Pearl Alley Meet the Makers

Stripe's core value is community, and we are lucky enough to work with an incredible network of local creative, hardworking makers. Our very own Neva Ryan got to interview Kelly Brown of Do Right Flower Farm and Denise Armstrong of La Luna Designs about why they do what they do and what it's like to run a small business.

These amazing folks will be joining us at our Pearl Alley Market on Saturday, August 21st at Stripe, from 11am–3pm. 

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Why did you name your business Do Right Flower Farm?

As a kid, I was obsessed with Aretha Franklin. My mom taught me how to use her record player, and I would play “Respect” and “Do Right Woman.” When thinking of a name, I thought, “That has a nice ring to it.” “Do Right” can feel like a command, but it’s more about the sentiment of integrity for me. It’s about this concept of integrity and identifying with that.

Why do you do what you do? 

Farming is something I can’t imagine not doing. It’s a craft — it takes hours, days, and years of observation. It’s an ancient practice, being in a relationship with the natural world. Farming food is important — it’s a privilege to farm beautiful flowers. I love the way people interact with flowers. Flowers are literal magic. When you bring the natural world to someone’s table, there’s an interaction there. It’s a medicine that can take people out of life, drama, or grief. There’s a moment of wonder that’s important. Beauty is important.

What surprised you about making a business? 

I always wanted my personal values to align with what I wanted the business to be — and I was surprised that we pulled it off. There was this critic in me, who thought that’s not gonna happen. But putting effort into working on a project in line with what you want makes it so much easier to create a community of employees where communication and care is a reality. Ideas about how a workplace should be should not be idealistic. It’s important to hold onto what you value.

What are some of those values? 

Having a workplace that is that is friendly and encouraging for women femmes and queer people. I’ve inhabited all those identities, and have always been a farmer in male dominated workplaces. It’s a production farm, we’re not gardening in sundresses. My employees have to be hard working and push themselves. Trying to be mutually supportive in the way we talk. There’s lots of open vulnerability with each other. I pay people more because Santa Cruz is extremely expensive.

More about Do Right Flower Farm

 

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La Luna Designs
Denise Armstrong
 

Why did you name your business La Luna? 

I named my business La Luna Designs because I knew I wanted to represent my Mexican heritage at its core. I also love to stare at the moon and find beauty in all things cosmos.

Why do you do what you do? 

I do what I do for my family first and foremost, and to be an example to my children that you can make a living doing what you love. 

What surprised you about making a business? 

What surprised me the most about making a business is the community that I have found. Makers are some of the most kind hearted, passionate people I have met and I love being a part of the community.

Why is your business important to you? 

My Business is important to me because it is very fulfilling for me personally, and allows me to express my creativity while earning a living.

More about La Luna Designs

 

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