Marcy White and Keely Sindler aren’t just the owners and the creative duo behind Mayfield Flowers. They’re also sisters. In true sibling fashion, Keely, who was already working in floral design, enticed Marcy to start working as her assistant. “She made me wash her buckets for her,” Marcy laughs.
The bucket-washing went well, so Keely started teaching her sister the art of floral design. The two worked well together and soon found themselves getting more and more wedding contracts. So they decided to open their own shop. “We couldn’t seem to get away from working weddings together,” says Marcy, “so 5 years ago we decided to quit our jobs and start our own business.”
Today, the sisters create custom floral arrangements for weddings, showers, and private parties in the Chicago area. They’ve garnered quite a few accolades, including a 2017 Couples’ Choice Award from WeddingWire. They were also recently featured in Chicago Bridal Magazine. So, it’s fair to say that the Mayfield Flowers business is officially blooming.
A growing floral business comes with a growing need for cold storage. Flowers require a delicate balance of temperature and humidity to prevent freezing or drying out. The ideal conditions are 34-36°F and 90% humidity. Even a couple degree dip poses a risk to flowers and greenery — not something a florist wants to deal with leading up to a wedding or an event.
To help them get started, Keely and Marcy’s dad, Mike, outfitted the basement of the family home with air conditioners and a smaller cooler with a sliding glass door to create a flower storage and production space. The business quickly outgrew this arrangement, so Keely, Marcy, and Mike started looking for another solution. They considered building a traditional walk-in cooler that relied on a compressor, but they didn’t want to deal with inconsistent and expensive refrigeration.
Through industry contacts, they heard that the CoolBot was an affordable and efficient alternative to traditional flower storage. “What grabbed my attention about the CoolBot was the ability to get away from the compressor that can sometimes freeze your stuff,” says Keely. “Even this morning, our other cooler froze a little bit of our greenery.”
After some research, Keely and Marcy chose the turnkey CoolBot Walk-in Cooler to maintain the perfect temperature and humidity for their flowers. One of the big draws was that the cooler uses an air conditioner, rather than a compressor. If something goes wrong, like the air conditioner going out, all you have to do is buy a new air conditioner. Rather than waiting — and paying — for expensive compressor maintenance and risking losing inventory, you can DIY a new cooler in just about the time it takes to make a trip to Home Depot.
Once delivered, the CoolBot Walk-in Cooler took only an afternoon to assemble. “I was surprised it went up so quickly,” says Mike. “Once you see the panels, it’s pretty intuitive.”
So, how’s it going so far?
“We love it,” says Keely. “We’re telling all our friends in the industry and our suppliers. Everyone’s curious and interested and we’re really excited about it. We feel like proud new parents of our cooler.”
The sisters aren’t the only ones happy with the cooler. The whole family wants to get in on the action. “We have such a big family — mom and dad are always trying to store food in there,” Keely says. “And we’re always trying to keep everybody out.” Perhaps a second cooler is in the family’s future.
If you know anyone who’s getting married or planning a special event in Chicagoland, send them over to the Mayfield Flowers website. For other great local vendors, check out the ‘Friends’ page — it will point you to some of the area’s best photographers, caterers, and event planners. And, if you’re planning an event or just love flowers, follow Mayfield Flowers on Instagram for inspiration. Marcy took a lot of the pictures, and they’re gorgeous!