Brookfield Florist to Live in the Spirit
Christopher Mark Fine Flowers may have permanently closed at 3742 Grand Blvd. in downtown Brookfield on February 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 online business Sister Squared Florist, bought Christopher Mark’s customer list and phone number from owner Chris Borzym. .
In a phone interview last week, Procich said Sister Squared had no plans to operate out of the Grand Boulevard storefront or continue to use the Christopher Mark name. The value is in the customer base that Borzym has built over its 16 years in business. If former Borzym customers call Christopher Mark’s old phone number, they will be connected to Sister Squared.
“[Borzym’s] the business has an absolutely wonderful clientele,” said Procich, who added that she had done freelance flower arranging for Borzym before and had known him since he opened the Brookfield boutique in 2005. “I am so excited about this opportunity. I am delighted.
Borzym retired on February 28 in order to focus on his health. For more than a year, he has been receiving treatment to fight prostate cancer.
“I just want Chris to be okay,” Procich said. “I love her so much.”
The move is also an opportunity for Procich and Magno to raise the profile of Sister Squared Florist, which started in mid-2019 and operates out of Procich’s home in Brookfield. Procich is the floral designer, while Magno takes care of the commercial part.
According to Procich, her arrangements are unique pieces where the flowers and the container are equally important.
“I never put flowers in a regular glass vase,” Procich said. “Containers are as important as the flowers themselves. I always try to make the container as integral to what I do as the flowers.
Procich describes Sister Squared, whose website is at s2florist.com, as a full-service florist for weddings, sympathy arrangements, specialty bouquets and floral arrangements for all occasions and seasons. They also organize flower arranging classes.
“Julie is a very fun lady,” Borzym said. “His creations are beautiful.”
While Sister Squared might be a new venture, Procich is no newbie florist. She owned the Sweetness candy store in downtown LaGrange, which concocted elaborate candy buffets for weddings that often included flowers.
A graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School and a resident of Brookfield for 32 years, Procich also worked at Phillip’s Flowers in LaGrange Park and was a department manager and buyer for Standard Market in Westmont.
Procich says Sister Squared Florist hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location in the future, but there’s no timeline for when or where that might happen. In the meantime, the business will remain primarily online with possible pop-up stores on occasion.
“I’m going to let the company lead the way,” Procich said.
As for Borzym, he is still processing what is a huge life change with the sale of his client list and the store’s phone number.
“It’s absolutely surreal, but it’s also been a big sigh [of relief]said Borzym. “It’s getting more and more emotional every day, but I’m ready.”
Procich bought florist supplies as Borzym closes and other florists, including Brookfield businesses, bought his cooler and display furniture.
“My stuff is all over town and I’m very happy about that,” Borzym said.
Over the past two weeks, a parade of customers have entered Borzym’s shop to wish him luck in the next chapter of his life. Borzym will be at the store until the end of the month to clean it up.
“If people pass by, they can knock on the door and come in [to visit]said Borzym.