For the fifth consecutive year, our Slow Flowers Botanical Couture Collection will feature creativity and fashion with American-grown flowers and foliages — all to celebrate American Flowers Week!
You’ll soon be the first to see our AFW 2020 Botanical Fashion Collection, created over the past year by a talented lineup of Slow FlowersMembers around the U.S.
The series will first appear in the June 2020 issue of Florists’ Review, followed by many other platforms and channels. In fact, we’ll soon share American Flowers Week badges for you to download free and use in your own promotion and branding.
Until then, help us thank, congratulate and celebrate our Featured Designers:
For 2020, the designer was inspired by a new floral palette – Hawaii-grown orchids – and a feminine, romantic aesthetic.
I’m so glad we could also show the greenhouses where these flowers come from.
Designer Michelle Rech of Electric Flora, based in Portland, partnered with our Slow Flowers sponsor Johnny’s Selected Seeds to create a playful dress adorned with flowers harvested from Johnny’s famous trial gardens in Winslow, Maine.
“Having the opportunity to host a floral fashion designer has been a true highlight for the JSS team,” says Hillary Alger, product manager for herbs and flowers.
“To pause from the busy work of trials and catalog production to participate in something so out of the ordinary stretches our brains in really fun ways.”
American Flowers Week welcomes a new state and a new look by Moníca Pugh of Floras & Bouquets LLC, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Flower farming is new to South Dakota,” Moníca says. “I’m really hoping that (my participation in) American Flowers week will help get the word out about what’s happening with local flowers.
Sarah Pabody of Triple Wren Farms lives and breathes dahlias at the farm she operates with her husband Steve Pabody in the Northwest corner of Washington State (see their family photo above).
As a farmer-florist, she also runs Triple Wren Weddings, a wedding and event design studio. After seeing how popular the farm’s dahlia fields were with local photographers and their portrait clients, Sarah fantasized about what it would look like if the people having their photos taken wore dahlias rather than only standing among the flowers.
We’ll share the BIG REVEAL of our 2020 American Flowers Week Botanical Couture collection on June 1st. Stay tuned! In the meantime, EVERYONE is invited to conjure their own American Flowers Week botanical couture wearable, because we hope to flood social media with #americanflowersweek goodness come June 28-July 4! Let your imagination go wild!
This year, we continue the inspiring Botanical Couture Collection, a series of wearable floral fashions, created with locally-harvested flowers and foliages by design teams around the U.S. For 2019, we have the largest collection to date — NINE Looks!
In the days leading up to the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4), we want to highlight stories of the people, flowers, studios and farms behind these beautiful looks.
First up: Maine
Design Elements: An endless array of iconic, field-grown flowers at the Johnny’s Selected Seeds Research Farm, a 40-acre farm is located in Albion, Maine. At first glance, Johnny’s Farm looks like a typical market farm, with three greenhouses, a hoophouse, and orderly fields of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. But a closer inspection reveals its true nature as a place of study and evaluation. Labels mark the variety trials; staff members with clipboards make notes; and groups of employees from the nonfarming parts of the company participate in guided “crop walks” and “field forums” across the seasons to learn about varieties and methods being trialed.
Inspiration:Rayne Grace Hoke, Slow Flowers member and owner of Flora’s Muse in Biddeford, Maine, says she was inspired by the incredible variety of annuals, herbs, grasses and foliages. She incorporated many of these choices into a beautiful tapestry-like bodice and a flowing skirt of grasses and greens.
We asked Johnny’s flower and herb expert Hillary Alger a few questions about the project. Here’s our conversation:
Q: What was the starting point for the design? A: Rayne was so wonderful and open to anything. In one of the planning phone calls, there was some mention of the warmth and glow of high-season annuals. That stuck in my mind and was the guiding concept in gathering materials for Rayne to work with. The final harvest list included a lot of apricot, gold, cream and coral blooms. It was so exciting to participate and imagine what the final piece would look like. I definitely went overboard harvesting a little too much!
Q: Can you describe the place where photography occurred? A:The shoot took place in our flower trial fields, located on a high point of Johnny’s trials and research farm. The farm is very rural, bordered by woods and farm fields. It was an old dairy farm before becoming the primary location for Johnny’s Selected Seeds in the 1970s. It’s a quiet place at the end of the day when everyone has gone home. For the photography, we got an early start in order to catch some dreamy light.
