Tracy Melger is not new to the floral industry, but she is new to plying her flower-arranging art in Door County, where she’s secured studio space for her business, The Artroom Flowers.
She arrived via her native Wisconsin and then Washington State, and this season, she’s growing her own flowers on property owned by Kathy Navis, the owner of Greens N Grains and Junction Center Yoga.
“She’s gracious enough to let me use the beautiful soil beds,” Melger said. “There are so many creative women who own their own businesses and are so willing to help out the newbies.”
Some of those business owners are good friends. Melger and her husband had honeymooned in Door County and met Cy Turnbladh and Karon Ohm, owners of Hands On Art Studio, with whom they became fast friends. Cy passed away in February 2021 and last year, Melger’s husband died unexpectedly of natural causes at only 50 years old.
“Karon said, ‘I think you need to move up here,’” Melger said. “There’s a big support system.”
That had been the plan for the future, so Melger decided the future had arrived. She moved not quite a year ago and is living in Baileys Harbor while working to secure her own land.
“I feel like I’m in the right place,” she said.
Meanwhile – and while retaining the clients she’d gained in Washington – Melger is planting her 18 years of floral industry experience in new soil.
“I’ve got a few people who are purchasing arrangements, and I’ve been delivering locally,” she said.
She arranges flowers for everything from weddings to small catered events, and she hosts a virtual flower shop at theartroomflowers.net, where customers can purchase seasonal bouquets or custom orders for delivery.
“I can do pretty much anything, and I work within people’s budgets,” Melger said.
She also intends to teach more flower-arranging classes, as she did last fall at Hands On, as well as expand her custom moss-art décor business: framed panels that she builds of moss wall art, with no two pieces alike.
Melger began her creative career as a window designer for Neiman Marcus in Chicago before becoming an art teacher for seven years in the Milwaukee Public Schools and then for the school district in Renton, Washington, where and her husband had moved. She began working with flowers during her summer breaks, at first as an employee in floral shops to learn the mechanics before striking out on her own.
Melger doesn’t yet have a storefront, but she does consultations and can also be found at the Egg Harbor farmers market on Fridays and the Baileys Harbor farmers market on Sundays.
“I’m readily available,” she said. “I do some landscape work for a local landscaper, and I work at Hands On, but my primary focus is to get my name out there as an independent florist. Go to my website and give me a call.”
Reach Melger at theartroomflowers.net.