In one way or another over the past 15 years, flowers and greenery have found their way into Julie Procich’s life.
From 2008 to 2010, she owned Sweetness, a candy store in downtown LaGrange that focused on designing decked-out candy buffets for weddings that often included flowers.
Afterward, Procich moved on to other jobs, first, working for the Phillip’s Flowers design center in Westmont and later as a department manager and buyer for Standard Market, a gourmet grocery store in Westmont.
But in 2019, the longtime Brookfield resident had the itch to start a flower business, Sister Squared Florist, alongside her sister, Diane Magno.
Operating out of Procich’s Brookfield home as an online flower delivery business, Sister Squared Florist launched as a small-scale operation, with Procich focusing on floral design and Magno handling business operations.
Then, in February 2022, Procich had the opportunity to purchase the customer list and phone number of Christopher Mark Fine Flowers from Christopher Borzym, who closed his 16-year Brookfield business before ultimately passing away from cancer last December.
Procich, who had done some freelance floral arranging for Borzym in the past, said the opportunity was a no-brainer way to keep in touch with his dedicated clientele and help extend her customer base.
While Procich had always hoped her business would blossom enough to open her own Brookfield storefront, purchasing the number and contacts from Borzym didn’t make her rush to do so.
“I didn’t come into the storefront until I felt we could function,” she said. “I didn’t want to rush anything. I wanted to make sure we could be a viable business.”
But as more orders began pouring in throughout the year, she began outgrowing the space in her home and decided the timing was finally right to go brick-and-mortar.
“We were growing too much and too big for my house — there were flowers and tools everywhere,” she said. “So finally, this past Christmas, I figured it was time to get us into a space.”
With that, Procich began looking in town for the best location to open her first official storefront, and on Feb. 21 Sister Squared Florist officially opened its doors at 3741 Prairie Ave. in downtown Brookfield.
“I really like Brookfield — we’re very happy to be here,” she said. “When I found this space, I was like, ‘It’s absolutely perfect.’ I didn’t want a huge shop. When you do that, you start to lose touch with how you look because you’re so busy trying to fill space. This way, I can be really hands on and give my space that vibe I want it to have.”
To Procich, what sets Sister Squared apart from other florists is its dedication to cultivating one-of-a-kind pieces which stand apart from traditional floral products. From arrangements in vintage planters, wine bottles and bird cages to larger-scale arrangements on bicycles and open-drawer dressers, Procich relishes working with anything that doesn’t look like an ordinary container.
“A lot of florists work with traditional clear-glass vases, and I don’t even own a clear glass vase,” she said. “I like to make containers that are really out of the box. If it shouldn’t have flowers in it, there’s a really good chance that I’ll figure out some way to add them. We also feature an assortment of plants and flowers that rotate throughout the seasons, and I’m always looking for things that are unusual and fun.”
Sister Squared’s provides arrangements for everything from births and funerals to small-scale weddings and those “just because” moments.
“I love small event work; that to me is so much fun,” Procich said. “Working small allows me the ability to stay unique and personalized.”
And, with the rise in popularity of indoor plants and flowers, especially among millennials, Procich says she’s happy to be a part of the local scene because of how plants can truly accommodate all seasons of life.
“I think a lot of [the buzz] started with COVID, when everyone was inside,” she said. “People have always liked houseplants and greenery and florals, but I think that was the push for it to start to ‘take root and grow.’ People saw how nice it was to have flowers and plants in a home and that feeling it gives you. It’s become [more than] a decorating accessory, it’s a living accessory.”
Sister Squared Florist is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Though closed on Sundays and Mondays, Procich says she’s always accessible via phone at 708-785-1719.
For more information visit s2florist.com.