Q: Can you describe the mood or sentiment of the location? A:The concept and story we had in mind when setting up and styling the shoot was something of ‘Alice in Wonderland-meets-flower farmer.’ The story was that Mary, our model, was in her own flower field; she’s taken by and a bit intoxicated by the beauty of the moment. Responding to the experience, she has gathered all that her arms can carry. Maybe she made the dress . . . or maybe she just imagined it!
Q: What do you hope is the message for those who see these incredible images, the flowers and Rayne’s magical dress? A: I hope this inspires others to explore the story of local and domestic farms, seasonal flowers and the farmers and designers who are working hard to make our world so beautiful.
Q: Anything else you want to mention about this project? A: It was really fun to think about floral design, beyond the bouquet. We should all do that more often!
The fifth annual celebration of domestic cut flowers, June 28-July 4
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Debra Prinzing | 206-769-8211 | firstname.lastname@example.org
SEATTLE, WA (May 28, 2019) – Debra Prinzing, Slow Flowers founder and creative director, announced details for the 2019 American Flowers Week campaign and unveiled this year’s botanical couture collection featuring nine floral fashion looks designed with iconic American-grown botanicals. American Flowers Week is produced by Prinzing’s Slowflowers.com, the comprehensive online resource that connects consumers with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers.
Since 2015, Prinzing has staged
a week-long celebration of domestic flowers to raise consumer awareness and
unite America’s flower farmers with the U.S. floral industry. Last year, that
effort generated 4.0 million social media impressions on Twitter and Instagram,
demonstrating the power of images, ideas and values that promote American flowers.
“I created American Flowers Week in 2015 as a community-focused floral holiday that encourages participation from everyone in the floral marketplace — from flower seed and bulb producers to growers; from designers to retailers; from cutting garden enthusiasts to artists,” Prinzing explains. “It’s the original, American-grown floral holiday that stimulates interest in beauty, seasonality, local agriculture and sustainable floral design.”
Slow Flowers has again commissioned a dynamic lineup of design teams: flower farmers and florists who partnered over the course of the past year to create botanical wearables. “For 2019, we have an unprecedented nine looks, representing the incredible diversity of flora rooted in U.S. soil,” Prinzing says.
Each look in the American
Flowers Week Collection is unique to the location and season where it was
produced and photographed, with design narratives that elevate flowers and
foliages as works of art. Florists’
Review magazine, for which Prinzing is a Contributing Editor, will publish
highlights of the 2019 collection in its June issue, out this week. More images
will be published at AmericanFlowersWeek.com.
Slow Flowers designer teams include:
ALASKA: Kim Herning, Northern Lights Peonies (floral design and flowers) CALIFORNIA: Jenny Diaz, Jenny M. Diaz (floral design), with flowers provided by Dramm & Echter FLORIDA: Eileen Tongson, FarmGal Flowers (floral design), with ferns and foliage provided by Jana Register of Fern Trust MAINE: Rayne Grace Hoke,Flora’s Muse (floral design), with flowers provided by Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ trial gardens MICHIGAN: Heather Grit, Glamour and Grit Floral (floral design), with plants and greenery provided by Speyer Greenhouse and Hart Tree Farm MISSOURI: Andrea K. Grist, Andrea K. Grist Floral Art (floral design), with flowers provided by Beth and Joel Fortin of Little Green Garden LLC OREGON: Beth Syphers, Crowley House Flower Farm (floral design), with flowers provided by Bethany and Charles Little, Charles Little & Co. SOUTH CAROLINA: Toni Reale, Roadside Blooms (floral design), with flowers provided by Laura Mewbourn, Feast & Flora Farm WASHINGTON: Tammy Myers, First & Bloom (floral design), with flowers supplied by Amy Brown, Laughing Goat Farm and Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Held in the heart of American Flowers Week, the third annual Slow Flowers Summit takes place on July 1 and 2, 2019, at the Paikka Event Space in St. Paul, Minnesota. Developed to stimulate new, sustainable practices in floral design and growing, the Summit and features flower farm tours, a farm-to-table dinner on a flower farm, presentations on floral design, best business practices, industry innovations and an interactive floral installation for all participants. Details are available at SlowFlowersSummit.com.
