Episode 433: Our Year in Review Slow Flowers 2019 Year in Review, Plus Our Wisconsin State Guest


Hello again and welcome back to the slow flowers. podcast Deborah Printing episode four hundred and thirty three three. This is our two thousand Nineteen Year in Review Special Program. This is the weekly podcast about American flowers and the people bill who bro and design with them. It's all about making a conscious choice and I invite you to join the conversation and the creative community as we discuss discuss the vital topics of saving our domestic flower farms and supporting a floral industry. That relies on a safe seasonal and local supply of flowers flowers and foliage. This podcast is brought to you by slow. FLOWERS DOT com the free nationwide online directory to florus shops and studios. Who designed with American flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms? It's the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers. And thank you you for being part of the slow flowers community and tuning in to the slow flowers podcasts during two thousand nineteen I'm honored and humbled that you take the time pitch showing me each week especially in the midst of an evermore crowded and cluttered environment for information. listenership of this program has grown more sizable than ever for last year. At this time I told you the slow flowers. PODCAST had been downloaded more than three hundred and nine hundred thousand times since this shows launch in July of two two thousand thirteen fast forward to today and that number has climbed to five hundred sixty thousand downloads with an average monthly count of more than fourteen eighteen thousand episode downloads. I'm incredibly encouraged that this podcast remains relevant and essential as we deliver the voices stories and information. You you crave and enjoy every single week. This year in fact every single week for the past three hundred and thirty four weeks it has been my privilege to a feature heroes from the slow flowers community. Unlike any other Internet radio show in existence. The slow flowers podcast is tailored to you and your interests is making it. must-listen programming a weekly habit among flower farmers and floral designers alike in producing and hosting the slow flowers. PODCAST CAST I seek out pioneers personalities style makers and influencers as well as Unsung or little known heroes who together or changing the floral landscape disrupting the status quo and bringing flour sourcing and growing practices not to mention ecoconscious design methods to the center of the conversation. A highlight two thousand nineteen was are expansive and inclusive series fifty states of slow flowers. We've nearly made it through through the entire alphabet from Alabama's Lisa Thorn of Thornton Thistle at the beginning of the year to Wyoming Theresa Tippett's of Dandelions Floral. Who so you'll hear next week on your stay this ambitious series double the number of flowers podcast guests that we brought to you in two thousand nineteen Thank you to each of our guests for their willingness to share their personal floral narrative with listeners together stories amplify the thriving message that are slow. Flowers movement is taking place everywhere and anywhere that people garden's soil and sunshine exists you can find the fullest of our fifty states of sloth our guests with links to the episode in which each appeared at today's show notes for episode four hundred thirty three HAT DEBORAH PRINTING DOT dot com there. You'll also find a link to our show archives dating back to the first episode which aired on July Twenty third two thousand thirteen today. We'll start at the show by introducing you to Wisconsin's Sally Vander waste of the Milwaukee Flour Company. Sally is a past guest of this podcast. You met her back in two thousand fifteen when I interviewed many of the flow artists who created botanical rooms at Flower House. Detroit al-Sharah linked to that episode in which I spoke spoke with lower house creators teams in that episode. Sally and her collaborator Courtney. Stemberg discuss their design for the upstairs kitchen. F Lower House. Oh sabe beautiful. Botanical installation entitled Nature Takes Back so hard to believe that here. We are four years later and Milwaukee Flour Company has a lot of news to share share Wisconsin. Slow flowers community has always been a strong one. And I'm grateful for growers and designers who are committed to seasonal and local blooms in the upper bird west including Sally Vander waste. So let's jump right in here from her as we continue the fifty states of slow flower series for two thousand nineteen and and our stop in Wisconsin. I'm so excited today to visit with my friend. Sally Vander Waste of Milwaukee Flour our company and by the name Milwaukee. You must guess that. She is our guest for Wisconsin and the fifty states so slow flowers series. So thank you for joining me Sally. Thanks Debra glad this worked out your conduct toward the end of the alphabet of great. So we've after me Wyoming combing Yup and then we're done so I I will tell the listeners. You are a past guest at this podcast but in the way back time machine I think it was in two thousand fifteen when you were one of the designers at our house Detroit. Wasn't that when we did it right. Yeah so lots happened. It almost well in four and a half years and it's time to to hear from you again. That was such a fun project though and I will never forget the experience of being with you and the other designers and that magnificent experience of feeling room with flowers. I'm sure that that was really awesome. You did a kitchen right. They did. Yeah the upstairs kitchen. That's right and I'll never. I'll never forget you coming around the corner into the room room Irish designing and I was blown away that you're like I was like stars strong. I thought it was pretty cool too because everybody you know Detroit is not what exactly your neighbor you had to make a commitment to travel from Milwaukee to to work on that multi-day project too. So I was like wow people coming from other states and other turn out other countries trees to work on this so so lots has happened. And I want to hear from you about what's going on with a Milwaukee Flour Company. Can you just update everybody. As to what's what's your business model is now and where you are in the marketplace true so my studios twenty minutes