Debra Prinzing

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Episode 350: Living a Life with Flowers by embracing the Power of Community, with Kelly and Jesse Perry of Team Flower

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Kelly Perry of Team Flower

Building community is the hallmark of the Slow Flowers Movement, but we are not the only ones who’ve discovered the strength of person-to-person connections.

Whether you love or hate it, even Facebook, through its leader Mark Zukerberg, last year declared it had revised its mission: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

Floral designer Kelly Perry and her husband Jesse Perry are co-founders of Team Flower and Philosophy Flowers and they are also floral community-builders. They live in Boone, North Carolina with their golden doodle named Buster. That’s where Kelly tends a little garden and  writes about what she sees there.

After launching Philosophy Flowers as a boutique floral design business for weddings and events in 2012, she and Jesse started Team Flower in 2014.

A beautiful final evening at the Team Flower Conference in Orlando, which gathered attendees from many states and countries.

They describe Team Flower as:

“A Global Flower Community that Spans Generations, Experience Levels and Areas of Expertise, not to mention a Desire to Learn.

Team Flower offers a number of digital and in-person learning platforms for floral education and training.

While Kelly handles all of the content development and classes at Team Flower, Jesse handles all things tech.

He grew the Team Flower online presence to engage with participants in all 50 states and 98 countries.

Jesse’s most recent research and implementation project revolves around SEO tools for the Team Flower members.

Kelly and Jesse Perry, captured during a lighthearted moment at the Team Flower Conference.

Kelly wrote this on the Team Flower web site:

Kelly shares her insights and answers audience questions at the Team Flower Conference.

“Like you, I’ve enjoyed beauty for a long time.  My earliest recollection of creating a flower arrangement was in the sixth grade. We had an event called the “Friendship Etiquette Banquet” and the girls were to wear paper flower corsages.  I thought this needed an upgrade so I led the crew in creating silk flower corsages. Very fancy.

Another early flower memory was in seventh grade.  My science project was “What floral preservative will keep a carnation fresh the longest?”  The winner was Floralife, in case you were curious.

Shortly after my science project I started a cake decorating business called “Kelly’s Cakes.”  I made cakes for everyday occasions and weddings all through middle and high school and occasionally in college until I “retired” after my own wedding.  During this time, I was interested in a fashion career so I created dresses for special occasions in my high school home economics class, and I worked at a boutique bridal store.

In college I studied Fashion, Interior Design, Event Planning and Entrepreneurship until the economy collapse in 2007.  I decided to shift course just a little bit and added education to my degree.  The first lesson I taught in my education class was called “The Elements and Principles of Design.”  I practically floated out of that class and remember thinking, “If I could find a way to just teach that lesson for the rest of my life, I would be SO happy.”  It combined everything I loved — fashion, interiors, business, event design, art and education.

After student teaching and our wedding I started a job as a corporate event planner.  After about two years of that I felt like it was important to make a change, but I didn’t know what that would look like.  I had never even thought about a career in flowers before, but realized rather quickly this was it!”

See a recent video that Kelly and Jesse posted in the free content section of Team Flower:

I loved spending time in person with Kelly and Jesse at the Team Flower Conference. Here, Kelly and I pose in front of the very creative flower wall, al fresco style.

There’s so much more, and I know you’ll enjoy our conversation, recorded long-distance over Skype last week.

We touch on their stories and what led them to create Team Flower, as well as what it’s like to run a business together as a couple.

It’s not surprising that there is an aligned spirit and common thread between Team Flower and Slow Flowers.

The next Team Flower Conference is scheduled for March 4-6, 2019 in Waco, Texas — and the program and registration details will be announced later this summer.

Follow the links below to learn more, including free content available to visitors to Team Flower, as well as details on workshops, online learning and upcoming live events.

Here’s how to connect with Team Flower, Kelly and Jesse:

Find Team Flower’s extensive video content — FREE to watch!

Read Team Flowers articles

Listen to Team Flowers Podcast

Find Team Flower on Facebook

Follow Team Flower on Instagram

See Team Flower on Pinterest

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded 319,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening, commenting, liking and sharing! It means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.

The new platform features clean graphics and easy-to-use navigation for desktop, smart devices and mobile.

This past week has been overwhelming for me, but in a very good way.

On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of Slowflowers.com, I announced the launch of our new, upgraded Slowflowers.com – version 2.0 on May 16th. Of course, there were a few bugs to work out and I’m sure we’ll find more because that’s what happens when a non-tech gal like me endeavors to live in the tech world! I covet your support and beg for your patience as the new version settles into a new level for Slow Flowers. Please come over to the site and check it out!

Another piece of news to share today is our winner of the Slow Flowers Summit Dream Designer Package — that was our May ticket promotion.

The names of all of you who registered for the Slow Flowers Summit were added to a drawing for an invitation to join me on Sunday evening, July 1st at an exclusive gathering with Laura Dowling, author and former White House Florist.

Our winner is Gloria Collins of GBC Style — Congratulations, Gloria! I am excited you’ll join me at this private event to benefit the AIFD Foundation. It will be unforgettable

And if you’ve been thinking about attending the Slow Flowers Summit, grab your ticket now — it’s just five weeks away! The Summit promises to be a fantastic day of networking, inspiration and personal growth. I can’t wait to see you there!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded 319,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening, commenting, liking and sharing! It means so much.

