For as long as she can remember, Bridget McKenna has loved flowers. It started with the rose bushes her dad tended at her childhood home in Chula Vista, and bloomed into a professional appreciation at age 19 when, while modeling in Chicago, she worked in a flower shop on weekends for extra cash.
Fast forward, and she’s no longer turning to florals for spare change—she’s using them to drive change. Every penny made from her flower company, Briddie’s Floret, is put toward a charity of her choice each month.
McKenna started the business three years ago, but only recently transformed it into a nonprofit—a decision that stemmed from seeing recent politics rattle causes close to her. "With everything else happening in the world, I’m selling flowers? That felt so stupid," she recalls, adding that she considering joining a nonprofit herself, but couldn’t escape that she’d already found her calling in the garden.
Now that she’s registered her company as a 501(c), McKenna keeps a running list of charities to receive her proceeds, including the ACLU, Moms Demand Action, and Moms of Black Boys. She’s also reworked her business model to keep overhead low, shuttering her brick and mortar to instead fill online orders from home and grow every bloom on her Point Loma property. "Every day I’m growing to harvest," she says, nodding to the 325 rosebushes flourishing on her grounds, including rare breeds like Koko Loko, Distant Drums, and Juliet. She buys many of her specialty bulbs wholesale from admired English breeder David Austin.
But it’s not all roses. Ranunculus, dahlia, phlox, lisianthus, strawflower, zinnia, poppy, hellebore, and peony—they’re all just a few footsteps from McKenna’s front and back doors.
"I never even thought my life could be like this. Designing out of my garden, being able to go out and clip and make something—and make a difference—it makes me so happy."