“My business has grown within the confines of what I can handle, while also being present in the lives’ of my three little girls. As long as I keep feeling that fulfillment, and can give that back to my kids, I’m in it to win it,” exclaims Kirbey Rogic about the passion she feels for her growing (pun intended) business, The Flower House. The Flower House is locally (Highland Park to be exact) owned and operated event design and flower business with their very own exquisite 10,000 square foot greenhouse. Welcome Kirbey as this week’s Meet a Mom feature as we delve into how she became involved in the event planning and flower industry and what it’s like to operate during this time of lock-down.
Hi Kribey! Please introduce yourself.
My name is Kirbey Rogic, I grew up in St. Charles (western burbs), and I currently live and operate my business in Highland Park. Up until I met my husband, Mario, I was living in the city, but when we got engaged, I made the move to the suburbs again.
You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have three little girls. Lucia & Olivia are seven, and Scarlett is five.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I love being able to live through their eyes. A friend recently told me, “don’t you wish you could bottle the way they see life?” and I truly wish I could. Every minute I can spend remembering what it’s like to love seeing a butterfly, or opening a present through their eyes, are moments well spent.
Please share your favorite mom tips that make your everyday life a little easier…
Put em’ all in one room! I mean maybe not all of them..but, my twins’ have shared a room since they were born, and now all three of them currently share. By their own choice, not for a lack of space. I think it teaches them to be better humans, how to share, and bedtime is SO much easier in one room!
If you have any podcasts or apps that help inspire you, calm you, help you run your business or organize your life, what are your faves?
I’m a True Crime geek. Whenever I’m working, I put on the Crime Junkie podcast and zone out while I design. I also recently read The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll, and it’s been extremely helpful. I’m running the rest of my life by the seat of my pants.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
What do you love to do as a family?
I love spending time at our greenhouse with the girls (obviously), I suggest it to anyone who wants some Vitamin D in the Winter. So feel free to join me! When it comes to favorite places to visit, we love The Little French Guy in Highland Park for lunch or a quick snack and a coffee.
Favorite local date night ideas or restaurants for when we can once again dine out?
Mario and I like to post-up at the bar at Morton’s. Yummy bar bites and delicious cocktails!
A few of your favorite things….
As I mentioned before, the True Crime or any crime podcast…dark I know, but it’s my thing. Coffee, anything on Bravo and jackets..I’ve got a real thing for jackets.
Strangest or funniest thing in your mom purse right now…
A room key from a girls trip I took to Kohler. I always see it in there and i know i don’t need it, but it’s like its reminding me of all the fun, so I just keep it in there.
You are a mompreneur! Please introduce your business.
Yes! My business is The Flower House & Farm! We specialize in event & wedding design, and also grow a lot of our own flowers in our local greenhouse space!
That is so uplifting! How did you get into the flower business?
I’ve always loved flowers. Even before I went to college I wanted to pursue a career in flowers, but my parents pushed me to pursue a traditional education. So, once I graduated, I harassed a local flower shop to hire me. It wasn’t easy, but I got my foot in the door, and that’s where I got my start.
When did you establish The Flower House?
I established The Flower House in February of 2017. I had recently left my job at a retail florist, on account of the hours just not being conducive with my young children. My girls were 5, 5 and 3 at the time, and retail hours just weren’t working. However, I didn’t want to give up my love for flowers, and so, The Flower House was born.
We started as just event design. Mostly weddings, small parties. In our second year, we began booking larger events, and just naturally got a whole lot busier. We’ve been very lucky that word of mouth and social media have grown our business. We do very little advertising, if any at all. Also in our second year we got the “bug” to start growing some of our own product. Certain flowers just do not ship well, so, we said why not grow them ourselves. Needless to say, it went well, and here we are in our third year, and we just purchased a 10,000 sq. foot greenhouse right here in Highland Park. Our future is certain to hold loads of flowers, and we’ve got big dreams for this new space.
A greenhouse in Highland Park – amazing! Tell us more about that.
