Former Chief Stew Megan Hunter is building a business based on her love of growing things — especially community.
When life threw Chief Stew Megan Hunter a hard left hook, she turned to the power of her green thumb to help her bounce back. MAD about FLOWERSS, her new business off 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, emphasizes wellbeing through flowers, herbs, scented products, educational workshops and more.
How and when did you get into yachting?
I joined yachting back in 2013 out of Sarasota, Florida. I have been boating my entire life — more sailing than anything, but a boat is a boat. I started off as a deck/stew then eventually moved up to chief stew. I met my husband when he was a mate about to become a captain, and I was chief stew taking on a cook/stew role. We ended up working together as a two-person crew on an 80-foot boat.
How did you get the idea for your new business?
Being a Florida native, I have always loved plants, flowers, and greenery. My passion is taking something that is dying and watching it come back to life. My friends joke about it, but they bring me their dying plants, and I return them alive and well.
How did you make it happen?
This was not the plan. I was supposed to go landside for a bit to have a family, and then we would go back sailing the seas together. Now, after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I am fully landside and have to figure out what I can do to make money and work within my treatment schedule — something I can do that will be therapeutic for me. Plants have always been my passion, but I learned my floral techniques while working in yachting.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Time. I want to do it ALL. I am trained that way. I have to literally remove myself from the situation and go home, to shut down. Then, when I am ready, start my day all over again.
Do you miss working aboard yachts, and if so, what do you miss most?
YES and NO. I miss the traveling and the schedules. I don’t miss being away from home and not seeing my family or being able to make plans.
How is the new business going, and what does the future hold?
Besides providing floral arrangements for yachts and events, I have a “flower bar,” where patrons can select flowers and build their own arrangements, and I am building a small nursery where people can come to cut flowers or grow vegetables and fruits to take home or donate. The gardens I am building are not only intended to benefit my own healing but to offer a way for others to come together as a community and feel supported. Maybe they need to talk and cry, or maybe they just want to listen. Or maybe they just want to get their hands dirty — 20 minutes a day of getting your hands dirty can do so much!
Find out more at madaboutflowerss.com.
You can follow Megan on Instagram @crazyflower.lady
Offboarding is a Triton series that highlights the many ways crew use their yachting experiences to build new careers ashore. Got a story to share? Let us know at [email protected]