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Horizon Liner; Hash Out
by Blue Dot Sessions

SLOWFLOWERS.COM Unveils New 2.0 Online and Mobile Platforms

Monday, May 21st, 2018


SLOWFLOWERS.COM MARKS FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS LAUNCH
WITH NEW 2.0 ONLINE AND MOBILE PLATFORMS

Debra Prinzing’s SLOWFLOWERS.COM, a free online directory
to find American flowers, famers, designers and retailers
reveals new look and functionality

SEATTLE, WA (May 21, 2018) — In conjunction with the fourth anniversary of Slowflowers.com, founder Debra Prinzing unveiled Slowflowers.com 2.0 – a visually updated and user-friendly web site for consumers in search of American-grown flowers.

Since its launch in 2014, Slowflowers.com has provided floral consumers with a one-stop address for “slow” flowers and foliage, wedding and event designers and myriad options for gifting local and seasonal flowers. Participation among floral professionals has grown from 250 vendors to more than 700 vendors across the U.S. and Canada. The site averages 29k unique users and 191k page views annually.

The new platform features clean graphics and easy-to-use navigation for desktop, smart devices and mobile.

“With the upgrade, I believe the Slow Flowers Community will experience higher engagement and interaction with floral consumers,” Prinzing said.

“I started Slowflowers.com with a simple mission, one that continues to be as important today as it was when the idea for this project originated five years ago:

To promote American-grown flowers, to make it easy for flower consumers to connect with florists, shops, studios and farms who provide American-grown flowers, and to encourage truthful and transparent country-of-origin labeling in the floral industry.

“My goal with the project is that when someone wishes to purchase or send flowers, they stop and ask themselves: Can those flowers be American grown? Slowflowers.com provides that answer.

Prinzing redesigned Slowflowers.com 2.0 with Robert Meador of Seattle-based Metric Media, creator of the original site. All the favorite features carried over to the new platform, including easy-to-search tools for finding vendors in several floral categories, including retail flower shops, studio florists, wedding/event designers, and farm-direct producers. Wholesalers of American floral and foliage product, as well as farms and florists who ship flowers and arrangements overnight – anywhere in the U.S. – are included. All members of Slowflowers.com pledge to supply their customers with local, regional and American-grown flowers.

“We added mobile functionality to serve consumers and upgraded account/dashboard experience for our members,” Prinzing continued. “Our members manage their own content, listings and pages, so ease of use is important.”

The customer “review” feature was originally only a benefit for Premium Level members. With 2.0, Standard Level members now can invite their customers and clients to post reviews. “This is an important feature that adds value for members and consumers alike,” Prinzing added.

Ongoing support from Slowflowers.com’ floral and green industry sponsors and hundreds of subscribing members made the upgrade possible. Sponsors include Florists’ Review magazine, Longfield Gardens, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Syndicate Sales, Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and Certified American Grown.

### 

About Debra Prinzing:

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that stimulates consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases.

Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the online directory to American grown farms, florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers. Each Wednesday, approximately 2,500 listeners tune into Debra’s “Slow Flowers Podcast,” available for free downloads at her web site, debraprinzing.com, or on iTunes and via other podcast services. She is the author of 10 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet. 

About Slow Flowers:

Slowflowers.com is part of a multichannel brand producing content that promotes American flowers and the people who grow and design with them. The Slow Flowers Movement began as a response to the disconnect between humans and flowers in the modern era. It aspires to reclaim the act of growing flowers, recognizing flower farming as a relevant and respected branch of domestic agriculture. Slow Flowers connects consumers with the source of their flowers and believes that the value of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown flowers is heightened when there is transparent labeling of all botanicals sold to consumers and florists.

 

 

Episode 349: Finding a Market for Your Flowers with Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Bethany Little, photographed at the recent Whidbey Flower Workshop, wearing the fanciful headpiece she designed during Susan McLeary’s wearables session.

Before I turn to today’s awesome guest, Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co., I want to share two big news items.

First, this week marks the 250th consecutive episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast, a major milestone in Podcastland where the average podcast only lasts 7 episodes.

In total, since airing my first episode on July 23, 2013, which for some reason I decided to assign as number 100 (thus the odd synch-up of today’s episode 349), I have hosted and have produced an original Slow Flowers Podcast episode every week for 250 weeks.

That is pretty awesome, folks.

And I thank you so much for loyally joining the conversation. In fact, this podcast has been downloaded more than 317,000 times by listeners like you! It is an honor and a humbling experience know you’re listening in each week – our listeners are an essential part of the conversation!

Here’s to the next 250 episodes! We know there are many more voices to hear and stories to tell and I want to bring them to you right here at the Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing.

The NEW Slowflowers.com — about to relaunch as a celebration of the site’s 4th anniversary!

Our second piece of Big News involves the online directory – slowflowers.com. Four years ago this week, on May 12, 2014, I announced the debut of Slowflowers.com.

I said this at the time: “Slowflowers.com is a sister project to this podcast — a free, online directory of American-grown flowers and the designers, shops, studios and farms who source those blooms.”

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

I continued:

“The mission of Slowflowers.com is simply this:

To promote American-grown flowers, to make it easy for flower consumers to connect with florists, shops, studios and farms who provide American-grown flowers, and to encourage truthful and transparent country-of-origin labeling in the floral industry. 

My goal with this project is that when someone wishes to purchase or send flowers, they stop and ask themselves: Can those flowers be American grown? Slowflowers.com provides that answer.”

The directory began with 250 domestic floral resources listed. Today, that list has grown to 725 members — and my goal with your help, continues to be growing that list to one thousand!

Perfectly timed to coincide with the 4th birthday of Slowflowers.com, this week I am unveiling a brand new Slowflowers.com 2.0 – a visually updated and more user-friendly web site for those who visit the consumer-facing side; and a more functional machine for members who interact with the admin and database side to manage your content.

