As a 4th-generation rice farmer herself, Mary's fellow farming friends were pretty amused, and genuinely excited, by her new business that would help others understand and relate to them better. Then they started saying things like, "Well, hey there, if it's not 'Farm Star Mary.'" And the name stuck!
Mary Blackmon launched her first internet company Spa-Addicts.com in 2003, the first website to offer exclusive deals and promotions at spas nationwide. Approximately 1,000 spas including Canyon Ranch, Miraval, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, The Greenbrier, Cal-A-Vie, Spa at Norwich Inn, Bishops Lodge Resort, and others were partners and offered special programs. She became a spa spokesperson and health&wellness expert, interviewed on national TV including Extra TV, TV GUIDE, and regional news shows, was featured in O Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Cosmo, Women’s Health, Forbes Traveler, SELF, Redbook, NY Daily News, Time Out NY, Health Magazine and countless publications nationwide. She became a spokesperson for self-care and spas, and was a featured speaker internationally, spa columnist for magazines and iVillage, and an influencer (before there was social media) appearing in campaigns for Cadillac, Johnson & Johnson, Blackberry, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, and others, featured at the center of media campaigns. Mary also created the first video website for the spa industry, SpaTube TV, where she created hundreds of spa videos educating audiences nationwide to treatments, spas, and products.
In 2009, her grandparent’s rice farm she had visited as a child became unmanaged and would be sold, but Mary made the decision to leave her spa / digital career and took over the rice farm in the Arkansas Louisiana Delta. She ran this farm and its operations for four years, then launched Farm Star Living, which was inspired while working alongside farmers and working on the farm. Blackmon learned about farming and grew a deep appreciation for those who have farmed all their lives, and for those who have choose farming as their careers.
Farm Star Living bridges the gap from farming to consumers and has been an innovative, trend-setting business showcasing the world of farming in a pop-culture, entertaining and accessible way – first of its kind.
"It is amazing how much work goes into any given day on the farm, and how much farmers handle without blinking an eye. The unforeseen challenges that arise – from really rough weather, to machinery breaking, to problems with the crops or pests that can happen, to anything and everything that affects the crops themselves, are mind-blowing. Even so, farmers show up everyday with passion and determination and they work round the clock to get it all done. Plus, you never know if you'll turn a profit. Many times you won't."
Today, things are growing in even new ways at Farm Star Living in order to reflect the very different world we are living in. Entering its tenth year of business, Blackmon has developed engaging content to reflect the post-pandemic world. People more than ever want to prioritize their health, have more balance, pursue more holistic wellness, and simplify complicated and demanding careers.
Over the last ten years, Blackmon has been at the helm of Farm Star Living, and called “one of the most important farm voices in the USA” by Country Woman Magazine, as well as one of their “45 Most Amazing Women of Country” alongside Loretta Lynn, Tricia Yearwood, Temple Grandin, Sandra Day O’Connor, Danika Patrick and others, Blackmon has become a leading spokesperson for farm-fresh food and farms. She has been featured on national TV (FOX & FRIENDS) five times in 2019 - 2020 as an agriculture expert, on CBS NY, CBS ATLANTA multiple times over the years sharing tips and insight into healthy foods and activities, and featured in countless magazines including SHAPE, DAYSPA, BEST SELF, ATLANTAN, ATL Journal Constitution, Creative Loafing, etc., as an expert in farm-fresh living. She also was requested by iHeartRadio to create national segments on healthy foods called “The Farm Star Living Minute,” which ran in 2018 – 2019. She and her team create editorial and video content featuring sponsors including Green Giant™ Fresh, Sunsweet®, Cuties®, Taylor Farms®, Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Del Monte®, Dole® and more. Recently, she has been focusing again on her passion for spas & wellness by relaunching Farm Star Living with a greater health & wellness focus.
We all have suffered and gone through so much navigating through this pandemic and trying to take care of our health, mental health, and the well-being of our loved ones. It is time to put self-care at the top of our to-do list, and being healthy - mind•body•spirit – is the most important thing. Of course, eating healthy farm-fresh food is critical to that and knowing where our food comes from helps appreciate the food we have.
So, I've relaunched Farm Star Living to integrate all the things that we need to lead our most healthy lives – to have more content on overall, holistic health & wellness and inspire audiences to prioritize self-care. This new direction is what I call 'farm to wellness.'”
In 2021, she became a certified Integrative Health & Wellness coach, specializing in self-care and healthy eating. As she enters the tenth year of business with Farm Star Living - a milestone in digital media brands, she is taking audiences to a new way of living, which she calls farm to wellness, integrating fresh food, covering unique boutique wellness destinations, self-care and holistic mind-body-spirit health. Her career has come full circle integrating her life passions, businesses and expertise into this new area – inspiring, motivating and educating audiences on how to be their most healthy versions of themselves in mind•body•spirit.