All Posts By


Extra Thoughts

Freelancer Under Development

Some of my great industry loves are attending floral expos/events, participating/presenting classes and in recent years freelance designing.

The anticipation of what you are gong to be creating, learning and discovering at a new, for the moment, job has it’s own kind of excitement. Here are a few of the things I think about when it comes to Floral Industry Freelancing wether I’m on the job or preparing for one.

Photo by Ilya Ilford on Unsplash
Loyalty: When asked by many floral companies to freelance on the same dates, what is your process for choosing who to work for?

After freelancing for a few different floral companies, I’ve stayed true to a first come first serve rule. I have developed great relationships with the companies I have worked for so far and in doing so I know that if Company A books me first then Company B won’t hopefully be too put out. If I book with a company, they have me booked no matter what is offered after the fact. Nothing is more unprofessional than a freelancer canceling at the last minute because someone offers them more money at the last second or they change their plans without a thought of how it will effect your business.

Not over valuing myself as the greatest designer in the world means I don’t come with a crazy price tag or big ego creating good relationships with companies based on loyalty, hard work and trust knowing I’ll be there when I say I will and will do the very best work I can produce for them.

Photo by Karina Tess on Unsplash
Expectation: What is needed or wanted while you are with the company? Are there dress codes, or anything that should be understood before agreeing to work for someone?

Though I try and keep up on trends and techniques you can never be fully prepared for a new freelance job. I will ask what they are looking to bring me in for depending if it’s a flower shop or specialty floral company so if I need to refresh on anything I can be prepared.

Understand what their expectation of you are going to be. Will there be a uniform, business casual or free for all dress? How you represent the brand of the contracting company should always be on your check list to being a good freelancer.

You are the product and hands that has been purchased for a period of time nothing more and nothing less. So if you are asked to clean vases, you make that glassware look like brand new; if you are asked to produce luxurious radial wedding designs, pump out the most perfect balls anybody has ever seen!

Image © All rights reserved.
Knowledge: Versatile design esthetic and continual learning broadens the value of a designer.

I must confess that with all the national and international designers I have assisted or learned from, I still have a nervous rapport when sharing that skill with others. To share you have attended a particular class or assisted particular designers can set you apart from other designers, along as you are able to produce said skills. Some extraordinary designers around the world are one trick ponies and do very well as such but why hold yourself back. Expanding your floral knowledge base serves to help you through some sticky situations where a last second foliage manipulation or emergency mechanic may be needed.

No matter how many letters are after your name, years you tout around or how many social media followers you have; if you aren’t always educating yourself you are in danger of becoming a static basic designer.

Image © All rights reserved.
Humble/Honesty: Don’t take a job you don’t have the right floral knowledge to succeed at, if someone is better fit for a job suggest those that will be better for said job.

If there isn’t enough time to properly educate yourself on a style or esthetic of design then you may do more damage then you are prepared for. Never waste your time or that of a company just taking jobs for the money or to fill a schedule as it will more times than not ruin your future freelance opportunities. Also don’t take jobs that you don’t like doing. If you don’t like doing shop design or mass production event design, why unhappily work for someone doing that kind of work. Your loathing of said design will show in your work or interactions around you.

One practice I try to use is saving freelance designers information I personally have worked with. Wether it’s saving their card or having an active google doc so I can suggest a good freelancer at a moments notice and actually know their work ethic and fit for particular companies. I would never suggest a freelancer that has more event design experience to a shop on mother’s day or valentines day or vice versa suggest a shop experience based freelance designer to a high-end event production company. Most designers I save hit points above as those that have a well rounded skill set, continues education and fit within any type of company expectations.

Image © All rights reserved.
“To be humble to superiors is a duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.” ― Benjamin Franklin

As someone that thrives off the new, exciting and adventurous arts of floral design, I can’t wait for all the great experiences future freelance jobs will create for me.