North Birth of Milwaukee Last winter I bought a two Acre property with a large pole barn and a tiny a small house and on I live in the house and we have. We renovated the studio or the Plebeian to be our studio and it's we built our dream. Cooler alerts sixteen feet long by eight feet wide. You've always like it. Would we literally drew it on paper and then it magically happened put it was kinda great like Was One of those manifesting things. It was great so we're planning to farm half Acre of it it And so we have we ever dream studio and a cutting garden but up until now because you Reminded maybe you started your business in two thousand thirteen So for this first chapter of Your Business you were. You were not a farmer. Florus you were primarily a florist and floral designer designer right We did have a cutting garden where I was able to grow somewhere between six and eight thousand blooms ears. Oh Oh by Gosh that yes it. No that's yeah in my backyard. So it was a city lot in Milwaukee where I rented and luck. Luckily luckily the landlord was cool with me. Tearing up the whole yard But mostly grew Dahlia's and some Zinnias and learn the occasional COSMO So that's a pretty big chunk of of I guess our revenue that you can you know not have to buy those flowers. Obviously there's some cost involved in growing them but it sounds like you were kinda hooked with the idea of growing some of your lenience. Yeah absolutely and we The Dahlia tubers. I got really into storing them and saving them and noting out on that and so in dividing up and So that's been kind of a passion of mine and it's also I just love being in the garden. It's just the best way to start the day Sun's coming up and it's all do we. I could just be so happy and be out there alone and listen have to do a podcast so yeah so the Dahlia tubers that were in the rental cutting garden. Did they move with you to the new place they did. That's awesome. Wow so you describe what your services are because you you know I. You've your studio floor base floors right. You've never really had the retail side of things have audio no never reveal. I got my start in grocery and so I need it. Yeah I prefer the studio base model after that. Just run away run away. Yeah absolutely I love having clients at my studio and it's always fun to you. Know show off what's happening in the cooler So we primarily do weddings And I have two full time. Employees always and five part time employees and we are We design mostly luxury weddings. love it and I would describe. Yeah I would describe her style as part are Polish but garden style So we also offer events filing so someone will come to us with the concept and will create the whole vision board and Yeah and I love designing for space. So that's our main thing is You know a lot of venues have changed their policies. He's for us. We're we're allowed to suspend flowers on the field a or You know maybe something massive live in entryways something that other people haven't seen we liked to create the unexpected right. So you're kind of using every surface possible to transform form may be a more generic environment End Push the envelope as you do that exactly. Yeah that's so. Cool your aesthetic being a little bit more polished and With garden influenced. You is that kind of Bringing more urban customers or are you. Are you kind of casting your net wider beyond just the city venues. So there's so Milwaukee Ninety minutes north of Chicago and so about seventy five percent of my clients Are Chicago Tower getting married in Milwaukee. So it mark you sort of become a destination The leading destination and It's a little more affordable to get married Milwaukee versus Chicago. Sure and Yeah so a lot of my clients. Don't live here I forgot where we're we. Well I guess I was talking I. I was interested in that kind of when you the Polish. Just kind of intrigued me like that is a luxury term. And so I wanted to know where you know. Where where were these clients you know? Where are they in terms of choosing a designer? So sounds like you know. There's sort of this urban I was this call Chicago like New York light like there's a sort of metro. Urban Glam was Chicago so they're bringing with them and wanting a designer who can reflect. That sounds southlake exactly. Yeah and I think too it's A lot of our clients tend to be younger early twenties And and they they really. It's so great. They care so much about the aesthetic And so it's it's fun to pull. It'll all the details together for them. But yeah most of our clients are coming from Chicago or Marquette University is in Milwaukee and a lot of alum will get married him Malaki Israel maybe they live in New York or San Francisco and they wanna come back to where they met what happened. Yeah I mean have. The name is great. Obviously Ashley you're not. There's nothing confusing about Milwaukee Flour Company. You say where you are what you do it probably. It's probably been really fun with that branding into a you know. Pull in that message of pay and our flowers grow in Milwaukee to I mean. Is that kind of been effective for how you've marketed. You did the company. Yeah a good chunk of customers. We'll say you know we'll say oh. What are you going to have in your garden? I think people are excited mostly when people come to the studio. They're just like tron. They like before they leave that we have to see the garden And it's really cool so something new were doing for next year is for twenty twenty. We're GONNA offer Photographers to come us. Our little are half Acre farm for photos. Like I look something like that. Yeah or engagement photo. Family family photos Usually pretty pristine. Wow Yeah and but the the vicinity being so close proximity wise to the city also makes it easy for folks to make the trip and not feel like they. I Dunno spend a whole day drive somewhere. So that's kind of cheer advantages. Well right yeah exactly so other than your sourcing from yourself. What are your other sourcing? Outlets or or Secret Sore we have a few We've a few growers that we I get cyber ship directly to us. One is my brother farms in central Missouri Over the last few years I've convinced him and his partner partner to grow flowers and So I get some flowers from him. That's how does he have a business name he does yeah. Three creeks produce. Okay that's right. I forgot that that you introduced me to a florist in Saint Louis