I have invested considerable time and finances to create Slowflowers.com 2.0, with a fresh, new aesthetic and easy-to-navigate user experience. Look for it soon!!

Take the Pledge!!!

And finally, if you have always considered yourself a “supporter of Slow Flowers,” but have never joined, now is the time to put your values into an actionable gesture and do so. We welcome you to our growing and vibrant community of kindred spirits – flower farmers, floral designers, farmer florists, wholesalers, retailers and consumers of flowers.

I’ll have much more news to share with you as we continue to improve all the facets of Slowflowers.com.

I definitely want to thank Bob Meador of Metric Media for his ongoing involvement in the creation, maintenance and caretaking of this digital project.

As I find myself so often saying . . . I’m a journalist, not a business person. My path to creating the Slow Flowers community and content channels has been passion-driven more than entrepreneurial. With continual improvement in the platform, we’re creating a dynamic brand with which floral consumers and the floral industry wants to engage – and I’m stretching my business know-how in doing so.

Bethany with just-harvested lavender

It’s fitting to share today’s conversation with my guest Bethany Little because she and her husband Charles Little are veteran flower farmers and huge supporters of the Slow Flowers cause.

This episode was recorded last month when Bethany and I spent a few days together at the Whidbey Flower Workshop hosted by Tobey Nelson.

I was there to teach creative writing during the workshop’s opening session after which Tobey graciously invited me to stay with the group of instructors and students for two consecutive days.

Bethany was there as both a student and sponsor, bringing hundreds of beautiful flowering branches from hers and other Oregon flower farms to be employed by Joseph Massie and his students for a few breathtaking, large-scale installations.

You may recall that Bethany’s husband, the one and only Charles Little, appeared on this show a few years back.

Charming and inviting — the farm stand sign at Charles Little & Co.

I was in Eugene, Oregon, visiting friends and lined up a stop at the Charles Little HQ on Seavey Loop Rd. Bethany was out of town that weekend, so I zeroed in on Charles’s story –a wonderful narrative of a sustainable agriculture pioneer whose 30 years of flower farming set the stage for so much of which is happening today in our slow flowers world. Follow this link to that episode from August 2015, called “Grower Wisdom,” for part one of this story.

Bethany Little leading a tour of Charles Little & Co.

Now, you’ll hear part two of the story – Bethany’s insights on flower farming and on creating a viable marketplace for those flowers.

Scenes from Charles Little & Co., including Remy, one of the two canine members of the family, an Australian cattle dog.

Here’s more about Charles and Bethany’s philosophy, from their web site:

We have lived and worked on 35 acres of the very best river-bottom soil along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River in Oregon for nearly a quarter-century. The crops we raise include flowers and foliage of all kinds; ornamental herbs, grasses and grains, and unique sticks, pods and berries. We send in-season floral materials year-round to wholesalers throughout the United States. Our product is excellent and our service is responsive, friendly and direct. We have been growing specialty cut flowers for more than a quarter-century, and we approach our work with passion and keen observation. We are always trying something new to add to our extensive crops, bringing inspiration to our fields and to our customers.  

Harvest time at Charles Little & Co.

Here’s how to find and follow Charles Little & Co.:

Charles Little & Co. on Facebook

Charles Little & Co. on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining me today as we heard Bethany Little’s story!

I am in awe of all you – intrepid and gifted flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.

I want to remind you about the Dream Designer Package — a ticket promotion that runs through Sunday, May 20th. All May registrants for the Slow Flowers Summit will be entered into a drawing for one spot to join me on Sunday evening, July 1st at an exclusive gathering with Laura Dowling, author and former White House Florist.

This private event benefits the AIFD Foundation and I’m going to bring one of you with me to attend and enjoy a dazzling and unforgettable evening. So if you’ve been thinking about attending the Slow Flowers Summit, this promotion might just be your incentive! The Summit promises to be a fantastic day of networking, inspiration and personal growth. I can’t wait to see you there!

As I mentioned at the top of this show, the Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded 317,000 times and we’ve just hit our 250th episode of this program.

Five years ago, my book “Slow Flowers” was published.

Four years ago, I started the ambitious endeavor to publish and maintain an online directory called Slowflowers.com, which is a free resource to help connect consumers with American grown flowers and the people who grow and design with them.

Three years ago, American Flowers Week debuted, and the fourth annual week-long event American Flowers Week 2018 is almost here. Mark the dates June 28-July 4th on your calendar.

Last year, in 2017, Slow Flowers Journal launched as an online magazine, and soon became a permanent feature in the pages of Florists’ Review each month.

I also launched the Slow Flowers Summit, a one-day mind-meld and gathering for floral progressives. Our second annual Summit is set for June 29th – just around the corner.

What an incredible and rewarding ride it has been — especially to connect with kindred spirits in this journey we’re all taking! The journey to rescue, restore and revive domestic floral agriculture and a floral community focused on transparency and conscious sourcing practices.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs.

Our lead sponsor for 2018 is Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Chapel Donder
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Debra Prinzing, Slow Flowers Pioneer, Wins AHS’s Great American Gardener Award

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

I’m so touched that my friends at Florists’ Review magazine included an article in the upcoming June 2018 issue about the American Horticultural Society recognizing me with its Frances Jones Poetker Award in honor of achievement in the field of floral design.

The award highlights my work advocating for and promoting domestic flowers and recognizes significant contributions to floral design in publications, on the platform, and to the public.

You can read the entire article, “Slow Flowers Pioneer,” written by Jane M. Markley, here.