American Flowers Week receives
sponsorship from Syndicate Sales, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Longfield Gardens,
Mayesh Wholesale Florist, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, the Association of
Specialty Cut Flower Growers, and Florists’ Review magazine.
Flowers Week supporters can find more information and resources at americanflowersweek.com.
Downloadable fact sheets, infographics and 2019 American Flowers Week logo and
social media badges are available for growers and florists to use for marketing
and promotion efforts.
Participants are encouraged to use the social media tag #Americanflowersweek to help spread the word about this campaign across all platforms.
About American Flowers Week: American Flowers Week is designed to engage the public, policymakers and the media in a conversation about the origins of their flowers. As an advocacy effort, the campaign coincides with America’s Independence Day on July 4th, providing florists, retailers, wholesalers and flower farmers a patriotic opportunity to promote American grown flowers.
About Debra Prinzing: Debra Prinzing is a
Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers.
Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national
conversation that stimulates consumers and professionals alike to make
conscious choices about their floral purchases.
Debra is the
producer of SlowFlowers.com, the online directory to American grown farms,
florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers. Each
Wednesday, approximately 2,500 listeners tune into Debra’s “Slow Flowers
Podcast,” available for free downloads at her web site, debraprinzing.com,
or on iTunes and via other podcast services. She is the author of 10 books,
including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet.
Creative Credits: Designer: Rayne Grace Hoke, Flora’s Muse, Biddeford, Maine, florasmuse.com, @florasmuse Design Assistant: Hillary Alger, Product Manager for Herbs and Flowers, Johnny’s Selected Seeds Flowers and Foliage: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine, johnnyseeds.com, @johnnys_seeds Venue: Johnny’s Trial Gardens, Albion, Maine Model: Mary Yarumian, @marybebythesea Hair and Makeup: Mary Yarumian Photography: Kristen Earley, Johnny’s Selected Seeds; Chris Pinchbeck, pinchbeckphoto.com Download Images: Please credit (c) Kristen Early and Chris Pinchbeck
MICHIGAN: Heather Grit, Glamour and Grit Floral (floral design), with plants and greenery provided by Speyer Greenhouse and Hart Tree Farm
Creative Credits: Designer: Heather Grit, Glamour and Grit Floral, glamourandgritfloral.com, @glamourandgrit Plants and Greenery: Speyer Greenhouse, Byron Center, Mich., @speyergreenhouse; and Hart Tree Farm, Rockford, Mich., harttreefarm.net Venue: Private location, Caledonia, Mich. Model: Kailee Naber, @kaileenaber Hair and Makeup: Tawwney Sayre, Makeup by Tawwney, @tawwney.jua Photography: Joelle Martin, Lavender and Lace Photography LLC, lavenderandlacephotos.com, @lavenderandlacephotos Download Images: Please credit (c) Joelle Martin
MISSOURI: Andrea K. Grist, Andrea K. Grist Floral Art (floral design), with flowers provided by Beth and Joel Fortin of Little Green Garden LLC
Creative Credits: Designer: Andrea K. Grist, Andrea K. Grist Floral Art, andreakgristfloralart.com, @andreakgristfloralart Flowers: Little Green Garden LLC, Richmond, Missouri, littlegreengardenllc.com, @littlegreengardenkc Venue: Sunset Trails Stables, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, sunsettrailsstables.com, @sunsettrailsstables Model: Samantha Grist Hair and Makeup: Andrea K. Grist Photography: Tiffany Marie Buckley, Tiffany Marie Photography, tiffanybuckley.com, @tiffanymariephoto Download Images:Please credit (c) Tiffany Marie Buckley
OREGON: Beth Syphers, Crowley House Flower Farm (floral design), with flowers provided by Bethany and Charles Little, Charles Little & Co.
