O’BRIEN FAMILY TO START FARM
Kasey O’Brien of Anderson is a homeschool mom, homemaker and blogger who is starting her own fresh-cut flower business with the help of her family.
Kasey and her husband, Jared, were both born and raised in Anderson, where they make their home with their three children, Dakota, 9, Jake, 7, and Finnley, 6. Kasey writes a blog called “O’Brien Outpost” at Obrien outpost.com.
She said, “The main reason I started homeschooling was to follow my children’s interests and teach them some life skills and give them more time to learn small business skills and get practice and experience. The flower farm stemmed organically from doing just that.”
She had been asked to contribute to the Wild and Free Homeschool Community, writing pieces for a magazine that gives homeschool moms ideas and encouragement, she said. She and the children were at the local farmers market working on a piece when she noticed there was not a very large selection of flowers from the local growers. Thus the idea for a flower farm was born.
“I thought this was a way we could offer something to people, use our land to grow flowers, teach our kids about small business on a small scale,” she said. “We want to offer local flower lovers a more natural selection of statement blooms. A unique statement flower like dahlias, tulips, peonies. We also want our flowers to be a reminder of our O’Brien Outpost motto, which is ‘Living for the Most.’”
She said she encourages people through her blog to “live for the most” in their families and their homes.
“We only have a certain amount of time to make the most of life, so I hope the flowers are a reminder of that.”
Kasey O’Brien Anderson Flower Farmer
“I want this small business to be an extension of that,” she said, “by providing a product that people can bring into their home and be reminded of living for the most.”
“We only have a certain amount of time to make the most of life, so I hope the flowers are a reminder of that,” she said.
Her father, Keith Peck, is helping the family with the flower farm. He has a background in agriculture and is passionate about flower and vegetable gardening, Kasey said.
“The kids really love helping him in the garden. He is instilling rich knowledge and memories with them in this process,” she said.
“Dakota has always shown an interest in flowers and helping forage and cut flowers for our home because we both share an appreciation for the beauty of them,” she said. “She’s also a very hard worker and eager to learn about earning her own money.”
Jake and Finnley are also involved in the family business, but Kasey is keeping an eye on their interests to possibly start their own small businesses.
The family has 20 acres in Anderson. Kasey said Jared always wanted to find a way to use their property for profit. She said she was never knowledgeable about or interested in entrepreneurship until all the pieces started falling in place.
“It made sense that all of this collaboratively fits together for our family,” she said.
They knew they had to start small because of the learning curve and also because the bulbs they had to plant would take time to produce stems.
“We’re not going to have an abundance this first year. But we’ve planned to see this through long-term, and it should multiply each year,” she said. The family sold tulips and foraged branches in the spring and has been selling zinnias, cosmos and dahlias this summer.
They will have a limited supply. The plan is to sell bouquets this year at small pop-up locations and by ordering directly. Follow obrienoutpost.com to be notified of flower sales.
Kasey is also working on a product to teach other people to start their own small businesses. It is a product for homeschooling moms with young entrepreneurs that will help educate them on how to develop interest-led ideas, build a platform and learn to use social media for a meaningful purpose, she said. This resource should be available in the fall at obrienoutpost. com.
Above: Kasey O’Brien (right) and her daughter Dakota gather flowers at the family’s flower farm in Anderson.