We had the good fortune of connecting with Carrie Mayfield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carrie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued a creative life more than a creative career. I have always been a maker. Early on in marriage I tried to make a cozy home. I then moved to making life with kids more fun with creative birthdays, holidays, prom proposals. college dorm rooms and weddings. I created spaces in our home where people felt loved and cared for no matter how you ended up on my couch. I colored, I baked, I sewed, I glued, I hammered, I sawed, I took pictures and I created.
I have been told so many times in my life that “you should start a business based on hospitality”. So I finally in my old age decided to do it! I cast a wide net of things that I liked to create and see what stuck. Hosting other peoples events were what I thought I would be doing, but that’s not what really stuck and not what what I loved. What I love is hosting my own events such as Farm To Table dinners and Hospitality Workshops. What stuck that I never expected was hosting photographers in our farm fields for photo sessions! I underestimated the power of millennials and their desire for professional photography! I feel like I am hosting a party in the sunflower field every night! All the clients come looking beautiful and I get to say hello and welcome to all of them and their photographers! Wow! What a great job I have!
Sometimes it feels like I just started this career at almost 60 years old, but in reality I have been doing it all along in my life. I’m just now getting paid for it! I am grateful for the opportunity to continuing to show hospitality to others through what we are creating at Sweet Flower Home.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think that at an eyelash from 60 years old I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! I am a third generation farmer and that is not only how we make a living but it is how we have made a life! I have always loved to write and create. So when blogging came along I thought I was way to old to jump into that world but I was building the farmhouse of my dreams. I figured a blog about building the farmhouse would be only that.
When I was thinking of a name for my blog I thought about what I love…..sweets, flowers and home. That is how I decided on Sweet Flower Home. So my Farmhouse became the hub of what I write about and post about on social media. And being a farmer and loving flowers I asked my husband if we could grow sunflowers on the farm. He said of course and at first I used them to decorate with and sell stems. But that quickly turned to a Fall Market with handmade vendors and lots of sunflowers. That market was so successful that we then had a Christmas Market with handmade goods and live Christmas Trees, wreaths and poinsettias. We have now hosted multiple markets featuring agricultural goods. Everything I do I always feel like it is a first!
There are so many ways to show and teach hospitality out of the Farmhouse that we keep trying something new all the time. We are hosting a Farm to Table dinner for the first time in November. This was my first dream when I built the Farmhouse. The sunflower field has become a full time backdrop for professional photographers. Which then lead to photographers taking photos in our other agricultural fields including wheat, broccoli flowers and cotton. I have loved working with the photography community.
So I encourage other to dive into their dreams no matter what age. Find your people who will surround you with love and encouragement while you chase your passion. The bonus for me in my little business is that with the bit of extra money I earn we will use it for our family vacation for all 18 of us! Everyone pitches in, everyone benefits from the family business of chasing Mom’s dreams!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A week would be filled with experiences that are a bit off the beaten path for others. The first thing we would do is go to a team roping. Which is similar to a rodeo with just roping. My husband, me, our children and grandchildren all team rope. We would probably go to one in Buckeye. After the roping we would hit the little local Mexican food restaurant, La Placita where the family loves to eat. By the way there is usually a crew of us, anywhere from 6 to 18. We travel en mass.
We would then for sure catch a Suns Basketball game if it were the right season. We love sports. If we are lucky the Coyotes, Cardinals or Diamondbacks will be playing in the same week and cheer them on. While in downtown Phoenix we would eat at the Arrogant Butcher across from the Suns arena.
We would head up to our home in Flagstaff for little taste of the pines and crisp air there. We would have breakfast at the Toasted Owl, hike Fatman’s Loop and hit some balls at the Continental driving range before dinner at the Oakmont clubhouse out by the firepits. Coming home from Flagstaff we would definitely have to drive through Sedona for a view of the beautiful red rock.
Once we were back in the valley we could travel out west and take a jeep ride up the Harquahala Mountains. It’s a beautiful site to see the whole valley from. Then we would hang out at the Farmhouse and grill some steaks and chicken, sit in the backyard and watch the sun set in the west as the cows graze the pasture behind the farmhouse and the horses whiney for their dinner. We can hang out by the fire pit and enjoy the night sky sprinkled with stars.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We like to say that it takes a village to raise a child, but I think it takes a village to achieve your dreams. My husband of 37 years is my biggest encourager and backer of all my ideas. He always says yes when I come up with a dream that I think I can do! My children have been helping pull off events from the time they were old enough to put a tablecloth on a table to now when they not only navigate me through the technology storm but allow their children to put tablecloths on tables for me! My friends are always saying “what do you have going on? Can we help?” I always say yes! Then there are those who pray me up in all the events I am planning and pray that my rest is multiplied when I have long and busy days ahead of me.
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