Creative Credits: Designer: Beth Syphers, Crowley House Flower Farm, Rickreall, Oregon, chflowers.com, @crowleyhouse Fresh and Dried Floral: Crowley House Flower Farm and Bethany and Charles Little, Charles Little & Co., Eugene, Oregon, charleslittleandcompany.com, @charleslittleandco Venue: McMinnville, Oregon Models: Rilley Syphers and Remington Kuenzi Hair and Makeup: Rilley Syphers, @rilley.h.s Photography: Haley Swinth, haleyswinthphoto.com, @haleyswinth Download Images: Please credit (c) Haley Swinth
SOUTH CAROLINA: Toni Reale, Roadside Blooms (floral design), with flowers provided by Laura Mewbourn, Feast & Flora Farm
Creative Credits: Floral Designer: Toni Reale, Roadside Blooms, North Charleston, S.C., roadsideblooms.com, @roadsideblooms_shop Farmer/Florist: Laura Mewbourn, Feast & Flora Farm, Meggett, S.C., feastandflorafarm.com, @feastandflora Venue: Seashore Farmers’ Lodge No. 767, James Island, S.C., National Registry of Historic Places Model: Giovanni Richardson, “Queen Gigi Ma’at Ogechi,” Sea Island Gullah Chieftess and founding member of A Taste of Gullah, tasteofgullah.com Design Assistants: Kelsey Bacon, Joy Colby, Scott Woytowick Photography: Philip Casey, philipcaseyphoto.com, @philipcaseyphoto Download Images: Please credit (c) Philip Casey
WASHINGTON: Tammy Myers, First & Bloom (floral design), with flowers supplied by Amy Brown, Laughing Goat Farm and Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Creative Credits: Designer: Tammy Myers, First & Bloom, firstandbloom.com, @firstandbloom Design Assistance: Amy Brown and Leila Jorden @leilajjorden Flowers: Laughing Goat Flower Farm, Enumclaw, Wash., laughinggoatfarm.com, @laughinggoatflowerfarm Additional Flowers: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, seattlewholesalegrowersmarket, @seattlewholesalegrowersmarket Venue: Laughing Goat Farm Model: Anne Davidson, @amd98065 Hair and Makeup: Elizabeth White Artistry @elizabethwhiteartistry Photography: Missy Palacol Photography @missy.palacol Download Images: Please credit (c) Missy Palacol
Red, White and Bloom Introducing the fifth annual American Flowers Week botanical couture collection
Photos by Tiffany Marie Buckley, Philip Casey, Jenny M. Diaz, Kristen Earley, Roxy Marcy, Joelle Martin, Missy Palacol, Chris Pinchbeck, Haley Swinth and Danielle Werner
and runway-ready, the American Flowers
Week botanical couture collection features nine fashionable floral looks
produced by Slow Flowers teams
across the U.S. Together, these wearable floral garments represent a diverse story
of originality and inventiveness. Each melds talents of growers and florists,
elevating local and seasonal flowers in unexpected and beautiful ways.
In its fifth
year, American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) promotes domestic flowers and
foliage in the marketplace, inspiring professionals and consumers alike. When flowers
are seen as fashion, they ignite the imagination and stimulate new awareness of
domestic floral agriculture and the art of floral design.
This year’s participants have transformed familiar and uncommon annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, grasses and herbs into everything from mod minis to luxurious gowns, continuing the American Flowers Week series that began with Susan McLeary’s iconic red-white-and-blue floral ‘fro in 2016. The collection has grown to 20 pieces, each of which portrays floral design as art rather than a commodity.
The Slow Flowers application process invited designer-farmer teams around the country to submit their best ideas for showcasing regional traditions, seasonal crops and distinct cultural and historic influences through the floral medium. The alluring results are found in the pages of Florists’ Review’s Slow Flowers Journal. When a model dons a garment fashioned from petals, fronds, buds and blades . . . we as viewers experience wonder and curiosity. These designs shine a light on the passionate individuals who have turned ideas into reality. From gardens to gowns. From cut flowers to couture. From seedlings to style.
Appreciate these artisans and learn from their creative process as they transform fields of blooms into a collection of American floral fashion ingenuity.
ALASKA “The inspiration for our garment came from the floral looks of past seasons,” says Kim Herning of Northern Lights Peonies, based in Fairbanks, Alaska. “And since we are peony farmers, we knew we would be working with peony blooms in all colors and sizes. The style of the peony dress harkens back to women’s fashion in the 1700s and is also reminiscent of the ‘Barbie cakes’ my mother would make in the 1960s. We hope by combining our beautiful peonies with a lovely model in a fantasy setting we would create magic.”