Episode 348: Farm-to-Retail with Beth Barnett of Larkspur Chicago

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Beth Barnett, farmer-florist and owner of Larkspur, a Chicago-based floral design studio and farm.

Today’s guest, Beth Barnett, is the owner of Chicago-based Larkspur. Her story is fascinating because I think many of you will related to experiencing the pull between growing flowers and designing with flowers.

Beth is deeply involved with both and last week, after a five-year hiatus from retail floristry, she reentered the retail scene in Chicago with a seasonal pop-up shop — and you’ll learn more about that during our conversation.

A freshly-harvested Larkspur seasonal bouquet.

Harvest time at Larkspur’s flower farm.

Beth Barnett has been a fixture on the Chicago floral scene for over 20 years, launching Larkspur with a vision of floral designs that are lush, organic, and bound to the rhythms and textures of nature.  No matter the season, Beth and her team strive to create artful arrangements in tune with natural forms.

Larkspur has been creating beautiful, nature-inspired floral and event designs in Chicago since 1994. What began as a small business specializing in weddings eventually grew into a charming retail shop in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, operating as a favorite of locals for a decade.

Peonies from Larkspur’s Michigan flower farm.

The meadow effect from a field planting of yarrow at Larkspur’s Michigan flower farm.

Farmer-florist Beth Barnett of Larkspur, flowers, design and farm.

Beth’s passion for flowers went beyond design, and in addition to a retail space, in 2008 she began growing flowers on a sustainable flower farm in Buchanan, Michigan.

Specializing in peonies in May and heirloom annuals and perennials all summer long, the Larkspur team continues to honor the farm’s long floral farm history with new, unique heirloom varieties every year.

Today, Larkspur has transformed from a retail shop into a modern timber loft space offering wedding and event design, floral deliveries, farm CSA and flowers & plants for corporate accounts.

Larkspur shares our love of natural, seasonally-inspired design during seminars and classes throughout the Midwest. Larkspur is a proud member of Slow FlowersAssociation of Specialty Cut Flower Growers,  Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce and Green Wedding Alliance.​

Larkspur’s new flower cart at Chicago’s Revival Food Hall.

Revival Food Hall welcomed Larkspur and Beth’s flowers on May 1st.

Beth’s new pop-up retail flower project can be found at Chicago’s Revival Food Hall.

Find Larkspur on Facebook

Follow Larkspur on Instagram

Larkspur Flowers on Pinterest

Larkspur Flowers on Twitter

Harvesting the bountiful floral production at Larkspur’s farm in Michigan.

Larkspur’s seasonal, Michigan-grown dahlias.

Thank you so much for joining me today and meeting Beth Barnett, a longtime Slow Flowers member who is part of the new model of bringing flowers from the field to the bouquet.

There are many similarities between what Beth has accomplished as a veteran florist-farmer with Larkspur in Chicago, and what last week’s guest April Lemly of Kamama Flowers is pursuing on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. And I know there are many other similar stories in the Slow Flowers world that I am committed to bringing to you in the coming season.


I want to remind you about the Dream Designer Package — a ticket promotion that runs through Sunday, May 20th. All May registrants for the Slow Flowers Summit will be entered into a drawing for one spot to join me on Sunday evening, July 1st at an exclusive gathering with Laura Dowling, author and former White House Florist.

This private event benefits the AIFD Foundation and I’m going to bring one of you with me to attend and enjoy a dazzling and unforgettable evening. So if you’ve been thinking about attending the Slow Flowers Summit, this promotion might just be your incentive! The Summit promises to be a fantastic day of networking, inspiration and personal growth. I can’t wait to see you there!

And I’m so happy to tell you that the Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 315,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018

Our lead Sponsor, Florists’ Review  magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:

Lanky; Yarrow and Root
by Blue Dot Sessions

Episode 347: Flowers and Beer with April Lemly of Kamama Flowers and the Flower Bar

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Today’s guest is April Lemly of Kamama Flowers, pictured in the doorway of her new “Flower Bar,” co-located with Peninsula Taproom in Sequim, Washington.

Last week I announced the winner of the Slow Flowers Summit’s ticket sales promotion called the Slow Flowers Luxury Package. Yesterday, on May 1st, I announced the next ticket sales promotion — and I’d love to share it with you here.


Now through Sunday, May 20th, all new registrants for the Slow Flowers Summit will be entered into a drawing for one Dream Designer Package — to join me on Sunday evening, July 1st at an exclusive gathering with Laura Dowling, author and former White House Florist. This private event benefits the AIFD Foundation and I’m going to bring one of you with me to attend and enjoy a dazzling and unforgettable evening.

So if you’ve been thinking about attending the Slow Flowers Summit, this promotion might just be your incentive — check out details and find registration information here. It promises to be a fantastic day of networking, inspiration and personal growth. I can’t wait to see you there!

The Flower Bar space at the Peninsula Taproom in Sequim.

Flowers and Beer (left), including the signature growler with the Peninsula Taproom logo; April and Sean in the doorway (right).

I’m so pleased to share today’s conversation with April Lemly of Kamama Flowers. Through Slow Flowers, we’ve reconnected and renewed a 20-year friendship that began at Seattle Infant Development Center where April was a pre-K teacher and my son Benjamin was one of her 5-year-old students. It is so fascinating to see the journey she has taken from teaching to graphic design and small business consulting to a love of flower growing and floral design. So this is a special episode in so many ways.

