Family-owned flower truck is the right place for the right plant.

. August 25, 2020.
Marla (left) and Mark McMillan with their oldest daughter, Adrian (on the right). Photo by Joni Johnson.
Marla (left) and Mark McMillan with their oldest daughter, Adrian (on the right). Photo by Joni Johnson.

Flowers provide a sense of happiness for just about anyone. As the sight and smell stimulates dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin,  it’s no wonder we feel so good when someone gives us a beautiful, hand-picked bouquet or when tending a home garden full of blooms.

In these difficult times especially, Marla McMillan’s new Flower Truck, a pop-up style flower shop in an all-original 1971 Volkswagen Transporter, is a joy on wheels fueled by personal gumption.

“We have only worked three events to date, and the customer response is positively overwhelming,” says Marla McMillan, founder of this newly budding business. “We anticipated a slow rise, but the truck is shooting off like a rocket.”

Marla is in her late thirties, and despite the global pandemic, she mustered the fortitude to jump in and set an example for her three daughters, to go for their dreams. And so far, Marla’s Flower Truck is the right plant in the right place.

Marla’s Flower Truck parked outside of the Woodville Farmer’s Market. Photo by Joni Johnson.

Marla’s Flower Truck parked outside of the Woodville Farmer’s Market. Photo by Joni Johnson.

THE FUTURE OF THE TRUCK
Customers have shown interest in private parties and a variety of events, including a girls’ night party or photography sessions. The future is full of possibilities with Marla excited to watch the evolution but now she keeps her sights on city markets, traveling vintage markets, and random pop-up events in Michigan and Ohio. “Shoppers at those events are our demographic — people supporting people, making products and experiences that bring joy,” says Marla.

Marla saw the value in customizable bouquets, as well as the increase of the popularity of fresh flowers on social media. “The Rustic look and DIY have been trending for years now, and I knew that Farmer’s Markets and independent markets would be a solid place for us to start,” she says.

A customer brings friends to experience the joy of picking a personal bouquet at the Woodville Farmer’s Market. Photo by Joni Johnson.

A customer brings friends to experience the joy of picking a personal bouquet at the Woodville Farmer’s Market. Photo by Joni Johnson.

TIPS FOR THE BEGINNER BOUQUET BUILDER

Marla’s Flower Truck is a unique experience, offering local flowers in season or other blooms available through her local wholesaler. Marla’s advice for building-your-own bouquet is to start with what stands out, and if the customer hesitates with selections, she is there to help. What is most important is to make sure the entire bouquet is something you will love, that each hand-chosen piece brings joy. “Choose flowers that speak to you,” says Marla.

If you want a traditional bouquet, start with a focal flower and build a balance with longer stemmed greens and fillers. “For me personally, building a bouquet is intuitive,” says Marla. She has always loved flowers, and with two deaf parents, she learned to communicate visually from an early age.

THE MEANING OF FLOWERS
“My first special memory of flowers goes back to my Dad. He would bring my Mother fresh flowers for special occasions, and often just to surprise her,” says Marla, recalling how his thoughtfulness brought smiles to the family. “I can also vividly remember the smell of lilacs and thinking how wonderful they were as a child,” says Marla.

Flowers spark joy in so many circumstances. When Marla married her husband Mark, they celebrated with peonies. “We have a beautiful, vibrant peony bush that we moved from house to house, and it has always been with me,” says Marla.

Marla's favorite flower, the Peony, displayed alongside other floral options. Photo by Joni Johnson.

Marla’s favorite flower, the Peony, displayed alongside other floral options. Photo by Joni Johnson.