fashion?
KM: I think a lot of my inspiration comes from traveling, but we're not doing that much right now, so lately it’s social media. I prefer Instagram, just for the way my brain works visually.
BG: Surprise our readers. All you want for your birthday is _________
KM: A John Deere Tractor!
BG: Any hobbies or other interests?
KM: I like to ride my bike, and I like to cook and bake.
BG: Any quotes or words I live by?
KM: I have a shirt with my dad's quotes on it. When I was 44, my dad was just put into a memory care facility. His favorite number was 4. I was inspired to do a marathon bc all his quotes were always running through my head. Later, my brother was cleaning my dads office and found a stack of quotes he had written down. The biggest one, "Be kind, you never know what someone is dealing with," is a favorite, but there are so many.
BG: Share your favorite life hack with our readers.
KM: Hang your shoes on a shoe wall! The BG girls have been in my closet and they were pretty surprised at how I like to display my shoes! I like them hanging on the wall so I can easily see them all visually and it’s pretty easy for anyone with a wall to be able to do!
The Coop at Lux Farm
Of course no trip to Lux Farm is complete without a visit to “The Coop” the absolute most visually pleasing Chicken Coop!
KM: We had a shed on the property that we always knew we wanted to turn into a chicken coop. Our entire family took part in building “The Coop” and it has been a true labor of love. When we brought the chicks home, the entire family took part in naming them.
BG: Okay, we need more details on how their names came about because we are obsessed!
KM: We wanted to name them after strong influential women! We had so much fun naming them! We have RBG (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) Stevie (Stevie Nicks) Blondie (hello, obvs we love 😉) Diamond & Pearl (they’re just a couple of special chicks) and Moira Rose (Schitt’s Creek)
Okay, we just might move right in! Between the flowers, tea and chickens, it’s safe to say we left our heart at Lux Farm!