Flower Power

Mindy Lord

Contest promotes entrepreneurship to students

Everything’s coming up roses for recent graduate (’16) Mindy Lord. The winner of Best Pitch in the 2015 Eagle FastPitch competition is the sole owner of a floral design business and flower farm. Think of the business reality show “Shark Tank” when you think of Eagle FastPitch. The University competition connects promising entrepreneurs with community resources to help them start or grow existing businesses.

Lord was one of 12 finalists who each had three minutes each to pitch their business venture or idea to a panel of judges that included academics, business professionals and community leaders. The competition was held before a large crowd at the Whitaker Black Box Theater in downtown Statesboro.

Lord impressed the panel with her presentation and passion for her sustainable flower farm and floral design company. Her company, Luella, specializes in weddings and events. She grew up in Dudley, Georgia, and sells her fresh cut, locally grown flowers at farmers’ markets in the neighboring town of Dublin.

Floral Designer Draws Inspiration from Her Southern Roots
Lord’s interest in flowers stems “from being raised in the countryside and living an old-fashioned way of life gathering homegrown vegetables and flowers from our gardens.” Her business represents an eco-friendly and well-rounded floral design company she says.

“What makes my story different is that many of the supplies I use — whether a flower grown in my garden or a feather shed from our farm birds — celebrate a story with my end-user. They make you literally ‘stop and smell the roses.’ Just as the garden and flower farming bring personal fulfillment and a deeper appreciation for the land, my sustainable practices offer a safer, healthier and a more eco-friendly product to my customers.”

The new alumna is keeping busy planning for 16 weddings she has booked this year. The general studies major with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and business management also opened a full-service florist shop last fall.

FastPitch is sponsored by the University’s College of Business and the City Campus Business Innovation Group. Ryan Tewksbury finished the competition in second place with his Help Me Park app and Christophe Chin placed third for the video production company, sCotoma. — Sandra Bennett