Today we welcome back wedding and event florist Kelly Shore, owner of Petals by the Shore, based in Damascus, Maryland. In celebration of our 7th annual domestic floral promotion, American Flowers Week, which runs June 28-July 4th, I invited Kelly to discuss two of her recent projects:
First, the botanical couture ensemble Kelly created for this year’s American Flowers Week collection, which features wax flowers, heathers, serrutia and other South African plants grown by her friends at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in San Diego County.
And second, to update us on American Grown at Home, curated collections of wholesale flowers which she markets through The Floral Source, her sister business.
Kelly has spent the past several years educating herself about domestic flower sourcing. She began in her own backyard, motivated by a desire to support flower growers in her area, many of whom she originally purchased from through local farmers’ markets.
As her involvement in the Slow Flowers movement grew, Kelly’s commitment and awareness expanded. She committed to only sourcing 100-percent American-grown ingredients for her designs. She reached out to flower farms around the country, introducing herself and asking how she could support them. For some, that meant directly selling their flowers to Petals by the Shore. For many, though, that meant suggesting that Kelly encourage conventional wholesale florists in her area to order more domestic product for their coolers.
In response, Kelly began to invest in photography and graphic design to launch her “American Grown at Home” branding through a new channel of her business, called The Floral Source. She says: “The whole purpose of creating curated boxes was not to generate money for myself, but to empower the design community with the knowledge about what is grown by U.S. flower farmers. I told my florist friends: ‘If you’re not confident or you don’t know where to get flowers domestically, here’s how you can sample these farms without taking a huge risk.’”
The Floral Source was originally designed to host retreats and farm tours for professional florists, with the goal of exciting her peers about domestic sourcing and demystifying the ordering process. The platform gave Kelly a way to highlight dozens of flower farms, their flowers and a seasonal approach to floral design. “I have often felt like my design community was intimidated about connecting directly with growers,” she explains. “And I know that it’s hard to break habits, because it’s easy to go to one place, buy the cheapest, and get the floral product you know and have relied on. But to break out of that mold and transition to sourcing domestically, you have to be willing to reach out to multiple growers.”
I’m so happy to welcome Kelly Shore to the Slow Flowers Podcast. You’ll also find all the details about The Floral Source and how you can subscribe to Kelly’s curated collections of U.S.-grown blooms. A few days after we wrapped up the recording for this episode, Kelly announced a new offering for American Flowers Week — a special American Grown at Home box of blooms This celebratory collection is for all flower lovers, not just designers, highlighting 22 farms in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia – all members of the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, a Slow Flowers Member group.
The lush seasonal box of summer blooms and greenery will be a surprise box, curated by Kelly. It features a little bit of seasonal goodness harvested from all of the mid-Atlantaic botanicals grown by Old Dominion Flower Cooperative farms. Each $150 order includes a 5” Accent Decor metal vase that buyers can use when they participate in a virtual workshop with Kelly on July 1. Celebrate seasonality and our local and American growers and bring the joy of flowers into your home for American Flowers Week. The box will ship from the co-op on June 30 overnight to be delivered to you July 1.
Check it out! And if you miss this offering due to your schedule — no worries, there is a fantastic lineup offerings at The Floral Source, featuring domestic flower and foliage offerings all season long.
This episode is coming to you on Wednesday, June 30th, right in the heart of American Flowers Week, our 7th annual celebration, June 28th through July 4th. Please help us celebrate! You can find all the free social media badges, logos, branding and other resources like a coloring map of all 50 USA-state flowers at americanflowersweek.com! Show your floral patriotism and post photos of your red, white and blue, or any other color of your seasonal and local floral harvest! Be sure to use the hashtag #americanflowersweek when you post! I’ll be doing just the same, friends.
Thank you to our Sponsors
This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.
Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.
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.
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. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com.
Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 740,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.
I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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.
In The Field