Our Mission: Flowers that Empower

Southside Blooms, a project of the 501c3 nonprofit Chicago Eco House, was started as a love story by its founders Quilen and Hannah Blackwell. Quilen and Hannah were moved by their Christian faith to relocate to the inner city of Chicago to bring hope and healing to places that are plagued by violence and poverty. This passion for the inner city is what brought them together as a couple and laid the foundation for the work that we do today: creating jobs for vulnerable youth in the floral industry by growing and arranging sustainable flowers! Our blooms signify more than mere aesthetics – they symbolize a commitment to social impact, economic development, and environmental stewardship. Join us in this journey where every petal purchased contributes to a brighter, more sustainable future for our communities.

Local Eco-Friendly Florals

At Southside Blooms, sustainability and local growth are our priorities.

We're committed to eco-conscious practices and avoid using floral foam and agrawool. Instead, we compost all flower waste, reuse floral mechanics, and use compostable packaging.

Youth Empowerment Through Workforce Development

We prioritize youth empowerment through workforce development programs. Our K-8 environmental education program teaches urban farming, sustainability, and social enterprise. Our workforce development program trains young people ages 16-24 as flower farmers and florists.

Sustainable Flowers & Full-Service Wedding & Event Florist

From weddings and corporate events to everyday arrangements, we've got you covered with our full-service flower shop. Pick up a bouquet for your loved one, or sign up for our monthly floral subscription service for fresh blooms all year round.

Community Farms: Regenerative Farming For Resilience

Our farms span 10+ acres in Woodlawn, Englewood, Pilsen, West Garfield Park, Cook County Jail, and Gary, Indiana. Solar-powered and pesticide-free, we transform vacant lots into thriving community spaces, while achieving social and economic goals.

"As emerging leaders in this field we're committed to revitalizing our community and improving economic opportunities for all.

We believe that every petal represents a step forward and we're grateful to have you as a part of this transformative journey.

So welcome to the Southside Blooms family! Together, let's sow the seeds of change and create a brighter future for Chicago's South Side."

Quilen & Hannah Blackwell

Quilen Blackwell
Hannah Blackwell

Why Flowers?

Why flowers? It's a question we often get asked. The answer is simple: flowers make for an incredibly valuable cash crop! The US floral industry is worth over $35 billion annually, and there's a significant market gap for local growers in urban environments.

Shockingly, 80 percent of our country's flowers are imported, so there's certainly room for local blooms to flourish.

Beyond the economics, growing flowers has several additional benefits. Unlike food crops, we don't have to navigate tricky soil testing or worry about adhering to USDA food safety regulations.

So while our blooms may not end up on your dinner plate, we're making a statement in the thriving floral landscape.

We're proud to be a part of it, and can't wait to see what the future holds!

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