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Females & Finances: Michelle Hornung

Michelle Hornung of Crazy Daisy Flower Truck

In our Females & Finances series, inspirational women leaders from Madison and Milwaukee share their words of wisdom for women who are trying to manage their finances and own it in their everyday lives. Know someone who has a great story to share? Send nominations to Updates@summitcreditunion.com.

This month, learn how registered nurse and small business owner Michelle Hornung made her dreams come true with her build-your-own floral bouquet service Crazy Daisy Flower Truck.

  • What does “owning it” mean to you? 

To me, this means to have a passion and bring that passion to fruition. It is the journey of getting my goal that drives me. That scared feeling you get when you think, "what if I fail?" is absolutely the norm, but I know that deep down I’m going to "own it" because I care about that passion with all my heart.

  • Tell us about your personal and professional journey and how you got where you are today.

I am a registered nurse and owner of Crazy Daisy Flower Truck, a mobile flower boutique in Madison, WI. 

I had the dream of becoming a nurse since I was a teenager. My mom, also being an amazing nurse, showed what it was to be a caregiver: "Give the best care you can in the minimal time you are with a patient." Having a strong role model is where the passion of nursing began. I am now an RN on an orthopedic trauma unit at UW Hospital where I have been nominated for seven DAISY Awards, winning a DAISY Award in February 2017. Nominations are submitted by patient and family members for demonstrating excellence and compassion in nursing. I am absolutely humbled by these nominations, and they continue to drive how I deliver care. These nominations and winning the award sparked the name for my business, Crazy Daisy Flower Truck. The “crazy” part came from people who would say "you are crazy for starting this business" and “daisy” for honoring the patients I had the pleasure of caring for and who nominated me for these awards.

The idea of a build-your-own floral bouquet began 13 years ago when trying to choose flowers for a friend. I thought, "I wish I could just pick out my own flowers in a bouquet versus a pre-made version." Jump ahead to May 2017 when Crazy Daisy was born. I knew that this was a unique addition to the Madison area, but that feeling of "what if I fail?" came and went, even though I knew there was NO WAY I would let a passion fail. The first season for Crazy Daisy was incredible. I had the honor of being a part of a new farmers market in the Prairie Lakes complex in Sun Prairie. It was that market where I not only built a business but a following. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a person leave with a bouquet and smiling all the way to their car. I am so grateful for each and every person who supported this dream of mine. 

I’m extremely fortunate to have a wonderful schedule at the hospital that makes my flower truck available for weddings, bridal and baby showers, team-building events, private parties and local events in the Madison area. You can follow along on Facebook or Instagram to see where the truck will be. 

  • What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about finances?

I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to optimize the money spent when starting a new business. It is so easy to get carried away, but having a detailed tool to manage your finances has been key to making the business a profitable one. I use Excel spreadsheets and QuickBooks.

  • What resources/strategies help you manage your money?

The strategy I use to manage finances is to stay in touch with the resources available through Summit Credit Union. They have an incredible team of experts that have provided knowledge about starting a new business, buying our home and offering unique ways to make our hard-earned money more profitable. 

  • What’s your favorite quote from an inspirational woman?

"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms" - Zen Shin