Creative Credits Design team: Kim Herning, Roxy Marcy and Tirzah Friesen Venue and Flowers: Northern Lights Peonies, Fairbanks, Alaska, @northernlightspeonies Lead Designer: Kim Herning, Northern Lights Peonies, Arctic Alaska Peonies @arcticalaskapeonies Model and H/MU: Tirzah Friesen Photography: Roxy Marcy with Alaska Alchemy @alaskaalchemy
“I’ve always been inspired by the American West,” explains floral designer Tammy Myers of First and Bloom, based in the Seattle area. “My mother is a quilter. My father loves American history. My grandfather was a descendant of the Karuk Tribe in Northern California. To me, a quilt is a beautiful symbol of true American history. Upon more research, I discovered these iconic patchwork designs actually originate from women during the Colonial period of the 1700s. Later, Native women, known for making beautiful blankets, also started using these same quilting techniques. Quilts are truly a labor of love that brings warmth and comfort to whomever they surround. I find flowers have a similar nature. They too, bring joy and comfort to whomever they are near.
was very important to me for this project. Our model, Anne Davidson, is of Native Athabaskan descent and the area
where this scene was photographed at Laughing
Goat Farm in Enumclaw, Wash., is an area rich in Native American
Creative Credits Designer: Tammy Myers, First & Bloom, firstandbloom.com, @firstandbloom Design Assistance: Amy Brown and Leila Jorden @leilajjorden Flowers: Laughing Goat Flower Farm, Enumclaw, Wash., laughinggoatfarm.com, @laughinggoatflowerfarm Additional Flowers: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, seattlewholesalegrowersmarket, @seattlewholesalegrowersmarket Venue: Laughing Goat Farm Model: Anne Davidson, @amd98065 Hair and Makeup: Elizabeth White Artistry @elizabethwhiteartistry Photography: Missy Palacol Photography @missy.palacol
brave, boundary-pushing young woman is wearing 1960s Vogue attire created from gerbera daisies,” says artist and
photographer Jenny M. Diaz.
“The ’60s were such a pivotal decade for women. Women were demanding more
inclusion in the workforce, equal pay and control of their personal rights.
chose the city of Fresno as my backdrop because many of the structures date
back to the ’60s. The gerbera daisies are strong, not only in their appearance,
but also how they create a pattern on the dress. Our gray background
contrasting with a beautiful model in my bright gerbera dress made for a
perfect combination. We wanted to show
how strong women can be — on the rooftop, looking out into the world, hanging
over the edge, riding a skateboard — all while looking stunning. My hope is
that when someone sees this look, they are inspired to push themselves further.
I am a graphic designer who wanted to push myself to create this look from
start to finish. Yes, I was absolutely terrified, but I stepped out of my
comfort zones and jumped in head first!”
Creative Credits: Designer: Jenny M. Diaz, jennymdiaz.com, @jennymdiaz Flowers: Dramm + Echter, Encinitas, Calif., drammechter.com, @dramm_and_echter Venue: Fresno, Calif. Model: Kara Trukki @luckytrukki Hair and Makeup: Sixx Valenzuela, @sixxvalenzuela Photography: Jenny M. Diaz
K. Grist conjures a
playful mini-dress infused with the personality of woodland, meadow and
prairie, featuring botanicals sourced from Little
Green Garden. “I
was inspired by the native plants and grasses that grow in and around the
flower farms of Missouri and Kansas,” she says. “I wanted a very
organic look that’s youthful for our model’s age and size. I call the look
‘Cowgirl meets Yule Sprite’ for its sense of both innocence and powerful
confidence. Beth and Joel Fortin of
Little Green Garden harvested all the ingredients from their farm, including
flowers, grasses, pods and evergreens. The extensive grounds of our location
include tall grass prairies and tree-lined horse trails, reflecting the flora
of this region. On location, our photographer Tiffany Marie Buckley played with lighting to create a moody,
mystical background, merging the initial concept with more fairytale qualities.”
