Leanne Miller | Shadow Box Flower Market

Shadow Box Flower Market
18 Jefferson St
Valparaiso, IN

Leanne Miller | Shadow Box Flower Market

Leanne Miller | Shadow Box Flower Market

It all started on a pig farm in Rensselaer, Indiana... Just kidding! I seriously did grow up on a pig farm in Northwest Indiana. Growing up in the country really shaped the person that I am today. I graduated from Purdue University in 2012 (BOILER UP!) and jumped right into the corporate world. I recently left my full-time job to open up my flower shop in Valparaiso. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family - they are crazy but I am so lucky to have a family that supports and encourages all of my crazy dreams. Other hobbies include: Running, golfing, drawing, reading, cooking, and binge-watching shows on Netflix (sorry not sorry!) I love to sing at the top of my lungs! Singing is an outlet for me to relieve stress, deal with hard times, and to celebrate wins! I am a huge huge fan of Cher, Reba, Taylor Swift and most of all KELLY CLARKSON! I enjoy all forms of rap, emo, metal, country, and indie/new age rock.

My life goals are: Visit every MLB Stadium (so far I have been to 7. I have a long way to go) I want to golf in every state (So far I have golfed in 8 states. Once again, a long way to go!) I want to adopt a fur baby. The last one was open up a flower shop - BUT I am currently in the process of achieving that dream!

TELL US ABOUT SHADOW BOX FLOWER MARKET

Shadow Box Flower Market is a European style flower market. This means that when you walk in the doors you have access to our entire inventory. All the flowers are displayed in buckets and you have the opportunity to shop a la cart. We carry a variety of flowers and bouquets. There is the option to build your own bouquet or you can have us do it for you. We are a full-service flower shop offering deliveries, funeral work, and my favorite, WEDDINGS! Overall, we want to change the way you think about flowers. Flowers are meant to be enjoyed every day. They are meant to be given as small little tokens of appreciation AND a grandiose way to say I LOVE YOU!

What inspired you to begin your business?

When I was little, I loved playing outside and picking flowers we had in our gardens. I would bring them inside and put them in coffee cups for my mom to enjoy.
When I went down to Purdue a family friend told me about this magical flower shop and told me to go apply. Since my first day there I knew that I was going to open up a shop of my own.

HOW MANY EMPLOYEES DO YOU HAVE?

I’ll start by hiring at least one employee.

WHAT IS IN THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR NAME?

Shadow Box takes on a couple of meanings. The first one is the preservation of memories. You often see people putting special momentos like seashells from vacations, diplomas, concert tickets, notes from loved ones, etc. into shadow box's and displayed on a shelf. Our memories are the most precious gifts that can never be replaced. Flowers are involved in special moments throughout peoples lives from births to deaths. The second meaning is a lot more personal. Shadow-boxing is sparing with an invisible opponent and can also be described as boxing with your own shadow. I am a huge proponent of mental health awareness and have my own shadows I have learned to box throughout my life.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?

My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is waking up every day and knowing that I am 100% in charge of my own life. I love waking up knowing that I get to go play with flowers and work in a place that I have built from the ground up. I get to live my dream every day!

WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?

I really don't have an answer for this yet. I know I don't like email. I haven't learned everything I need to know yet when it comes to all the admin/financial side of things. I will report back when I have a definitive answer! :)

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT?

In Valparaiso, my favorite restaurant is Ricochet or Brick Street Burrito. In Rensselaer, it is The Station at Embers. I love food and am always open to trying something new!

FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP?

It comes as no surprise, Aster and Gray.... I quit taking my wallet in there. I love the passion and care they take when selecting artisans they carry in the store. Does Fluid count as a shop?! Because I cannot function without a cup of Rocket Fuel first thing in the morning.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ENTREPRENEUR RESOURCE?

I am a huge fan of the MFCEO Project. If you need a swift kick in the behind, listen to an episode of Thursday Thunder. I am also a huge fan of Rachel Hollis. They are opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to the delivery of the same message.

WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU’VE LEARNED BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Gosh. Where to start. So far... the most valuable thing I've learned is to hire a lawyer or trusted advisor to help you through setting up your business and reviewing leases. I have found it is well worth the money! :)

GUILTY PLEASURE?

Mid-day naps and going to bed before 8.
Cher.
Harry Potter.
Doing laundry and not folding/putting it away.
Opening cans of La Croix and only drinking half of it.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU?

I went to Purdue for 7 years... no, I'm not a doctor.
I've run 7 half marathons in the past 2 years.
I can rap every lyric of Mo' Money Mo' Problems. As well as several other old school rap songs.

What advice would you give to someone who's just starting their journey as an entrepreneur?

Find a mentor. This person can be someone you follow online or you know. Surround yourself with like-minded people and purge the people that don't add value to your life/ support your new adventure. Don't be afraid to ask questions or admit when you don't know something. When things go wrong, which inevitably they will don't get discouraged. Brush it off and keep moving forward. Learn from the set backs. This is the scariest most rewarding adventure you can go on! Soak it up and enjoy it!

If you had one day left on earth, what would you do?

If I had one day left on earth I would spend time with my family, drink a great bottle of wine, eat 3 cheeseburgers, and make out with The Rock

What's your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be eating my way through Italy.

anything else you’d like to tell us about?

I have been very fortunate in my life and have overcome a lot of obstacles to get where I am today. On this adventure, I have learned a lot about myself and feel that I am a completely different person than I was 9 months ago. I have grown into a better version of myself and I am thankful for that. Taking this leap of faith was the scariest think I have ever done.

Joining The Collective was the best decision I have ever made. I have found my tribe and I have met other entrepreneurs who have helped me along my journey. The support and encouragement from the group have been invaluable and I hope that one day I will be able to provide that same support and encouragement to my peers and other young entrepreneurs.

What business goals do you have for the next 5-10 years?

Goal number one is to finally open! SEPTEMBER 6, 2019!
In 5 years I want to have an entire team of designers and be the leading florist in Northwest Indiana.
Before 10 years, I want to move into a bigger space that can support a larger volume of weddings and events. We are going to offer floral design parties/classes. Eventually, I would like to have a following big enough that I can teach aspiring florist the skills they need to start their career.