“I could never have dreamed that one day I would own a flower shop in downtown Lake Forest,” says Arturo Mar. “But 25 years later, here we are.”
Arturo, owner and founder of Lake Forest’s Lord & Mar, grew up in the great state of Texas before making his way to Chicago more than three decades ago. He fell in love with a storefront in Lake Forest and within a month of moving in, he learned that Gorton Community Center was hosting a gala for 700 people at one of Lake Forest’s lakefront estates.
“I learned that the florist had to back out,” Arturo recalls. “I reached out to the co-chairs and told them that I would design the event for free if they would cover the cost of materials. This gorgeous party put Lord & Mar on the map.”
Arturo established a name for himself, as an artist with a flair for glamorous florals as well as a merchant with an unmatched work ethic.
Most of Arturo’s clients have been with him since almost day one, contracting with him for many of life’s milestones including weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, first communions, and graduations.
Arturo loves that so much of his business is local, but you will see his lovely arrangements all along the North Shore, in Chicago, as well as in other suburban communities like Hinsdale and Barrington.
“I love each client individually and my clients love flowers,” he says. “When they entertain, they go all out. It’s not just one bouquet, it’s flowers galore. And they’re always custom—no two homes, parties, or weddings are ever the same.”
“I work with many interior designers. The expectation is to deliver one-of-a-kind looks that suit their design aesthetic perfectly. The opportunity to have a ‘look’ last year-round by choosing one of my botanically accurate creations is very attractive to designers and their clients.” Artwork, picture frames, beautiful ceramic pieces, and coffee table books are also sourced at Lord & Mar making the boutique a one-stop shop for many occasions.
The award-winning floral mastermind is also the lead design liaison on large-scale events with corporate accounts including Bloomingdale’s and Hyatt Hotels. “My suppliers span the globe: air freighting florals from Holland to sourcing barware and dinnerware from France and England. I work with the best in the industry upholding the luxury requirements that have created the most memorable and exquisite events,” explains Arturo.
A significant portion of Arturo’s business takes place during the winter holidays; from just post-Halloween through Thanksgiving, you will find his team decorating homes from top to bottom.
As Arturo prepares to celebrate the quarter-century anniversary of his Lake Forest business, he reflects fondly on his time in the community. “People always ask me when I’m going to retire and I just can’t think of it,” he says. “I love my clients and they love me back.”
Lord & Mar is located at 836 N. Western Avenue in Lake Forest, 847-295-5456.