Creative Credits: Designer: Andrea K. Grist, Andrea K. Grist Floral Art, andreakgristfloralart.com, @andreakgristfloralart Flowers: Little Green Garden LLC, Richmond, Missouri, littlegreengardenllc.com, @littlegreengardenkc Venue: Sunset Trails Stables, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, sunsettrailsstables.com, @sunsettrailsstables Model: Samantha Grist Hair and Makeup: Andrea K. Grist Photography: Tiffany Marie Buckley, Tiffany Marie Photography, tiffanybuckley.com, @tiffanymariephoto
Heather Grit of Caledonia, Mich.-based Glamour and Grit Floral highlights the
winter beauty of Michigan, saying “as a designer, I have to be creative in
the colder months and think outside the box to create a dress that doesn’t
harvested trimmings from 17 types of evergreens growing at a Michigan tree
farm, including spruces and firs. “I wanted to give our dress dimension
and texture — and show how pretty Michigan can be when there is snow on the
ground and the flowers are dormant.”
Creative Credits: Designer: Heather Grit, Glamour and Grit Floral, glamourandgritfloral.com, @glamourandgrit Plants and Greenery: Speyer Greenhouse, Byron Center, Mich., @speyergreenhouse; and Hart Tree Farm, Rockford, Mich., harttreefarm.net Venue: Private location, Caledonia, Mich. Model: Kailee Naber, @kaileenaber Hair and Makeup: Tawwney Sayre, Makeup by Tawwney, @tawwney.jua Photography: Joelle Martin, Lavender and Lace Photography LLC, lavenderandlacephotos.com, @lavenderandlacephotos
Rayne Grace Hoke’s inspiration for the late-summer dress was two-fold. She
envisioned a floral version of her family’s collection of heirloom crazy quilts
and drew from the extensive flowers, greenery and herbs at Johnny’s
Selected Seeds’ research
farm in Albion, Maine.
When Rayne arrived at the 40-acre certified
organic farm, she was mesmerized by the varieties available at the peak of the
“I let the palette of organic
botanicals ‘speak’ to me, as their twists and swirls, colors and shapes
influenced this dress design,” she says. “The setting and flowers
lent themselves to the natural progression that allowed me to turn our model
into a flower harvest goddess. I created a pattern with flowers to mimic fabric
for the dress’s bodice. Grasses of all types created the garment’s skirt. The
key to constructing this look was to make sure the undergarment we used was
fitted and could support the weight of the flowers. This is when my skills in
fashion design and sewing come in handy!”
She continues: “I hope my love for the stunning beauty of Maine comes
through, as well as love for what I do as an artist.”
Creative Credits: Designer: Rayne Grace Hoke, Flora’s Muse, Biddeford, Maine, florasmuse.com, @florasmuse Design Assistant: Hillary Alger, Product Manager for Herbs and Flowers, Johnny’s Selected Seeds Flowers and Foliage: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine, johnnyseeds.com, @johnnys_seeds Venue: Johnny’s Trial Gardens, Albion, Maine Model: Mary Yarumian, @marybebythesea Hair and Makeup: Mary Yarumian Photography: Kristen Earley, Johnny’s Selected Seeds; Chris Pinchbeck, pinchbeckphoto.com
Co-designers Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms and Laura
Mewbourn of Feast & Flora Farm
viewed their botanical couture collaboration as an opportunity to highlight the
unique heritage and culture of coastal South Carolina’s Gullah Geechee, a
community descended from West African and Central African enslaved people. The
women explain, “we were also inspired by the work of noted Southern
painter Jonathan Green and spent a lot of time pouring over photos of his work,
as well as photos of women in traditional Gullah dress.
wanted to focus on primary colors for the flowers — the reds, blues, yellows
that so frequently appear in Mr. Green’s paintings — and we selected a
location that reflects the culture and story of the Gullah Geechee people. This
palette pops brilliantly against the greenery of the marsh location, as well as
the Seashore Farmers’ Lodge No. 767, a fraternal common house built in 1915 by
black farmers for their community.”
grown in local soil at Feast & Flora Farm and foraged on location compose a
brillant floral garment for their model, Giovanni Richardson, “Queen Gigi
Ma’at Ogechi,” Sea Island Gullah Chieftess and founding member of A Taste
of Gullah. “As we created Queen Gigi’s dress, we listened to her stories,
bearing witness to a beautiful, strong woman, living her life and honoring her
heritage as a descendant of slaves. Through listening, understanding and facing
the dark reality that is our history, and our present, we believe we can create
a different future,” Reale and Mewbourn say.
