We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Gilbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I think starting this business was spurred by wanting to do something that reduced my footprint and impact on the Earth. I wanted to do something beautiful but didn’t want to create waste or clutter. I love that flowers are like a temporary piece of art. You don’t have to lug them around every time you move. There is no guilt of having to keep them because someone special gave them to you (like say a cup or a framed picture) You enjoy them and they change and fade and then they can become compost.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve learned a lot of lessons and I am still learning. I think the biggest one is it’s ok if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are so many new challenges that you face as a business owner and the only way that you are going to get through them is to identify the challenge, admit that you don’t know the answer and then find someone who does know the answer. Know that this stage will pass. I think I am most proud and excited about partnering with other local, conscious small businesses. I just started working with a local beeswax candle company and am offering their candles to clients. I’m finding more small seed producers that have great product and I am buying from them. It’s nice to be able to support businesses that have the same ethics.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend come visit me we would get up and I would take them to Misty’s coffee shop in Silt. We would grab a slice of banana bread and a coffee and then head up to Rifle Falls for a hike and a picnic. If it was Tuesday we would head over to the Miner’s Claim for ‘Tiny Tuesdays’ which is buy one get one free martinis! We would ride our bikes home afterward and enjoy the sunset. We would also have to head over to Carbondale one day and eat at the Village Smithy! So many good things to eat there and we would save room for a piece of pie. We would then ride the Rio Grande Trail north to Basalt and enjoy the Roaring Fork River views.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely have a lot of people to thank for supporting and encouraging me. I’d like to thank Sustainable Settings Ranch for teaching me how to grow things and how to enjoy life, DHM Design for being there when I needed them, Wilderness Voyageurs and Brett Meredith for being there when I needed helping hands, and Grace Contro, without her generosity I would have never been able to start a flower farm.

Website: modernwestfloral@gmail.com

Image Credits
Carl Zoch

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