Photography: Courtesy of Amanda Megan Miller Photography

Ending up in the flower business wasn't so much a choice for Janessa Knodt. It was carved in her family tree.

As a kid, she helped make wire ribbons in her grandparent's Manteca, California-based full retail flower shop, Knodt's House of Flowers. Then there was Grandpa Dori's sister's store, Knodt's Flowers. A phone call with Grandma Auggie revealed that Doris and August Knodt's stint selling blooms out of their apartment in 1952 took on the same moniker as Knodt's own shop. Destiny was firmly planted.

Forget Me Knodt (1313 W. Wilson Ave., 773-944-1041) found roots in Uptown last month. Now her own boss, Knodt, a former advertising writer, describes owning a retail space as "living in my own little slice of Mayberry." Now she has enough time to set up weddings, deliver bouquets and boutonnieres, and serve the community (not to mention walk her dog, Maddie, to work every morning.)

Knodt runs her shop with a green mindset and uses lots of wildflowers and organic design methods, letting the flowers be themselves without forcing any into unnatural shapes. Every week she scavenges the flower market for the most unusual varieties. Along with fresh succulents—an easy-to-care-for option for aspiring gardeners—and flowering plants, stationery and assorted gifts are available too—all made in Chicago.

Check out neon greeting cards by Tortoise Belly, state-shaped pillows by Bad Loo Loo, hand-painted henna mason jars by H.Arts Henna Artistry, and bride and groom cake toppers by Lily Red Studio.