This project was personal and meaningful to the creators, and they credit their model for her guidance and collaboration. “We saw this as an opportunity to highlight the Gullah Geechee community with the hope of challenging people to think of Charleston not just as a place of iconic landmarks frequented by tourists, but as a place whose farms, homes, and plantations were born on the backs of enslaved people, people whose descendants live here and to whom we owe a debt we will never be able to repay.”
Creative Credits: Floral Designer: Toni Reale, Roadside Blooms, North Charleston, S.C., roadsideblooms.com, @roadsideblooms_shop Farmer/Florist: Laura Mewbourn, Feast & Flora Farm, Meggett, S.C., feastandflorafarm.com, @feastandflora Venue: Seashore Farmers’ Lodge No. 767, James Island, S.C., National Registry of Historic Places Model: Giovanni Richardson, “Queen Gigi Ma’at Ogechi,” Sea Island Gullah Chieftess and founding member of A Taste of Gullah, tasteofgullah.com Design Assistants: Kelsey Bacon, Joy Colby, Scott Woytowick Photography: Philip Casey, philipcaseyphoto.com, @philipcaseyphoto
wanted to tell a story of a sassy, confident, modern-day young woman, and she
framed her narrative around the late 1950s and early 1960s. “I also wanted
this design to embrace women in all shapes and sizes and reflect their power,”
she says. “Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co., a farm known for
fabulous dried flowers, assisted me with this project. We decided to highlight
the 1960s dried flower vibe. We loved showcasing a combination of dried and
fresh flowers as a way to extend the ‘local’ season in our floral designs. To
me, flowers in all stages of their lifecycle have beauty. I would love folks to
look at this design and be confident about stepping away from following the
crowd; to not be afraid of what people think of their art, but to be bold and
Creative Credits: Designer: Beth Syphers, Crowley House Flower Farm, Rickreall, Oregon, chflowers.com, @crowleyhouse Fresh and Dried Floral: Crowley House Flower Farm and Beth and Charles Little, Charles Little & Co., Eugene, Oregon, charleslittleandcompany.com, @charleslittleandco Venue: McMinnville, Oregon Models: Rilley Syphers and Remington Kuenzi Hair and Makeup: Rilley Syphers, @rilley.h.s Photography: Haley Swinth, haleyswinthphoto.com, @haleyswinth
Tongson is a farmer-florist in the Orlando area who partnered with FernTrust,
one of the nation’s largest sources of Florida-grown ferns and foliage.
“My starting point for the design was a visit to FernTrust, where I was
able to see up close all the foliage they grow,” she says. “All of
the shades of green, not to mention the textures and shapes of foliage, were so
inspiring! Many people still do not know that Central Florida is the cut
foliage capital of the world. I wanted to create a design that highlights this
amazing botanical product and encourage other designers to use it as more than
just foliage in their floral arrangements.”
botanical gown and the fern-farm location are thoroughly integrated. “We
want you to look at our story and immediately know its setting — the real,
natural Florida. We were so fortunate that the most perfect oranges were still
on the trees at FernTrust. Spanish moss was moving in the breeze. There were
also majestic oak trees overhead and countless varieties of ferns below. What a
dreamy, magical place!”
Creative Credits: Designer: Eileen Tongson, FarmGal Flowers, Orlando, Florida, farmgalflowers.com, @farmgalflowers Foliage: Jana Register, FernTrust, Seville, Florida, ferntrust.com, @ferntrustinc Venue: FernTrust Model: Isabel Tongson, @isabel.tongson Hair: Katrina Elbo, J. Bauman Salon, shearkatrina.com, @shearkatrina Makeup: Miki Walker, Make Me Up Miki, makemeupmiki.com, @mikilanii Photography: Danielle Werner, Live Wonderful Photography, livewonderful.com, @livewonderful_
For the fourth consecutive year, Slow Flowers will commission designer-flower farmer creative teams to transform popular, American-grown flowers and foliages into Couture Fashion Looks for American Flowers Week!
We’ve been working behind-the-scenes with a fabulous group of Slow FlowersMembers around the U.S. to envision the “collection” for 2019.
A few of the looks have already been produced and photographed; a few more photo sessions are on the calendar later this fall; and in warmer climates like Florida and California, looks will be designed and photographed over the winter months into early spring.