When April and I first reconnected in 2014, she and her partner Sean O’Neill were living in Portland, both engaged in other professions. Last summer, they up and moved to Agnew, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, about halfway between Port Angeles and Sequim. They bought land, allowing April for the first time to expand from an urban backyard flower grower to small-scale agriculture. They also opened Peninsula Taproom, which is a fantastic place for connoisseurs of regional beer, wine, cider and food — a true gathering place for locals and tourists, with a fun vibe.

Taproom patrons love the floral-filled surroundings. (photo courtesy Kamama Flowers)

As you’ll hear in our conversation, April has found a way to weave flowers into the culture at Peninsula Taproom. In fact, she has just opened a connected flower studio-classroom-retail space, shared with the taproom. So by day, it’s all about flowers. By night, it’s still all about flowers, but the Taproom patrons are invited to sit at the large work table, including being able to reserve it for groups. And no surprise, many of them pick up a bouquet or bunch of blooms to take home along with a growler of ale.

April (left) planting peonies at her new property in Agnew, Wash.; the “bonus” farm land at nearby Gray Wolf View Farm, where the owner has invited April to expand her operations (right).

April shares this on her “about” page:

Flowers at a recent design workshop, held at the Flower Bar.

We are a small organic flower farm and full service studio located in Agnew, Washington on the beautiful Northern Olympic Peninsula.

I started Kamama Flowers in 2014 from a few urban gardens in Portland, Oregon where we ran a flower CSA, delivering arrangements to local homes and businesses.

In 2017 we moved the farm to Agnew so we could spread out, grow more flowers and be in the peaceful, sunny country-side. In 2018 we are expanding to a surprise retail space!​

Moving from Portland and starting their life in Sequim, has been a lot of hard work with new ground, a new community and a new climate. One of the first things April and Sean did was cover 1,000 square feet in black plastic in order to kill the meadow mix and prep the site for growing organic flowers.

She describes it as “a lovely, flat, south-facing acre with minimal rocks.” She feels lucky that the former dairy farm land is in such good shape. Summer passed and last fall they tilled the soil to about 6 inches. Soil test results revealed that the sandy clay loam needed to be amended with lime, which has already been incorporated before planting dozens of peonies.

April Lemly of Kamama Flowers.

Since moving mid-summer 2017, April enjoyed a lovely wedding season with 4 boutique weddings in gorgeous outdoor settings where Kamama’s organic flowers graced beautiful brides.

She writes this about the name Kamama Flowers: Kamama is the Cherokee word for butterfly. The name is an homage to the strong women in my life; my Grandma, Sara, and my mom, Karen, the women who showed me the peace in the garden.

Thank you so much for joining me today and hearing April’s story of a new chapter that incorporates flower farming, floral design and retail flowers — it’s a vertical floral business model that is proving to be more relevant than ever before.

Find and follow Kamama Flowers at these social places:

Kamama Flowers on Facebook

Kamama Flowers on Instagram

Kamama Flowers on Pinterest

And I’m so happy to tell you that the Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 312,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.


Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018

Our lead Sponsor, Florists’ Review  magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:

Wingspan; Lanky; The Big Ten
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Episode 344: Meet Connecticut-based Wedding & Event Designer Carrie Wilcox

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Jenn and Adam O’Neal of PepperHarrow Farm just announced their first extended Flower Farmer Workshop — and I’ll be there!

PepperHarrow’s farm, flowers and wedding design techniques are featured in this month’s Country Gardens.

Before I introduce you to today’s featured guest, floral designer Carrie Wilcox, I want to share a short audio recording with Jenn and Adam O’Neal of PepperHarrow Farm, based in Winterset, Iowa.

They’re past guests of this podcast and we’re all excited about the new Spring issue of Country Gardens magazine, out on newsstands now, because it features a beautiful article I produced and wrote about the O’Neals — called “Bridal Botanicals.”

We are reuniting this coming September because Jenn and Adam have invited me to join their Flower Farmer Workshop on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9. Check out all the details here — and please join us for two days focused on flower farming, floral design and creative writing to share your stories.

A love for flowers infuses Carrie Wilcox’s bubbly personality!

Okay, Now, please meet Carrie Wilcox. Carrie is a longtime Slow Flowers member and supporter who I was able to spend a few days with recently at the Team Flower Conference in Orlando. We managed to grab 30 minutes for me to record a fun conversation with a very fun-loving woman. Here’s a bit more about Carrie: 

She even wears flowers!

Carrie Wilcox is the owner of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Carrie has been a designer with several flower shops as well as some of the most highly regarded floral and event studios.

In 2012, she earned the European Masters Certification after studying in Bruges, Belgium, and is currently a candidate for the A.I.F.D. designation. Carrie also enjoys entering floral design competitions all over the United States. 

She writes: “For me, flowers are the most simple but expressive things in life. They share in your happiness during festive times and console you in moments of sorrow.  

Some of my most special memories are punctuated with flowers.  

Memories of my grandmother and I picking flowers from her garden to use on the dinner table and the frilly and fragrant lily of the valley from my bridal bouquet when I married the man of my dreams.

A Carrie Wilcox wedding

Flowers have always had a special place in my heart.  Growing up in coastal Fairfield County, Connecticut, the summer was always filled with bushes of electric blue hydrangea and the kaleidoscope of colors brought to life by the tea roses in my mother’s garden.  I’ve been designing and decorating with flowers from an early age, when I joined my mother and sister working at a local flower shop.  Now, I share my love of flowers and including them in all kinds of life events with my own teenage daughter.  I also enjoy sharing my knowledge of the floral industry including decorating with and arranging flowers through teaching and speaking engagements all over New England.” 

Inspiring wedding design by Connecticut-based Carrie Wilcox.

