Chieko Fukushima AIFD, CFD is the SAIFD Advisor and educator at the College of Southern Nevada and is striving to grow industry awareness for not just the public but also future floral design generations. Through contests, industry involvement and awareness, Chieko gives the full experience to her students for them to confidently go into floral industry careers.
YOU CAN FIND ALL THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE college of Southern nevada AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE
As a SAIFD Advisor, do think schools show enough support to SAIFD Chapters?
Our school has been gracious in financial support for travel expenses for those that participate in Student Design Competitions. I have took over CSN Floral Design Technology program in 2009 and advised the team of SAIFD that won the “Best of the Best” highest score of the school at Student Design Competition. Ever since, our SAIFD has won many awards and two of member were inducted into AIFD at Chicago and two were awarded CFD in 2014. I am showing actual proof to school administration that through demonstrating the methods and cultivate student skills, creating a mind set for their achievement.
What advice do you have for professional floral designers looking to be advisors or floral educators?
As professional floral designers you need to advance consistently and reach out for new trends and upgrade your skills. Do not contend who you are, share your new knowledge with your students.
With university level floral education, where do see most students focusing their future career goals?
They should not just be a professional floral designer employed by someone, students should focus to have and own established business ventures as florists, event companies, wedding consultant/planner and instructors.
What has been one of the most interesting floral topics you have taught so far in your career?
Every two years I teach the subject “Creativity & Competition”, which I am very interested to bring out individual hidden talents from each students. I have deep satisfaction when I find one in students which gives them confident and strive toward their goals. I enjoy bringing out each students quality and develop their individual skills.
Do you have a philosophy when it comes to floral education
My advice to all my student is to have “CREATIVE MINDS AND CHALLENGING SPIRITS”
What major differences have you found when educating professional designers verses student designers?
I found so called professional designers show their arrogance and highly over confident that they know everything but they don’t. Some professional designer doesn’t share their knowledge. Their mentalities are so selfish, since they paid large sum of fee to learn, why should they have to share information to non-paying people. One of my old colleague was afraid to share anything due to lack of self-security. Student designer are so curious and wants to know everything to obtain new information and techniques.
With our ever-changing industry, how have you seen floral education change in the past 5-10 years?
I have owned a full service florist in California for 8 years and have attend all classes offered by FTD and Teleflora educational programs. I have noticed some trade shows just have a few professional’s showing off designs not sellable for florist. Some education requires you to scale down to encourage florist to make a profit. It’s nice to educate three different designs for upgrading for sale price.
In your personal opinion what are some of the shortcomings in floral education that the industry should strive towards working on?
Local wholesalers and schools should get together to have more education for the general public and young students to introduce our Floral Industry. One of our Wholesaler sponsors the event “Art in Bloom”, allowing professionals, and students to design their inspiration from Paintings. Then the public judges for the People Choice Award.
When advising SAIFD students, what do you personally think are the most important ways to keep their interest for future careers in the industry?
I feel it’s the best idea to focus on the Floral Industry. Also, I believe that if the students are interested in this floral industry, I would encourage other subjects like business (Accounting), English (Public Speaking), Math ( business math), Information System ( Office, Excel, Power point), and photography.
What do you think are some of the top floral educational advancements that have helped progress the industry?
PFDE is the best floral education advancement and all the AIFD National Symposium programs.
Each district chapter of FTD and Teleflora should have more educational programs.
College of Southern Nevada Website: www.csn.edu Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (702) 651-4207 Course Detail
Good luck to Chieko and her students this year in their SAIFD contests and thank you again for sharing with us. Make sure to go support the Student American Institute of Floral Design Chapters in your area, as you will be supporting the future of our industry. You can find all the information about SAIFD HERE!
Till Next Time,