(312) 771-8198

Derrick Taylor

In 1942 Our family came together to plan my Grandmother’s wedding in our sleepy little town of Mt. Sterling and we just had too much fun doing it. Times where tough and so was my family. Between my Great Grandmother and Great Aunts, they were able to sew beautiful gowns, create gorgeous flowers and bake a gorgeous wedding cake.  As the legend has it, we did such a good job that my Grandmother became known for her sewing and quilting and my Great Aunt Rita was the only person to call for a wedding cake for three counties. When I wasn’t watching my Grandma Schmidt and Great Aunt Rita sew and make cakes in amazement,  I would be sitting in my Great Grandma Logsdon’s lap on her rocking chair and looking through Gurney and Burbee seed catalogs planning elaborate gardens that My Grandma Taylor and I would plant every year cultivating an incessant love for all plants and flowers. My Grandpa Taylor and I would walk the woods on our family farm identifying trees and all things flora and fauna.

Being raised in the middle of all of this pageantry and regalia was fascinating to me as a young child. I remember helping my mother bead wedding gowns and prom dresses after she had finished the third and final fitting and helping my Aunt Rita lay out pans and run errands with her as she ran around on Saturdays delivering cakes while other kids were playing sports and going to camp. The event industry intrigued me. My Mother was a 4-H leader and when I was 9 years old I was the floral designer for my first wedding at Holy Family Catholic Church for a family friend with flowers I grew in my garden as a 4-H Project and the rest was history. My Grandpa Taylor bought and old Pinto station wagon that he would drive me to set up events in until I was old enough to drive myself.

In 4-h I went on to state and national competitions in floral arranging to take undefeated grand champions against children twice my age and a few adults for the next nine years. My skills weren’t the only thing that grew over those years. My garden grew bigger and bigger every year as I booked more weddings and I started color sectioning parts out for specific brides. When I was Fifteen I started working at April’s Creative Floral Design in Mt. Sterling. April had been a long time mentor of mine over the course of my childhood and she taught me about composition, balance and how to educate customers when it comes to fresh flowers. April and I are still great friends to this day and I credit most of what I know about running a business to her. I spent the summer after my freshman year of high school with my Great Aunt Rita where she formally taught me how to bake wedding cakes, and gave me my Great Grandmother’s recipes to pass on to the next generation.

That summer I exhibited a three tier wedding cake adorned with cornelli lace and covered with lavender english roses and queen anne’s lace I picked on the side of the road in the county fair open competition and won best of show in culinary. After that, my Great Aunt Rita passed the torch and handed me her spatula and piping bags and I spend the rest of my high school days baking wedding cakes and producing weddings with the best florist in town.  I started doing hair and makeup for my friends for prom my Sophomore year of high school after I made their corsages so I could have one more skill under my belt.

In 1998 I moved to Chicago to get my BFA in Interior Design from Harrington Institute of Interior design and worked as a Senior Designer for Marshall Field’s and Company while I started my event business up in the windy city. I left Field’s to become the Design Director for LA-Z-BOY Inc a few years later to help them re-brand their image until my contract ended in 2009. By this time TAYLOR&COMPANY was already starting to get it’s feet off the ground and in 2010 on Valentine’s Day, I took a leap of faith and was the first member of our family to practice the family business full time as a career.

The past ten years have been incredible. This career has taken me around the world, literally! I have had the privilege of working with Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Kendra Wilkinson, Joan Rivers, Gwyneth Paltrow, The Real Housewives of NYC, Lady GAGA, Green Day and Soundgarden. The clients, vendors and colleagues I have the honor of calling friends are what makes us special as a company. Any event is only as good as the hands that prepare it and the hearts that lift it up and treat it like their own.

TAYLOR&COMPANY is dedicated to my Great Grandparents and Grandparents. I miss you and think about you every day and carry you with me wherever I go.


2819 West Montrose Avenue Chicago, IL 60618


(312) 771-8198