Meet the mother-daughter duo at Stone Hollow Farmstead

Deborah Stone and Alexandra Stone Flowers are no ordinary farmers. Yes, they’re the mother and daughter team behind Stone Hollow Farm. But besides running this thriving 80-acre farm in Harpersville, Alabama, Deborah and Alexandra also run a flower shop, a CSA, a skincare line, a retail space at Pepper Place, and much more. They say it all works together to help promote health from the inside out. Get to know Deborah and Alexandra and find out why farm life is the best life for them.

Meet Birmingham’s newest faces, Deborah Stone and Alexandra Stone Flowers!

Deborah, what inspired you to start Stone Hollow Farmstead?

Deborah: I had a day spa in Birmingham, which we sold. Alex rode horses, and I grew up on a farm, so it made sense to start over and come full circle. My grandparents also always farmed and gardened, so that was family history. After that, I started learning how to make skincare products. It took about three years, and we created a skincare line called Botanico. It was just for fun – just an accident. I don’t think it was intended to be a business.

Alexandra: This was her “retirement”. This was her time to play, her chance to hang out, be with the horses, and have fun. But if you become passionate about something, it develops. It wasn’t really planned, but I think that’s a fun part of the story.

You purchased your property in 1999 and were up and running by 2003. How has the farm evolved over the past 20 years to include all the other aspects of Stone Hollow Farmstead?

Deborah: Our heart is local. We’ve always wanted to share what we thought was beautiful about farms and agriculture with our community. We organized a farmers market at Pepper Place, and at some point (I think it was 2011), we started offering CSA.

Alexandra: I think the important thing to note is that it takes a lot to run a farm financially. There’s a lot of overhead, and everything is seasonal. We have crops like tomatoes and okra, but we look at skin care as a crop as well. There are beautiful flowers and things we can grow, pick and sell at farmers markets in the spring and summer. But throughout the year, we stock up and create to carry us through the late fall and winter.

Two women working in a garden

“When I bought the farm, a neighbor of mine who was 104 years old came up to me and said, ‘Make sure you diversify,’” says Deborah. I’ve definitely followed this advice: adding a skin care line, retail space, CSA, flower shop, and more to the Stone Hollow Farmstead brand.

What is something you wish more people understood about farming?

Alexandra: Everyone wants to be a backyard farmer because it’s exciting and has a lot of great Instagram moments. and this is Do You have all those things. I think that’s really special, and it’s something I love about what we do. It’s really beautiful, and you can tell a beautiful story. But I have a lot of respect for the farming community. It’s hard work, and I think it’s underappreciated. I think people know to appreciate it because it’s their food, but I don’t think everyone realizes it’s a labor of love. Maybe we’re not your average farm. We do a lot of things, we’re not just farming and harvesting. I would say it is one of the hardest jobs for farmers. It is labor intensive. Because it is as beautiful as it is equally difficult.

Deborah: I think people Do You know how hard it is. I think everyone would do it if it weren’t so difficult. People appreciate the opportunity to come to the farm and experience it. But there are a lot of things behind the scenes. This year was unbearable heat. This was going to be our best year ever for flowers. We have over 10,000 dahlias in the ground. The heat has completely shut down two fields. I think Alex and I would say this is something we want people to know, but we don’t want to tell them because it’s too painful. Every year is full of challenges and fun at the same time. We cry and laugh at the same time.

What are some of the pros and cons of being a mother-daughter team?

Alexandra: I see only advantages.

Deborah: I don’t have any defects.

Alexandra: The nice thing is that I think this is a real answer on both sides. My mom is my best friend and has always been my best friend. It was so special to see all the sacrifices that were made to help me grow into the woman I am today. It’s been really fun to be adults together and still have that bond as mother and daughter. Working together day in and day out as adults was special to me.

Alex, why did you want to work with your mother in agriculture?

Alexandra: I went to California, and my goal was to become a movie makeup artist. I had a great connection and got to see what that life would look like. I was there for about two and a half years. While I was there, I was in school for product development. I wanted to make a name for myself and the industry and maybe own a cosmetics line. But the more changes I made, and the more I was in this world, the more I realized that this wasn’t really the lifestyle I wanted. I’ve learned that the art of making someone feel beautiful is more about the fabric.

I grew up with a mom who owned a spa, so I knew that good skin care was really key. This is your largest organ, so you need to take care of it. Helping people create beautiful art so they can feel beautiful before makeup became my biggest passion. My mom came out with some products and had all this knowledge. And I got these new tools to develop brands and products, so it was a beautiful marriage that evolved on its own.

Talents on a wooden table in the store

At FarmStand by Stone Hollow Farmstead, located on Pepper Place, you’ll find flowers, farm-preserved foods, unique gifts, kitchen supplies, skin care products, and more.

Deborah, what’s something you’ve learned from Alex?

Deborah: I learned how to participate in decision making. I worked at a spa for a long time and was an independent CEO. Learning how to share this situation has been fun and rewarding.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Deborah: It is very difficult to leave the farm. Sometimes, we like to go to the mountains or the beach.

Alexandra: Family time is very important and a big part of our lives. I love being on the farm with my family. We love to picnic, drink wine and be together. We also love great food. We love Birmingham’s culinary atmosphere and are so lucky to live in a city with such amazing chefs and makers.

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

Alexandra: We love Frank Stitt and anything he does – Bottega, Chez Funfon. I think the place we probably frequent the most is Automatic. We love seafood, and I think Adam Evans is an amazing chef. It really supports the local farming community.

Deborah: Bottega is probably our favorite, and Satterfield’s is close to our house.

Alex, what is the best advice your mother gave you?

Alexandra: If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything at all. When you find it difficult to make a decision and go back and forth, you don’t necessarily have to make a decision. You can take the time you need to find out.

Besides faith, family, and friends, list three things you cannot live without.

Alexandra: The cast iron skillet, the cream pot, and Dolly Parton.

Deborah: Botanico Eye & Lip Firming Cream, Excel Spreadsheet, Titanium Clear Flower Sheet.

Aerial view of fresh vegetables spread on a table

The Stone Hollow Farmstead CSA program is just one way Deborah and Alexandra show their love for Alabama’s agricultural community.

Lightning tour!

Favorite hidden gems:

Alexandra: Chelsea Antiques

Deborah: Sexton’s Seafood & Butcher’s Son

Birthday gift you should give:

Alexandra: Specialty wines

Deborah: Our handmade perfumes

Last book you read:

Alexandra: Start with why By Simon Sinek

Deborah: Where Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

Last big vacation:

Alexandra: Nantucket

Deborah: Mountains in northern Georgia

What’s on your bedside table?

Alexandra: A large glass of water, Botanico Eye and Lip Firming Cream and Vitamin E Facial Oil

Deborah: Farmstead CBD Labs

All photographs courtesy of Stone Hollow Farmstead.


For more stories of inspiring women, visit the Our Faces archive!

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About the author

Javasia Harris Bowser

Gavasia is a Birmingham-based freelance writer and founder See Jane Write, a website and community for women who write and blog. Three things she can’t live without are tacos, her Designer of the Day planner, and Beyoncé’s music.

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