Job Opportunity with Pollen!

Pollen is hiring!  We are looking for someone to come in for a few hours on Monday mornings to pull the studio back together after our weekend events.  This is an entry level position that does not require floral design experience, just a love of washing buckets!  ;)  Please see the job description below (printable pdf at end).

Job Description—Seasonal Studio Assistant

Position: Seasonal Studio Assistant. This is an entry level position and not a floral design position.

Company: Pollen, Inc.
Contact: Lynn Fosbender, owner.
About the Company: Pollen is an eco-friendly floral design company specializing in custom florals for weddings and events.
Web: |

Job Term: Seasonal. Typically the season runs from March – December.
Time Commitment: 4 – 6 hours/week. Mondays, starting at 10AM.  Position is open immediately.
Compensation: $10/hour, with a review after 3 months.
Location: 2918 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618  (Near the Logan Square Blue Line el stop.)


  • Generally, keeping the studio clean and organized and helping with preparation for upcoming events.
  • Washing lots and lots of vases and buckets.
  • Returning items to their designated spaces.
  • Cleaning the workspace, consultation area, and bathroom.
  • Prepping containers and other items for upcoming events.
  • Caring for plants.
  • Responsibilities and hours may increase if mutually agreeable.

Pollen’s Core Values: Respect. Efficiency without shortcuts. Minimizing waste.

Necessary Skills:

  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Ability to stand for hours, including at a sink hand-washing buckets and vases.
  • Ability to balance efficiency and attention to detail.
  • Did I mention attention to detail? Very important.

Necessary Qualities:

  • Positive attitude.
  • Ability to work quickly.
  • Attention to detail. Very important.
  • Enjoy cleaning and organization.
  • Pride in a job well done. Even when no one is looking.

To apply: Please email a resume to by Wednesday, March 25, 2015. No phone calls, please.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Wedding Profile: Salvage One Winter Wedding in Blush and Gold

As winter comes around again, I’m reminded of the streak of lovely winter weddings we had at Salvage One early this year!  Many thanks to Anna Guziak for the beautiful photography and to Five Grain Events for their seamless organization of Lauren and Kevin’s wedding.  Their wedding flowers and decor had a vintage, elegant look, in blush, champagne, ivory, gold and silver.  The bridesmaids wore amazing sequined dresses and carried coordinating but not identical bouquets in ivory, champagne, blush, and grey.

Blush and ivory winter bridal bouquet with peonies, anemone, astilbe, garden roses

Blush bridesmaid's bouquetBlush bridesmaid's bouquet with garden rosesBlush and grey bridesmaid's bouquetBlush and grey bouquets with sequin wedding dresses.Winter boutonniere with berries and rosemary.

Mercury glass decor on wedding escort card table.

Salvage One wedding ceremony space with candles down the aisle.

The reception flowers were a soft, gardeny mix of flowers, berries, and foliage in mercury glass containers.  A mix of candles and vintagey containers played off of Salvage One’s eclectic aestetic.

Wedding flowers centerpiece at Salvage One.Vintage tablescape at Salvage One winter wedding.Mercury glass candles at Salvage One winter wedding.Salvage One winter wedding reception flowers

Which Weekends Book First for Wedding Florists?

What a busy summer!  On top of each weekend’s wedding work, I’ve been meeting with potential 2015 clients to talk about their wedding flowers.  We’re beginning to fully book up for some weekends for next year, which got me to thinking that I could provide some insight as to which weekends typically book up first for wedding florists.  If you’re planning a wedding any of the following weekends, you’ll want to secure your florist as soon as possible.

Valentine’s Day Weekend (February 13, 14, or 15th, 2015)

This is the busiest weekend of the year for many florists.  Because of the volume of business and potential issues with both availability and quality of product, florists may be hesitant to take on wedding work on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Some retail florists do not take any wedding work that weekend, which makes it more difficult to find an available florist.  More business is directed to event florists (who do just weddings and events, not individual gift deliveries), which makes event florists book up more quickly, too.