Floral Friday!, Floral Industry Contest, Industry Events, Uncategorized

2018 International Designer of the Year Entries

Compared to many international floral design competitions, the Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year competition is one of a very few that actually is open and welcoming to any and all designers confident enough to enter. This is one of the greatest reason’s that this competition finds and polarizes some of the greatest floral designers of our time, all from their own, self entered design skill merit. 

Some of the most dreaded words for any competitor when receiving their results are “Unfortunately, the judges felt that this year your designs did not merit an award.” and those would be the exact results for our four submissions into the 2018 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year.

I allowed myself one half day of eating candy, moping around and feeling less than great but there is always the next competition, the next presentation and always the next design. With co-sponsoring and co-presenting a Great Lakes Floral and Event main-stage show and preparing for this years lineup of competitions and floral adventures, how can you let yourself get down with soo much opportunity and promise for 2019.

Looking back at 2018 with so many amazing results not only across close to twenty floral design competitions but also traveling and seeing even more of the floral industry across the world, it’s been a remarkable year. As I try my very best to catch you all up on the last year and a half of floral adventures in upcoming blogs and videos, here are our submissions for you to enjoy from the 2018 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year competition with categories, personal titles, and all the shabam! 


Category #1: ‘Inspired By’

Personal Title: ‘Inspired by Fire’
Photography By: Justin Lehman Photography


Category #2: ‘Nature’

Personal Title: ‘Hand Grown Mini Forest’
Photography By: Justin Lehman Photography


Category #3: ‘Architectural’

Personal Title: ‘Grass Vibrations’ 
Photography By: Justin Lehman Photography
Model: Joss Barton


Category #4: ‘Sympathy’

Personal Title: ‘Woven Peace’ 
Photography By: Justin Lehman Photography


So there we have it folks, our entries for the 2018 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year. This was one of the first times I submitted four entries fully realized into the competition and look forward to the 2019 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year

Huge thanks to Justin Lehman Photography for capturing these awesome shots along with Joss Barton for being a true ethereal goddess. 


You can find next at the Great Lakes Floral and Event Expo on the main stage Saturday, March 2, 2019 along side Matthew Blind and Equiflor Rio Rose for ‘The Evolution of Style’! 



Backlogged Articles, Floral Friday!, Floral Industry Contest, Industry Events

Arteflorando, We Took A Trip To Italy!

We were invited to compete at Arteflorando SAFIA E20 representing Team USA and it was an amazing floral learning opportunity! This year had twelve teams coming with tons of talent and skill from across Europe and the USA to Leverano, Italy. 

The experience of competition in a European design competition has provided me with a new perspective to competition to go along with my relaxed approach to competitions and it has helped me take yet another step to becoming a better designer. Also making new face to face connections and friendships outside the American bubble was welcoming and refreshing. 

I hope you enjoy this slight glimpse into what was an amazing trip. 


Day #1 – Traveling 

Our first day was mostly filled with traveling to Brindisi, Italy where we spent the night before heading to the competition. Brindisi had the perfect relaxed vibe with gorgeous views around every corner. Unfortunately my luggage was lost but I was able to find cuter and better backup clothes and my bad appeared right as I got back to the airport the next morning.

Our time in Brindisi was filled with reading by the water or town center area, eating our way around the city and some light shopping. The next morning we popped back to the airport to meet up with other competitors and jury members to shuttle to Leverano for the competition. 


Day #2.5 – Competition Day Tasks 1 &2

We did have a day where we went from Brindisi to the competition in Leverano and stated prepping for the next day but I got busy and didn’t really get pictures of the day. Day 2.5 started off with the first task which was a interpretive design to “Italy, a country with numerous traditions” which opened up many possibilities of design ideas.

While one team interpreted lace and another pottery, we went with interpreting Il Malocchio, the Evil Eye and the horn charm to ward it off specifically. We also included woven hala birds to include the traditions of woven leaves in the church. I must admit I stumbled through this task and went into task two read and bettered prepared. 

