Sunlighting Florida Florists Summer 2018

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Get excited—our annual convention is here! We have the best events and presenters I’ve seen since I joined nine years ago. I want to extend a big thank-you to Jacob, Deborah and Bob for putting together such an amazing lineup. As you have probably noticed by now, we are re-launching Sunlighting in a new format to celebrate all of our big changes this year. A preview of the convention schedule is in print, and all upcoming editions will also be full-color digital. Please make sure you log on to the website and update your contact information so you continue to get Sunlighting and all the other updates from the association. But back to Convention! There will be some new and special things to look out for: a Partners Expo will replace the trade fair; Ian Prosser will lead a new bridal bouquet competition with a $500 prize; and there will be four hands on classes, an auction and back-to-back stage presentations all day Sunday, leading up to the President’s Gala. The most exciting edition to this year, though, is that we are running in conjunction with the Gateways to the America's Cup Competition, which features 16 world-class international designers. The guide on page 10 has more information for these and all the other programs that pack June 9 through 11. Finally, I am reaching out to each one of you be a part of the Florida State Florists Association. We are seeking individuals to serve on our various committees. I look forward to working with you all as we continue to grow the influence and programs of FSFA. Let’s learn, inspire, connect and profit together!

6 // KohCentric


Singaporean floral artist Damien Koh.

9 // These Violet Delights

10 // Annual Convention Schedule

FSFA’s annual convention is here! Check out what’s happening when.

14 // Budding Romance

Christi Brown, FSMD President, Florida State Florists Association

Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is so great, it’s Ultra (Violet).

Andrea Mullers brings her Brazilian flare to bridal bouquets.

Florida State Florists Association //





Christine Brown FSMD







Fiona Hunter Prosser




Michelle Morgan AIFD ICSF MIFL CFD


Robert Tucker AIFD CFD FSMD 352.787.4112 EDITORIAL // DESIGN


Tim Ryan FSMD Mimi Livingston Jackie Lacey AIFD PFCI CFD Peg Jensen AIFD CFD Mattie Young FPCF Ralph Giordano CFD FSMD FPCF Deborah De La Flor AIFD PFCI CFD Victoria Register, Grower Representative Larry Lucas, Wholesaler Representative Marcin Waszkiewicz, Allied Trade Representative



spring 2018 //

Jamie Ezra Mark Rheya Tanner Josh Clark Andrea Muller’s Photoshoot Photography: Fred Lopez Hair: Dina Simpson Makeup: Erika Poortenga Courtesy of Renew Day Spa /// 352.787.7722

Sunlighting Magazine, 2018. Published annually by the Florida State Florists Association. All editorial contents copyright 2018 by the Florida State Florists Association. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Publisher is not responsible for claims or contents of advertisements. The ideas and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of the Florida State Florists Association.

What is the AIFD Foundation? one

To it is a scholarship to attend AIFD National Symposium that added to an education that led to representation of the United States at the World Cup.

two it is a grant to complete a doctoral program that went on to provide personal resources and industry research. To three it is the leadership received when at a very young age an invitation was extended to serve alongside those held in the


highest regard. Joining the Board of Trustees the three went on to serve AIFD at the highest level of leadership as well as other industry organizations still today.

over 100

it is a symposium scholarship opening the world of floral design and the opportunity to meet countless To individuals involved in this industry in countless ways.

over 200 it is a student scholarship that opened the doors to attend a University to expand the knowledge of floral design. To 100s it is the funding provided through grants for the benefit of design education at a state wide level. To 1000s it is the financial support contributed to AIFD in order to bring the absolute best in educational programming to the To

AIFD National Symposium.

The AIFD Foundation, like a kaleidoscope, expands an artful vision providing opportunities ten fold because of the generosity of many. Established in 1979, the AIFD Foundation is a collection of endowed funds. Continued donor support strengthens the principal. Grants and Scholarships are funded from the interest and dividends ensuring the perpetuity of the educational opportunities provided by the Foundation. Visit to learn more about the opportunities provided by the AIFD Foundation and to donate to continue these efforts.

What is the Florida Florist Fund? The Florida Florist Fund is an Endowed Fund established within the AIFD Foundation. The interest and dividends awarded each year, as recommended by the Florida Florist Fund Committee and approved by the AIFD Foundation Board of Trustees, provide Florida florists with AIFD Symposium Scholarships, Grant funded educational opportunities and available funds in time of catastrophic need. The AIFD Foundation experienced untold success in 2018. We are pleased to share the results that directly benefit the state of Florida. Hurricane Irma Florist Fund

The United States recently experienced hurricanes of untold proportion with one of these being Hurricane Irma. Over $15,000.00 in catastrophic relief was awarded by the AIFD Foundation. The generosity of industry and individuals truly reflected the willingness to assist those in need. The AIFD Foundation is grateful for the support of the funds designated for this purpose. Florida Florist Endowed Fund

A grant in the amount of $4,000.00 was awarded to the Florida State Florists’ Association for the stated purpose to fund the 2018 FSFA Convention Presentation featuring Damien Koh AIFD. We look with great anticipation to the success of this event.