Love this ceiling installation by Carrie, featuring greenery, tulips and votives.

Truly seasonal, dahlias and their companions for a late-summer wedding by Carrie Wilcox.

You can find and follow Carrie Wilcox on Instagram here.

Here is the link to Hanah Silk, a favorite source of Carrie’s for USA-made source for custom-dyed velvet ribbons.

Muddy Feet Flower Farm, one of Carrie’s favorite sources for local flowers.


Thanks so much for joining me today. The Slow Flowers Luxury Package promotion continues now through April 22nd — Earth Day. If you register for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit conference by that date, you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive a $400 gift package.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 303,500 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much. And thank you to Mayesh Wholesale for recently listing the Slow Flowers Podcast in its blog post: “The Floral Podcasts You Should be Listening to Right Now.” We’re included in some great company.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Turning on the Lights; Betty Dear; Tiny Putty
by Blue Dot Sessions

Episode 341: Little Big Farm’s Patricia Doell and her New Jersey-grown flowers

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Patti Doell, farmer-florist and floral force behind Little Big Farm, is today’s Podcast guest!

As you heard last week, I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to preview the venue where the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit will be held on Friday, June 29th — at the Marriott Wardman Park in the nation’s capitol.

Many of you have already registered for the one-day conference at the special rate for Slow Flowers members. To motivate more of you to attend, I have a special announcement.


Beginning today — Wednesday, March 21st, which happens to be the Spring Equinox, and through April 20th, which is Earth Day, everyone who registers for the Slow Flowers Summit will be included in a drawing for a Slow Flowers Luxury Package, which includes a one-year Premium membership and one night’s complimentary lodging at the Marriott Wardman Park during the Summit.

The value of this prize package is $400 — more than double the $195 registration cost to Slow Flowers members.

If you’ve already reserved and paid for your ticket to the Summit, don’t worry because just to be fair, your name will also be included in the Earth Day Drawing. I’ll announce the winner of the Slow Flowers Luxury Package on Wednesday, April 25th.

I commissioned Connecticut botanical artist Ellen Hoverkamp to create our American Flowers Week 2018 image and branding!

Plus, as a thank you to everyone who makes an early commitment to attend the Summit, you’ll receive a special Slow Flowers gift that includes 100 American Flowers Week bouquet labels to adorn your flowers during the campaign AND a beautiful American Flowers Week poster featuring the red-white-and-blue botanical art of Ellen Hoverkamp — perfect for your shop or studio walls. Check out her artwork in today’s show notes.

Find all the details about the Slow Flowers Summit at today’s podcast show notes — And good luck! You might be our one fortunate winner!

Patti and Kevin Doell (left) and one of Patti’s lovely floral crowns (right)

Okay, time to meet today’s guest, farmer-florist Patti Kraemer-Doell of Little Big Farm, a small family flower farm in Blairstown, situated in the foothills of northern Warren County, New Jersey.

Little Big Farm’s primary farming activity is to grow the most beautiful blooms possible without the use of pesticides or herbicides and to serve customers seeking organically grown, locally sourced fresh cut flowers for their weddings, parties, and design activities.

Fresh, seasonal and entirely LOCAL!

While Patti has owned Little Big Farm since 2006, she has been working in horticulture since the mid 1990s when she formed a partnership in a floral landscape design company.

In 1997, Patti took a position at the New York Botanical Garden as the coordinator for the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden where she was responsible for programs that instructed inner-city children and residents how to propagate flowers and vegetables.

How beautiful is this! An aerial view of Little Big Farm, a slice of floral paradise!

Gorgeous seasonal flowers, custom grown and harvested by Patti Doell

In 2002, Patti pursued her long-time interest in farming by taking a position at The Good Hand Farm in Andover, N.J. There, Patti was responsible for assisting in the propagation of certified organic vegetables and managing the farm’s participation in the Union Square (NYC) and Millburn, N.J., farmers’ markets. In 2003, Patti joined the Walnut Grove farm to assist the well-established operation’s production of organically grown vegetables and Christmas trees.

Patti is a member of Slow Flowers, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Foodshed Alliance and Local Harvest.

Slow Wedding Flowers by Patti Doell, in a bouquet and adorning a tiered cake!

Bridal flowers in such a beautiful palette, grown and designed by Patti Doell.

Follow The Little Big Farm onPinterest

Connect with The Little Big Farm on Instagram

Find The Little Big Farm on Facebook

Thanks for joining me today! Don’t forget to check out all the details about our  — Slow Flowers Luxury Package and make sure you’re among the eligible entries who register for the Slow Flowers Summit by April 20th – Earth Day.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 295,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

They are:

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

This week, we welcome a new Podcast sponsor — Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Betty Dear; Horizon Liner
by Blue Dot Sessions

Episode 340 Meet the man who wears The Flower Hat– Montana’s florist-farmer Julio Freitas

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
Julio Freitas_The Flower Hat

Meet Julio Freitas, The Flower Hat — a Bozeman, Montana-based florist-farmer putting his distinct style on the map.

Dahlias are one of Julio’s special ingredients for keeping it local in Montana.

Slow Flowers Summit logo News Update: I recorded this introduction from Washington, D.C., where I spent a few days pre-planning the upcoming June 29th Slow Flowers Summit.

The visit made me even more excited to invite you to join me and our fabulous lineup of speakers at the Summit. Their presentations are tailored to address the progressive floral designer and sustainably-minded growers, shop owners and vendors in our industry.

We’ll gather for an inspiring day of ideas and future-thinking, all in pursuit of a new model to connect more people with the Slow Flowers’ mission.

