A love of flowers runs in Miriam Cordero’s family. Her mother and grandmother had beautiful gardens in her home country of Mexico, and Miriam says she began making flower arrangements when she was a little girl.
“I would pick flowers on the way home from school and make little arrangements,” says the owner of Mili’s Flowers & Gifts, which is opening soon at Crosstown Concourse. “I loved the smells of the flowers and the colors. My memory from my childhood is seeing myself in the middle of my mother’s or grandma’s garden.”
Her mother’s garden was in Reynosa Tamauilipas, Mexico, which has a hot and dry climate that isn’t ideal for gardening, but Miriam says her mother somehow managed to have an abundant garden with roses, amaryllis, irises, tuberose, dahlias, jasmine, and gardenias, among other flowers. And there were avocado, papaya, banana, guava, lime, and orange trees.
“It wasn’t a big space, but she was able to grow all of that,” she says.
Since 2019, Miriam has operated a mobile flower truck which sets up shop at Laurelwood Shopping Center and Overton Square on the weekends (weather permitting). Miriam will soon take her business indoors with a brick-and-mortar shop in the west retail corridor at Crosstown Concourse.
The shop will feature a stem bar with fresh flowers where customers can create their own arrangements, or if they’d rather leave that to the experts, Miriam’s staff can create an arrangement for them. She’ll also carry imported gift items from Mexico.
“I have been receiving other offers for products from other countries, but I want to focus on my country, Mexico,” she says.
The shop will feature milagros (chams), alebrijes (sculptures), and sugar skulls from Mexico, as well as a selection of children’s gifts, handmade dolls, children’s books in Spanish, and wooden toys.
In addition to flowers and gifts, Mili’s will also be the official merch shop for Crosstown Concourse-related tee-shirts and other branded items.
Miriam always dreamed of owning a flower shop, which is how she got her start with the mobile business. She and her husband saw a mobile flower truck in Florida and were inspired to start their own mobile business. Her husband loves Volkswagens, so they found a truck and outfitted it with a stem bar. They launched the business on Valentine’s Day 2019 in Overton Square.
Since then, Mili’s has attracted a loyal customer base at her weekend shops, but Miriam says the weather doesn’t always allow her to take the truck out.
“The truck is able to go out when the weather is not too windy, too hot, or too cold. The flowers don’t like any of that,” she says. “But we try to go every week, Saddle Creek on Saturdays and Overton Square on Sundays, as well as special events.”
On the days that weather doesn’t cooperate, Miriam says her customers ask where they can find her.
“Now we’re going to have a shop in Crosstown Concourse,” she says.
Miriam plans to run the Concourse store and mobile business, retaining her usual weekend pop-up schedule at Saddle Creek and Overton Square.
“The first thing customers asked when they heard we were opening in Concourse was are you still coming here?” says Miriam. “If the weather allows, I will be there.”