If you’re ever passing in Farmingdale, New Jersey, you may take in the scent of beautiful gardens and flowers. Local, organic and absolutely gorgeous, Flowers From the Farm NJ offers “fresh flowers from farm to vase” right in our backyard.
Dana Vargo is the heart and soul of this floral farm. Leaving a corporate job to pursue her passion, she was called to create a beautiful and sustainable space for growing gorgeous gardens full of life. Dana provides full-service wedding day floral design, with beautiful flowers and greenery picked fresh from her farm.
We had the pleasure of working with Dana on Flowers From the Farm’s brand-new logo re-design. Learn a little bit more about her below!
Art Paper Scissors: Tell us a little bit about you and your journey to becoming a flower farmer. How did Flowers from the Farm come to life?
Dana: The journey was an unexpected one, as I never thought of farming flowers or farming anything for that matter until 6 years ago. I had been perfectly content working a desk job in a corporate setting until in 2011 when I began practicing yoga. The corporate experience was invaluable, as I was the president of a small company and it gave me a lot of the business knowledge that I use today to run my one-woman operation. The practice of yoga allowed my perspective on the world to change, and I began to truly listen and observe life from what I believe to be a broader mind set. The change was gradual, but I felt that I needed to do something of and for the earth.
When the notion of flower farming came to me, I knew without any doubt that it was exactly what I was meant to do. I can also say that I knew zero about growing anything - and thankfully I had no idea how huge and daunting the task of farming was! Farming using organic practices was a no-brainer, being kind to the earth, giving a safe haven for the “3 B’s” (bees, butterflies and birds) was a number one priority.
I am incredibly lucky to have a husband who supported my idea without question. When the time came in July of 2015 to leave my prior career behind, he was 100% on board.
My first small floral arrangements were sold at a local farmers market; now 5 years later, I farm at my home in Farmingdale, NJ and have fields at Calgo Gardens, a garden and landscape company in Freehold, NJ. I have a seasonal weekly flower share club, sell small arrangements at Calgo Gardens, take custom orders for birthdays and special occasions and offer full floral service for weddings and other events.
Art Paper Scissors: What makes Flowers From the Farm unique?
Dana: A growing trend across the country and abroad is the farmer/florist and the home-based floral design studio. The truth is that it makes total sense with the desire to buy local, source local, eat local, etc. - why not use locally grown flowers?
The traditional florists are not to be frowned upon and I have great respect for them, but for person that would like annual phlox or celosia as opposed to baby’s breath and red carnations - that’s where I come in. Not only do I have the unusual, but I have freshly harvested dahlias, lisianthus and more in colors that have a depth that is hard to imagine. The flowers change throughout the season, which my clients find exciting. Every year, I add new colors and/or varieties along with growing popular favorites.
In addition to the flowers, different fillers and elements are used when creating arrangements. A branch adds height, while herbs such as dill, mint or basil add fragrance, and a wild grass adds movement. Nothing is off limits, and there are no rules in creating an arrangement. As long as it is pleasing to the eye,I am free to create using anything to help make the happen. The creative process is always moving and I find myself constantly looking for new elements to add.
Being realistic, it is not possible to grow everything needed for a wedding, so I am fortunate to have a local wholesaler to source what I need and make sure the bride’s vision becomes a reality.
Art Paper Scissors: Let’s talk about your new logo. We loved working on the re-design with you! How did you envision your logo? What elements did you want to incorporate into the new design?
Dana: This process was incredible and Lisa was a dream to work with. My original logo was from 2014 and was very farm-driven in the way it looked and the elements used. Now in 2019, my business has evolved into a farmer florist with weddings and floral arrangements being a large part of what I do.
The feel I wanted for the new logo was to be seen as farmer and florist that is creative, current and upscale, with a component of fun. I wanted the format to be more of an outline with the mind seeing flowers, but not anything specific and a slight bit of color to make it pop. The font is always tricky and I felt that it shouldn’t all be the same, so when we used a fun font for FLOWERs that brought it all together for me.
Lisa was super patient as I asked for a few revisions, but she is a true professional and really listened to me with each change; it was not long before she nailed it. The whole process took a few weeks and only four revisions, which I think is amazing and I LOVE my new logo! I have had many compliments on it. One of the best parts is that it can be an outline if I decide to do hats, tee shirts, etc.
Art Paper Scissors: What services do you offer couples looking for wedding florals? Do you have any information or resources for brides and grooms looking to find a florist for their big day?
Dana: I offer full-service florals which means all personal flowers – bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, combs, crowns even floral jewelry along with centerpieces, arbors, aisle markers and so on. I am very hands-on with the brides and or as much as they would like me to be as we collaborate and work out ideas together discussing flowers and color tones to use. The brides and grooms I typically work with hire me for my creativity and to help bring out the feel for their day. I encourage them to look for pictures for style and color, not for me to recreate exactly but so that we both are on the same page for their vision. When designing for their day, I often say I channel the bride when creating her bouquet and other elements, it’s just how I work.
I feel the two greatest resources out there right not are Pinterest and Instagram. Bridal websites and such are good as well, but inspiration often strikes when just browsing pictures. The one statement I say to all of the brides that I meet are that there are no rules, do whatever you want to do, go with your personal style and make the day yours. Talk the ideas out and come up with a plan that works for you as a couple and your loved ones be them family or friends.
Art Paper Scissors: What do you love most about floral design for weddings?
Dana: As you know each couple is so different and each venue is as well. The individual and personal components keep it fresh and invigorating. Yes, it can be stressful planning for the day that will forever be remembered, but capturing the essence of what they want and knowing that you did so is rewarding. I think the couples that work with me are the ones that want something different, they are open to ideas and the creative process.
I like to do something that is unexpected, the couple may not have asked for it, maybe it’s a few florals scattered on the sweetheart table, or a flower that I find in the garden that was not planned but works so nicely in the bouquet and maybe the groom’s boutonniere. I love designing for weddings because as cliché as it is, it is the happiest day of their lives up until this point as a couple, and that’s what I want to be part of.
Art Paper Scissors: And of course, probably our hardest question - what are your favorite flowers?
Dana: Great question! It changes daily. I can tell you the most special flower for me on a personal level is a Cosmo.
Not only was it the first flower I grew from seed that bloomed in my now-flower garden, but it reminds me of my father who unfortunately passed before he could see the garden become a reality. There are flowers that take my breath away, a few that come to mind are velvety purple gladiolas, pastel anemones and buttery yellow stock - just pure perfection!