I’m just now realizing I never wrote a full blog post about the Floral Collective Conference! I hosted it back in August at my home (which is also my floral studio), and it’s just been a whirlwind of planning weddings ever since! The February one is coming up, and I wanted to share with everyone what exactly IS this conference about. First, I want to say, not only was this quite a full and rounded floral education experience for those that attended, but I actually enjoyed learning from the speakers as well! I’ve been designing for 15 years, and although I have my various ways of doing things and my own little tricks, tips and shortcuts, I still found myself learning new things from the presentations! My heart was exploding by mid-day in a way that I never thought possible. I usually have a pretty tough tomboy shell, but I think I melted into a pile of fluffy kittens by the time lunch came around with all the excitement, happiness, discoveries, and learning that was going on! It was SUCH an amazing day and I just couldn’t wait to get started planning the next one.
This very first conference took place at my home — When I announced this conference, I planned for a very small group, and thought we could totally fit in my basement comfortably. Well, it was bursting at the seams with flowers and people, and was SO full of love, encouragement and fun. The next one we’ll be at the lovely inn, Stevenson Ridge! The floral theme for this one was a more wild, foraged style. The next conference will be all white, and a little more lush and dense!
The day was full of various floral designers teaching their specific design. There were 9 students and 5 designer instructors. Each instructor also brought someone with them to assist in designing and answering questions about everything from design mechanics, to ordering to pricing. All reminded about the basics of design — composition, color, balance, etc. and also designing techniques (things to help you work faster, ensure the best quality, etc.).
I started the day with teaching how I design flowers onto a pergola that we designed by the lake! I started the design students off with some instruction and technique tips, then let them work on the two pergolas we had while guiding their decisions along the way.
Then, we moved right into Leann’s (Whimsical Floral Design – Charlottesville) presentation of the floral chandeliers to be hung from the pergola we just made! She gave the guests LOTS of useful information for designing without foam, using locally sourced and foraged flowers. One main review from the students of the day was that Leann was a wealth of information! Next up was Sweet Root Village!
The man of the day, David Powers AIFD (Silver Spring, MD), was the instructor at the next station… a flower wall! We all designed a flower wall 9’ tall x 4’ wide. There was a mixture of foraged and other flowers sourced from where David works, Potomac Floral Wholesale.
Sweet Root Village (Alexandria, VA) gals, Lauren & Rachel, taught a compote design with using the floral ‘frog’ method + using chicken wire. This was a technique in avoiding using foam. They also brought locally sourced florals to use in the designs.
Southern Blooms (Charlottesville, VA) ladies started off by inspiring and entertaining us with the story of their 30 year floral business, then jumped right into teaching everyone how they design a bridal bouquet and finishing with beautiful silk ribbons from May Arts.
Katelyn James wrapped up the day with an intimate chat about blogging – she also did head shots for each designer! When it comes to blogging and connecting with your ‘tribe’, Katelyn is a master! With over 20k followers on Instagram, and a blog readership of tens of thousands, she is a great person to add a little spin to a floral education. She’s someone I work closely with quite often, and has been instrumental in inspiring and teaching me how to grow my business!
Tart Event Co (Richmond/DC) styled and designed the entire dinner setting, and also curated a gorgeous, high quality swag bag for the attendees. I seriously could not have done this conference without these fabulous gals! Not only did they get a soft linen apron to use in their designing, but a very high end pair of floral clippers, a spool of hand dyed silk ribbon from Adorn, a June Jar, and some fun prints to take home!
To round out the floral education, pricing was discussed as the day progressed with each designer. The guests that have attended the past FCC (and any other educational offerings of mine) will get a free trial version of Proposey — a floral pricing and proposal software app that I’ve created!
The gorgeous styled dinner was featured on Style Me Pretty! Check it out here! A BIG thank you to all involved: Photography: Katelyn James Photography | Videography: Starfruit Productions | Planner: Tart Event Co.| Floral Design: Floral Collective Conference | Catering: Foode | Linens: Classic Party Rentals Of Virginia | Vintage Rentals: Paisley And Jade
To check out the lineup (most of these speakers are BACK for round 2!!) for the Winter Floral Collective at Stevenson Ridge in historic Spotsylvania Virginia, hop on over here! Use promo code EARLYBIRD for $200 off!