Mike Hines, Co-owner and creative director of Epoch Floral

42 // Co-owner and creative director of
Epoch Floral
From: northern Minnesota
Lives in: Logan Square
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Hines landed in the flower business by accident.

Accidental how? “I was in Rome, and I wanted flowers in my hotel room. I bought a bouquet and took it apart to see how it was assembled, but I couldn’t figure out how to put it back together. So I went back to buy some more. The little old man who owned the shop asked me to stay and apprentice. It’s an emotional business, but it works. I’ve had clients fire their shrinks because getting flowers from me every week makes them happier. It gets me up in the morning.

Oh, really? When? “At 4:30.”

As in a.m.? “I like to roll out of bed and have a cup of coffee when it’s still dark out, when no phones are ringing and no one’s walking through the door. The day has so many possibilities that early. I work in color, but I don’t live in color.”

On teaching floral design: “In Europe, you have to go to school and get licensed to be a florist. In America, people can just roll out of bed and open a flower shop. It’s crazy. So I teach classes: two every Saturday on understanding texture, colors, composition, scale. It’s like cooking. Anyone can cook if you’ve got a great recipe. I’m not going to make a gajillion new clients from it, because these are people who want to do it for themselves. But I support that.”

On cooking: “I’m a great cook, and I love having dinner parties, but I’m sick of all this foodie fuss. I just want something beautiful on my plate that’s simply presented and tastes good. Like meat. If you can make a great piece of meat with a bone in it, you can cook. I had a dinner party last Sunday for eight people. We had a bone-in pork roast. I cooked it. Perfect. Done. When I was growing up, we went to my grandma’s on Sundays at three, and at four, we’d all eat dinner together. It was always roast, always mashed potatoes. Food brings people together. Everyone has to eat.”

On Bikram yoga: “I found Bikram two years ago. I rode my bike over one day on a whim and tried it. I thought I was going to die. I promised myself, If I make it through this first class, I will come back tomorrow. I went back the next day and the next. It’s meditation, basically. You against yourself. The heat is there just to relax you: 105 degrees, 40 percent humidity. It changes your life, it changes your physiology, it changes your body. An hour and a half with all that sweat, and you’re cleansed. And then I go to 7-Eleven and get a Slurpee.” —J.W.


* interested in women   * interested in men

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