We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra Stadnicki and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think without taking risks, a person will feel a false sense of security. Taking a risk is scary, but for me hiding in fear would be a much worse option. Some of the risks I took as a young adult helped me identify who I am and who I hoped to become. It took a lot of soul searching to get to a place of contentment. I found that the more I pushed myself through the fear or right into the thing I was worried about, I’d get the result I wanted and the next goal would be easier to reach. I pushed myself to find the life that brings me joy, creativity, flexibility and enough money to live a decent life. Flowers are these amazing creatures I get to spend most of my time with both in nature and in the studio. I used to talk about becoming a florist or artist when I was a kid, I had a rough idea and it seemed like a clear path, but it took me all the risks and facing my fears to get myself here.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My floral pieces begin with some ideas around color and texture. I like to reflect my surroundings and I’m often inspired by whatever is abundantly growing in the city. There’s a seasonal aspect to my work in the form of invasive species and forgotten trees commonly found in overlooked areas. The humble beauty found in everyday urban life mixed with pops of flavor from warmer climates, offers the dream fantasy that is in my brain. I’ve been cultivating a very small farm featuring some of my floral favorites, along with lesser known edible herbs and flowers. Last summer marked some wonderful collaborations with innovative chef friends that made anything from epic cakes to vinegars and tinctures with my locally grown and ethically foraged finds. I put a lot of thought, love, and energy into every piece I create. My background in art seems to continually inform my approach to flowers. Everything I work on becomes conceptual, there’s always something symbolic in there. Flowers have provided me the honor to help people stay connected during the roughest of times, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would probably offer a chill bonfire moment in my backyard upon your arrival. We’d enjoy homemade ginger hot toddies from a thermos and roast sausages over the fire. The next day, lunch at La Chaparrita for my favorite tacos and tepache. We’d check out a few thrift stores and probably walk around Pilsen. Some downtown adventure would have to be in there, along with the architectural tour on the river. A lovely beach hang and nature walk at 31st street beach. We’d probably do a bit of fishing at the park in Little Village at some point. Dinner at Mott St with a nightcap at Rainbo because you are on vacation!! Dancing at Danny’s but RIP. ok I’m getting sad here. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This Shoutout is dedicated to Chicago’s amazing creatives and plant nerds, with a special thanks to my ever supportive friends and patrons who remind me of why I love this work.