When Eden Garrett was a senior at Drury University in Springfield, MO, she dreamed up a business idea for a florist on wheels. The flower truck dream was for a school project in one of her entrepreneurship classes, which was what she was minoring in. At the beginning of the semester, her professor did not believe the mobile florist would do well; by the end, he was investing in what is now an award-winning company: Eden’s Flower Truck and Eden’s Botanicals.
“When I presented at the end of the year, my professor was impressed at how well I’d thought this business through,” Garrett told Arkansas Money & Politics. “I went to automotive glass companies and got quotes, I searched for real trucks and came up with a real budget – then he said he wanted to invest and become my business partner. I said yes before he had time to change his mind.”
In December 2017, Garrett and her professor purchased the truck, and by March 2018, the truck was completely ready for business – painted, decorated and stocked with flowers. She learned floristry from ladies working for local florists in Springfield, as they taught her basics such as how to make a corsage and what kind of flowers were good for each season. Garrett took her truck and her new creative skills and hit the road.
“I would actually drive [the truck] to class at the university, go to class and then open it up on campus and sell flowers out of it,” Garrett says.
Within a year of launching Eden’s Flower Truck, she had graduated, bought out her once professor turned business partner and was looking to expand and open a brick-and-mortar in Northwest Arkansas (NWA). The appeal of NWA was its proximity to her mom, the university demographic and the ability to easily travel between Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville and Springdale.
“I wanted a storefront due to the inevitable complications of a mobile truck – the engine not working, gas, poor weather effecting how it drives,” Garrett says. “And the goal was to be able to host workshops. That wasn’t possible inside the truck, and it was hard to transport all of my supplies every time I was booked.”
In 2019, Garrett relocated the truck to NWA. Later that year, she and her business were named the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2020, Garrett opened Eden’s Botanicals, which is the storefront branch of her flower truck. Located in Fayetteville, she is able to host workshops, party rentals, do weddings, provide custom florals and balloon garlands and maintain the classic flower arrangements, all while still using her truck for parties and special deliveries. Her shop has expanded now to a gift shop, in addition to a florist.
“I knew when I was 10 years old that I wanted to own my own business,” Garrett says. “My mom owned her own business and started it when she was 21, same as me. I feel inspired by that.”
Garrett has plans to further Eden’s Flower Truck and Eden’s Botanicals, hoping to start small by connecting with local businesses, but then grow to create a Magnolia Market atmosphere in NWA. To start, on May 29-30, Garrett will be hosting her first summer open house, which she promoted by organizing a giveaway that partners with local small businesses and is worth more than $2,500.
“At the grand opening of the flower truck in Springfield, my mom asked me if I noticed what every single person there had,” Garrett says. “I said, ‘yeah, flowers!’ She told me that no, they all had a smile on their face. Flowers bring happiness. That is why my tagline is ‘flowers create happiness.’”