Sometimes life throws you curveballs, and you have to learn to adjust to the curve. This is exactly what this Iowa entrepreneur is doing! This passionate, hard working, and driven gal is seeing success with her cut flower farm, Dibble and Bloom, and through several of her talents (including baking!). Check out this cut flower farmer in Northwest Iowa.
- Where are you located? What does your family look like? Humans and not.
My husband, Chris, and I are working on 32 years of marriage. Please note, I said working, because that is what you do to have a loving marriage. We live on an acreage North of Humboldt, Iowa. Blessed with and were triumphant in raising four children. I say triumphant because they all lived until adulthood and are thriving, God fearing citizens of the world! Girl, boy, girl, girl was the order of children. And as we look back now, each child had their own challenges during the “raising” years. So, if you were to ask, which is easier to raise, boy or girl …I would say they have unique challenges and are equally difficult. I called my children “Baby bird” one thru four. I told them all one day they would be flying the coop. All four are married so I have bonus children three Son in Loves and a Daughter in Love! Along with those martial unions, we have been blessed with 12 Grandchildren! Nine are living and three I will get to greet in Heaven! We have 18 chickens; a German Shepherd, Gemma, and Petunia is the cat.
- Iowa State Cyclones or Iowa Hawkeyes? (Or favorite team?)
In this house it is Iowa State.
- Explain your businesses and how you drive income
God has gifted me with many talents, and I praise him every day for so many blessings he has poured upon me and my family. Baking is one of those talents. I am known as the “Lefsa Lady,” “Angel Food Cake Lady,” “The Bread Lady,” just to name a few. I take baked goods to the farmer’s market and people will show up to my booth week after week and say ” ah yes, my favorite bread lady, I was hoping you would be here.” Once they get those words out, I simply say would you like my card so you can order in the off season? And boom just like that I have a customer. After giving them my card, I ask if they would like to give me their email or cellphone number with the tagline. I put together different holiday platters and I also make soup bowls in the winter month. I explain that I will send them an email or text about late October with what I am offering and the cutoff order dates. That is what I do for my baking, but since I retired in December of 2022 I needed to do something else, so I started a flower farm, called Dibble and Bloom. Yep, I sure did. So, I take those to farmer markets also. I have a Facebook page and an Instagram page, which I am terrible at. I am just not connected to those things very well. However, with Kelsey’s help, I will get better at those tasks! I am selling not only to farmer’s market, but also to a few local florists and have made some personal bouquets for clients. I place flowers at church every week, and also give that bouquet away. I love giving petals of joy away!
- If you could choose one treat what would it be?
One treat…hmmm, this one is difficult. I guess that is hard to believe, as I am a baker. However, as treats go, I am not thinking of food consumption. It is a treat to have an uninterrupted conversation with my adult children. I am sure one day we can coordinate our lives for a real family picture. With two children that are active-duty military it has been very difficult to get everyone together at the same time for a family photo. I am sure one day it will happen.
- What have been some struggles with living on a homestead, raising animals and humans (grandbabies)?
We have been abundantly blessed on our acreage. I am not saying we have not struggled with everyday challenges, finances, storm damage, dead livestock, killed livestock from predators, livestock getting out. However, as I reflect back on living here, I wouldn’t change anything. I believe Chris and I taught our children the value of one’s character is far more important than people pretending to like you. Full disclosure, home internet wasn’t available until my children were about to graduate, or in middle school. So they didn’t have the social media of today. We also taught them to rely on your own skill set to provide for yourself. We also have taught them to fully place your trust in the Lord. Our house is filled now with grandchildren a lot of the time. I might be a little gentler with them, however I want them to love & trust the Lord as I did my children and respect their parents, and what is not their property.
- What has been the most rewarding part of owning your own business(es)?
I love not punching a time clock or having to jump through hoops, but mostly… and I will be harsh here… not having to deal with biting, backstabbing, narcissistic people. I do not mean to be harsh on the female sex, but I have been around many mean girls in my working life. I love to get up early and walk the gardens as the sun comes up, yes even in the heat of summer. I also love the twilight of the evening, when the sun is going down on our property. It is just beautiful to me. Each season has its own uniqueness. The shadows that are cast on the naked tree in wintertime are just as wonderful as the smell of spring rains. God has made this world, and if you just close your eyes and listen to the sounds you will discover beauty right in front of you that you may have never noticed.
A reward is I have a partner in crime…Kelsey Wigans really, she is my sister in Christ. In the late winter of 2022, we both realized we really shared a dream. After talking in person, texting, and more talking we decided to move forward. It is a journey in the making. We both believe God has placed us together for His purpose and we may not know that entire purpose or what the outcome will be, but we have placed our trust in the Lord and in each other.
