Aimee Sherrill started selling flowers three years ago out of a handmade Amish cart; today she has the most beautiful flower shop/event space you could ask for. Two words come to mind when thinking of this Uptown florist: passion and joy. It became clear after talking for just a matter of minutes that Aimee is a business owner unlike any other -- her story and love for what she does left us feeling inspired and excited to watch The Petal Cart flourish!
How did you get your start in the floral industry?
Aimee: Growing up, my family were the caretakers of an 8-acre historical park in Colorado that had 100-year-old gardens, cabins from the 1800s, milk houses and whatnot. We had up to four weddings a weekend there, so I’ve seen every kind of wedding possible. I used to sit in the bushes and watch the brides (laughs). When I moved here I ended up working at several different shops around town, and then I took a little hiatus — I had my son and took on a stay-at-home job as an office manager. I let flowers fall to the wayside a little bit. And I started missing it a lot. And my son had a lemonade stand and actually made a killing (laughs). I had this lightbulb moment where I thought, “Why can’t I have a little flower stand out on my front yard like a lemonade stand?” So I called the city, talked to my neighbors, got all the licensing, and then decided my first day would be on Easter... and that was three years ago.
That's amazing! So what inspired you to take it on as a full time job?
Aimee: So during this whole process, my mother passed away and I decided life is really short, you know? You have to go after your dreams. My son was young enough where his dreams were huge, like he wanted to be a paleontologist on the moon, and I would say, “You can do that — you can do anything!” And then I was like, “I can do anything too!” So I started looking around and I found this place (points to her shop). And it just seemed impossible. I mean look at it, like really, was it ever going to go up for rent? And all of the sudden one day it was on Craigslist! There was a long list of people who wanted this property, but I went in and told them my idea for this space -- that it wasn’t just going to be a flower shop... more than that I wanted to have events for the community. Acoustic music, old movie night, you know? Kind of create a little oasis in the city. So I went from having my little cart on my front yard three weekends a year, to, two years later, opening up in a space I had dreamed about. It was just meant to be.
So what do you hope to create with this space?
Aimee: My idea is not to create another hoppin’ bar scene in Uptown, but to create a space that you would actually like to go to that's respectful and has some class to it, yet isn’t stuffy. Somewhere that you can feel like you’re sitting in a garden or a park and just sit down and have a conversation or read a book or have lunch, you know? I just feel like I have the perfect space at the perfect time.
So what sets you apart from other florists in the area?
Aimee: It’s a very personal thing with me, which you don’t necessarily get at other places. Here, I am the one who answers the phone, I am the one who washes the buckets, every flower in your arrangement is touched by me.
How did you come up with the name Petal Cart?
Aimee:Well, I had a million other names in my head. Had I known I would’ve ended up in a spot like this I may have done something more elegant (laughs). Every single time I would think of a name, I would go and Google it and somebody already had it -- I mean there are only so many ways you can say “petal” or “flower.” But I knew I was going to do a cart, and I thought, “Gosh why don’t I just call it exactly what it is?” Because I never thought I was going to move outside of my own front yard honestly. And so it became the petal cart. I just thought, “Let’s just keep it really simple — often that’s the best.”
What would you say is the most difficult part of your work and the best part?
Aimee: The hardest part is probably meeting my own expectations. You want to go above and beyond for your clients and you just envision all of these grandeous things, but sometimes things don't always work the way you want them to. What I love about it though is that I have never not fulfilled anyone’s expectations. No matter what the budget may be — I mean I have done weddings for under $200 all the way up to many zeros behind that — I can still make it perfect for them. And honestly, flowers make people happy you know? Even in their saddest times, they make people happy. It takes a true curmudgeon to not like flowers.
What has been your favorite memory or moment so far?
Aimee: Oh my gosh, well there’s a plethora of them. But the first and only Father’s Day I ever did with my cart, I had leftover flowers. And I live right next to Minihaha Falls, so I thought, “I’m going to go give away flowers, what good are they going to do for me?” And I went down there and there was this older gentleman with his family and I walked up and handed him a bouquet and he looked at me and he asked, “Am I supposed to give these to my wife?” And I said, “No, those are for you.” And he said, “No one has ever given me flowers in ninety-some years.” And he started crying. And he had his wife and his kids and his grandkids… everyone was there. And it was just so touching. I'll never forget that. So… give guys flowers! They do like them, they really do!
I love how family-oriented you’ve made your business and how much love there is!
Aimee: That’s what it really comes down to. I love it so much. Life is short, you know, and you can do anything. You just have to go for it, whatever it is. That’s a message I definitely want my son to have, and I especially want other young women to have.
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