For this flower company CEO, it’s not just about growth

The National Retail Federation figured Americans spent almost $24 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts this year, up from about $22 billion in 2021. 

For Christina Stembel, the CEO and founder of a direct-to-consumer company called Farmgirl Flowers, last year’s holiday was a turning point. Shipping delays cost her company $5.5 million, forced her to reorganize its distribution model, and changed the way she thought about risk. 

With another Valentine’s Day in the rearview mirror, she spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about how her new strategy played out this year and other challenges facing her company.  

Christina Stembel: "The bar was very low, as you just mentioned, last year. So it definitely surpassed that, which was great. But we went into this knowing it was going to be probably the most challenging Valentine’s Day at least in a while since it was on a Monday this year, which is the worst day of the week to ship from. Our prices were significantly higher this year. Valentine’s Day is, you know, typically a holiday that people will spend more — more than Mother’s Day, actually, which is a little bit sad to me. "

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