Dig into the wild beauty of nature with Native, a flower company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pamela Martinson Olson is the owner and founder who has spent her entire life cultivating floral arrangements that bring magic to the little moments in the lives of her customers. Native was founded in 2012 and has been committed to producing quality products with unique arrangements for any occasion. Bluehost sat down with Pamela to discuss the origins of Native, her entrepreneurial spirit, and what inspires her to create eye-popping designs that make her the mother of flowers.
From the Ground Up
“I’ve been in the floral industry in different ways since I was a child. My dad was a wholesaler and would deliver to garden centers and flower shops where I had the opportunity to tag along. In high school I was also a delivery driver,” Pamela recalls.
When she founded Native in 2012 in Highland Park, Utah they started with custom orders they sourced from a local farmer and wholesalers in the community. As the company grew from specializing in corporate and residential accounts to custom daily orders, they developed a “game-changing,” strategy to launch an eCommerce brand through Shopify. Pamela excitedly shares that the benefit of “having the availability for people to create orders at any given hour or time online has been a great growth spurt for us.”
“The name “Native,” is more of an aesthetic though we do buy local flowers from February-October as the Utah growing season will allow,” Pamela shares regarding the company namesake. These blooming beauties aren’t just locally grown flowers, but are sourced from around 10 farms including a nearby location in Idaho.
The lush array of products featuring seasonal florals like “Fest + Feather,” reflect the golds and burgundies of autumn, “Sage & Thistle,” for a new baby, or “Coral Dream,” to send someone flowers just because. Pamela would describe the company as “a little bit of wildness while honoring a modern style. We do love seeing these gorgeous products come in week to week and each week is different because they come from local farms and last a long time.”
Modern Yet Wild
These stunning arrangements blend composition with lush colors and enchanting hues that reflect the wild spirit of the company. Pamela seeks to modernize the flower shop experience by keeping in touch with trends and providing customers with an experience that is new and fresh.
“We love to introduce our customers to new flowers when they come in or other local products like chocolates or cards by local artists. We can’t compete with major brands in terms of volume pricing on flowers, but we try to create a great experience for our customers in-store, on the phone, and online.”
As a small business owner, Pamela has learned to “love the business end because I’ve had to learn to read a balance sheet along with managing inventory over the years. I had to learn to embrace the business side just as much as do the creative side.”
Embracing her entrepreneurial and creative skills has helped her to overcome the challenges of dealing with perishables which can be “fickle little creatures.” The countdown to designing a beautiful arrangement that can die any day drives Pamela to combine current trends with her creative inspirations which can derive from architectural, landscape, and fashion magazines.
Same Soil, Different Roots
The changing ambiance of the floral industry has propelled Pamela to keep her ear low to the ground and listen to the ideas of her customers and community. Native sends their green waste to the city to be composted and just introduced an all organic cutting garden.
Maintaining relationships within her community has been an essential aspect of Pamela’s identity as an entrepreneur whose business thrives from online sales and weddings/events. Pamela teaches “Designing with Fresh Flowers,” through the Lifelong Learning program at the University of Utah in addition to courses with Craft Lake City.
Pamela’s ability to connect with her community has been a factor she attributes to the success of Native, which has continued to expand to deliveries and corporate events in the scenic retreats of Utah. Her rule of thumb as an entrepreneur is to “reach out to fellow business owners and see people in your own industry as colleagues and not competitors. It keeps you focused, gives you new ideas, and can drive your motivation. You’re all in the same boat, you just don’t know it.”
When you visit the Native website, you are introduced to vibrant arrangements that reflect the excellence and originality of the business. These beautiful blooms are accompanied by witty captions and vases that range from wood crates with sugar scrubs to gold mercury glass. Whether you’re planning a wedding, hosting an event, or ordering for delivery, Native will have you jumping for joy with flowers that evoke the beauty of nature.