Female Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet Carolyn of Youth and Yarrow

  • Katie Gavenda
  • 05 Sep, 2019

Mata's hometown of Chicago has a thriving small business scene. The distinct personalities of neighborhoods around the city support entrepreneurs' dreams, and this week we check in with one such entrepreneur: Carolyn from Youth and Yarrow! You may have spotted the mobile floral company's vintage turquoise truck (yes, it's the original color!) on streets throughout the city, bursting with blooms and ready to brighten your day. 

Their pickup might look extra familiar: head floral designers Carolyn and Rachel were generous enough to lend us their beautiful truck for our Spring 2019 shoot

Youth and Yarrow Floral Turquoise Vintage Truck

After discovering they work with Chicago high schoolers, we had to know more, so we had a quick Q&A with Carolyn.

Q&A with a Floral Designer and Female Entrepreneur

Q&A with Youth and Yarrow Founder Carolyn

Where did you come up with the idea for Youth and Yarrow?

I have always had a passion for flowers and after moving to Chicago started realizing how flowers are rather inaccessible in the city. Other places around the world sell quality flowers on the street corner but here there are very few options here outside of the grocery stores. So thats where the idea of the flower truck came from, wanting to make flowers more accessible for people!

What do you love most about running your own (mobile) business? 

I love the fact that we have very few restrictions and very few obstacles when it comes to going wherever we want and whenever we want with our flowers. We can reach such a diverse clientele as we are not tied to one shop in one neighborhood in Chicago. I love that we get to see the look on peoples face when they spot the truck and realize what we are selling. It brightens up everyones day and that is a joy! I also love not paying rent on a ground level retail space in Chicago :)  

Floral Designer, Carolyn, of Youth and Yarrow

We're a woman-founded business in Chicago, just like you! What has the experience been like for you?

We love woman owned businesses and love supporting them! The fun thing about the floral industry is that it is predominantly and historically female owned businesses, wahoo! But I think the fact that there is such a strong sense of community and support in Chicago when it comes to female owned businesses is my favorite part. There are so many events and programs and intentionality with organizations and other owners when it comes to connecting and supporting other female owned businesses. 

Tell us a little more about your mission.

So we started working with one CPS school (Amundson High School in Uptown) as well as a company called Briteguide that offers amazing professional mentorship for our student intern. We focus mostly on job skills and Briteguide focus on mentoring our students in post high school decisions (college, trade school, work experience abroad). Together, we try our best to offer our interns a well rounded paid internship where they can gain work skills and experience that can help them get jobs in the future. We also try to provide them with specific mentorship on their future dreams and goals, helping launch them into the best career/post secondary education programs possible.

What are Youth and Yarrow's plans for the rest of the summer? Any special events? 

We have LOTS of weddings! That will keep us nice and busy, we also have fun events/street festivals happening all the time! Keep up with our instagram account for updates on all the fun things happening this summer!

Though they're about two years in business, we know there's much more in store for Youth and Yarrow. Can't wait to see what they do next!

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