“We can imagine it and we can do it,” Diane Szukovathy, Jello Mold Farm & Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Last week I told you about a series of Flower House activities taking place in Seattle with creator Lisa Waud. As I noted, Lisa has been on a West Coast tour which began on January 19th in Seattle, took her to Olympia and Portland, and continues until early next week in California.
As it turns out, I had a scheduled interview be postponed, so today, I’m bringing you a series of clips, short takes and conversations from the various events held at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market when Lisa was here. Please enjoy these sound-bites, beginning with remarks from flower farmer Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm, board chair at the Growers’ Market, as she introduced Lisa Waud’s Wednesday morning lecture.
Diane is followed by Lisa’s introductory remarks; then we’ll jump to several short interviews with designers who took part in a Master Design Class led by Lisa. Thirteen designers teamed up to experience a mini-version of the Flower House installation, creating a massive botanical sculpture within the Market’s walls in just under 4 hours on January 19th.
Led by Lisa, the designers went through the entire process that a Flower House designer probably experienced — from visioning, brainstorming, creative problem-solving and execution. Having watched the process first-hand, I have to say it was nothing less than Spectacular!
One of the fun things Lisa threw into the mix was a series of surprises that added pressure and tested the mettle of the designers, much like the Flower House team endured during the 3 days when they installed the Flower House.
So I played along as a member of the press, who showed up unannounced expecting people to stop what they were doing while I conducted an interview. That was just one of the crazy twists Lisa threw at her students. Another of her surprises was to add a “last minute” delivery of flowering branches — and challenging the designers to figure out how to incorporate those elements into an almost-finished composition.
In the end, well, all I can say is, these designers rose to the challenge and proved that the sum of their parts was far greater than anyone could have individually achieved.
As you hear a series of clips, I will ask each person to introduce herself and her business, followed by a brief series of questions; and then we move onto another group of designers. This patchwork quilt of a podcast episode concludes with a 10-minute wrap-up session, a debrief with Lisa and the 13 designers, as they compare notes about the challenges and results of their time together.
Here is a list all the participants and their social media links — these are women you will want to follow if you haven’t yet discovered them!
Floressence, owned by Anne Bradfield
Terra Bella Flowers, owned by Melissa Feveyear
Splash Floral and Interiors, owned by Lisa Behringer
Columbia City Bouquet, owned by Emily Kopca
Gather, owned by Amy Kunkel-Patterson
Bash and Bloom, owned by Eleanor Blackford
Lola Creative, owned by Emily Ellen Anderson
Camas Design, owned by Erin Shackelford
First & Bloom, owned by Tammy Myers
Smashing Petals, owned by Keita Horn
Melanie Benson Floral, owned by Melanie Benson
Vases Wild, owned by Tobey Nelson
Casablanca Floral, owned by Maura Whalen
Finally, I have to state publicly, that this entire week of events could not have happened so successfully without the leadership and talents of the three staff of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market: Molly Sadowsky, Danielle Bennett, and Agnes Cwalina. They are amazing!
NEWS TO SHARE
I want to thank the flower farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market for surprising me with a huge honor. Here is a link to the Market’s press release.
On January 19th, Slow Flowers hosted a dinner to honor Lisa Waud and to showcase the floral art installation she and her team had installed earlier that afternoon.
At the dinner, Diane Szukovathy took the mic and announced that the farmers had created a new award, called the Growers Choice Award, and that I was the first recipient. Later she told me it was the most fun scheming she’d had in a long time, which puts a huge smile on my face. I truly was astonished to receive this recognition–and the language is most meaningful because it recognizes “outstanding contributions to revitalize the local floral community.”
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Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.
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The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.