I’m also grateful to the American Institute of Floral Designers for inviting me to co-locate the Slow Flowers Summit with their annual symposium this summer. AIFD has made it possible for me to bring the Summit to the East Coast by the generous use of a meeting space at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more about getting to the Summit, plus where to stay and what to do before and after our day-of-all-things-slow-flowers.

Before traveling to D.C., I spent three amazing days in Orlando, NOT at one of the more familiar Disney theme parks, but at the first Team Flower Conference.

I owe producers and hosts Kelly and Jesse Perry a debt of gratitude for inviting Slow Flowers to participate in the conference.

I so enjoyed reuniting with several of you, Slow Flowers farmer florists, retailers and designers  — loved our impromptu Slow Flowers Meet-Up with at least 15 in attendance.

At the Team Flower Conference, I participated in a few special activities, including co-presenting with my Florists’ Review colleagues Brenda Silva and Carolina Mojeda and joining the floral design judging team.

Slow Flowers at Team Flower Conference

What a dynamic group of Slow Flowers’ farmer-florists who gathered for a Meet-Up at the Team Flower Conference!

The Flower Hat — Julio Freitas’s memorable branding and logo.

I also recorded a few interviews with people whose personal stories I’ve been wanting to share with you.

The first one is today’s guest, Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat.

The Flower Hat is a luxury custom floral design shop located in Bozeman, Montana.

Established in 2016, The Flower Hat is a culmination of passion, love and talent from owner and head florist, Julio Freitas.

Here’s more about Julio, from The Flower Hat web site:

Julio moved to Billings, Montana, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in the summer of 2006 to start classes at Rocky Mountain College.

After completing his degree in Business Management, Julio spent several years working in the hospitality industry and moving his way up the chain of management.

Although he enjoyed his work there, he found himself yearning to explore a more creative side of himself. After some soul searching, in 2011 he started his career in floral design doing weekly floral arrangements for Harper and Madison, in Billings. He was greatly inspired by the works of Daniel Ost, Jeff Leatham, Jane Packer and many other European floral designers.

While the arrangements at Harper and Madison allowed him to spread his creative wings, Julio eventually realized he wanted to continue to expand his floral designs and he dove head-first into the world of wedding and event floral.

It wasn’t long before word of his passion for flowers spread, and soon he transitioned to floral design full-time. Although his business has evolved over the years under several names, The Flower Hat is his most genuine and inspired labor of love. Most recently, Julio has found his newest passion in flower farming and has grown and harvested hundreds of blooms from his small farm in Bozeman.

Julio’s armfuls of flowers is a joyous and infectious expression of local flowers.

A seasonal bouquet by Julio Freitas

A stunning installation using dried and foraged elements from The Flower Hat

A lovely bridal bouquet by Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat

 

Read about Julio in The Cut Flower Quarterly (Fall 2016)

Follow Julio & The Flower Hat on Instagram

Find The Flower Hat on Facebook

See The Flower Hat on Pinterest

Thanks so much for joining me today. Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 293,000 times – and I’m humbled that you’ve chosen to spend this time with me and the hundreds of amazing guests I’ve brought your way in the past four and a half years.

If you like what you hear, I invite you to do two things: First, post a listener review on iTunes. We have 48 five-star reviews – please add yours!

And second, consider a donation to the Podcast. Production and hosting costs add up and it costs more than $6,000 annually, not counting travel expenses, just to bring you one amazing episode per week. If you’re a flower farmer or floral designer, you can simply show your support by joining Slowflowers.com as a member.

If you’re a gardener and floral enthusiast, I’m grateful for the comments and donations you’ve already contributed – and those amounts are what allows me to drive hours to meet a future guest, and pay for the gas, hotel and meals to make a new episode possible. The link to donate is in the right column of our show notes page. Thanks for your support!

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new monthly Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review.

It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

More sponsor thanks goes to Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

A big bouquet of thanks goes to Longfield Gardens . . . providing home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

And finally, thank you Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. A very special thank you to Andrew for his tireless and loyal support. He shows up and edits this podcast week in and week out — and it’s such a gift to work with him. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:

Molly Molly; Sage the Hunter (Rhythmic)
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Episode 339: Designer & Educator Hitomi Gilliam and her generous floral universe

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Hitomi in her element, while sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm about floral artistry. (c) Colin Gilliam

A signature Hitomi piece (c) Colin Gilliam

I first met Hitomi Gilliam in 2012 when I visited a downtown Vancouver, B.C. floral exhibition called NEOFlora.

As I wrote at the time: I stumbled across the NEOflora badge on Facebook when I noticed that the very talented Arthur Williams, a Denver floral designer and owner of Babylon Floral who is profiled in The 50 Mile Bouquet, posted a comment that he was going to attend and contribute one-of-a-kind designs at the event.

A little digging led me along a trail of links, where I discovered the news that NEOflora was taking place over a seven-day period at the end of October 2012. And as it turned out, I was heading north to Vancouver for a few days with a girlfriend and we made sure to check it out. Here’s a link to the blog post about my visit.

The idea of a group of floral artists coming together to create a pop up flower shop on one of the city’s busiest shopping streets sparked my imagination. What a refreshing way to promote flowers as MORE than a commodity you find at the mass-market retailer or supermarket.

According to Hitomi, “NEOflora was a collaborative association of forward-thinking florists who wanted to appeal to the new consumer who may not be accustomed to buying flowers.”

That’s where I met Hitomi and she agreed to let me shoot a video interview, which you can watch below:

Most of the flowers used for NEOflora, including those featured on the runway, were donated by several members of the United Flower Growers Cooperative, the major wholesale flower auction house based in Vancouver.

