Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas of Flowers for Dreams

Last week, we talked about how the Chicago start-up, Flowers for Dreams, donates one fourth of their profits to local charities. Well, the donated buck doesn’t stop there. Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas are florists for this socially minded business. They are spearheading the movement of transparent pricing in the wedding market. You can now give back to your community as you plan your wedding and rest assured that there won’t be hidden fees or markups before the process is complete.

Take a peak at the Flower for Dreams Lookbook for some inspiration.

Tips from Amanda and Natalie about getting into the florist business:

  • Begin working at a floral shop and see if it’s the right fit.
  • Keep in mind you will be starting from the bottom and working your way up. Be prepared to get dirty!
  • All florists started sweeping the floors of a flower shop, prepping vases, and processing flowers. Those are necessary skills needed to appreciate the end product and understand why each flower is important.
  • Proper floral care is unique to every flower.
  • Always explore different ways of doing things and share tips with your fellow designers through your own personal aesthetics.
  • When creating a bouquet for someone in particular, allow their personality and traits to show through with color, texture, and flower type. Capturing the essence of a person through mother nature is rewarding beyond measure.

Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

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Angelica Ruiz of Flowers for Dreams

In today’s fast paced economy, there is a racing hope to become the next great app developer or CEO of a startup company to put you on the path toward riches and quite possibly even fame. Stories of success and brilliant ideas float around in the business world, and rightly so.

However, in this highly competitive space, there have been a few companies deviating from the standard of inwardly focused advancement, seeking to do good for the community and maintain a profits. Personally, those are exactly the kind of organizations I want to put my money behind—and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

Steven Dyme & Joseph Dickstein started selling flowers at high school graduations as a college project. The goal was simple, to make a little money and to make a difference. Half of their earnings went toward buying backpacks for low income students in the area. After a few years, their efforts snowballed into a full fledged company, Flowers for Dreams.

Now they have a bustling staff, a well thought out service, and continue to give back to others on a daily basis. One fourth of all their profits go to local charities.

A couple weeks ago, I got to hang out with Angelica Ruiz. She manages the flower truck. That’s right! I said flower truck. Much like a food truck, Angelica drives all over Chicago, selling bouquets at markets and various events. (Follow @F4DTruck on twitter for more info.)

Angelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttAngelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

Angelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttAngelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

What better way to brighten the world around you than with a bundle of flowers doing a bundle of good in your own neighborhood?

 

 

 

Meet Kelly Pepper and Kelly McDermott of Habitat for Humanity

MINNEAPOLIShabitatFORhumanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity

Meet Kelly Pepper and Kelly McDermott. Both girls are originally from Texas, so we had common ground right at the start. Working in Minneapolis can be a bit chillier than what we’re used to, but that’s alright when you’re bundled up in the right clothes. Pictured above is the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build Team. That’s where women from across the world help build homes for others in need. Pretty cool if you ask me. These two girls blew me away with how much they knew about construction. It’s all about working from the ground up. You might feel overwhelmed in the beginning, but it’s a learning process every day.
Kelly Pepper is a Construction Volunteer Facilitator and has lived all over the world. She stumbled across the job, and figured she’d give it a go since she’d never been to Minnesota. Kelly loves working with her hands, community development, and helping others, so the job has been a great fit. Kelly McDermott is a ABWK Volunteer Facilitator. It’s a lot of hard labor, tedious, and tiring tasks that add up to such great fulfillment to a huge need. Kelly mentioned that she hoped to merge the work experience she’s gained from construction with her degree in the arts into something that can inspire, empower, and support others. If you ask me, she’s doing it already. The team pours so much of their soul and time into these homes. The craftsmanship of construction is such a beautiful art form, especially when it is mixed with the goodness of a giving heart. See how you can get involved in a Women’s Build. Let’s strive to be a community of women that seek to strengthen one another instead of competing or pulling each other down.

Kelly Pepper’s outfit: Carhartt Women’s Quick Duck Woodward Jacket, Women’s Force Performance Quarter-Zip Shirt, Women’s Series 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree, & Acrylic Watch Hat / Kelly McDermott’s outfit: Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Berkley VestWomen’s Force Performance Quarter-Zip ShirtWomen’s Series 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree, & Women’s Quincy Hat