PILSEN — Despite the frigid winter temperatures, a verdant oasis of flowers and plants has sprouted to life in Pilsen.
Black Rabbit Shop at 1800 W. 18th St. — tucked just north of 18th on Wood Street — is now open and offers an assortment of flowers, plants, gifts and stationary.
The shop offers “visually striking” plants that customers might not find at other floral shops, said Black Rabbit owner Rose Hoffeld, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years.
Hoffeld spent years working at other flower shops across the city — including City Enchanted Gardens Florist in Tri-Taylor — before opening one of her own. She said the process of creating arrangements allows her to combine her artistic creativity with the natural beauty of plants and flowers.
“I love design. I love using the beauty of plants and flowers and seeing how they are part of people’s stories and special occasions,” Hoffeld said.
Black Rabbit sells single-stemmed roses and flowers for $2-$6, as well as floral arrangements starting at $25.
The shop also has cacti and succulents starting at $3, and larger plants like peperomias ($8) and red aglaonemas ($22).
Gifts and stationary at the shop — including postcards, notebooks, pens and handmade herbariums — dried plants suspended in mineral oils — range from $3 to $15. Black Rabbit offers a 15 percent discount on station items to students, too.
After noticing the vacant retail space in her neighborhood last fall, Hoffeld jumped at the chance to open the small flower shop. With the help of partner Jesse Pomeroy, the pair spent three months working on the storefront.
They DIYed much of the shop — from painting the walls and building shelving and a terrarium to display plants, to sewing curtains and creating a website, she said.
“We really did put together this entire shop by ourselves,” she said.
Since opening in mid-January, Hoffeld said the local florist community has really helped her get the indie shop off the ground.
“My boss [at City Enchanted Gardens] gave me a lot of motivation to do it,” Hoffeld said.
Pomeroy, who is helping Hoffeld run the shop, said the shop’s most popular buy is its handmade herbariums.
In the future, Hoffeld aims to partner with other Pilsen artists to feature their work on postcards sold in the shop.
Hoffeld also wants to host workshops on flower arrangement at the shop, and if all goes well, she hopes to offer a paid internship for local students interested in horticulture in the future.
Despite the long hours, opening the flower shop was a dream come true, she said.
It’s a lot of work but I love it,” she said.
The shop is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon-6 p.m. on weekends.
Black Rabbit is hosting a Valentine’s Day-themed pop-up event from 7:30-10 p.m. Wednesday at Low Rez Brewing, 2101 S. Carpenter St.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.