Marla McMillan

Marla McMillan


August 28, 2020


Marla’s Flower Truck


Tell us more about some of your past projects?

I don’t have an extensive list of past projects. I have mostly been a working mother who is also a crafty do-it-yourselfer. However, I have always wanted to start my own business using my creative side and this was the year that it finally all came together!

What current projects are you working on?

My current project is the flower truck. Marla’s Flower Truck is new to the mobile business scene, only having been open for about 2 months now, so we are working on getting out and discovered. We are also working through all of the new business kinks and logistics as we go along so that’s a huge learning experience. So far, we have received such a warm welcome!

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?

I feel like Toledo has that big city vibe without actually being too large. I think that makes Northwest Ohio a great place for small businesses to start then actually be supported and successful. There is also a really great artistic/trendy community and I think that lends to individuals feeling comfortable enough to try their hand at something new and creative in this region.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

One of my greatest successes is being a mom and a business owner/operator. Being able to balance my home life and still be able to go after my goals is what I’m most proud of at the moment. I try really hard to be a good example to my girls and show them that they can truly do anything at any point in time.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

My daughters - I have one biological daughter and two bonus girls. Knowing that I want to set the best example for them, is my biggest motivation. I want to show them that it’s never too late to chase a dream but also that it takes hard work and determination.
My husband - He works so hard for our family and still puts aside time to help me achieve my own goals.
My parents - I’ve always had a deep desire to make them proud so that thought pushes me every day.

Tell us about your background.

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan as the middle child of a blended family that had six kids. I am a CODA, which means “Child of Deaf Adults.” Both of my parents are Deaf so I grew up in a bilingual household using American Sign Language and speaking English. In 2007, I moved to Toledo with my boyfriend (now husband) and immediately fell in love with the area, especially downtown. We have since moved just outside the city, to Oregon, where we have a little piece of land and our own blended family with three daughters.

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

I have two. “Try everything once, twice if you don’t like it.” It’s just a reminder that most everything deserves a second chance.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. - Rumi. This encompasses everything I’m trying to achieve at this point in my life.

Favorite place for local culture?

Toledo Museum of Art. All of the amazing murals throughout the Toledo area.

Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .

Toledo Metroparks, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and Toledo Museum of Art.

These may not be such a secret to locals but as someone who did not grow up locally, these are my absolute favorite parts of the Toledo area.

Taco El Ray taco truck is my favorite actual “secret” though!

My favorite place to chill locally is . . . 

Maumee Bay State Park. I’m lucky to live so close and going there for even a short period of time seems to refreshen my soul.

My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . . 

Toledo Botanical Garden. I could just spend hours and hours in there…and have.

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . . 

Home with my family.

If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .

Ever since I moved into the area, I have thought that Toledo is a really solid place for creative people to be. I feel like there is a larger than normal artistic community that really does an amazing job at embracing each other, even newbies like me!

Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?

All of them! We have been so overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of the support we have received and all of the interest that our little truck has garnered in such a short period of time. Locally, I source flowers from Forget Me Not Farms. They have some of the most breathtaking blooms and I love supporting another woman-owned business!

Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

If I ever got the chance to collaborate on anything with someone who is deceased, my answer will always be my paternal grandmother. I am named after her and sadly was never able to meet her since she passed some years before I was born. I’m told that she was a very strong, self sufficient woman and I hope that I resemble her in that way.

Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.

Skype (better yet FaceTime, even though its an app.) Since my parents are Deaf and I live at least a couple of hours from them and my siblings, it makes it so easy to be able to see them all. Video calls absolutely changed my life and revolutionized the way Deaf people communicate. 

3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

Family. Simplistic. Rustic.

Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

This is really difficult for me to narrow down because I truly listen to the most eclectic collection of music so I had to get some greatest hits involved.
Hamilton Soundtrack
Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Hits
City & Colour  - It would have to be a combination of Bring Me Your Love and Little Hell
Sam Cooke - Greatest Hits
Taking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends

My biggest vice is . . .

Caffeinated drinks of all kind.

I’d like to see __________ in Toledo.

A ramen restaurant!

What’s the last dream you recall having?

I’m not sure of the last dream but I always have the same recurring dream that I’ve had since I was a child. There is a natural disaster of some sort about to descend on my childhood home. My parents and siblings are all rushing around to grab their belongings and try to get to a shelter of some sort. I am moving in slow motion and can’t keep up. The next thing I realize, they are all gone and I’m left in the house alone. I always wake up before the disaster hits.

The last lyric that moved me was . . .

“She is something to behold
Elegant and bold
She is electricity
Running to my soul.”

Georgia by Vance Joy

One movie character I identify with is . . .

I’m definitely more of a book person but I can’t think of just one character that I completely identify with. If I had to choose, I would say that I sometimes feel like Louisa Clark in Me Before You, which is a book but was also made into a movie so it fulfills this question. She is awkward and clumsy but also sensitive, kind, and genuine.

The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .

Motherhood………….and a 1971 Volkswagen Transporter.

My most inspiring moment was/is . . .

Goodness. I feel like I find inspiration in so many different places. I’m a simple person and I am usually inspired by my loved ones. Finding out my dad’s leukemia is in remission. Watching our oldest daughter graduate and go off to college. Holding my baby for the first time. Having a customer tell me that they came to an event just to see our truck. I think it’s important to find something inspiring every day.

I want my last meal to be . . .

Medium Porterhouse steak, melting potatoes, roasted autumn veggies, and a slice of dutch apple pie a la mode.


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