When I asked Hitomi about the event’s emphasis on locally-grown flowers, she pointed out that about 90-percent of the flowers used in NEOflora’s pop-up up project were BC-grown. She underscored this point:

“that’s what the consumer is looking for – local & organic”

Recently, a few of my flower friends began pursuing the European Masters Certification, a program launched six years ago by Hitomi and Thomas De Bruyne — and I began to hear more about that exciting professional distinction and the lovely creative connections being made.

Tobey Nelson (left) posted this fun photo of our visit to meet Hitomi at United Floral in Vancouver, B.C. From left: Tobey Nelson, Debra Prinzing, Hitomi Gilliam, and two of Hitomi’s frequent assistants, designers Susanne Law and Brenna Quan

EMC student Tobey Nelson of Tobey Nelson Events and Design, last week’s podcast guest, invited me to travel from Seattle to Vancouver at the end of February to spend a day with Hitomi. Tobey had a notion that Hitomi and I could together bridge our two worlds — and in retrospect, I think she was quite prescient, because by the end of our time together in Vancouver our collective heads were spinning with ideas.

Since I first met Hitomi in 2012, I’ve followed her activities through Facebook and watched all that she’s doing to elevate and professionalize the art of floristry. But other than saying hello last summer when she co-presented with Arthur Williams at the AIFD Symposium in Seattle, I hadn’t be able to spend any time with her.

Hitomi teaching the Creative Design Master Class at United Floral’s new education center. (c) Colin Gilliam

A thoroughly seasonal bouquet by Hitomi (c) Colin Gilliam Note the uncommon ingredients!

Our road trip offered a rare chance to take a 48-hour work-cation totally devoted to flowers and our mutual passion for flower growing and designing. And it was also rare that Hitomi was home in British Columbia, where she lives on beautiful Bowen Island, and where her many educational projects are based as part of Design 358, an event and education business she co-owns with Colin Gilliam, her talented son.

We met up with Hitomi at the new education center that’s inside the United Floral building in an industrial area of Vancouver. The giant complex is also home to the famed Dutch-style flower auction, a cooperative of BC floriculture growers who operate as United Flower Growers.

East-meets-West, expressed in Hitomi’s unique, architectural floral art (c) Colin Gilliam

Hitomi was setting up for a three-day Creative Design Master Class that attracted students from all around North America eager to study mechanics, techniques and floristry in a small-group setting. With Tobey’s help, Hitomi was getting things ready, and I managed to grab about 30 minutes of an audio conversation to introduce you to Hitomi. While she is a luminary in the world of floral design, Hitomi is deeply rooted in horticulture and she works closely with growers and flower farmers, which I believe greatly influences her art and her platform.

More amazing work by Hitomi (c) Colin Gilliam

Listen closely to details about the upcoming series of Hitomi’s educational events taking place in a few weeks as part of her partnership with United Floral. I’ll have all the details and links at today’s show notes at debraprinzing.com — and who knows? You might have time to take a trip to Vancouver to participate or observe the PNW Design Competition on March 17th, a qualifier event for the 2018 Gateway to the America’s Cup, with one U.S. and one Canadian winner selected. And stick around for “In The Making,” an inspirational series of wedding design workshops and a Project Runway-style bridal trends show, March 18-20, also hosted by Hitomi and United Floral.

Teacher, mentor, floral industry leader Hitomi Gilliam (c) Colin Gilliam

Before we get started, here’s a little more about Hitomi, according to her bio:

Hitomi says her biggest pleasure in life is ‘SHARING EVERYTHING I KNOW’!

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese Canadian floral artist, keynote lecturer, demonstrator, educator and a consultant in all aspects of the Art and Business of Floral Design. She is the Creative Director for DESIGN358 (2008). She has guest-designed extensively throughout North America, England, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Bermuda, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Belgium, Korea and India.

Grasses and calla lilies, reinterpreted by Hitomi (c) Colin Gilliam

She owned and operated Satsuki’s Florist in Mission, British Columbia for 28 years. She currently works with her son, Colin Gilliam in an Event & Education business, DESIGN358 which was established 8 years ago.

Hitomi has lectured at Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Chicago Botanical Gardens, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens (Nashville), Museum of Fine Art Boston, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Bouquets to Art (San Francisco), Houston Museum of Fine Art, New Orleans Museum of Fine Art, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Honolulu Academy of Art, Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse), The Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), Longwood Gardens, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (Richmond,VA), Detroit Institute of Arts, Vero Beach Museum of Fine Arts, The Strong Museum (Rochester, NY), North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC) and Columbus Museum of Fine Art. She has also presented at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Newport Flower Show and Singapore Garden Festival. Hitomi is the founding organizer of the Annual ‘Survival of the Creative Minds’ Conference in Taos, New Mexicol

Two more beautiful botanical pieces by Hitomi Gilliam (c) Colin Gilliam

Follow Hitomi at these social places:

Find Hitomi on Facebook

Watch Hitomi’s YouTube Channel

Follow Hitomi on Instagram

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 290,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

If you haven’t received the March issue of our Slow Flowers Newsletter, you can find a link here. In this edition, you’ll find interviews with all the presenters at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit on Friday, June 29th in Washington, D.C.

And you’ll learn about Slow Flowers in the News, the Slow Flowers Podcast archive for last month, the upcoming Slow Flowers events that you can attend, and more. Be sure to follow the Subscribe link if the newsletter isn’t currently landing in your in-box.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column of our home page.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

They are:

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new monthly Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.