Name: Sarah Marshall
Main Hustle: Stay at home mom
Side Hustle: Flower farmer
How did you get started?: I was raised by a gardening mother and have always loved plants. But this venture really began when my husband, daughter, and I moved to Birmingham for his residency. I didn’t know anyone here and was staying at home with our then one year old. Ryan was working crazy hours, and I felt as though I had nothing for myself. I started going to the local wholesaler and purchasing/arranging flowers as a creative outlet. It was something I could do with Tatum in tow, and it kept me sane.
That passion evolved and I began starting my own plants at home and discovered that I loved the whole growth process. From seed to flowering plant, it is therapeutic to me.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I work all over my house (thankful for an understanding husband). Lots of times I sit in our living room and start seeds. There is a heat mat under Ryan’s desk and grow lights in our room. I have a small greenhouse in my backyard that I use for hardening off the seedlings before planting them out.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Time. I now have an almost 7 month old (who doesn’t like to sleep) and a 3.5 year old. Ryan is a 3rd year resident, so he continues to have crazy hours.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: It truly is like therapy for me. It is so rewarding and soothing to watch the transformation from seed to plant. It is so satisfying.
I also love that my children can be around and participate (to a certain extent, lol). I love that Tatum sees my passion for something—hopefully she will enjoy doing this with me forever.
Who is your greatest supporter?: I was so blessed to find a flowering mentor, Kelly Wood (@grace_gardens_bham). She has been doing this for years and has graciously taken me under her wing. We now work/grow together. She is a MASTER, and I am so thankful for her guidance and support!
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?:
I mean…. nature. It is amazing. The seasons change, leaves fall, plants return, new plants form, flowers bloom. Nature is so cleansing, refreshing, and inspiring.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: It is slowly forming and coming to life. Kelly and I keep evolving our plan and hope to continue to grow our business. We are working with local floral designers in selling our cut flowers and hope to maybe start a floral market with other growers this year.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
I think everyone needs a Side Hustle. We all need something for ourselves–something that will fulfill that little flame inside of us. Forever I expected my life to be complete with what I had and felt guilty for wanting more. Staying at home, raising our children, doing the laundry, and completing all of the other domestic tasks wasn’t enough for me. It was when I accepted that that I felt I came to life. It was a hard thing to accept as I felt it made me less a woman and mother by not being completely satisfied with the life I had. But…I now feel free from that guilt and think I am better in all aspects of my life since I have let go and made something for myself.