Masagana Flower Farm, based near Richer, Manitoba was recently awarded Tourism Manitoba’s Small Business of the Year award.  

Lourdes Still, owner/operator of the flower farm says she was excited to hear about the nomination, but to win the category was thrilling. 

“It was really validating.”

Lourdes Still receiving Tourism Manitoba's Small Business Award (Photo submitted)Lourdes Still receiving Tourism Manitoba's Small Business Award (Photo submitted)

Still describes her small business as a seasonal flower farm and a year-round natural dye studio. 

“My natural dyes come from the flowers that I grow from seed. So, I focus on growing plants and flowers that can be used as natural dye sources.”

Still says recently she added the TINTA experience. 

“What that means is that it's more than a workshop. I think the way that I've designed the experience is very grounding. It's very holistic. And I work in a sense like, with nature in helping people, people or my guests, allowing them to let nature lead them in nurturing their creative self.” 

Still notes she learned about natural dying in 2019 and knew she’d found something she was passionate about. 

“I really enjoy showing people how I garden here, how we turned our lawns into garden beds and all about the flowers that I use for natural dyeing. We want the experiences of each guest to help cultivate their creativity as they learn about how to use the natural source to create colors. I also look at it, kind of like, as a tangible memory for my guest’s time at the farm, which is usually spent with their loved ones too, because they sometimes bring someone with them.” 

Still says part of the TINTA experience is dying a piece of cotton fabric with natural color created from the flowers in her garden.   

“The technique I'm doing is called Eco printing, which means to put the botanicals directly onto the fabric.”

Guests at Masagana Flower Farm showing off their TINTA creativity. (Photo submitted)Guests at Masagana Flower Farm showing off their TINTA creativity. (Photo submitted)

Still says, while Masagana Flower Farm will still be offering U-pick flowers, she really wants to focus on planting flowers she can use for natural dyes. And not just for her own TINTA experiences and sales.  

“So, I'm also getting inquiries from other artisans who want to use my flowers to create dyes for their own wool yarns. So, they will come by for those flowers. And I sometimes still make flower arrangements for special occasions like weddings, but this year I will mostly plant flowers that can be used as natural dye sources.” 

Still notes she has also put together some DIY floral dye kits, for people who want to do projects in their own home, besides ready-to-wear scarves and shawls which can also be purchased from Masagana. 

When it comes to winning the Tourism Manitoba Small Business Award, Still says she still considers herself on a start-up journey. 

“It's all very new for me. But I like new experiences and I think many people do too. I guess it means that maybe, this thing, to experience dying your own fabric, is like needed in the province, by Manitobans, and like, this is a new thing. Many of our visitors say they are not creative, so I hope I can provide a safe space to nurture and explore one’s creativity.”  

“I have seen guests use the same dye and have their piece of fabric turn out unique and different. So, every piece is one-of-a-kind. So, I hope that people keep spreading the word about this new experience that we have in Manitoba, and that people will be encouraged to tap into their creativity by trying this art of natural dyeing.” 

Masagana’s next TINTA experience will be offered before Mother’s Day.