because of that connection in right from you going down yeah yeah ours than weeds. Yeah Yeah USA fun. So that's a fan keeping it in the family and your brother was a a food grower and you've committed to become a flower grower. Yeah they still grow food But he's so funny they now have three high tunnels that are just flowers. That's fabulous I know and while these checks a really different. Yeah I should have listened to me earlier right the older sister school. Yeah and then we have a few local firms that we buy from And South also are as far as two and a half hours away. Yeah so there's a CA- tends to be like A. There's a ton of flower growers in the Madison. Addison area which is ninety miles west of us. Yeah and so We can sometimes source from people out there. But then there's also up some more in central Wisconsin to Yeah so you've got the wedding business and invent business business and then You are. You're cooking up something new for two thousand and twenty sort of a new way to deliver flowers. Do you WanNa talk about that. A little bit sure so I started or alarmed. I saw launched a company called Zap Bloom. And and we're hoping that people Milwaukee will want to You know choose their flowers online from a a list of flowers so you know. We'll offer a few color palettes and two different size bouquets and boot nears and two different centerpieces it is And people will choose those things and then we'll simply drop them off it's more for a A. DIY couple yeah and it also is almost like a mobile platform to where people are just a certain demographic is just living their whole life off their phone. And you're you're going to be there for them to click through and choose what they want and I'm hoping will work to for For Rehearsal Dinners uh-huh right so like even our current clients. Let's say they. They only need a couple of hundred dollars or the flowers or they were hersal dinner. WILL VAT bloom perfect for them because they know the style will be the same as you know our wedding flowers. I think sometimes people don't want to deal with the fos- doubt seeing that more more and more I this new generation. Yeah I think this is where we are singing in other categories. Like like how you buy a car like nobody wants to deal with the hassle of that old model where you know. It's it's kind of the will certainly there's no transparency so you don't really know what you're getting for your money and you have to haggle and so maybe that's a little bit of the benefit of what you're offering the the the the person who was a certain aesthetic but they they don't have time to meet with the floor store and you certainly don't get you. Don't get your time sucked up by a client who's not really willing thing to pay for consultation services well right right exactly so I think it's smart and you did give it a completely different brand platform. It was that intentional. Just to kind of separate to your your efforts to be specific and not take away from Milwaukee Flour Company right Milwaukee flower companies clients tend to be more traditional And I'm thinking that blooms clients are more modern And so we specifically it's Zeppelin is gender neutral and southbound on the web you go look at the website excite dot com. It's like all these neon colors and it's it's really fun. I Love No. I've looked at it before. And I I I've it's a very unusual palette and very modern and as I said Sarah fashion forward like it's it's definitely skews youthful as well so are there links. There's no link between the two two two websites or anything like that like people don't toggle back and forth or anything not no not yet TB. So but I'm hoping to do is launch that Luma walkie and then maybe somebody else who has a you know a a flower business like Milwaukee our company and other city. Maybe they want to open his out. Bloom Oh yeah. And they take our infrastructure and and build it has that bloom Asheville or like I said and a separate channel of business in a market that you're never going to compete compete with but you're giving them all of the kind of pieces that you've developed for your model right. Yeah we'll see how it goes milwaukee a so cool. Wow well yeah well sally I know when you're on the podcast the last time. I probably ask you a little bit about your path to flowers but I want to hear about You looking in the rear view mirror and and maybe reflecting on some of the things that have led you to where you are now you said you started as a grocery mass-market floral designer. That couldn't be different anymore. Different on what you're doing now. So how did you make that leap. So well going back even farther. I grew up in a family of gardeners My mom on the my aunt are both incredible. Gardener is very different from each other style-wise gardens are very different But just that being in the garden was just part of everyday life. Well in Wisconsin most most days here but so I grew up in gardens. Yeah and And then I yeah southern eventually i. I didn't go to college but I did get a job at a grocery store. Just is a just as a flower processor. Yeah and so You know opening the boxes chopping them and putting them in buckets And that for a number of years how people start even at retail right. Ah I mean anybody who who comes into a flower shop. That's usually the the entry level job right right exactly. I was just talking to a friend who does hair and he was saying you know. He washed hair for a number of years before anyone allowed him to cut. There's something there's something about it like. I washed she buckets. And you'll our share similar doesn't right so yeah For a number of years. Ah You I wanted to continue to work and flowers after I left the grocery store but Ended up getting a job at a small shock. Downtown Milwaukee But that wasn't paying enough right because I was just the shop help so I worked at the boys and girls club and cleaned houses and have the million jobs Just to have a job in flowers for a long time and then There's a like a high end grocery chain in Milwaukee and they worked there For four years as managing one of their flower department so back to grocery. Yeah but a little bit more elevated it sounds like in terms of right the materials. You the the botanical. She worked with them. Maybe who the customers were wandering in and out what they were asking for absolutely and we so we did events to So that's where I I sort of learning about