Friends blooming business helps charities too

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Joe Dickstein and Steve Dyme are owners of flowers for dreams, a floral delivery service like you’ve never seen before in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.

Friends since high school, they ended up at different colleges. Joe went to Indiana University and majored in marketing and Steve studied political science and Middle East studies at the University of Wisconsin.

And like most college students they were in need of a little extra cash.

So in 2012 they joined some college friends who were selling flowers on campuses and high school graduation ceremonies across the U.S.

“It was just a summer gig to provide income for us and some of our friends for the summer,” Joe says.

Their budding college business gave them the opportunity to help others and give back.

They were able to supply thousands of backpacks to CPS students for three years.

But the duo never intended on entering the flower biz as a career, until they realized it was paying off for them.

They moved back to Chicago and started working in Steve’s mother’s basement, then to a garage and even a church. They bought, designed and filled orders themselves and built the business from the ground up.

Keeping in line with their commitment to help others they named the company Flowers for Dreams, committed to donate 25 percent of all of the business profits to charity.

Each month of the year Flowers for Dreams features and donates to a different charity. Dickestein, Dyme and their staff of 25, work together to come up with the charities, most important to them.

This month’s charity is Girl Forward, an organization that mentors and tutors refugee girls from all over the world who have been displaced and have settled in Chicago.

And the company’s unique marketing strategy has brought the charity much more than money.

In just five years the pair have watched their business bloom into what it is today, with Joe overseeing operations and Steve in charge of marketing. But they say it is the ability to give back to their community that they are most proud of.

Flowers for Dreams is one of Chicago’s Very Own.

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