Carlock Native Leaves Chicago to Sell Flowers in Bloomington
Three years ago, Meg McCormick didn’t know the first thing about floral design. Today it’s her greatest passion--and her full-time job.
The Carlock native opened Vera & Buck Floral Studio and Farm at 320 N. Main St. in Downtown Bloomington last month. McCormick specializes in weddings and special events, which she says are the perfect ways to let her creativity run wild.
“I think flowers make an event,” she said. “They are showstoppers.”
The designer now has approximately 250 events, including weddings, showers, birthdays and others, under her belt.
For now the studio is mostly open by appointment, but McCormick said if she’s there, folks are always welcome to stop in and see how she can meet their floral needs.
“I want people to love what they’re getting and when they can pick stuff out on their own, it’s always really special.”
There are no cookie-cutter bouquets lining the walls at McCormick’s studio. She says the best part of owning a floral shop is helping clients customize their products with just-right details.
McCormick sources her blooms from a mix of local and national flower farmers, including flowers from Vera & Buck’s expanding farm where McCormick someday hopes to grow custom flowers for each event.
"Flowers make an event. I want people to love what they're getting."
Meg McCormick, owner of Vera & Buck Floral Studio and Farm
“People will be able to come and see their flowers growing for their wedding,” she said. “I think it’s really cool to let people know we’re taking an extra step to make your day even more special.”
Her love of flowers first took root when she found herself with an unfulfilling desk job at a large corporation in Chicago.
“I was just sitting behind a computer all day and answering phones and going to get sandwiches for people. It was so repetitive. I could pretty much tell what was going to happen in the next hour.”
Heading toward the train one day, McCormick spotted a flower shop with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. She hit it off with the shop’s owner, who eventually offered her a full-time position.
“She gave me a trial day to see if I would like it, and I loved it. The next day I gave my two weeks notice to the place I was working at and I was out of there...I never looked back.”
Within a year she was leading floral designs for scores of Chicago weddings. Soon the young artist dreamed of making a name for herself with her own creative venture.
“Getting to put your name on something you really love was totally something I was ready to do.”
McCormick said returning home to start her business was a no-brainer.
“I have always loved Bloomington,” she said. “Coming back here I knew I’d have the support of my parents and friends that I grew up with. If I ask them for help they’re here to do it.”
McCormick’s mom, Lori, left retirement from a 35-year criminal justice career to become a business partner, taking the lead in planning and growing Vera & Buck’s floral farm. McCormick’s dad, Scott, owns a consulting business.
McCormick points to her parents as her biggest influencers, alongside her grandmothers, Vera and Marilyn “Bucky,” for whom McCormick named her studio.
“They were just such trailblazers of their time,” said McCormick. “They’re people I want to be like throughout [life].”
McCormick called the timing perfect when the historic Downtown building came on the market. From the tin ceiling painted bright green to the floral tile inlays, “It’s like this place was meant to be something to do with nature or flowers,” she said. “It’s so beautiful and unique, which is kind of what we are. We have a beautiful and unique product and we want to show that to everybody.”