Flowers For Dreams + Chicago Public Library Foundation = September Partners

Categories: Foundation News

Rumors are true! Flowers For Dreams has made Chicago Public Library Foundation their non-profit pick for the month of September.

We caught up with CEO and Co-Founder, Steven Dyme – and it should come as no surprise that the philanthropist turned business owner has a whole lot of heart for Chicago Public Library. 

Photo of Steven by Rea Mae Sherman

About Flowers For Dreams

Flowers For Dreams is a Chicago-based floral company that uses locally crafted flowers at fair and honest prices. They donate 25% of their profits to local charities – and wouldn’t you know, have chosen Chicago Public Library Foundation as their non-profit partner, and recipient of September proceeds.

We knew to get at the heart of their story – we’d have to go right to the source: Co-Founder and CEO, Steven Dyme!

Meet CEO and Co-Founder, Steven Dyme

“Until 18 or 19, flowers did not play a significant part of my life,” Dyme chuckled. “Nor did business. I had no business experience.  But at UW-Madison, I was looking for a side hustle and a friend of mine was in the flower industry.  So we started by selling flowers outside of graduations – which quickly turned into us donating over 600 backpacks with school supplies to local schools in need.” The giving-back spark that started it all.

How It Works

For all of you wondering, how the company makes their charity selections, it turns out the process has evolved into something equal parts democratic and inspiring. “I really view it as an employee benefit,” Dyme explained. “Any full-time employee can go to bat for their favorite charity – then we have entire charity deliberation meetings to pick our charities for the year.”  Digging deeper, we learned that every full-time employee can bring up to 3 charities to the table before they vote. Whoever’s charity gets picked then becomes an ambassador for the cause. Each month of the year gets its own Chicago and Milwaukee charity, that receive equal parts of that month’s 25% profits.“It really becomes a reflection of our team values as a whole,” Dyme shared. “We use bouquets to talk about what matters.”

Talk about it they do!  Since launching the company, Flowers For Dreams has donated over $262K to local non-profits and raised awareness for each charity through their expansive social network. Attracting over 50K followers on Instagram, 16K on Facebook and countless offline supporters – to the monthly cause.


Steven on the Library

With so many great organizations out there, we had to know. Where did the founder’s love for the Library come from? And it turns out, it is a shared admiration for one of our founding tenets: accessibility.  “The Library is one of those places rarer and rarer in this world,” Dyme explained. “Everything has a fee to get in these days.  And there’s no entry fee. You can come and you don’t have to pay anything to do it.” Something we would lobby, is worth preserving. Flowers For Dreams is a B Corporation, essentially a for-profit business model with a non-profit purpose.  As their 2018 September charity, the Library Foundation will receive 25% of their September profits for every bouquet and arrangement sold in Chicago. We look forward to our partnership, and thank Steven, and the Flowers For Dreams team for showing us what it means to be #dedicatedtothecurious.

To learn more about Flowers For Dreams, their mission and bouquets, visit www.flowersfordreams.com. To follow our story in the month of September, follow them on Facebook or Instagram!

To learn more about Steven’s favorite library branch, book and author – follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Check out our kindness blogs, in partnership with Flowers for Dreams:

How to be kind to yourself

Projecting kindness outward