The most popular arrangement at Meredith & Bridget’s Flower Shop is an assortment of vibrant flowers housed in a tin can. Not your typical bouquet, to say the least.
But typical isn’t what this mother-daughter business is going for. If it was, they probably wouldn’t have painted their store on Sioux Falls’ Minnesota Avenue a bubbly hue of aqua.
Bridget Fitzgibbons-Peterson, the mother of the duo, previously owned a shop that specialized in wedding flowers, but after driving past the Minnesota Avenue building, she couldn’t shake the feeling that it was meant to be hers. So in January of 2012 Fitzgibbons-Peterson and her daughter Meredith Peterson bought the quaint building on the corner and turned it into their own little flower oasis three months later.
“Our customer base really started from those wedding clients of my mom’s,” Peterson said. “They knew our style, and through word of mouth they helped grow our business.”
And that signature style is one not many flower shops replicate—remember the tin can? According to Peterson, the shop’s standard look is more garden-like mix than stock bouquet. Using a variety of different flowers and greenery to create visual interest, while still making sense as an arrangement.
“I like different and unique arrangements,” Peterson said. “That’s where the tin can idea comes from. Instead of using glass vases that people just end up having to store away somewhere, the can adds a rustic look that contrasts the flowers, and then people can just recycle it when they’re done.”
That eye for the unique extends into another area of the shop as well: the décor. Besides a blooming floral business, Meredith & Bridget’s also sells a mismatch of homemade, vintage, new and consignment home décor and knickknacks. Among them, stuffed animal head wall art, vases, tables and even a fully-dressed mannequin decked out in drag queen glory.
“We had all this extra space up here,” Peterson said, indicating the front of the shop, “so we thought we might as well do something cool with it.”
Also cool, the fact that Peterson let me design my own flower arrangement, tin can and all. After filling the can with the shop’s customary handful of greenery, Peterson picked out a variety of colorful flowers ranging in hue from hot pink to soft lavender, showing me how to ditch the excess leaves and trim the stem. Then she let my novice flower-arranging creativity free, only stopping me briefly to point out some empty spots to fill with more flowers.
After I was done playing florist, Fitzgibbons-Peterson helped me complete my new bouquet with a light pink ribbon—finishing off my fun flower shop excursion and tying it with a bow.
Even the biggest and best bouquets can feel contrived at times, but contrived is something Meredith & Bridget’s is completely devoid of. Instead, they’re overwhelmingly genuine, singing to the Annie soundtrack as they work and greeting everyone who walks through the door.
“We just really want our customers to feel that they’re important and welcome,” Peterson said. “We want them to know that they encountered people who are kind, not just bought some pretty flowers. That’s what we want to leave them with, kindness.”
Such a true statement from a group of authentically kind business owners. You can’t help but walk out the lime green door grinning from ear to ear. Flowers in hand, of course.
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