Two Ways to Contribute! To contribute visit and select one of the following opportunities: Florida Florist Endowed Fund To invest in awarding grants and scholarships and add to the endowed fund click to donate and select the Florida Florist Endowed Fund. Florida Florist Operations Fund To assist with the operations of the Florida Florist Fund click to donate and select Florida Florist Operations Fund.


amien Koh, PFCI, AIFD, CFD is a shining example of how a hobby can blossom into an impressive professional career. He owns Fleur Connection, a florist studio and floral design school in Singapore and Macau, and is the Principal of Pui Wa Floral Design School in Beijing. He is also a consultant to several florists and wholesalers across the globe. Damien has toured in more than a dozen countries, including China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, France, the U.K. and the U.S. He is a floral artist of international acclaim, known for his diverse skills as a demonstrator, lecturer, display artist, designer, commentator, judge, consultant and translator. His 2004 program, presented during the AIFD National Symposium, was met with such rousing success that he was invited in 2005 to conduct AIFD’s first handson workshop. Since then, he has been honored with the illustrious role of senior floral consultant during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has published his own book, Damien Koh: Monograph.

He has been interviewed and featured in trade and lifestyle magazines, as well as Flowers Across Melbourne’s Most Influential Floral Designers in 2015 and countless other newspapers and broadcast programs in several countries. He holds diplomas in European Floral Art and Modern Floral Design, and was inducted into AIFD in 1996. Damien is a member of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society, the Society of American Florists and the Floral Designers Society of Singapore. He was also inducted into Professional Floral Communicators International in 2005, making him the first Chinese member of the prestigious organization, which today boasts only 100 members worldwide. Damien will lead a stage presentation during the FSFA 2018 convention. See the schedule of events on page 10 to learn more. The program is partially underwritten through a grant awarded by the AIFD Foundation with funding made possible from the Florida Florist Fund.

Singapore native Damien Koh's catalog of dynamic and diverse arrangements has earned him several stunning opportunities.

Florida State Florists Association //



Reasons Why You Should Join the Society of American Florists




OK, you’re already smart – but SAF helps members stay ahead of floral industry news and trends with the Wednesday E-Brief, Friday Week In Review, Saturday Sales Wake-Up and Floral Management magazine.



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There are so many more reasons why you should join SAF! Learn more: S A F N O W. O R G /J O I N

THESE VIOLET DELIGHTS Pantone’s bold, beautiful 2018 Color of the Year will have you looking pretty in purple.


oticing more Verbena and Wisteria than you’re used to? It might be because Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is Ultra Violet. A refreshing contrast to the soft earthiness of last year’s color, Greenery, the depth and coolness of Ultra Violet grabs attention and demands to stand out. In its official description, Pantone states that the color “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” Though it is a powerful color that evokes mystery and spirituality, Ultra Violet is surprisingly versatile, able to live harmoniously with neutrals and bright, bold hues alike. Pantone’s Ultra Violet designer toolkit comes with several stunning color palette options.

Florida State Florists Association //



2018 Annual Convention and Gateway to the Americas Cup E V E N T S




9am–5pm Every Day // Foyer

7–10am // Foyer

12–1:30pm // Amelia Ballroom

Registration Desk Open

Partners-Vendor Setup

FSFA Luncheon

9–11:30am // Sanibel Ballroom

8–10am // Vista A

Gateway Cup Event #1

Designer of the Year

Competitors at booths. Open to public.

Sponsored by Floriology/Bloomnet and Gardens America. Competitors only.

FTD Tablescape

Business meeting and elections

2–5pm // Sanibel Ballroom

Gateway Cup Event #4

Teleflora Sunshine Cup 8:30–10am // Amelia Ballroom Stage

12–2pm // Vista B

Hands-On Class Hitomi Gilliam


“Permanent Trends” Corey Harbour


Additional fee. Limited Attendance: 20

Presented by Teeters.

2–4:30pm // Sanibel Ballroom

8:30–11am // Vista B

Competitors at booths. Open to public. 2–3pm // Amelia Ballroom Stage

The Art of Designing Sandy Schroeck

Gateway Cup Event #2

Ferntrust-Bobbi Cup

Competitors at booths. Open to public.

