“Endorsing small businesses keeps the town whole. This is what it’s all about, supporting one another’s endeavor to make Homewood more beautiful and, in this case, smell lovely too,” said Mayor Rich Hofeld at the Friday, Aug. 19, opening of AJ Blooms Floral Boutiques.
AJ Blooms owners Alecia and Jonathan Pierre and their children joined Hofeld and other village officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the shop’s retail store opening at 18855 Dixie Highway.
The first-time business owners and Homewood residents launched their floral boutique services in February.
“We’ve been technically open since Valentine’s Day. The public could not access the storefront but could schedule event orders through our site and socials,” Jonathan said. “We had our store, but we needed inspections and construction to be finalized. Today marks the store doors officially opened to the public.”
The owners first met at Columbia College in the music program. Jonathan studied music composition. Today he is an associate professor of music production at Prairie State College.
Alecia, who studied vocal jazz music, had a passion for floristry that grew after working for several florists.
“I’ve been a florist for 19 years, freelancing and working for other florists,” she said. “I feel blessed and fortunate to do this with my family. God has blessed us to get our building and shop.”
Opening a shop in Homewood was important for the couple.
“I wanted to open a shop in Homewood,” Alecia said. “It’s home, our kids’ schools are here. I wanted to be within my community, closer to my home and family.”
The retail store opening celebration gave guests a chance to view the floral store’s everyday arrangements, planters, home decor, chocolates, and stuffed animals.
“We help plan weddings and arrange for many events and make proper plans for sympathy arrangements for our customers as well,” Alecia said. “If customers want a specific look, we encourage them to chat with one of us to make a custom bouquet/arrangement. They can call, come in, or visit us online.”
AJ Blooms store hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information on ordering, event planning or other questions, visit AJ Blooms Floral Boutique or call 708-991-2553.