Mother’s Day Weekend (May 8, 9, or 10th, 2015)

Just as with Valentine’s Day, this is an extremely busy weekend for retail florists, so some will intentionally not book weddings or will book fewer weddings than on a typical weekend.  This, compounded with the start of wedding season, makes Mothers’ Day weekend one that books up quickly.  We’re already fully booked that weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend (May 23, 24, or 25th, 2015)

Any long weekend will be a popular weekend for weddings.  The more popular the weekend, the more quickly all types of wedding vendors will book up.

4th of July Weekend (July 3,4, or 5th, 2015)

Same reason as Memorial Day weekend

Labor Day Weekend (September 5, 6, or 7th, 2015)

Same reason as Memorial Day & 4th of July weekends.

And any catchy number sequences.  This year we have 12/13/14.  I haven’t come across any yet for next year, but I’m sure there’s something!

And I’m seeing an increase in popularity of September weddings.  Did I miss any popular weekends???  Feel free to chime in in the comments.

Annual Client Appreciation Workshop

Pollen is hosting our annual Client Appreciation Workshop on Sunday, August 10th, from 11AM – 1PM.  Drink mimosas, learn about floral design, and create an arrangement to take home!


This workshop is exclusive to past and current Pollen clients and their guests. The introductory two-hour class, taught at Pollen’s floral design new studio location, will cover:
– flower selection,
– cut flower care, and
– the basics of floral design.

Instruction will have an emphasis on working with seasonal farmers market flowers.  After some instruction and demonstration, each student will design a floral arrangement to take home. Students are encouraged to bring the vase they use most often, but please only bring vases that are under 10″ tall and with openings 5″ wide or less.  I’ll be demonstrating in a 5″ x 5″ cylinder.  These same cylinders will also be available if you don’t have a favorite vase you’d like to learn to work with.

To offer the most interactive instruction possible, the class is limited to 16 people, and therefore clients are limited to one additional guest.  Registration is $12 per person, and includes instruction, flowers, and the use of tools.

Tickets are $12 per person (just to insure those who register do attend) and can be found at:

Happy Earth Day!

What better time than Earth Day to explain our sustainable approach to floral design!  I started Pollen specifically to offer an eco-friendly floral design option to couples planning their weddings.  In both our operations and in our sourcing of materials, we operate in as eco-friendly of a way as possible.  It’s been an evolving process, finding workarounds to the traditional ways of doing things as we go.  Here are a few of the things that we are doing differently…

We avoid using floral foam.  Floral foam is a petroleum product, never biodegrades, and contains formaldehyde.  The less of it we are putting out there, the better.  Instead of using foam, we design our arrangements in water, using chicken wire and/or tape if necessary to provide some support to the arrangement.

summer locally grown wedding bouquetWe work with local flower farmers as much as possible.  In the Chicago area, for about half the year we have access to beautiful locally grown product. During the growing season, we work with these local blooms as much as possible.  This means the product doesn’t have to travel as far (less fossil fuel required), we’re supporting the local farming community, and our designs reflect the seasons!

Throughout the year, we have several partners we lean on for our sustainable approach.

Bright Endeavors

I met the folks at Bright Endeavors when Pollen and Bright Endeavors were located in the same building in Ravenswood.  Bright Endeavors is a social enterprise that makes eco-friendly candles and bath products while providing job skills training to women who are at risk for poverty.  They have a votive refill program, where I am able to bring back my votive candles again and again to be filled with soy wax.  (Pssst…They also have products appropriate for wedding favors!)

Collective Resource

Collective Resource swings by each week to pick up our compostable materials.  They transport all of our leaves, stems, and spent flowers to a commercial composting facility. And. yes, Collective Resource offers this service for home food scraps as well.  They can also help you plan a zero-waste event!

Chicago Green Wedding Alliance

Chicago Green Wedding Alliance approved vendorThis group of wedding vendors began as a grassroots effort, formed by myself and a few other like-minded business owners wanting to encourage greener weddings and make it easier for couples to find eco-friendly wedding vendors.  We’ve grown to a membership of 40+ businesses, hosting an annual wedding show as well as other educational and fun events.  This Sunday, April 27, 2014 we’re holding our second annual Wedding Recyclery, a tag sale for couples to sell and buy gently used wedding items.  More info on the Recyclery here.

