When entrepreneur Adene Nieuwoudt started Adene’s Farm Flowers just six years ago, she never dreamed that it would blossom into the incredible venture it is today. The farm, based in Breede River Valley region of the Western Cape, has grown to encompass six hectares of flowers with over 200 different varieties including 50 000 dahlias, 4000 hydrangeas, thousands of lisianthus and other flowering plants.
Before starting her flower business, Nieuwoudt had no experience in farming or growing flowers. She began her career as a fashion buyer in Cape Town before transitioning into wedding photography, which she did for around ten years, capturing special moments at over 400 weddings. It was during this time Nieuwoudt formed relationships with numerous florists and discovered that many of the flower varieties used at weddings and events were not grown commercially in South Africa but were imported at high costs.
With a passion for South Africa and its people, this sparked her inspiration. She was already living on a farm with her husband, whose family has owned the Platvlei Fruit Farm since 1934. “I started by planting just a small patch of flowers in my backyard. When they were mature, I styled and photographed them and sold them on Facebook. They sold out in 10 minutes, I quickly realised there was a market for scarce flowers that you see on Pinterest but could not get locally very easily,” she remembers.
Adene says it’s not always easy being a woman in the male-dominated field of farming, but she has learned how to stand out and has earned the respect of her industry with her successful business model. She has an intuitively feminine approach to work, “What I love about being my own boss is that I can follow my own vision and that I can dream up my own business ideas and there’s really no one holding me back. I can just follow through into what I feel naturally,” she says.
Her approach to farming is also a nurturing one as she focuses on eco-friendly growing methods, environmentally responsible practices, and balancing farm with family. Adene’s Farm Flowers continues to grow with thousands of visitors flocking to her farm to walk among the flowers each year. Her vision is to double the business over the next five years, partnering with a Holland-based peony company to grow a further 6 hectares of peonies to export to Holland and all over the world.
She was recently invited to collaborate with Mr Price Home to create a custom range of homeware in honour of Women’s Month.
“The inspiration behind this range was definitely my favourite flower, the dahlia,” Adene says, “We used the dahlias and other flowers from our farm to create a beautiful, romantic and feminine flat lay, which we used on the products.”
The products in her range include items like a duvet cover, cushions, tablecloths, diffusers, candles – all adorned with flower-themed images she has photographed herself, combining her photographic skills with her love of flowers and nature.