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Inspiring Conversations with Laurie Whitefoot of Glory Flower Farm

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Whitefoot.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Of course! My name is Laurie Whitefoot. I am the wife to my amazing husband Cody and a mother of two sweet little girls, Kallen Grace and Hope Olivia. My career itself began in the medical field, where I worked as a nurse treating patients with cancer undergoing bone marrow transplants.

I come from a family of many gardeners and have always had a deep love and appreciation for plants, more specifically, flowers. Growing plants was more of a hobby to me early in my career as a nurse, but when the pandemic hit, like many other healthcare professionals, I felt burnt out, helpless, and lost within the profession I originally loved so much.

It was during that time that my husband Cody and I purchased our first home in a beautiful suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. More yard space at home afforded me the opportunity to rekindle my love of gardening. For two seasons I grew (or attempted to grow) an abundance of vegetables and flowers, further deepening my passion and love for plants.

In the midst of our older daughter Kallen Grace turning two, and the birth of our daughter Hope in July 2021, my husband got a new job in East Tennessee. In December of 2021, we moved from the suburbs of Memphis to Knoxville, Tennessee.

It was amid all these life changes that Glory Flower Farm was born. While moving to East Tennessee my husband and I dreamed of a change of pace for our little family. My husband was getting to start a dream job, our girls were getting to spend tons of time outside surrounded by nature, we bought ten chicks and really wanted to embrace country living.

At this time, I decided to really take a chance on myself and enrolled in an extensive flower farming course. This course lit a fire in me and helped me truly recognize a passion that had been building in me for a long time to grow and produce flowers for others to enjoy.

I’m currently in my first season of flower farming and I’m working off a piece of my parent’s beautiful ten acres in Heiskell, Tennessee, about twenty minutes outside of Knoxville.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been a completely smooth road to get started! I would say the hardest struggle I’ve had so far was making the definitive choice to get started and to trust in myself that I can start a small business, pivot career paths, and believe that I can become a successful flower farmer.

Doing something with flowers is something that has been a dream of mine for years, but for so long, I didn’t believe it could really happen or that I should take the leap and go for it.

Once I made the choice to get started, there has been such a steep learning curve since I’m trying to learn in real-time and then immediately implement what I’m learning.

Also, I’ve quickly realized different flower farming experts all have different opinions on what methods to use when it comes to things like seed starting, weed prevention, succession planting, and so on, so I’m working on being flexible, experimenting, and learning what methods will work best for me and the land I’m working on.

We’ve been impressed with Glory Flower Farm, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is Glory Flower Farm. The word glory means magnificence and great beauty. My mission is to bring glorious flowers of the highest quality to the people in and around Knoxville, Tennessee.

The flowers I will be selling will all be grown locally, without the use of any pesticides or herbicides. This summer I will be selling my fresh cut flowers at the Norris Farmers Market (Wednesdays from 3:00-6:00 pm), at the Union County Farmers Market (Saturdays from 10:00am-1:00pm), as well as taking orders through my website for delivery.

This year is my starting point, and I plan on growing every year in the avenues I’m selling through the amount of land I’m growing on, and the varieties of flowers I’m growing. I also have big dreams for the future involving my own fresh-cut flower farm stand and a U-Pick flower patch.

At the forefront of all my dreams remains my goal to bring the Knoxville community the most glorious flowers and to bring joy to others through my flowers.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking?
My view on risk-taking is it is a form of growth. If you keep doing things the same way you always have, you’ll keep getting the same results. But by taking risks, you can move forward, progress, and grow. It won’t always work out the way you pictured, but I think you always learn valuable lessons along the way.

I say all of this not being a natural risk-taker myself. I’m someone who likes to have a plan in place, a backup plan, and researches all aspects of that plan. When I do decide to take a risk, it is after a lot of planning and research. The biggest risk I’ve taken so far with Glory Flower Farm has been the decision to get started, make it an official business, and truly invest my time, money, and energy into it.

I also made the decision early on to tell family and friends about what I was working on and make an Instagram account. I wanted to take the risk of showing others what I’m working on and being open about my journey, even when things may not always work out how I want them to.

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Image Credits

Selah Vetter

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