- Beach or mountain? Why?
I would do mountain with a lake or an active stream before a beach. The seasons need to change for me. I love beach time, but for me that is a short lived vacation.
- What hasn’t worked?
What hasn’t worked…hmmmm to be honest I cannot answer this, because I don’t really know if I have tried every business tactic there is. I am a worker and a people pleaser for sure. I am getting better at saying “no” though. I firmly believe if you treat a customer as an individual, you learn their name, make it personal and you make or grow a superior product those three things speak volumes on their own. Word of mouth is still a good business practice for sure. And if something doesn’t work, don’t just walk away, take some time to look at things at a different angle.
- What have you learned now that you didn’t know before?
That no matter how hard I try, I cannot please everyone all of the time. That working myself to exhaustion is not worth my time. That my family truly does love and care for me. That I have a wonderful husband and friends. That God does love me, and I really am a child of God.
- Favorite thing to do in your free time?
Free time….what is that? Just kidding. Winter season is sort of my free time. I like to learn, so I do a lot of reading mainly on gardening, flowers, harvesting, and preserving any homesteading item.I listen to a few podcasts throughout the year. I love puzzles in the winter, though I think that might be what old folks do! HA! I cannot sit for very long. I like to be busy doing something. Crafting-just learning something new!
- What piece of advice would you give to yourself when you started this journey?
Advice to me…don’t sweat the small stuff of course, Don’t worry about what people think, just keep your character in line with the Bible. Always make time for your Bible. It is amazing how much better your day is with a few verses tucked inside your head. A community built with Church family and like minded people are a treasure at best.
- What is the next thing you are wanting to pursue?
I want to pursue a business that honors and glorifies God. I want to give back to people in ways never imagined. I want to spread beauty to the world in flowers. Share knowledge that I have obtained over my 60 years of life. I want kindness and love around me. Not love for me, rather love for the earth and the bounty that it gives. That you can place a seed in the ground and with love, water, nourishment that seed can feed abundantly not only humans but the nature around it. I want a community of like minded people to come together and respect one another for the gifts and talent that GOD gave them. (I feel like I just cued up a Coke commercial.)
- Favorite thing to make for dinner?
Favorite thing to make for dinner. Well, I don’t have one. You see, for me it’s about making a meal that was requested by someone and watching them eat it. Conversing while they eat, they are enjoying what was prepared for them. One of my Love Languages is Acts of Service. I love serving others! That brings me joy!
And JOY stands for.
Jesus would have it no other way, and neither would I.
- How do we find out more about you? Facebook, Instagram, etc. Give me all of the details.
I am on Facebook
Thoughts on Steadfastness from The Bible
One of the many things I appreciate about Marla is her steadfastness. The dictionary defines steadfast as an adjective (a word that describes) that means firm and unwavering. I feel like there has been a firm foundational quality about her that is hard to ignore since I started coming to the church in Humboldt we both attend, called Oak Hill Church. She is truly a woman of steadfast faith. The Bible talks about being steadfast a few times.
The book of Psalms is a songbook of God’s people-heart cries out to God. The Psalms cover topics from forgiveness, praise, thanksgiving, and God’s law. About half is written by David. Psalm 112:7 says, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
I was struck by a text I received from Marla recently, “I don’t believe in luck…” Then she prayed for me through a written text. And man…can I just tell you…hearing this reminded me of her steadfast faith, and how she continually trusts in the Lord and turns to Him, even in the “small” things. Luck, like I talked about in a previous post just doesn’t happen. Things aren’t a coincidence. She truly exemplifies this in her every day life, and I’m so thankful for it!
Proverbs follows the book of Psalms in the Bible. It is written by Solomon. It is the writing that tells us about the grace from God we receive. This book of the Bible really points us toward Jesus. It points out our frail, human qualities, and tells us about the instruction we need, and ultimately how much we need Jesus Christ in our lives. Proverbs 4:26-27 says, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Honestly, the book of Proverbs is a bit like drinking from a firehose! There is SO MUCH wisdom and guidance for our lives there! It really should be broken down into smaller chunks, and thoughtfully read and prayed about.
I am praying for Marla for success in her cut flower business, Dibble and Bloom, and her other future endeavors, and I pray she guides more people to Christ through her steadfast faith.
You’ve got this. He’s got this. I’m cheering you on! If you want to find out more about some of my other entrepreneur friends, visit them HERE! Listen to, and follow God’s instructions for YOUR life.