Four years ago in December 2015 I began a project that would change the course of my business. What started as a simple idea to create locally grown seasonal bouquets turned into a passion for change.
I was already sourcing some of my event flowers locally but was curious what an entire year of only designing from one farm looked like so I created a Four Season’s project at Plantmasters flower farm in Laytonsville, Maryland featured in the January 2017 issue of Florists’ Review authored by Debra Prinzing.
During that year I forged a stronger relationship with Leon & Carol of Plantmasters and developed a confidence to source more and more locally. I began to understand seasonality here in Maryland and how I could make changes in my business in procuring for my events. I began to educate my couples about what grew locally and began creating bouquets highlighting these changes in sourcing.
But I lacked the confidence in knowing how to source outside my region throughout the year. I wanted to know what I could procure 12 months out of the year so I set out on a mission to find out. It’s so easy to just rely on what you know and not challenge yourself. I didn’t want to do what was easiest or cheapest anymore. I wanted there to be a deeper reason for creating my art. I wanted to highlight what grew here in our country and also support our flower farming community that I was forging relationships with every day. This community isn’t growing flowers as a hobby but as a way of life. So much beauty grows here in the U.S. yet we are not even scratching the surface on the possibilities of what we can create with as designers and to me that had to change.
2017 and 2018 would become some of the biggest years of growth personally and professionally. One of the biggest changes was that I had found my passion in working with America’s flowers farmers and their product. I started 2018 with a huge goal of sourcing more American grown product than ever before, but it was a scary goal because I didn’t have all my resources nailed down and hadn’t done my homework completely. So to help me achieve this goal I decided a year long project designing bouquets with only American grown flowers and foliage would be the perfect way for me to dive in and figure it out. I’m an experiential learner and actively making change with a hands-on approach is the only way I knew I would learn how to confidently make the change I wanted to. So began the project A Year of American Grown bouquets featured January 2019 in the Slow Flowers Journal in Florists’ Review titled The Flower Calender.
I partnered with Sarah Collier of Taken by Sarah Photography whom I had met at a flower workshop in 2017. I was so intrigued by her focus on photographing flowers and photographing them better than an photographer I’d worked with. She saw flowers like a floral designer. She appreciated the variety in flowers, how they photographed in natural light and studio light and she appreciated the art behind the flowers. I knew she was the perfect artist to partner with on such an in-depth and long project.
Below is our project and all the creatives, wholesalers and flower farms that made it happen. We financed this project on our own believing in the message and the movement of supporting America’s flower farmers. Sometimes you have to believe enough in what your future is and where you want it to go that you can’t wait for others to meet you on the road - you just hope they are there at the finish line cheering you on! So enjoy what we created and be inspired to make change in your business too! I truly believe that knowledge leads to confidence and confidence leads to change!
All flowers procured from DVFlora - some of the farms that they sourced from included Star Valley Flowers in Wisconsin and Mellano in California. I relied a lot on sourcing from DVFlora for this project because of the ease of using their website and being able to see the origin of flowers. I may not always know what exact farm the flowers were coming from but I was guaranteed that they were American Grown. Also, I value working with DVFlora because they source from so many Certified American Grown flower farms.
Model: Davia Low
Dress: Kelly Faetanini
Hair & Make-up: Lori Nansi