Hands-on Class with Tanus Saab from Brazil

Board members only

9–10:30am // Sanibel Ballroom

Additional fee. Limited Attendance: 20

Gateway Cup Event #3

5:30–6:30pm // Foyer

Competitors at booths. Open to public.

Ian Prosser Bridal Bouquet Competition

10am–4pm // Foyer

Partners-Vendor Expo 10:30–11:30am // Amelia Ballroom Stage

6:30–8pm // Foyer

Welcome Reception

Cash Bar, Hors d’oeuvres and First Timers’ Tour.


Business Workshop Renato Sogueco, Bloomnet VP of Digital Strategies/Education

Bridal Bouquet

Designed in advance. Additional Fee. Limited Participation: 25

3–4:30pm // Vista B

Additional fee. Limited Attendance: 20 4:30–6pm // Executive Conference Room

FSFA Board Meeting


Presented by Floriology/Bloomnet.

“Embracing the Changes” Robbin Yelverton AIFD AAF PFCI CFD Sympathy business presentation Presented by Floristware.

spring 2018 //


Partners and Vendors Reception Cash bar.

Open to Public. 7–9pm // Amelia Ballroom

“Cheeseburgers in Paradise” Buffet, cash bar, live entertainment Presented by FSFA. Jimmy Buffettinspired beachwear encouraged!

SUNDAY JUNE 10 8–10:30am // Vista B

Hands-on Workshop: “Bodywear” Anthony Swick


Additional fee. Limited Attendance: 20 8–9:30am // Augusta B

FSFA Board Meeting

12:30–2:30pm // Amelia Ballroom Stage

“A Celebration of Life” Presented by Teleflora.

3:30–5pm // Amelia Ballroom Stage

Gateway Cup Final Event Competitors at booths. Open to public. 9:30–10:30am // Amelia Ballroom Stage

Presented by Bloomnet and Floriology. 11am–Noon // Amelia Ballroom Stage

“Weddings with Style” Ian Prosser


Presented by FTD.

Competitors, Assistants and Judges. Sanibel Ballroom

Outing: 5–9pm Competitors, Assistants and Judges. Meet in Lobby at 5pm

“Floral Artistry”


Damien Koh PFCI, AIFD, CFD from Singapore

Design #1: 9–11:30am

Presented by AIFD Foundation with funding made possible from the Florida Florist Fund.

“Contagious Social Content 6–6:30pm // Foyer Business Program” “Seasons” Renato Sogueco, Bloomnet VP of Digital Strategies/Education

Meeting + Rules: 1–4pm

“Passion • Purpose”

8am–Noon // Sanibel Ballroom

6:30–10pm // Amelia Ballroom

“Under the Florida Sky”

Lunch: 12–2pm Competitors and Assistants. Amelia Ballroom

Design #2: 2–4:30pm

Cocktail reception and cash bar Presented by FSFA. Open to public.

JUNE 6: Arrival day JUNE 7

3–3:30pm // Amelia Ballroom Stage

Board members only

Gateway to the Americas Cup


Jerome Raska AIFD CFD PFCI CFD AAF Sympathy business and lunch

Lynn Lary McLean AIFD AIFD Foundation CEO

Newly elected members

Gateway to the Americas

JUNE 9 Design #3: 9–11:30am Design #4: 2–5pm JUNE 10

Presidential Gala and Awards

Final Design Prep: 8–10am

Presented by FSFA. Formal attire. Registration or gala ticket required.

Hard goods only mannequin piece

Final Design: 10am–12pm Fresh Product Added

Gateway to the Americas Cup Classes and Workshops Presentations Competitions Socials and Galas

Cleanup: 2:30–3:30pm Competitors and Assistants Winners will be announced at the “Under the Florida Sky” gala.

Florida State Florists Association //




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Brisbane Marriott Hotel 17 - 20 Sep 2018

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Bryan Whitehouse Regional Vice President

Frances Virgilio Field Business Consultant

James Turner Field Business Consultant Florida State Florists Association //

Ian Prosser AIFD, AAF, NDSF, PFCI FTD Education Consultant sunlighting


Andrea “Andie” Mullers, FSMD, CFD sat down with Sunlighting to share her experiences, as both a longtime FSFA member and a wedding florist who immigrated from Brazil nearly twenty years ago. Photography Fred Lopez

What makes you passionate about working with flowers?

Working with flowers is an art. And art has been in my family for generations. My grandmother was an artist. Frames, soaps, towels, you name it—she embellished everything possible. I also took private art classes as a child, and my passion for art just kept growing. Not many people get to work with beauty every day.

How did you get your start?

