“Liv, do what you love and the money will come.”
When you were younger what did you dream of doing when you grew up? Maybe you still are dreaming about your future and what your career path will look like. What are the steps to reaching that dream, and will following that dream provide you with the means to support yourself?
For Livvy Tubergen, her dream career path and her talent for that dream had made itself known while she was just a young girl. Early in her teen years, Livvy’s parents asked her what she wanted to do with her future. Her immediate response was, “Flowers, I love working with flowers” but she couldn’t imagine how working with flowers could become a career.
When Liv was 10 years old her strong attraction to the world of flowers led her to ask her parents if she could work at the local greenhouse where her family shopped so she could learn more about the different flowers and how they grew. At age 13 she had started working a few hours a week at the greenhouse, absorbing all the knowledge she could from her older co-workers about the different annual flowers and how to care for them. She also noticed that many of the people coming into the greenhouse loved the ideas of having flowers growing at their homes but needed assistance in planning and arranging them for their containers or flower beds.
Many were often overwhelmed by the vast plant options and the different growing and maintenance needs required by the annual flowers. Liv thought that if she put together a few displays on a cart showing what plants work together well in a planter, she could help customers easily see options that would work well in different sun or shade situations. What she found was that customers started coming in to purchase her displays! The greenhouse management saw her talent and encouraged her to keep the planter combinations replenished for the customers.
Liv had been working seasonally with the greenhouse plus providing landscape maintenance for a local landscaping company gaining valuable business experience during her high school years. It was during this time that Liv and her parents discussed her future. Liv’s father’s response when she said she loved working with flowers was both wise and prophetic, “Liv, do what you love and the money will come.”
At the age of 15 and under her parents’ guidance Liv was able to set up The Boutique Gardener, a business specializing in container gardening and annual flower displays. Using the savviness of her teenage world Liv created an Instagram account and announced that she was open for business. With that one first post, she almost immediately had a clientele of 15 to 20 customers. Considering that she still wasn’t old enough drive, her mom becomes her first employee to drive her around to her work sites!
At the age of 16, Liv was able to graduate from high school through her home school curriculum. With each season her business grew and she quickly outgrew the ability to carry all the plants and material in her mom’s minivan. She used her first profits to purchase an enclosed trailer to pull behind her mom’s van, but by the time she was 16 she had made enough money to be able to buy her own truck to pull the trailer herself.
As her business grew, one of the difficulties that she faced was trying to get local growers and vendors to trust that she was going to purchase everything that she wanted to pre-order. She received many unsure glances, puzzled looks, and blank stares when she would ask to apply for a wholesale account. While her youthfulness may have given them initial concern, her business success gained their trust and even had one grower tell her recently that she is one of their biggest accounts.
The container gardening business continues to multiply for this flower girl and Liv was happy to let us know that Crescent Garden is on her “go-to” list for containers. Her customers love the planters’ design and she loves the ease of handling our sturdy, lightweight planters. Liv says, “Honestly, Crescent containers make arrangements look awesome!” With the Crescent Garden Trudrop planters, her water maintenance schedule became a whole lot simpler.
We love the beauty and creative design that this flower girl is bringing to her world through The Boutique Gardener. We are thankful to be a part in helping her career dreams grow.