Nestled in what’s known as the Meat Packing district of Chicago lives an innovative florist, working to better the world through their love of flowers.
The florist is called Flowers for Dreams, and it happens to be the spot where we stopped on a recent FP Me Chicago visit to learn how to put together spring bouquets. Instead of keeping the company’s beauty to ourselves, we touched base with Steven Dyme, Co-Founder & CEO, to tell you a little bit of what they’re all about:
Flowers For Dreams – I love the name. Where did you come up with it and how did the business come to be?
Flowers for Dreams was born out of a little summer business my friend Jo and I ran while in college. We used to buy flowers in bulk, bundle them up, and sell them as bouquets outside college graduation ceremonies. We were flower peddlers. But honest ones :) We learned a lot about the flower industry from that gig and it got us hooked on flowers – the problems, the prices, the spoilage, and more. We really believed that all the retail options for sending flowers just stunk. No inspiring, modern bouquets at fair, accessible price points. No socially conscious flower services. So we set out to be the alternative to all the gimmicky 1990’s online florists, and the more accessibly priced option to expensive local mom and pops.
We wanted to create a flower service that we would use and our girlfriends would love. I happened to be an amateur graphic designer with a keen interest in aesthetics and Jo had been working for a produce wholesaler for many summers. So we had interesting perspectives on how to upend the traditional purchasing patterns and supply chain.
Together we came up with Flowers for Dreams. Locally crafted flowers for fair and honest prices with free delivery. Every bouquet benefits an amazing local charity.
What do you love about running a flower shop in Chicago? Does the particular location or space have any significance?
Chicago is an amazing city. It’s huge, but also really tight knit. My entrepreneurial mentors have been formative in giving us sound advice on how to grow a brand and manage a business. We had zero experience when we started, things happened so organically, customers were coming out of the woodwork trying to buy, and we didn’t have any understanding of the need for good systems and core values. There’s a lot of good people here willing to share their ideas rather than protect them ruthlessly.
What is one thing most people don’t know about working with flowers that you think they’d be surprised to hear?
It’s very messy. Very very messy. Our team spends as much time pruning, processing, and cleaning as we do designing and delivering.
In your opinion, what is the most underrated flower out there?
Poppies. They’re a delicate colorful flower, relatively easy to grow, and so beautiful when open.
Lastly, what does it mean to be free?
Freedom is such a relative concept. When I think of freedom, I tend not to think of free speech or free press. Those are such politicized terms. I think of the freedom to do what you love and create a space to pursue that love as often as possible.
Images: By Danielle Gruley