Task two was a whole other design just titled to “Surprise Task” and oh my goodness it was such a fun surprise. Each team was given a three wheel vehicle I believe was called a “Piaggio Ape” with the task to create a design on the vehicle. Our product for this task was provided but we had to be smart with it because the provided product had to be used across task two and three.

We were allowed at this point to go foraging around for other grasses and product but I didn’t have a car and didn’t want to bother anyone so Marco (My awesome assistant) and myself worked with what we had. Our design ended up with a mohawk from the front to the end with a mix of skewered vegetables, wood pieces we broke from the vegetable boxes, and a mixture of warm colors. This design being a surprise task was 100% my preferred kind of competition design and it showed with our design taking 2nd for the task right behind the beautiful design created by Team Denmark. 



Day #3 – Task 3, Adventure and Awards

Team USA went into day three ready to go, we hit a comfortable stride after task 2 and the flowers we left for task three had us heading in with all white and green flowers. Task three was another surprise package but with the title “Surprise – Tremendous bouquet” everyone was already pretty prepared for the task. The only prompts we were given was it had to be free standing along with being tremendous.  

Though we had a slight language barrier Team Italy, Francesco and Antonella tossed me in their car for a chance to forage for some more product which I was very thankful to them for. Francesco helped me find a moderate variety of grasses and vines to enhance the oversize size, depth and texture of the overall design. I learned a valuable lesson in using a purely white and green color harmony as our score took a hit for lack of color and we also lacked on more advanced techniques. 

With a few hours to relax while judging was being finished and the awards ceremony was being prepared, it was time to see more Italy. Lene and Louis of Team Denmark kindly took me along with them for a wonderful lunch and then some beach time. We were able to put our feet in the water, enjoy the sun and relax before the awards ceremony. Once we got back there was time for a show and then heading to the awards ceremony.

Lene and Louis ended up taking first place with Francesco and Antonella taking third place. Their work was clean, had amazing technical work and we overall well executed. It was also nice to see other Floral Fundamental Ambassadors with two of us competing and three other’s judging. 



Thank you Ivan for including me and to all the awesome people I had the pleasure of meeting. Getting the experience of European competition was very eye opening to the way American’s hold floral competitions and compete. I hope to be invited back next year now that I’ve gotten to experience Arteflorando.


Make sure to check out the Arteflorando social media and website, and

maybe enquire about competing in 2019 while you’re there!




Floral Friday!, Floral Industry Contest, Industry Events

Floral Adventures – CAFA 2018 Fall Show

Welcome back!

While it’s been a while since a new article or content has been posted, we have returned after a break and oh what a break it has been!


We returned to Toronto, Canada for the 2018 Canadian Academy of Floral Art Fall Show and per usual it was awesome! So lets all grab a tasty beverage, a yummy snack and take a quick day by day jaunt into our floral adventure to CAFA.



From St. Louis to Chicago and ending in Toronto, our first day was mostly traveling and preparing our competition piece. Our first task was getting to our friend Joseph Delarge’s store Wilbe Bloomin where we were kindly given a spot to work on our competition design and relax. 



This year’s featured florist was David Ragg from Bournemouth, UK and the show was themed ‘Inspiration through Innovation’. David captivated with his focus of creating elevated work that was still sellable but professional floral designer focused. After a day of creating collars and show decor we headed out to finish up my competition, get some floral body-wear ready for the show and eat some yummy Vietnamese food.


DAY 3: Competition // Design Show 

The day finally arrived, competition and design show day, we started the day with a walk around the Toronto Botanical Gardens after dropping our competition piece off. Along with a demonstration show broken into two parts with a cocktail between there is also competition awards, CAFA Induction and other honors that are given out. David took us through many styles, techniques and products with a focus that inspired and innovated how you can elevate design as a educated professional. It was awesome to take away new techniques and to also see the new Oasis Floral Products ‘Midnight Foam’ in multiple applications involving floral and plant products. 



