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The centuries old practice of floral arranging is defined by Wikipedia as “The art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition.” There is evidence that creating with plants and flowers for visual and aesthetic pleasure dates as far back as the culture of Ancient Egypt. It is an art form that crosses EVERY culture, every religion. It possesses no limitations. The act of incorporating flowers into our everyday lives is universal – from enhancing a ceremony or ritual to enhancing our own personal pleasure. Flowers deserve to be validated as a true artistic medium like paint or charcoal to the artist and clay to the sculptor. Personally, this medium of flowers has taken Brenda LaManna literally around the world. Whether she is producing a wedding in Indonesia, a gala in Florida, an international conference in London, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Manhattan or working with a team on parade floats at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, each design element has to count. As President and Founder of Damselfly Designs, Brenda believes that beauty and elegance should be infused into every detail. Looking back at that early time with the benefit of hindsight, she says “I realized that a formal education for this industry really did not exist 20 years ago. Internships did not exist so I had to gain my experience literally “on the job.” I was always so concerned about doing the best job possible for my clients. I struggled to find classes and eventually adopted a “trial and error” philosophy. I learned from my mistakes to avoid that particular situation the next time. I literally had two jobs – my work of event design and my work as a mother and wife. Organization saved me.” “I started with the basics – educating myself through BOCES initially with the hair styling classes and then afterwards, with floral design classes. It was a very self-educating, learn-as-I-go – I think that attitude actually helped me – I knew what I wanted to do, but did not get sidetracked or discouraged with the process. I never focused on what I did NOT know.” Currently, floral design, event design, event planning, coordination, and design-scape are all industries that are beginning to receive recognition. There are classes at all major colleges and art schools. What is wonderful is that “Fields in Flowers” has evolved. There is less “trial and error” – it has basically been eliminated. There are classes, curriculums and advanced degrees to educate the new generation of designers and encourage them to be creative. When one looks at all the business opportunities using flowers as a medium, it is immediately obvious that this one design element, florals, is present at every style and type of event. Knowing how to create a design concept with flowers opens endless doors and job options. Most people believe that a floral arranger is the same career as a florist. Becoming a florist is a beginning step and one

of the first places one can handle flowers and become familiar with them. Many successful careers have been created by just taking this step, to become a traditional florist – but there are more options, more “fields” if one would like. When one “Googles” the question “What are the Top 5 Career Fields?” First is technology and computers, second is Healthcare and, third is “Trades”. This emerging top field of “Trades” includes anything and everything that involves building, creating, repairing with your hands. Once one uses flowers as a medium, as something to design with – thoughts and ideas are unlocked and career doors are opened. The process has a unique and specific order that is repeated daily all over the world. Beginning with a floral shipment arriving at an international airport, hundreds of people will be involved with the process of getting those flowers to their final destination. Customs agents must clear each individual order. They must be educated on what is allowed into the United States and what is not. Regulations are strict to prevent insects, bugs and disease from entering the country. Flower brokers have already negotiated the best prices for all varietals – from the most exotic and rare, to the common Asterales Asteraceae (or sunflower). A negotiant will know growers all over the world and may be employed to fulfill a specific order for a large quantity of a certain flower. Relationships are the key to success in this aspect of the industry. Weddings, Corporate Events, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Outdoor Celebrations, Multi-City Events – all of these situations call for flower arrangements to enhance the décor and overall success of the event’s mission. A person or team of people may be employed by a corporation that has global offices. At events worldwide, a certain “look” can be designed and achieved to effectively “brand” the company. Whether the look is lush tropical blooms or crisp and monochromatic, the effect and ensuing association will be different and unique to it’s brand or company. If done successfully, the design and choices that the flower

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VENU Magazine #14 July/August 2012  

VENÜ Contemporary Culture Magazine highlights the regions finest professional and emerging creative talent with stunning visuals and intrigu...