When you work the land for decades, you understand that results take time and patience. When you plan for and rebound from whatever nature throws your way, you know that resiliency and attitude are as important as sun and rain. When nature is your life’s work, you know success does not come overnight.
After 22 years working as a farmhand on a protea farm, Mel Resendiz knew those lessons by heart and hand. And he applied that patience, persistence and painstaking attention to propelling the protea from obscurity to become a head-turning, industry favorite and go-to for brides, event planners, designers and everyday flower buyers looking for something extra special.
When he and fellow flower grower Diana Roy founded Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers LLC in Fallbrook, California, in 2001, they vowed to make the exotic familiar and the protea practical.
Guess what? They totally did.
“From the beginning, we both agreed that, in order to succeed, we really needed to focus on marketing,” Roy said.
Their goal: increase consumer awareness and influence floral trends to drive sales of protea flowers and foliage. Their approach? Seize every chance, big or small, to promote proteas. Over the years, their efforts have snowballed, with “every opportunity leading to another,” Roy said.
The opportunities have put proteas on the national stage, appearing in the Rose Parade and the First Lady’s Luncheon, as well as every major bridal magazine. In the past five years, Resendiz Brothers has added 93 acres of farmland and increased sales by more than 30 percent. Roy and Resendiz have also encouraged protea growers around the globe to embrace social media to parade their own products, helping fan the flame of protea appreciation worldwide.
For their steadfast commitment, comprehensive tactics and impressive results, Resendiz Brothers received Floral Management’s coveted title of Marketer of the Year. Read all about the campaign.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.