how. How Fun weddings were And so So yeah so I. When I left the the high end grocery store I women worked at the wholesaler for two weeks and decided that was not for me and being a concrete code building all day and not touching any flowers That was tough. I indeed the touch them. Crazy that But then and you're working there for a little bit and so I quit there with no job and I had a friend who was contender at the Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood and she said you know the owner always buys flowers every week. Maybe she'd want you to do the basis on the tables. Um I was like okay. Sure so I went and talked to said. Yeah Start Tomorrow. Oh Wow I asked. I know I asked her if I could put a vase of flowers in the bathroom with my business cards which I didn't have any but I you know eventually later that afternoon. And she said yes and so I looked my first wedding while through this arrangement the ladies room. That's crazy but it's like if you don't put it out there. No one will know who you are. So it's good that you asked. I know right and so that first year business. I taught workshops and Picked up another restaurant and had had a few different little projects going on And Yeah had my shop out of my kitchen while and that I fear that was two thousand thirteen Did you get now. I have two full time. Employees and Property Pole Barn turned studio in a dream cooler. It's like wow thouars. Really no foul was really. Did build this path for you to entrepreneurship. It's it's wonderful cool to hear about you. Know I just got goosebumps hearing you say that. That's so true I feel I feel so grateful well to found something I love doing and then I could make a living and also support these other amazing women who work for me. Yeah and and you kind of kept putting anyone step in front of the other and and showing up and waiting for the right door to open in terms of Oh. This is the flower life. I want not that that one but this one and sometimes that's just growing up right like I just think of the crazy jobs. I had in my twenties and into my early thirties where I was just trying to figure it Out and like what. What am I supposed to be doing you know and it there's no roadmap so nope no good on you? I have a banner in my office that Ah I bought done in Portland a couple years ago at a conference in. It's it's sort of is sort of got letters that are like old college pennant felt but the words say figure it out and I look at it every day like that's all I have to do. Just keep pushing ahead and I'll figure it now I don't have the answers today. So you kind of your story reminds me of that. Yeah one of my mantras is nothing has to be figured out right now favorite thing because I'm always like okay now what I'll take a picture and text it to you. I think you're good the practical. Well we talked a little bit about Zap. Bloom is sort of taking up some of your energy for twenty twenty and then your new half Acre flower farm which is still going to be under the umbrella of Milwaukee Flour Company right. Yeah yeah before we go. I want to ask you two things one is. There's just since you started in two thousand and thirteen with this business and of course you've been floral much longer. What have you seen change? In terms of attitudes of consumers about Wisconsin grown flowers are mid west grown flowers are American grown flowers voodoo seeing a little more awareness or maybe. It's just what you're saying to people has has changed and so therefore they are more aware so I think I haven't seen a huge consumer change but I have seen a huge change at the wholesale house So when I used to say I want local products. They'd look at me sideways. You know those like so her okay. We'll sure we'll we'll. We'll get some pussy willow or whatever they were maybe like a couple of things they could get for me locally or maybe there'd be like a week. They had peonies sure. Yeah but that's changed so much My my raps at the wholesalers will say to me. Oh we're got this local product in and they they now understand and are definitely more on board and you just by virtue of asking relentlessly for years. It helped show them. There's a there's definitely a niche in the market for local product. Yeah absolutely and people do love of it when I tell them when I'm you know let's say wedding day I go and deliver the bride's bouquet and I point out like Oh this came from my garden came. You know from another their farm in Wisconsin. I can point out those things you can tell. There's a real emotional connections I agree. That's neat well. You and I both have agreed that you've got something big cooking for twenty twenty that we're going to have you back on the podcast in the spring to talk about so any hint that you wanna share just just to. What people's appetite for chapter two of his conversation? Oh my gosh. Yeah so So lizzie again and I who she owns floor alchemy she and I are working on a flower spectacle We're just going to call it that. Yeah I I love it I love it. Flowers spectacle the The DNC is hosting their convention in Milwaukee in July and Something's going to happen then awesome. I just got the shivers okay. I think it's GonNa be wonderful to have flowers as the beautiful focus during a political convention so we will be back to here for more when you're ready to roll it Out And in the meantime thank you for sharing an update on Milwaukee flower companies. Sally I just adore you. And you've been such a passionate mm slow flowers member and I'm I'm happy. Catch you up with the listeners. Suit kind of see what's happening in the in the heartland really It's it's all good in am and I'm thrilled that you can tell us a little bit more about what's happening in Wisconsin. I think you for everything you deborah appreciate if you bout. Here's the twenty twenty cheers. Sure thank you bye-bye. I'm so happy we could catch up with Sally. You'LL WANNA stay tuned for her return to this podcast when she has more. The report on the upcoming floral spectacle a collaboration with fellow sloth hours member. Liz Egan a floral alchemy. Also based in Milwaukee the two are cooking up something big in flowery to occur during the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee next summer. I can't wait to learn more for now. Wow all share sally's links in today's show notes for episode four thirty three. So you can find follow Milwaukee Flour Company and learn about