What’s next as I continue to green the business?  This year, I’m trying out growing a few things right here in our own backyard at Pollen.  Also, I’m going to work harder this year to more consistently find new homes for the flowers we bring back from events.  (If you have an organization that would benefit from slightly used flowers, feel free to reach out.)  Heads up: I’ll be looking for a volunteer to rework our picked-up flowers and coordinate their delivery!

Wedding Profile: Vintage and Gardeny in Muted Shades of Blush and Grey

First and foremost, thanks to the very talented Tim Tab Studios for the gorgeous photos from Paige and Robert’s fall wedding at the Racquet Club of Chicago.  We loved working on this fall wedding for so many reasons: a super sweet couple, loose and gardeny floral design (our favorite style), and we got to work in a beautiful historic venue we had not worked at before.  When Tim Tab Studios generously provided these photos, we had even another reason to love it!  Tim and Bethany beautifully captured our flowers as well as all of the special moments of the day.  Visit the Tim Tab Studios blog post to see more of the lovely details.

The color palette of the flowers was soft, muted tones of blush, peach, ivory, grey, and champagne with pops of coral.  We got to use some of my very favorite flowers of fall: cafe au lait dahlias and coxcomb celosia.

Bride holding her bouquet of flowers in blush, grey, and ivory flowers with with cafe au lait dahlias.

Photo by Tim Tab Studios.

Paige’s bouquet featured amazing locally-grown cafe au lait dahlias as the focal flowers.  Astilbe, bay leaf, jasmine vine, and dusty miller loosened up the bouquet, which was tied with a gorgeous blush satin ribbon that Paige provided.

Bridesmaids' bouquets in peach, coral, grey with black and white striped ribbon. Dahlias, coxcomb, dusty miller, astilbe, and spray garden roses.

Photo by Tim Tab Studios.

 The bridesmaids’ bouquets were in a color palette of muted tones like the bride’s bouquet, but with pops of coral.  Black and white striped ribbon added a graphic touch, and coordinated with the bridesmaids’ black dresses.

Bridesmaid in black dress holding a bouquet in peach, blush, coral, and grey.

Photo by Tim Tab Studios.

Wedding centerpiece in milk glass container.

Photo by Tim Tab Studios.

The centerpieces played off of the historic feel of the Racquet Club.  Vintage milk glass containers displayed loose, gardeny floral arrangements of dahlias, spray roses, scrub ivy,  hypericum berries, and stock.  Check out the adorable birch table number holders!

Bride and groom kissing outdoors under windswept veil.

Photo by Tim Tab Studios.

Personal touches included Robert’s wheat boutonniere, which was a nod to his roots.  Congratulations, Paige and Robert! And thank you for working with us!

2013 Recap: Summer Wedding Flowers

Continuing our recap of last year by season, below are some highlights we captured of our wedding work last summer.  Summer ushers in some of my favorite local blooms such as dahlias, coxcomb, and cosmos.  Some of my favorites from the neighboring seasons are also available, such as peonies from spring and berried branches from fall.

White and green summer floral centerpiece.

Summer gardeny centerpiece with hydrangea, roses, ranunculus, and cosmos.

Summer focal floral arrangement.

Summer focal floral arrangement with hydrangea, viburnum berries, roses, and cosmos.

Summer bridal bouquet.

Summer bridal bouquet with hydrangea, ranunculus, dahlias, and roses.

Summer centerpieces at South Branch Tavern

For longer tables, a pair of arrangements down their length is more appropriate than a single centerpiece. These tables at South Branch Tavern were decorated with low and lush arrangement in white, featuring hydrangea and peonies.

Colorful summer centerpieces.

These bright and cheerful centerpieces at Uncommon Ground decorated the tables. Summer bloom such as sunflowers, hydrangea, and cornflowers provided a pop of color.

Closeup of colorful summer floral arrangement.

Closeup of summer floral centerpiece in a mason jar.

Terrarium with succulents and sunflowers.

For the head table, we created terrariums with succulents and a sunflower, which the mothers of the bride and groom kept as a memento of the wedding day.

Escort card table with vintage bottles and wheat grass.

A variety of elements comprised the tablescape for the escort card table at this wedding at Room 1520. Vintage bottles with blooms and vintage boxes with wheatgrass added a cozy touch.

Summer corsage.