We purchased the greenhouse in October of 2019, so very recently. We weren’t out seeking it, and certainly hadn’t planned to expand so large so quick, but aren’t those sometimes the best plans? The space was the oldest business in Highland Park, and the second oldest in the state of Illinois until they closed three years ago. The structure of the greenhouse was brought in by freight in the late 1800’s and assembled piece by piece. When we bought it, it was a HOT MESS, but in such a magical way. Like 10,000 sq. ft frozen in time. A secret garden of plants growing wild, on the walls, under planting benches, and citrus trees that were over fifty years old. Pure magic. As the months have passed, we’ve begun to clear a few of the greenhouses out (there are six in total) to make way for our new vision. The property was a traditional nursery when it was up and running, but our vision for it’s future follows more of a “Flower Farmer” mentality. More growing in the ground, room for cut flowers and special blooms. This past Fall we planted 105 specialty variety peony plants, just to get us started. This spring things like Dahlias, Garden Roses, Celosia, Bee Balm and Zinnias will grace the rows of the greenhouse.
Who are your influencers and/or mentors?
I try and surround myself with women and other entrepreneurs who are trying to move my industry in a progressive direction. I have learned so much from people like Holly Chapple, Susan McCleary, Erin Benzakein and Julio Freitas. All of these people are such an inspiration in terms of the way they live their lives, and how they are working relentlessly to share their knowledge with others.
What advice can you give other mamas out there who are looking to re-enter the workforce?
Take it at your own pace. What’s right for someone else, isn’t always right for you. Don’t be afraid to live in your own light and don’t let others influence what you think should be your “normal”.
Do you have a mantra?
“Be a better person.” While that may sound like I’m getting down on myself, it’s actually the opposite. I find myself constantly telling myself that same thing. Whether it applies to being better at organizing my bills, being a better mother or wife, and being a better human in general, I just find it applies to any and all things I’m trying to accomplish.
Our hearts go out to the many small businesses who are hurting so badly during the quarantine. How has The Flower Shop been able to weather the storm?
Right now we are currently running a Bouquet Subscription for the next four weeks to help people get through this scary time. Flowers are proven to uplift your mood, and we hope we can bring some joy into this dark place we’re in. We’re of course being safe, delivering with gloves, no human to human contact and just trying to shift the gears of our business to accommodate the current climate. See our special at the bottom of this interview.
When the quarantine is over look out for our home-grown flowers! Right now we’re knee deep in seed planting, and we’re moving forward just as we would were the quarantine not going on. The one thing that is steady for us right now is the fact that seeds still need planting, spring is still here, and flowers need to be grown. So, hopefully when this is over, we’ll have acres of homegrown flowers to bring to this community.
And, for Mother’s Day, we’ll have our Summer Bouquet Subscription available again, as well as our beautiful arrangements!
What do you want people to know about your business as it relates to the shutdown?
The flower industry has suffered greatly, and will continue to for possibly years to come. The main source for all of these beautiful flowers we have at our weddings, our birthdays, and all of the special moments in life come from flower farmer’s. Right now, they are mowing down their crops, unable to send orders, and some may never open their doors again. The trickle down effect of this is obviously my fellow designers no longer having events to bring to life. Our entire industry has gone from bustling, to absolutely no revenue in a matter of weeks. It’s a scary time for this world, but also for my friends in the flower world. A lot of them may not make it back, and in the meantime, have little to no income. If you can, support a local florist, farmer, event planner, look ahead to the future, and if you can help, please do. I know flowers aren’t going to save the world from this pandemic, but imagine a world without them when it’s over.
How important is it for you to have a career outside of being a mother?
I didn’t get into flowers with the desire to keep up with a traditional career, or to simply have something outside of my kids. It was more of a passion, something I loved and wanted to explore, and that journey is ever evolving. I love what I do, and while that hustle is still VERY real with small kids, my business has grown within the confines of what I can handle, while also being present in the lives’ of my three little girls. As long as I keep feeling that fulfillment, and can give that back to my kids, I’m in it to win it.
What’s on the horizon for your business? Future aspirations, plans….
So, so many square ft. of growing space. We recently expanded the “growing” side of our business, and we are knee deep in plans for rows and rows of flowers. It’s a truly exciting time at The Flower House & Farm!
Thank you so much for sharing your business with us and your experience owning a small business during this incredibly tough time in our history. What else?
Help The Flower House support the Floral Industry. Floral Farmer’s have been hard hit by this pandemic, with the event industry completely shut down! Right now The Flower House is offering a 4-week Bouquet Subscription starting next week for those who would like a little something for themselves every week! The cost is $75 for the 4-weeks, and an additional $5/per week if you would like local delivery. Your little bouquet will help to keep these Farmer’s going! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a PM to place your order!