Burr Ridge business is all Abloom
Abloom Floral and Gifts owner Stephanie PInkowski of Westmont makes an arrangement of roses for a customer inside her store's work area. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Name: Abloom Floral and Gifts
Specialty: custom floral arrangements, baskets and balloon bouquets
HOURS: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday
LOCATION: 7926 S. Madison St., Burr Ridge
CONTACT: (630) 655-3199, abloom.com, abloomweddings.com
Updated: October 16, 2012 9:06AM
BURR RIDGE — When Stephanie Pinkowski lost her job to downsizing, she could have considered it an end to a career.
Instead, she saw it as the start of a new one.
“I took my retirement money and I opened Abloom,” said Pinkowski, owner of Abloom Floral and Gifts, which moved to Burr Ridge from Countryside three years ago.
With the help of her six older siblings, Pinkowski put a lifelong love of flowers and creativity to work.
“I have been doing weddings, parties and craft shows for at least 20 years,” said Pinkowski.
Thirteen years ago, she turned her hobby into a full-time job.
“It is joyful,” Pinkowski said of the hours she spends creating fresh floral designs for her customers, whom she affectionately refers to as “guests.”
Pinkowski’s days start early with a daily trip to Chicago to pick up the day’s fresh blooms. But her trips to the plant wholesaler are far more convenient. Abloom shares its space at 7926 S. Madison Street with Chicago Floral Planters.
Pinkowski and her staff, which includes designer Cynthia Holdren and her sister, Wendy Synski, turn blossoms and stems into customized centerpieces, bouquets and arrangements for corporate and private clients.
“My corporate accounts are with me since I opened my doors,” Pinkowski said.
About 60 percent of Pinkowski’s business involves flowers for events such as parties and weddings. The other 40 percent includes arrangements, baskets and balloons to celebrate any occasion.
“Everything is made on site,” Pinkowski said.
With a day’s notice Pinkowski can customize a get-well basket filled with fruit and snacks, a congratulatory bouquet or birthday balloons, which she will deliver just about anywhere in the Chicago area.
Abloom’s schedule includes at least one wedding every week, and with Christmas coming the Burr Ridge business soon will be filled with fresh greenery to turn into Christmas centerpieces, topiaries and boxwood trees.
“Some days my day doesn’t end until 8 p.m.,” Pinkowski said.
But she’s not complaining. Flowers are a luxury, and things got tough over the last few years. Pinkowski said she is happy that they are once again coming up roses.
“I am very blessed,” she said.