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All In The Family

June 29, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

All In The Family

You can't run a family like a business and you can't run a business like a family, so how do you run a family business? A mother-daughter team is figuring it out for themselves after opening up a new business a couple of months ago.

When you drive down South Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls, there's a brightly colored building that you can't miss. It says "flower shop" on a sign outside, but inside you'll also find re-purposed furniture, jewelry and cards.  It's a combination new to Sioux Falls and the brainchild of a mother-daughter duo. 

"I knew the flower business. I was real prepared for how it runs.  I thought why don't we do this? You talk about it and you talk about it and this building came up for rent again and for the past ten years, every time I went past this building, I would say that would be a great flower shop," co-owner and mother Bridget Fitzgibbons-Peterson said.

Bridget and her daughter Meredith opened the business just over two months ago. 

"Meredith does primarily the jewelry and she makes the cards and she does a lot of the furniture, but we both do flowers.  We both do a lot of the scavenging," Fitzgibbons-Peterson said.

And combining their creative talents seemed like a no-brainer. 

"She's very easy to work with and our vision is the same. Our work ethic is the same.  Our creativity is different," Fitzgibbons-Peterson said. "We have different talents that way, so it lends itself to a good marriage.”

But they are mindful of keeping work and family separate as much as possible. 

"To keep the working environment strictly a working environment and not to bring anything in that would be perceived as a personal issue," co-owner and daughter Meredith Peterson said.

"I have to remember at work, we are partners, we are not mother and daughter," Fitzgibbons-Peterson said.

And Meredith says she's learning a lot from her mom and the two say so far, so good.

"It's been actually delightful," Fitzgibbons-Peterson said.

Family ventures make up more than 80 percent of all businesses in this country and employ 62 percent of workers.

So far it's just Bridget and Meredith working at their shop, but they do hope to expand and hire someone who's not in the family.

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