A University of Mississippi psychology major has created a flowering business that is also designed to create awareness about the importance of mental health.
Garrow Miles, 22, a senior with a business minor, recently started her own floral arrangement business, Garrow’s Garden. She has enjoyed making flower arrangements as a therapeutic activity since she was in high school.
Over the summer, she began making floral arrangements for friends as “happies” to show them she was thinking of them and thankful for their friendship.
“The entire process became so rewarding,” she said. “My friends would light up when receiving them, and they really encouraged me to start selling the arrangements.”
Miles loved the idea of selling the floral arrangements, but she did not want a business that focused on money.
“I wanted it (the business) to benefit a larger group of people,” she said. “Mental health has always been close to my heart. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since I can remember. I also have several family members and friends that struggle with several other mental health-related challenges. I feel like this is an area of illness that is misunderstood by the majority of society.
“A lot of people feel ashamed about their mental health battle, and they feel alone. I want to be a part of the movement that will break down those walls and start opening up the conversation to lift up one another.”
According to the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum, mental illness represents the biggest economic burden of any health issue in the world. And of the 450 million people worldwide who suffer from mental health conditions, the majority do not receive any form of care.
“I believe sending a friend or family member a floral arrangement is one of the most thoughtful gifts,” Miles said. “I also think it is happy medicine for the soul.”
Miles created an Instagram page for Garrow’s Garden that has been active since July with around 500 followers. She works as a junior interior designer at an Oxford design firm, and hopes to continue that throughout the next year.
Miles does floral arrangements for anything you can think of, including holidays, birthdays, happies, rush week, baby showers and weddings. She is doing her first wedding the second week of June this summer.
In February, Miles spent the weekend at the Antique and Garden Show of Nashville. When arranging flowers for customers, she likes to get an idea of the client’s color and size preferences. Then she adds her own flare and creativity and lets the rest happen organically.
Miles opened the business with a clear idea of what she wanted to accomplish. “I would not say I was nervous about starting the business because I really had nothing to lose, but I had doubt,” she said. “I did not think it would ever become half of what it is today.”
Friend Ashley Rose said Garrow radiates positivity. “I feel so lucky to watch Garrow thrive in her business because she is one of the most special people I know,” she said. “I am lucky to call Garrow my friend because she always makes me feel so loved and so special even when I may be doubting myself.”
Friend Anna Swatzell describes her as humble, passionate, and godly. “She never fails to make me feel loved or important,” she said. “Everything she is involved in, she gives her whole heart in the best way possible. Garrow loves the Lord so much and helps draw others close to him in such gracious ways. I am so thankful to have someone like her in my life.”