Studio Tour: Epoch Floral

Epoch Floral has about as much in common with a neighborhood flower shop as Charlie Trotter’s has with Charlie’s Ale House. While you might enjoy a burger at the latter, the former takes dining to another level altogether. “I don’t go by flower rules,” says co-owner and master designer Mike Hines, who fell into the floral world by chance during a vacation to Rome 15 years ago. When the Biedermeier bouquet Mike purchased at a local flower shop fell apart, the kind owner not only showed him how to fix it but also set him up in an apartment and gave him a two-week job. When Mike returned to the states, he said goodbye to his retail career and started developing his own floral philosophy. Mike and the designers strive to make every single arrangement engaging, surprising and of course, beautiful, but they don’t take requests, which saps inspiration and creativity. (If you hate a specific color, they’ll work with you). And unlike many floral design companies, Mike and his business partner Mikel Laughlin don’t even have a cooler. Epoch’s designers buy fresh flowers every morning, and by 10 a.m. they’re gone – dispersed in chic arrangements to prominent clients such as the Park Hyatt in downtown Chicago. According to Mike, Epoch’s deliveries made one client feel so much better that she quit seeing her shrink. Like his Roman mentor, Mike is passing along his knowledge, instructing weekly classes at Epoch. If you’re too cool for school, order a bouquet. Flowers are one of life’s little luxuries and a natural anti-depressant for the coming winter days. Or any kind of day really. Thanks Mike!

Epoch Floral. 1700 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL. 312.226.2968

Hines created these inspiration vignettes, which change with the season to incorporate new trends, colors and ideas.

Epoch’s space is available for private events. Click here for more information.

Mike Hines as photographed by Epoch designer Justin Weider.

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7 Responses to “Studio Tour: Epoch Floral”

  1. “These are a few of my favorite things….” Fantastic photos. They capture epoch’s intrinsic nature..which is a life style. Thanks!! enjoyed seeing these inspiring ideas!

  2. Really pretty.

  3. Delicious work! After working with a major floral retailer, I have learned to appreciate work that goes beyond what people think they like. This is artistry.

  4. engaging story…….how fortunate for mike that those flowers fell apart.

    amazing artistry with natural products, mike is a gifted man

  5. Hey, Tate – peacock feathers! Seriously, though, these arrangements are truly gorgeous. My fave was the first one, but I really loved all of them.

  6. “While necessity is the mother of invention, imagination is the father.” This quote certainly could be used as the philosophy behind epoch. A huge thanks to Mike Hines for sharing his imagination and inventiveness with us.