Bizline: Shirley’s FlowersPublished 7:33pm Sunday, July 22, 2012
Name of business: Shirley’s Flowers
Name of owner: Shirley McQueary
Address of business: 146 S. Front St.
Telephone number: (574) 304-5443
Hours: Closed Monday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Date business opened: Sept. 1, 2009, in the former Dixon-Livingston Insurance Agency. Moved around the corner from Commercial to Front in 2010.
What type of business do you operate — what you sell, services provided: Holiday gifts and arrangements; theme gifts with NASCAR, Cubs and White Sox baseball, U of M and Notre Dame football, even the Beckwith Theatre stage; silk flower and candle arrangements; wedding arrangements and centerpieces; and cemetery arrangements.
Where are you from? Grew up in Mishawaka, lives in Elkhart. The grandmother was a group leader for about 25 people who worked almost 30 years for Patrick in Elkhart, then five years for another Elkhart company, CTS, making vehicle sensors. At Patrick she made door fronts for recreational vehicle cabinets.
What sets your business apart from similar ventures? I make my own stuff. I like craft stuff and worked in a wood factory, so I started messing around. I’ve been doing this since I was 18 and I’m going to be 68. It was a hobby. I like to be creative. My sister likes doing afghans. I can do about anything. Guys come in to get stuff for their man caves. That’s why I started doing them, because fellows hated coming in a flower shop. I was into NASCAR years ago.
Where do you draw customers from? South Bend, St. Joseph. With all the Chicago lake visitors, I’ve had some from Hawaii and Maryland. I average not quite twice what I was doing by being on Front Street. I’m making more stuff because I’ve got a bigger workroom.
What are your plans for your company’s future? I’m making baby things now and bridal shower and wedding gifts.