SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Floral Microlending with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers (Episode 163)
October 15th, 2014
This episode is dedicated to a sweet little girl named Shylah who’s dealing with some scary medical challenges. Please say a quiet prayer or send your sentiments into the universe for her healing, for her parents and brothers, and for the physicians who are caring for her.
I also want to share a special announcement:
We’ve reached our 400th member to join the Slowflowers.com online directory.
Thanks to Anna Campbell of The FloraCultural Society in Oakland, for listing her urban flower farm, design studio and charming retail shop with our site. I was introduced to Anna by Stephanie Hughes, who I met at a Little Flower School workshop last spring – she’s now a director with The FloraCultural Society.
Expect to hear more from this creative team. I recently visited them in Oakland and have already scheduled a future Slow Flowers podcast episode about Anna’s creative business model, which will run later in the fall.
More than a year ago I hosted Baltimore-based floral designer Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers, aka Lo-Co-Flo, as a guest of this podcast. I’ve been wanting to have Ellen back on the show due in large part to the innovative work she and her team are doing to support American flower farmers, while also promoting their mission to Local Color Flowers’ customers and the media.
Ellen and her husband Eric Moller, along with a savvy design and production team, specialize in weddings & events. They also lead hands-on workshops and classes and are vocal advocates for American grown flowers. I can’t tell you how impressed I am – continually – with all they are doing. And how often I hear from others in the Slow Flowers movement who wish to model their floral businesses on what Ellen and Eric are doing.
A few months back I heard from another florist friend that the duo had begun to invest in “flower futures” with some of their small grower-suppliers. The more I learned about LoCoFlo’s micro-lending program, the more intrigued I was to hear from Ellen myself.
So when I had a chance to meet up with Ellen in August, at a very special field-to-vase dinner that Jennie Love hosted at Love ‘N Fresh Flower Farm in Philadelphia, I grabbed the recorder and asked Ellen for an update.
You will be inspired and her innovative thinking. If you are a florist who is in search of very special and/or hard-to-locate botanicals for your design work, this interview may prompt you to similarly invest in a flower farmer near you.
And if you’re a flower farmer, why not approach your florist-customers and invite them to brainstorm with you about what to grow for next season? Who knows? Maybe that will lead to a collaborative partnership of your own — one in which florists pre-purchase next year’s crops, giving the farmer up-front capital to buy bulbs, seeds and starts — all with the knowledge that those flowers will go for a fair price in the marketplace?
My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at hhcreates.net.