Christopher Mark Fine Flowers may have closed its doors for good at 3742 Grand Blvd. in downtown Brookfield on Feb. 28, but the business will live on, at least in spirit.
Last week, longtime Brookfield resident Julie Procich and her sister, Diane Magno, who own the online business Sister Squared Florist, purchased Christopher Mark’s customer list and phone number from owner Chris Borzym.
In a phone interview last week, Procich said Sister Squared doesn’t intend on operating out of the Grand Boulevard storefront or continue to use the Christopher Mark name. The value is in the clientele Borzym has built during his 16 years in business. If Borzym’s former clients call the old Christopher Mark phone number, they’ll be connected to Sister Squared.
“[Borzym’s] business has an absolutely wonderful following,” said Procich, who added she had done freelance flower arranging in the past for Borzym and has known him since he opened the Brookfield shop in 2005. “I’m so excited about this opportunity. I’m thrilled.”
Borzym retired Feb. 28 in order to focus on his health. For the past year-plus he’s been receiving treatments to combat prostate cancer.
“I just want Chris to be OK,” Procich said. “I love him dearly.”
The move is also an opportunity for Procich and Magno to raise the profile of Sister Squared Florist, which began in mid-2019 and operates out of Procich’s home in Brookfield. Procich is the floral designer, while Magno handles the business end.
According to Procich, her arrangements are one-of-a-kind pieces where flowers and the container are equally important.
“I don’t ever put flowers in a plain glass vase,” Procich said. “The containers are as important as the flowers themselves. I always try to make the container as integral to what I’m doing as the flowers.”
Procich describes Sister Squared, whose website can be found at s2florist.com, as a full-service florist for weddings, sympathy arrangements, specialty bouquets and flower arrangements for all occasions and seasons. They also host flower arranging classes.
“Julie is a very fun lady,” Borzym said. “Her designs are wonderful.”
While Sister Squared might be a new venture, Procich is not a rookie florist. She owned the candy store Sweetness in downtown LaGrange, which concocted complicated candy buffets for weddings that often included flowers.
A graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School and a Brookfield resident for 32 years, Procich also worked at Phillip’s Flowers in LaGrange Park and was department manager and buyer for Standard Market in Westmont.
Procich says Sister Squared Florist hopes to open a bricks-and-mortar location in the future, but there’s no timetable for when or where that might happen. In the meantime, the business will remain predominantly online with possible pop-up shops on occasion.
“I’ll let the business lead the way,” Procich said.
As for Borzym, he’s still processing what is a huge change in his life with the sale of his customer list and the shop’s phone number.
“It’s absolutely surreal, but it’s also been a big sigh [of relief],” Borzym said. “It keeps getting more and more emotional every day, but I’m ready.”
Procich has purchased some florist supplies as Borzym shuts down operations and other florists, including Brookfield businesses, have bought his cooler and display furniture.
“My stuff is all over town and I’m very happy about that,” Borzym said.
The past couple of weeks have seen a parade of customers coming into Borzym’s shop to wish him well in the next chapter of his life. Borzym will be at the shop through the end of the month clearing it out.
“If people walk by they can knock on the door and come in [to visit],” Borzym said.