her newest venture for budget savvy savvy event florals Zap Bloom. Thanks for joining our Wisconsin conversation next up as I have done since the beginning of two thousand fourteen. I'd liked to vote today to the slow flowers highlights of this past year next week on January. First I will present the annual slow flowers floral insights and Industry the forecast for twenty twenty last year. At this time we reflected on the highlights of two thousand eighteen with ten top themes the sentiments I shared with you then are are no truer today. In fact given the world in which we live they are more meaningful to me than ever one year ago. I said this more than ever I realized that making authentic human connections with you is what really matters. Each experience is more meaningful because of the relationships we forge with one another. Please know how valuable that statement is. Relationships are the connective tissue ties. US together no matter where we live geographically and no matter which role we play in the floral marketplace replace follow along as we reflect on two thousand nineteen and see highlights of the year in review at our show notes at Deborah Printing Dot com including including beautiful photos to illustrate these themes and stories. You might see a friendly face in the photos or find an important link to just the resource. You're looking for. So what did we do in two thousand nineteen each of our four content channels and our life. Programming have added up to an incredible year of engagement interactivity relationships and more the year began with the unveiling of our new slow flowers society branding and website central hub for all our slow flowers projects. Why the society are focused hasn't changed in fact our mission continues? which is this to change? The Flower Sourcing Practices of consumers there's and professionals through outreach and education that highlights the benefits of local seasonal and domestic floor culture and to build a movement that promotes is cultivated and sales of those flowers while nurturing authentic connections between consumers farmers and Flores. The name change to society. -ociety was long incoming yet. It didn't happen. Impetuously or overnight launched at the start of two thousand nineteen when we were already turning a calendar. Page and thinking about a clean reboot the new South our society branding brings clarity to the slow flowers platform. Since I wrote the book slow flowers a lot has happened. With these two wirtz parts slow flowers. These two words now symbolize an entire movement a movement that hundreds of thousands of flora's flower farmers retailers and designers use news as shorthand to reflect their belief in local seasonal and sustainably grown botanical and sustainable design methods after the book's publication and as it became clear to me that there was an opportunity to position slow flowers as an industry standard new ideas inspired me to bring the following channels and programs was to life those include in addition to slow flowers dot com American flowers week. This Lars podcast slow flowers journal online online and the sloth ours summit with five channels and programs each of which has its own exclusive website. Things were getting a little unruly and truth be told those those individual and focus web addresses still exist and they're continually updated with dedicated content but by building a front door via sloth our society dot com. I feel feel like we helped. Connect the dots for all our activities. I hope you find it. Helpful to with the help of Lisa Wad of pot box a longtime member and all around organizational positional genius. I also tackled a major cleanup of the slow flowers membership database in two thousand nineteen which allowed me to pivot the focus and energies of slow flowers. I DOT COM to support and encourage those of you who have invested your time creativity and financial resources as members we wrapped up two thousand nineteen with nearly six Saturday. Fifty active and engage members representing flower farmers farmer florus designers sailors floral collectives and more. We recently established so flowers international and international affiliate program for like minded organizations in other countries and it is with great pleasure that in two thousand nineteen our friends At slow flowers Italy joined as our first international affiliate founded in two thousand seventeen so flowers Italy members are part of a network of professionals of people who who carry the values of respect and attention to the environment local territories traditions and community development. Welcome and congratulations so flowers Italy. We can't wait to partner with you again. In raising awareness about seasonality sustainability and the benefits of supporting local floral agriculture. Slow flowers is both a community and a branding platform and clearly. One of the most visible tools available to our members is the flowers dot Com the online member directory victory but there are so many other member benefits from your slow flowers association. Sharing those resources with you. We'll be a focus of twenty twenty as we will use the south hours podcast cast and the Sloth Hours Journal Online magazine to feature more ways to leverage your membership and communicate the slow flowers member values and benefits. I found that the number one goal of our members is to tell and share their stories. And because I'm a storyteller. We have lots of opportunities to shine a light on our remembers in a marketplace filled with conventional flowers are members are able to differentiate themselves and their floor enterprises by associating with the passion and mission of keeping flowers local seasonal and sustainable and inspiring the imagination of flower lovers and floral consumers who learn more about that narrative to that end in two thousand nineteen. We produced two year long projects though series allowed me to feature so flowers members all across the US and Canada with special themes teams visually. We featured the flowers grown and designed by slow flowers members who contributed to our monthly house dot com series in two thousand nineteen. We played a full year of slow flowers galleries with each month's floral theme published as a best of collection of design inspiration based around around specific seasonal blooms. Check out the links to the full two thousand nineteen gallery in