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Where Creativity Blossoms

Where Creativity Blossoms

Mindful Blooms eco-printing workshop

By Kendra Gemma

This spring, discover your inner creator or learn how to keep your plants alive. Manatee County’s own Fancy Leaf Plant Co., Pilea Plants & Things, and Mindful Blooms Farm all host crafty classes and plant-care workshops to help you and your leafy friends thrive.

Mindful Blooms workshop

Seeds of Inspiration

All three businesses sprouted in the past few years, and all arose from a passion for living things.

“I fell in love with working with nature and growing something beautiful with nature,” says Sophie Wettstein, owner of Mindful Blooms Farm. She started the organic flower farm in Myakka City nearly three years ago because she saw a need in the community and felt one in herself. Now she not only provides unique, locally grown wildflowers to her customers, she also feeds their souls and her own.

“I have found a lot of healing in farming,” she says. Wettstein shares the cathartic aspect of farming and being with nature in the retreats and workshops she hosts on her property. They often combine flowers and mindfulness in some way.

Mindful Blooms Farm | Photo by Annelise Adams

Pilea Plants & Things owner Taylor Robison began her business in 2022 as an online retailer but soon realized she had a responsibility to be out in the community. “That kind of pushed me to get that mobile plant shop,” she says. Her plant trailer, named Polly, travels to markets like Oscura Friendly City Market, as well as to pop-up classes at local shops and to other locations for private workshops.

Robison’s focus is on affordability and accessibility, so her plants are low-cost and low-maintenance, and her shop is mobile. Why? Because she believes in the power of plants. “Even if it’s one plant, it brings vibrance to the space that nothing else can,” she says.

Libby Bolles, who co-owns Fancy Leaf Plant Co. with her mother, first bought plants to clean the air in her old home. Now she’s obsessed. “Once you get a plant, you can’t stop,” she says, and she and her mother have a mission to encourage others to start collecting plants. “We really enjoy getting to know our customers and helping them on their plant journey.”

Pilea Plants & Things | Photo by Phoebe C. Photography

Her Palmetto store stocks indoor plants that are easy to care for, along with local and upcycled products. The store also holds crafty workshops, from candle-making to pottery painting, in the store’s back room.

Spring Sessions

Throughout the year, you can join these plant entrepreneurs’ classes and events that let you get your hands dirty and cultivate your creativity. But this season is a prime time for getting in touch with nature.

“In the spring, everything starts to pop,” says Wettstein. “There’s so much abundance in the field and life in the soil.”

She’s hosting several retreats and workshops at Mindful Blooms Farm during the next few months to share the good vibes with everyone.

“I love seeing the joy that blossoms out of people when they’re on the farm,” she says.

Fancy Leaf Plant Co.

Among her planned events for the spring are the Bloomtreat Flower Retreat on March 16, co-hosted with the Roaming Petal. Spend the day picking and picking and arranging flowers, doing flower yoga, sage bundling, and dining on a vegan lunch, among other activities. On March 10 and April 28, Wettstein, along with flower pressing service Flower and Flames, will hold eco-printing workshops that use flowers to naturally dye and decorate linens.

You can see all the spring workshops on If you would like to partner with Mindful Bloom Farms on a workshop, email Wettstein at [email protected].

Pilea Plants & Things offers a variety of private workshops for four to 30 people, and they can create moss wall art, make a succulent wreath, or learn propagation. None of the projects requires prior knowledge or special skills.

“A lot of people have no plant knowledge whatsoever,” Robison says. “They’re scared that they can’t keep anything alive and aren’t crafty. Seeing their confidence afterward is so rewarding.”

Besides private workshops, she also co-hosts classes with local businesses, who provide a location and often refreshments. If you have a café or other space and would like Robison to bring one of her classes to your establishment, get in touch with her at [email protected]. Follow Pilea Plants & Things on Instagram for her current class schedule.

Like Robison, Bolles of Fancy Leaf Plant Co. started out with a plant trailer, and she had pop-up events at other businesses. Now she invites local owners to use her shop for their classes. “We’ve been helped by others, so this is our way of paying it back,” she says.

Bolles enjoys building relationships with her customers and other local establishments through these classes, and the customers leave them feeling good, too.

“Participants get to know like-minded people and make something and take it home,” she says.

Her spring workshops include a candle-making class on March 9 with Blossom and Burn Co and a charcuterie class on March 30 with Rima Cheese and Charcuterie. Keep up with the current schedule at If you want to hold a class at the shop, email [email protected].

Our area is blessed to have these vibrant women and their flourishing businesses. Do yourself a favor and enroll in a class or two so you, too, can bloom and grow this spring.

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