Robbin Daffin, founder of Hope and Evolution, started offering a subscription service as a means for her small flower business to survive during COVID.
“It started with me doing $15 wrapped bouquets for people during lockdown,” she said. Now, demand for the free-delivery (in central Ogden) subscription services and drop-in purchases are blooming wildly from her studio at The Monarch.
For this rising B Corporation, the name Hope and Evolution means continuous growth and engagement with the community in a creative and sustainable way. It is based on “the hope that beauty gives,” and aims to evolve with the community around us and our planet, according to Daffin, who was an “avid dandelion picker” by the age of 3.
Living in Germany for three “glorious” years down the street from a castle as a young adult, Daffin observed the ways that flowers were integral in people’s lives. Instead of the standardized FDA bouquets common in the U.S. at the time, flowers in Europe were always being purchased from farmers in the area, with people stopping by their local flower shops to have something uniquely made and wrapped on the spot just for them, “like a beautiful huge bunch of tulips,” or a farmers market bouquet.
Wanting to bring that feeling to the U.S., Daffin opened her own floral shop in Seattle in 2005. The farm-to-table flowers movement, sustainable fresh cuts from local growers, started later in Utah than in bigger cities on the east and west coasts, but now there are “a lot of great cut flower growers and artists here,” she explains.
Plans for a cut garden of her own are in the works, together with a new business partner, Adam Atkinson, who was brought on to help Hope and Evolution thrive. Plant subscriptions are also coming this summer. “Adam is helping make us viable and grow so we can give back properly and for years to come. We plan on being in Ogden for years.”
Free delivery at the beginning of COVID, plus running 45 “contact-free bouquets of cheer” from North Ogden to Little Cottonwood in Salt Lake, Plain City and Park City in one week, was “amazing and exhausting,” Daffin said, but not a good business model. “If it wasn’t for my new partner Adam Atkinson, I’d just give everything away and run my business into the ground,” Daffin said.
All sorts of events are sprouting back up for Hope and Evolution, including art installations. You can find their designs at the Ogden Contemporary Arts Garage as part of the current art exhibit, “The Changing Room,” and inside WB’s Eatery at The Monarch. Daffin especially loves doing events with nonprofits to pay it forward and be part of the community while helping their business grow.
The next big holiday for beautiful bunches of blooms is Mother’s Day. Daffin can’t wait for those spring bulbs to come up, “followed by lilacs and flowering fruit trees, followed by garden roses, then dahlias in late summer.”
The Hope and Evolution studio at The Monarch is open for flowers wrapped on the spot just for you. Hours are temporarily limited due to COVID, but the studio is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to mid-afternoon for impromptu floral designs.