today's show notes in always shared more than two hundred and fifty floor images with house dot com readers publishing an ongoing consistent message that local seasonal botanical are superior as I've mentioned are other series fifty states as low. Flowers has taken place all year. Long it has succeeded beyond all of my hopes and dreams. We were able to visit members in nearly every state. I think we skipped just us to and perhaps to two thousand twenty will allow me to catch up with the people in the states. We missed but think about it. The chance to hear. From our farmers floral designers and farmer number Flora's across North America also reinforces the significance of slow flowers. The Big Media News for Slow Flowers in twenty nineteen happened happened when wikipedia added an entry about slow flowers and the slow flowers movement. This achievement was a longtime incoming. And it's wonderful to see that it. It became a reality as digital information source. wikipedia is of growing importance primarily because it is a free universal resource one of the first examples of a usable encyclopedia that is built collaborative by the public today. When someone types slow flowers into their search engine to entries appear first one is the directory? Slow flowers dot com but typically the wikipedia story about so flowers. POPs up at the top of the bar is not everything but it's a pretty cool something because in today's digital reality showing up on wikipedia is a great endorsement and a special thank you to writer Mariah towner for shepherding this project with her research. Reporting talents and attention to detail or press exposure made this a fabulous year for slow flowers in the news. And I just WanNa take a moment to mention how many outlets expressed interest in our platform. This is by no means comprehensive but I'll Mentioned some highlights here added up. It's pretty impressive. Architectural Digest Seattle magazine floor businesses quarter-point. Vox Bustle the green industry leaders network. podcast the Seattle Times Sunset magazine Canadian florist the Globe in Mail and good food jobs. Blog Oregon live the Sacramento News Review Perishable News The flower podcast mornings with May Ashish the green dreamer podcast the Viva La Flora podcast refinery. Twenty Nine Garden Center magazine W. Y. S. so it which is an NPR station in Ohio. The Minneapolis Star Tribune and bloom. Stay Review and of course are ongoing editorial features. There's about slow virus members in each month's slow flowers journal found in the pages of Florus Review. You can find a link to those articles in today's show nuts but let me pause awesome reflect on our florist review partnership it is an incredible one that has been pivotal pivotal to me in moving the conversation about local seasonal unsustainable stain of flowers and sustainable design practices to the mainstream. We have a seat at the table and I am so grateful to publisher Travis. Rigby an editor in chief David Coke for this ongoing opportunity. I'm also part of the editorial teams for Super Floral. A BI monthly magazine geared to mass market and supermarket floral royal retail and Canadian Florist Bimonthly magazine for Professional Florist in Canada. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to contribute original articles about slow flowers members numbers and their creative business ventures to these titles during two thousand nineteen all of this work as a professional communicator opened up another great opportunity activity for me and slow flowers into this. In nineteen in September I was inducted into the Pfc. I professional floral communicators. International Channel Is Society of American floors organization. What an honor? That again brings slow flowers into the mainstream as an authentic channel in the floral marketplace place producing the third annual soap operas summit occupied so much of our creative energy in two thousand nineteen as an event designed for you our membership membership. It exceeded all expectations for those of you who joins us this past year in Saint Paul Minnesota in the twin cities. I hope you agree and I thank you for showing your support by attending engaging contributing to the conversation and cheering us on. It was a beautiful thing to experience as you know. The summit is the live event in the midst. The American flowers week created to serve the slow flowers community of progressive sustainably minded Flores and designers and to engage attendees who want to network with one on another planning and producing the third annual summit was made possible by the contributions of so many people. We must thank our host Christine Hoffmann of twin cities. Flower Exchange along with all the flour farmers who sell through that regional floral market for welcoming us so warmly more than one hundred and thirty five of us to be precise the priests summit farm tours at Blue Sky Flower farm and at Green Earth. Growers gave everyone a first hand experience of two incredibly beautiful and prolific midwest flower farms. Thank you so much to John and Rachel Ackerman of blue-sky flower farm for welcoming more than one hundred of us to your inspiring farm. And and thank you to Julia Grass and Jenny Haas of green earth rowers for the tour of your fields and greenhouses and for hosting the first ever slow flowers dinner on the farm a delicious experience to say the least at the summit. We enjoyed ten fabulous speakers experts in their fields and experts as teachers and communicators. There's due to the intimate size of the summit attendance. Everyone has a chance to meet our speakers. Personally that's one of the key benefits of being part of our slow flowers community making in real time. Connections is a top cited benefit according to pass summit attendees presentations and demonstrations from Toby Nelson Carly Jenkins and went McClure insured. That floral design was at the heart of the slow flowers. Summit are ten. Decent speakers also collaborated on a large scale foam free a floral sculpture using seasonal domestic and forged botanical. It was a highlight. We enjoyed a business. Focus keynote from Terry mcenaney. CEO Obey League nurseries and a social media panel with our own social media manager. Nisha blankets are summit photographer. Missy Palo call and MRIs frequent collaborator. Kalisa Ginny Frazier and we learned volumes from three innovators. Involved in the emerging