Weaving, binding, depth and a whole lot of energy was just small focus of a day of floral education with CAFA and David. It was refreshing to see board members able to also attend the class along side attendees as a lot of time they are already busy, burnt out and sadly sometimes think themselves above continued education. David had us thinking about the energy of our designs and how it impacts the overall. David and myself were treated to a trip to Joseph’s other location Eco|Stems and a beautiful walk through Toronto followed by a lovely dinner.



It was finally time to roll back to St. Louis and get organized for my next projects. CAFA always takes such good care of myself and the other attendants every year. I loaded myself into a Lyft bright and early and made my way to the airport filled with good memories, a hand made gift from my dear friend Abigail Hitchens of Petals in Thyme and lighter bags than when i arrived. 


To follow me around even more make sure to check out the vlog of our floral adventure through each day. 


Thanks for joining me for yet again another wonderful floral adventure and to the Canadian Academy of Floral Art for always being so great to me. Watch out for our Backlogged collection coming out soon from all our adventures around the world this past year. 


Till next time,


Floral Couture, Floral Friday!, Floral Industry Contest, Industry Events

Bronze For Floral.Today

The 2017 Fusion Flowers magazine International Designer of the Year competition is over and Floral.Today has taken another bronze this year!

We are so excited to share with you our design entries for this years competition.

Make sure to share with us which is your favorite!


Category: Transparent

Award: Bronze

Photographer: keithleeSTUDIOS

Location: lockerdome












Category: Season

Photographer:  keithleeSTUDIOS

Location: lockerdome

Category: Energy

Photographer:  keithleeSTUDIOS

Location: lockerdome





Category: Foliage Focus

Photographer:  keithleeSTUDIOS

Location: lockerdome

Thank you to Keith Lee of keithleeSTUDIOS and his amazing second shooter Ray Prop for the awesome shots and all their patients! Big thanks also to Alison Bradley for hosting such a fun design competition and the wonderful judges,  Kubo Kazumasa (Japan), Pirjo Koppi (Finland) and Frédéric Dupré (France) for their time and talents.

It takes a lot of confidence and anxiety to enter your work for review so make sure to check out and congratulate all the other talented designers from around the world that placed!

New blog coming soon!



Extra, Floral Industry Contest, Products

YourLily Book Giveaway Winners!

We want to thank YourLily again for generously giving our followers four of their beautiful lily inspiration books!

Make sure you are following Ithos Iap and YourLily for tons more floral inspiration and floral fun!


Our Winners Are:


Property of Carmen Macias Castro

Carmen Macias Castro

Carmen Flor and Plants
Las Quintas, Culiacán, Sinaloa






Property of Lani Allen Callister

Lani Allen Callister

Ensign Wholesale Florist
Salt Lake City, Utah


Property of Doug Bates AIFD

Doug Bates AIFD

Designs by Vogt’s Floral & Gifts
Sturgis, MI


Property of Amanda Voss CFD

Amanda Voss Cfd

Voss Design and Events
Albuquerque, New Mexico








Congratulations to our 4 winners, they can look forward to their YourLily inspiration books arriving soon!

New floral adventures and happenings coming out soon, so stay tuned!


Till next time,

Floral Friday!, Floral Industry Contest, Products

YourLily Book Giveaway!


Van Den Bos – Tiny Epic


Jhon, lily grower and photographer, created Yourlily to inspire and promote the beauty, versatility and variety that lily’s provided to the world, Yourlily is continuing to grow and get better with each release.

Designed by Geertje Stienstra Sponsored by: ~ Floral Fundamentals ~ Van Den BosiBulb


Now on it’s third published book, Yourlily has taken us throughout holland, showing us the beauty of lily’s in wedding, everyday, sympathy and many more inspirational design styles.

Designed by Geertje Stienstra Sponsored by: ~ Floral Fundamentals ~ Van Den BosiBulb

Yourlily has shown us the beauty of lily’s in beautiful locations such as Scotland, St. Petersburg and Miami breathtaking scenery and communities.

