In a society and industry full of competition, it seems rare for a group of florists who do business within the same geographic region, to gather together, work side by side, share techniques and knowledge, enjoy each other's company, and not think twice about doing it again! But you see, there is power that comes in sharing and learning and growing together. There is strength in being kind and uplifting. And there is so much fire that grows from a spark kindled with other creatives.
And that is how the choose kindness workshop began. In an effort to building community and enhance our industry as whole, the idea came that we could and should enjoy each other, not work against each other. Last year, the first floral gathering, which we called Flower, Food and Friends, was born. It began with a small group of florists who worked side by side on centerpieces. It was fun and liberating to talk flowers with other like-minded individuals and astonishing to see the different designs that came from the same flower selections. As it expanded and we gathered together again, we realized that although we were working alongside each other, laughing and enjoying our time together, we weren't able to learn from each other. We were all concentrating on our own work and simply didn't have the time to watch each other, or ask any kinds of questions.
How nice would it be, we thought, to ask other florists about techniques, or suppliers, or styles, or shoots. How helpful would it be to talk flowers or even business?? How amazing would it be to watch another florist work? (aka - be a fly on the wall) How great would it be to share, to enjoy, and to choose kindness together?
So without any thought of monetary gain, we gathered together to plan. Florists Sarah Asay of Blushing Rose Floral and Lexie Sandberg of Carpe Diem Design agreed to demonstrate their skills and share their knowledge with the group. Sarah's centerpiece was absolutely stunning, and being able to have her guide the group through her thought process while asking questions, was well, nothing short of amazing. Hearing Lexie Sandberg talk about color and form, flower selection and her love for flowers was inspiring. Kaytee Stice, owner of Roots Floral Design, offered a business question and answer session, where we all benefited from a tip here or a tip there, and others were even able to schedule one on one sessions to improve the business portions of their floral businesses. Finally, local photographers Haley Nord and Jen from As Ever Photography willingly captured it all on camera. We were lucky enough to use gowns from the talented Claire Pettibone and Maggie Sottero Designs, modeled by Lexi Grondel, Jenevieve Hubbard and Chandi Kate. It wouldn't have been complete without a tablesetting or two by Canvas Event Design and the lovely HoneySilksCo runner.
The results were, well, life changing. More than one florists has said this was key in their business, key in their growth, and warming to know that we are all in this together. I think Jenevieve Hubbard, attendee, said it best, "These [photographs] are amazing, Mandy. Thank you again. This workshop was a total game changer for me. I met so many great people who I've been able to network with since and the photos, and the design tips and everything else. LOVED it." And so we'll do it again. And we'll invite more. And we'll expand. And soon this won't be a local Utah thing. Because I believe that everyone has something to share. Every person in that room could have taught part of the workshop. Every person in that room had tips and tricks to share. Every person in that room had what it takes to be great. And if we simply share, we won't have to do it alone. If you're ready to join us on a mission to choose kindness, you have what it takes!
As Ever Photography
Maggie Sottero Designs
Canvas Weddings and Events
Honey Silks Co
The White Space Studio