The opportunity fell into my lap. A


friend in Brazil had her own florist business, but wanted to downsize. She called me and asked me to be her business partner. And in two seconds I said, “I’d love to!” I was 18 at the time, and had no money. But I did it anyway. I thank God every day that I did.

Are you a freelancer, designer or business owner? I’m a designer. I don't like the word “owner.” Yes, I’m the owner, but I’m also the janitor, the delivery driver, the setup/

spring 2018 //

breakdown person and the bucket washer.

What’s your favorite flower?

Any that is available to work with. Each one has its own beauty.

How long have you lived in Florida?

It's been my home since 2000. I became a citizen last year.

How do you maintain your work/life balance? It’s not easy. I plan at least a week in advance, when I can.

Hair by Dina Simpson Makeup by Erika Poortenga

A budding romance

Florida State Florists Association //



Sometimes things don't work that way, and that is life. I take it one day at a time, but family is always first.

What’s your favorite style?

I like textures, depth, color. I am proud of my flexibility. I can design an elegant cascading bouquet or a wild, greens-only hand-tied arrangement.

What wholesale company do you recommend?

Flowers Central in Daytona Beach has supported me since the beginning. Larry Lucas has become a great friend over the years, and I can't thank him enough for everything he has done for me.

Who inspires you?

So many people! But I can mention a few: I first heard about FSFA and AIFD from Jacob McCall. He’s the reason I’m a member. Jackie Lacey pushed me to be the designer I am today. And Bob Tucker showed me the importance of education. Of course, some people just inspire me with their talent. Like Deborah De La Flor, the Queen of the Flowers. She has so much passion, it’s contagious. And the first time I saw Brooke Raulerson, she was competing in—and winning— the Gateway to the Americas Cup.

What is your favorite event?

I have attended AIFD, SAF and the Gateway Cup, but my favorite is FSFA convention. I have met some of my best friends there.

Has the Florida State Florists Association helped

“I’m a designer. I don’t like the word ‘owner’. Yes, I’m the owner, but I’m also the janitor, the delivery driver, the setup/ breakdown person, and the bucket washer.” Andie Mullers

you further your career?

It has led me to many opportunities: thanks to one scholarship, I got to attend the SAF convention for the first time. And I have made so many friends and connections with FSFA members that it’s like a second family—my florist family.

How do you feel about the FSFA’s growth this year?

I am thrilled with all the changes. I hate to say FSFA was “outdated,” but it was. Look at what Georgia, Texas and California are doing. It was time for a change.

What are you most excited about in your life currently?

I am about to be the third Brazilian ever to be inducted into AIFD in D.C. It is really a milestone—maybe my biggest ever. My mother and sister are coming from Brazil to support me.

Where do you hope your career will be in 10 years?

I don't have a plan, but I want to keep working on my certifications and become better every day. I want to give back to the next generation. It is up to us to keep the industry alive.

Florida State Florists Association //



2595 Avenue G. N.W. Winter Haven, FL 33880 /// 863-299-3360

Andie Muller, CFD, FSMD Lead Designer Certified Flower Designer Florida State Master Designer

Photo courtesy of Tabitha McCausland O'Neill


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June 3-5 Certification & Competition Jackie Lacey AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Aug 12-14 Reinventing Everyday Designs Donald Yim AIFD, CFD, CPFD

Oct 21-25 Celebrating Life Everyday Jackie Lacey AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Plus, Don’t Miss... · Floriology On The Road - Check the Floriology website schedule for a city near you.

· Free Webinars - Stay up to date on business, best accounting practices and social media.

ACT NOW! To sign up or for more information about the Floriology Institute call: (904) 737-8500 x258 visit:

2018 Annual Convention and Gateway to the Americas Cup

Thanks TO OUR SPONSORS Accent Decor AIFD Foundation Badash Crystal BloomNation Bloomnet Carlstead's Orlando Chrysal USA David Austin Roses Design Master Details Flowers Direct Floral Greens Elite Flowers Equiflor/Rio Roses Esmeralda Everlasting Flowers Fern and Foliage Direct

Fern Trust Flex Direct Flora and More Floral Design Institute Floriology Institute Florist Review FloristWare Flowers Central, Inc Flower Shop Network FTD Gardens America Groflowers Hilverda De Boer USA Knud Nielsen Kuhn Flowers Lion Ribbon

MCG Calculations Morex Ribbon Napco Orlando Wholesale Pennock Orlando Passion Growers Reliant Ribbon Royal Flowers Society of American Florist Smithers Oasis Syndicate Sales Teleflora Teters UCI Unlimited Containers Inc. Womar Glass World Flower Council