Jhon presenting Lily Beelen the framed cover illustration from ‘lili wil bloeien’. was super lucky to meet Jhon and Yourlily at the Dutch Lily Days. Jhon seemed to always be the brightness in the room and could always be found with a smile on his face. Yourlily is his baby and the passion he shares with us is inspirational.

Jhon reading his new creation ‘lili wil bloeien’ to the gathered media and Dutch Lily Day colleagues.

Yourlily kindly gifted you our followers four fresh your lily books to win! Check out how to win one below!!


How To Win:
 2 Ways to Win

Must be following


Tag everyone below in your favorite lily design photo!




Thank you to YourLily for filling our industry with beauty and inspiration and iBulb for giving the amazing opportunity of attending Dutch Lily Days.


Stay tuned as we share more about iBulb and Dutch Lily Days in the coming weeks!


Till next time,

Industry Events, Products

Dutch Lily Days Here We Come! has been asked to be part of the press trip covering Dutch Lily Days, happening June 6-9, 2017!

We couldn’t be more excited to make our way through the beautiful Netherlands, seeing what some of the top dutch lily breeders and exporters have been working on to expand the beautiful lily sector of our industry.

All the information about Dutch Lily Days can be found at their website along with the 13 lily companies participating or you can click on the brochure below for more info.

Dutch Lily Days Brochure

The promoters of Dutch Lily Days will be taking us on a 3 day floral adventure to see 13 major lily breeders and exporters. The group of press will get to experience all the new varieties that the companies have to offer, while also being educated on the growth and continual expansion of lily development in the Netherlands.

Keep an eye on all the social media as June rolls along to experience our adventure with all the new varieties and innovations that the Netherland lily market is creating for you!

Thank you for inviting along, we can’t wait to share all the lily fun with our followers.

Till next time,

Floral Couture, Floral Industry Contest

Two Bronze Awards for’s Garrett received two bronze awards in this year’s Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year contest!

Check them out below and tell us what you think!

Category: Attention Seeker

Award: Bronze

Photographer: Virginia Harold Photography

Model: Adam Jurotich Jr.

Location: St. Louis Public Library Downtown

Category: Construction

Award: Bronze

Photographer: Virginia Harold Photography

Location: Blackburn Park Bird Sanctuary

Category: Beautiful Blooms

Photographer: Virginia Harold Photography

Location: Blackburn Park

Category: Design For A Diva

Photographer: Virginia Harold Photography

Model: Sandra Manzoni

Location: Private Rooftop


Huge thanks to Alison Bradley of Fusion Flowers Magazine for hosting the contest along with Bea Beroy, Petra Konrad, and Harijanto Setiawan for being this years esteemed judges. We can’t wait for the 2017 categories to be released to create and share more floral magic.


How did you do in this years contest?

Share with us on the social media all your amazing entries!


Till next time,

Feature Designer, Floral Companies, Floral Couture, Industry Events

Floral Designers That Flourished Throughout 2016

Captivating, Inspiring, Trendsetting.

These are just a few words that can be used to describe some of our favorite floral designers of 2016.

We at love being completely engrossed in a good floral educational moment or the perfect floral design and these designers hit those marks for us.

These designers are just a few of a very long list of designers we appreciate but what set them apart is that they took 2016 with an iron fist and ran with it.

Přemysl Hytych
Měnín, Czech Republich


Floral Fundamentals

Social Media:

Like a whisper on the wind or a pin drop, Přemysl is one of those incredible designer that quietly shapes the view of the industry without you even knowing he’s there. had the pleasure of meeting this fascinating and very quiet designer at the Fusion Flowers Summer School in 2016 and with many thanks to Alison Bradley, Přemysl is one of our favorite designers to watch. From his teachings, has completely rethought our branding (Coming Soon) and how materials can be used across any style of design.

Přemysl has a technical skill and vision of flowers that can be found stretched across his refined fashion pieces and beautiful home interiors. You will see a lot more from this international award winning designer in 2017 as he is not only going to be teaching classes around the world but also working on a potential book!