category of locally focused wholesale floral hubs across the US including Christine Hoffmann of twin cities lower exchange. Amanda Marmon of Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative and Kelly Morrison of Piedmont Wholesale Flowers on Day two of the summit attendees were invited to tour. The twin cities lower exchange where floral designer Ashley. Fox shared her personal approach to shopping. The exchange for a floral design using all local blooms. We also visited the last rose grower in the Midwest with an afternoon tour of Lind Bush roses steeped in more or midwest grown flowers. If you miss joining us I have a treat for you. You can watch the free videos of all of the two thousand nineteen slow flowers summit presentations at Deborah. Printing Dot Com fi met Lincoln. Today's show notes. I can't wrap up mention of the so far summit without reminding you to register for the fourth annual slow flowers summit taking place June twenty eighth through thirtieth twenty twenty at Feili Historic House and Garden in Woodside California for Ya outside of San Francisco is going to be an incredibly creative experience and we're offering you more value and benefits than ever before the early bird pricing continue. Can you through December thirty first. So there's not much time left to save one hundred dollars off your registration and grab a spot. Join me and some wonderful speakers in the bay area next next summer. I'll share a link in today. Sean House at Deborah Printing Dot Com. So you'll find all the details or you can just click over to slow flowers. SUMMIT DOT COM to sign up. We celebrated the fifth annual American Flowers Week. During June twenty eighth through July Fourth Twenty nineteen and you and your flowers were at the heart of this this fabulous and important campaign. Slow flowers created this original. US Flower Promotion. Holiday launched in two thousand fifteen our grassroots. It's all inclusive campaign provides editorial branding and marketing resources to flower farmers florus designers retailers wholesalers who wished to promote American grown flowers flowers highlights of two thousand nineteen include our fourth year to commission botanical couture fashions with nine creative looks featured in June two thousand nineteen issue of Florus review entitled Red White and Bloom. Thank you to the floor. Designers and flower farmers who collaborated on this project object of flowering our nation during American flowers week the inventiveness expressed by the slow flowers community. Flower farmers and floral designers alike elevates American American grown mechanical to new levels. You can find photos of the entire two thousand nineteen American flowers week collection of botanical fashions including adding stories of each look in today shows. And now's the time to mark American Flowers Week Twenty Twenty on your calendar June twenty eighth through July forth because it will be our six annual campaign and celebration. I'll have more to share in the coming months but you are invited to check the twenty twenty botanical art. Branding that we commissioned from Tamra Huff of morning glory flowers and she was actually featured in last week's sloth ours podcast why not download the graphics to share on your website envious. Social Media helped me to start building interest and excitement for the twenty twenty American Flowers Week campaign and be sure to use the Hashtag American flowers week so we can see your posts. Surely the people making the slow forest movement so successful. Are you and your tribe coming together with other similar tribes in regions and communities all around both here in North America and beyond we share information ideas encouragement key resources verses tips answers experiences and more. We are united in a common belief that local and seasonal flowers grown sustainably and with minimal harm. I'm to the planet is a practice worthy of our energies in two thousand nineteen. My personal universe was filled with a few key. People whose presence and expertise help me further shape so flowers from what was originally just a concept title of a book into a multimedia multifaceted content organization and brand platform that form for others use. I shared a bit of this on the podcast. Six anniversary episode which took place on July fourth when Lisa Wad join me to talk about our collaboration to shore up the South Lowers membership organization in late March. Lisa and I participated in a spontaneous mind meld with two other flower. Flower Friends Part Getaway Park. Were -cation the gathering of four women creatives in small and large ventures from different generations and walks of life wasn't electrifying experience to say the least what emerged from our time together was a new collaboration for slow flowers with Lisa. Joining me to manage a project simply did did not have the bandwidth to tackle high have been yearning for someone who could help me untangle the crazy not of our slow flowers member database for many. This would be a mind-numbingly a boring clerical. Rather than create a task for Lisa this was a creative challenge and it called her in and rice. Indication's she has. I'm so grateful for everything is done to support so flowers in two thousand nineteen other key. People include the soap Irish creative team with whom I work all year long. Thank you to Jenny. Diaz are uber talented graphic designer whose artistry helps us communicate and represent the ideas and ideals of so flowers she has consistently supported my projects since I ask her to create our membership and sponsor collateral material in two thousand fifteen followed quickly by the iconic American flowers. Week branding which was unveiled failed in two thousand sixteen our second year am I. Collaboration with Jenny has expanded now to include all flowers in American flowers week. Branding advertising zing collateral material and more and now. I'm so excited to be working with Jenny as the designer of the Slow Flowers Journal volume one book Doc Out in two thousand twenty more on that soon. Thank you to Nisha. Blunkett's our Social Media Maven of fetching social media job. I've also known them. Work with Nisha. Since two thousand fifteen she took over our instagram and facebook social media strategy two years ago and I couldn't be more pleased East under her leadership. Talent and attention to detail. Nisha has nurtured the at myself our channel