Summer corsage in purple and orange with lisianthus, rosemary, and gomphrena.

Summer boutonniere with succulents, berries, and rosemary.

Summer boutonniere with succulents, berries, and rosemary.

Summer wedding bouquet in coral, yellow, and blue.

Summer wedding bouquet in coral, yellow, and blue with coxcomb, dahlias, tansy, blue thistle, and feverfew.

Compote centerpiece with summer flowers.

This summer wedding centerpiece in a vintage compote included peonies, ageratum, berries, hydrangea, and godetia.

Wedding ceremony flowers at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park.

Wedding ceremony flowers at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park.

Summer wedding ceremony floral arrangement.

Closeup of summer wedding ceremony floral arrangement.

Next up will be a recap of the wedding flowers we did in the fall of 2013.  If you missed it, also check out our previous recaps of wedding flowers from winter and spring.

Pollen Joins Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book!

We’re excited to announce that Pollen has joined Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book, an invitation-only directory of wedding vendors, handpicked by Style Me Pretty.  Our portfolio conveniently lists all of the Style Me Pretty blog posts to which we’ve contributed, a photographic sampling of our work, and how to get in touch.  We’re excited to be a part of the SMP Little Black Book community!

Style Me Pretty Badge


Support Local Florists for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.  After 10 years working for others in retail floral, I gotta say, I don’t miss it.  Well, maybe a little.  But we don’t do Valentine’s Day at Pollen.  Just full-service weddings and events.

Today, I changed Pollen’s answering machine message to say that we don’t do gift deliveries.  Answering machine, you ask?  Yep, answering machine.  I got a land line when we moved the studio.  The anxiety of having my cell phone ring on a Sunday was starting to get to me.  (Should I answer?  Shouldn’t I?)  So I got a land line.  Unfortunately, the phone number I got with the land line belonged to a restaurant that too-recently shut down.  I should start selling pizzas on the side, with all the calls I get for food orders.

I’ll be honest, I’m going to be screening calls this week, especially on Friday.  If you want to reach me this week, send a message through the contact page here, email me, or call my cell phone if you have the number.

As I was saying, we don’t do Valentine’s Day, but I highly recommend you work directly with a florist located in the area that you would like delivery.  I while back, I provided the reasons why.  Here are some of my favorite local retail flower shops (in alpha order):

I love our floral community.  Lots of very talented florists to choose from in the area!

Indie Wed 2014

We were excited to participate on once again in Indie Wed, held on Saturday at the Ravenswood Event Center!  Indie Wed is “THE alternative to traditional wedding expos.”  Traditional wedding expos are not our thing, so we’re happy to have this opportunity to meet potential clients who also have a more independent spirit.

Pollen's 2014 Indie Wed display

Pollen’s 2014 Indie Wed display

Amanda joined me (Lynn) again to person our booth.  Our grey backdrop was accented with flowering branches framing the structure.  On display, we featured three different wedding looks, with a centerpiece and bouquet for each.  All three were in our signature gardeny style, some more whimsical than others!

Bouquet in purple, orange, and pink, with Dark Milva roses, purple lisianthus, scabiosa, allium, and jasmine.

Bouquet in purple, orange, and pink, with Dark Milva roses, purple lisianthus, scabiosa, allium, and jasmine.

One look was gardeny and bright, in tones of purple, orange, and pink.  Ornamental kale, dahlias, and roses were the focal flowers, with scabiosa and hanging amaranth adding interest.  I created a loose, tall piece in a clear vase, as well as a bouquet in a a complementary style.

Another vignette was soft, romantic, and vintage-y, in a muted color palette of grey, peach, and ivory.  A low centerpiece of spray roses, dusty miller, amaryllis, and anemone in a gold mercury glass compote was accompanied by a bouquet, boutonniere, and mercury glass votives.

Centerpiece with artichokes

Centerpiece with artichokes

The third set was a bit more dramatic, with artichokes, ranunculus, and scented geranium in a dark, rich color scheme.  The centerpiece’s container was a bronze footed urn.  I ended up wearing the boutonniere I made for this vignette.  I unintentionally wore an outfit that matched it quite perfectly!

Thanks to all who stopped by!  If you missed us at Indie Wed, we’ll be at Committed at the end of the month.