Tamás Mezőffy
Dunakeszi, Hungary


Floral Fundamentals

Social Media:

Tamás is one of those designers where you gasp at the sheer detail of his designs whenever you get the pleasure of seeing them. Along with many of the world’s best, this reigning Europa Cup Champion showcases a mastery of the most beautiful floral details.

No matter the material, color or style, Tamás seems to explore the extent of what can be done with design. is excited and intrigued what the wonderful designer is going to bring to the industry in the near future.

Harijanto Setiawan


Floral Fundamentals

Social Media:

Book Purchase:
**A Mystical Floral Journey**

Harijanto has been snatching up international design awards since 2012, and in 2016 he hit a stride with even more awards and the release of his mesmerizing book ‘A Mystical Floral Journey‘.  Not only is Harijanto last year’s Fusion Flowers International Designer of The Year but his work has won him accolades from some of the floral world’s most prestigious stages such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Singapore Garden Festival.

As a trained architect, you can see in Harijanto’s work a flair for wondrous construction and technique. His platinum winning design, ‘The Natural World’, took floral design to the limits and beyond by showcasing his expert grasp of floral design through perfect design and photography genius.

You can find this amazing designer at the Fusion Flowers Summer School in 2017, be aware that spots are limited!

Alex Choi
Seoul, South Korea


Floral Fundamentals

Social Media:

This Fleurop-Interflora World Cup reigning champion is the pure image of calm and collected in every video or image has ever seen of him. Alex brings a commanding level of calm control throughout his designs as you would expect from a world champion.

Even as the world champion Alex brings a level of humbleness in all his does, he can be found teaching at Floriat in Seoul, South Korea and presenting on stages around the world.


These two ladies have been taking a particular part of the floral industry by storm, and that would be social marketing and industry exposure. If you haven’t seen them across your social media yet, you must live under a rock.

Though they are known individually for a being great designers, that’s not what intrigued us in 2016. Holly and Sarah have mastered the one thing that the floral industry as a whole has struggled with, Marketing. These wonderful ladies may have different approaches to their social media and marketing but their success is a bright beacon that shines through to and the many reaches of the floral industry.

Holly Heider Chapple
Virginia, USA


Chapel Designers

Social Media:

From Chaple Designers spreading beautiful designs across social media to her very own Hope Flower Farm, Holly Heider Chapple’s influence can be found across many levels of social media with a touch of warmth and personal perspective.

Holly Heider Chapple has succeeded where many in the floral industry don’t even know where to start with social media and marketing. With a focus on floral education, many respected industry faces can be found smiling on her social media along with the excited faces of students during classes. You are taken along for the ride for events, education and floral adventures  around the world as they happen.

With an international reach Holly has been able to bring her prospective and love for floral design a exposure that reaches a world wide audience. You can get your own slice of floral education at one of the many events Holly hosts at the Hope Flower Farm or presents around the world, just check out her website above to find the right educational fit for you.

Also get ready for the Chapel Designers NYC 2017 and Chapel Designers London 2017!

Sarah Campbell
Maryland, USA 


Intrigue Experience

Social Media:

Sarah has taken the industry and social media with the popularization of the “Decadent Radial Mass Style” along with her devoted followers and students she has been able to make great strides with ‘The Intrigue Experience’ also.  From the opulent events and array of educators from The Intrigue Experience, you’d be hard pressed to not have Sarah cross your floral path at some point.

Sarah has brought a visibility to florists and consumers alike with her beautiful events and welcoming video’s showcasing some of her tips and tricks. Any given time you can find event inspiration or design tips posted on Sarah’s social media. She also has very present marketing to The Intrigue Experience that many industry events fall short of matching when it comes to advertising and getting the attention of educational events.

The Intrigue Experience has many educational events to offer in 2017 so get your spots booked now!

What floral designers were 2016 standouts in your opinion?

Who are you hoping to see more of in 2017?

Happy New Year!