on Instagram and facebook sloth hours page exponentially early increasing our engagement with you our community Nisha has been with the sloth our summit team from the very first conference in two thousand seventeen in Seattle and as she was also a presenter this past year in Saint Paul Minnesota. I'm so grateful for her creativity and positive influence as we take the slow flowers journey together and thank you to Karen Thornton of Avenue. Twenty two events the steady hand on the Tiller of the slow flowers summit since two thousand eighteen. Our Second Conference Karen Erin. Is the secret sauce to my being able to realize a vision for a multifaceted interactive and live in person experience that takes place during the heart of American flowers. Week she is one of my fiercest defenders and the brand advocate. I've needed to round out the sloth hours team for two thousand Twenty Cairns coming on board to manage the entire south hours administrative sweet projects making sure we stay on time on budget on point and more. I couldn't be happier with the contributions of the four women I just think and yet there is one other key person I need to add. Its are dedicated. Talented and supportive. PODCAST engineer and editor Andrew Brennan. Thank you Andrew. Hannah Brennan and was my original producer and after about one year she handed the weekly production over to her husband. Andrew as I said last year Andrew has taken our audio to new levels with beautiful musical transitions and his patient and loyal efforts to improve my limited technical skills. Let's face it. I know how to find great guests and I know how to interview. See them but beyond that this podcast would not exist without Andrew. He's a new father to as Hannah and Andrew welcomed Baby Francis to their family this year. Congratulations Andrew through and thank you so much for making our podcast so successful in two thousand nineteen as we come to a close. I WanNa thank our two thousand nineteen sponsors slow clower sponsors support our work to connect consumers with florus shops studios and farmers who supply source domestic and American grown flowers and related hard goods accessories and businesses. I just WanNa take a minute to thank them for their financial support. Two Thousand Nineteen and to tell tell you a little bit about how each partnership is uniquely tailored to meet the mutual goals of promoting American flowers. You've already heard about our partnership with lead sponsor Florist Review. But I'll thank you travis. Rigby publisher David Coke editorial director and Kathleen Dylan Art Director here. They and the rest of the floors review team. I heard Choi to work with on I respect and value our relationship and as I said coming up in early two thousand twenty our first book collaboration with Flores Review called called the slow flowers journal volume created with the amazing talented support of Robin off Ni as editor and our own. GTS designer can't wait to share more. But you can see a sneak peek of the book cover art in today's show nuts featuring photography by MRI PALO call. Thank you to these amazing sponsors the peony farmers of Arctic Alaska Pennies who supported this podcast and the farmers journal in two thousand nineteen the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and it's amazing group of northwest flower farmers and market staff long `field gardens for connecting florus to gardening and connecting gardeners to floral design Johnny selected selected seeds for producing high quality seeds for flowers villages and herbs that we plant in cutting gardens and on flower farms of all sizes syndicates sales for supporting Florus with an incredibly diverse selection of USA made vases design mechanics and accessories. The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers for its support and leadership in growing flower farming as an important profession mash. Wholesale Florist has again supported the podcast? An American flowers week in two thousand nineteen and we're so grateful for their industry support. Northwest screen panels the Oregon based greenhouse builder. which is responsible for my charming eight by eight foot? Modern Slate Green House and farmers with the Software Company that came on board midair as podcast and newsletter sponsor. Slow flowers is the term most widely used in the floral marketplace to communicate and convey seasonal local and sustainable floriculture. It has been another another record setting year in so many ways. According to Keyhole Dot Com are tracking service slow forest metrics are higher than ever our Social Media Maven Nisha has has worked tirelessly to represent so flowers and its members through the media with great results in the past three hundred sixty five days on twitter and instagram combined. Slow flowers has appeared in more than seventy five thousand posts up from forty seven thousand in two thousand eighteen. And we've had engagement of two point three million up from engagement of one point. Four million in two thousand eighteen to that I say what are you waiting for. We love you to join so flowers and put your resources creativity personal engagement and passion into work for a movement that gives back to you in volumes. You can start the new year with a commitment to supporting slow flowers and you can join us for as little as fifty dollars a year to to enjoy the many programs and benefits for members the link to join us at today's show notes or as slow flowers dot com slash. Join thank. Thank you for being part of this movement. And I hope you'll make the next step by investing in the continued relevance and success of this brand it will reward you as well. I'm Deborah imprinting host and producer of the so far podcast next week. You're invited to join me and putting more American pro flowers on the table one base at a time and if you like what you hear please consider logging onto itunes and posting a listener review the content and opinions expressed. Here are either mine mine alone or those of my guests alone. Independent of any podcasts sponsor or other person company or organization. The slow flowers podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Friendly or more about his work at sound body movement dot com. Yeah well that's IT folks as our year comes close. I wish you a warm and restorative holiday this season and share my hope for a peaceful and productive twenty twenty.

Coming up next