You’ll be the first to see the entire AFW 2019 Botanical Fashion Collection — we promise!
Being featured in Florists’ Review is one bonus for our participants and a wonderful change to promote local and seasonal botanicals AND your growing & design talents!
The series will first appear in the June 2019 issue of Florists’ Review, followed by many other platforms and channels. In fact, we’ll share American Flowers Week badges for you to download free and use in your own promotion and branding.
Until then, help thank, congratulate and celebrate our Designer Dream Teams:
Rayne Grace Hoke, with model and friend Mary Yarumian, on location at Johnny’s Seeds in Winslow Maine.
Rayne Grace Hoke of Florasmuse partnered with our very own sponsor, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, to create a stunning gown embellished with field-grown flowers, herbs and ornamental grains — harvested from Johnny’s famous trial gardens in Winslow, Maine.
Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers, based in Orlando, is teaming up with Jana Register and the fern and foliage farmers from FernTrust in Seville to interpret a glam-greenery look.
Our very own Jenny M. Diaz, the artist and graphic designer who’s responsible for all of the American Flowers Week branding, is bringing her fashionista vibe to a botanical couture look using flowers from Dramm & Echter Farm.
Beth Syphers (left) and Bethany Little (right)
Beth Syphers of Crowley House and Bethany Little of Charles Little & Co., two farmer-florists and good friends are collaborating on a sassy 1950s-60s floral ensemble!
Heather Grit of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Heather Grit of Glamour and Grit Floral is pulling together a creative team to produce a winter wonderland look ~ so Michigan, right?! Her theme: locally-grown ferns and greens.
Laura Mewbourn (left) and Toni Reale (right, with Debra Prinzing)
Two talents who are 100% committed to locally-grown flowers are teaming up for an uniquely Southern-inspired project. Laura Mewbourn of Feast & Flora Farm, a farmer-florist, and floral designer Toni Reale of Roadside Blooms envision a botanical look that reflects and respects the history of their region.
MORE TO COME . . . It’s no surprise that we’ve had more submissions for participants (floral designers and flower farmers) who really, really, want to participate in the 2019 Floral Couture Collection. And with so many talented creatives, we’re finding it super hard to say “no,” so stay tuned for more announcements!
P.S., EVERYONE is invited to conjure their own American Flowers Week botanical couture wearable, because we hope to flood social media with #americanflowersweek goodness come June 28-July 4! Let your imagination go wild!
American Flowers Week’s botanical art by Ellen Hoverkamp.
I created American Flowers Week in 2015 as a community-focused floral holiday that allows and encourages participation from everyone in the floral industry — from flower seed and bulb producers to growers; from designers to retailers; from cutting garden enthusiasts to artists.
Here are the many ways you can particpate in the original American-grown floral holiday:
The hashtag: #americanflowersweek is trending with 5.3 million impressions in the past 365 days!
Share your flowers — First and foremost, this is a grassroots, social-media focused campaign that relies on everyone’s voices joined as one to shout the benefits and values of domestic flowers.
It’s simple, Take photos of your flowers — flowers and foliages that you grow, harvest or design.
Post the images to social media outlets and use #americanflowersweek #slowflowers as your tags.
Tag @myslowflowers so we can see and document your posts, too.
Social media posts are an easy and consistent way to broadcast your support for AFW!
Dennis Westphall of Jello Mold Farm (@mister.mold) is one of our most creative Instagram influencers for #americanflowersweek
Slow Flowers member Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Farm outside Sebastopol created the cutest American Flowers Week flower bra!
2. Create an installation — Floral installations and large-scale botanical displays are ambitious but also exciting ways to create interest and get the buzz going about you, your flowers and your commitment to American Flowers Week.
Last year, Rayne Grace Hoke of O’Donal’s in Maine turned her garden center’s greenhouse into a “live” floral experience during American Flowers Week.
Tara Folker of Splints & Daisies in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, took over the public piano in her town square to celebrate American Flowers Week in beautiful & local blooms.
3. Host an event — Throw an American Flowers Week Party as a way to engage customers (professional florists and floral consumers alike) in the cause. It’s as simple as choosing a date and bringing flowers and people together. The location, the refreshments, the activities — all come together to focus the attention on Local and Seasonal Flowers!
The Hudson Valley Flower Growers threw a fabulous party last year!
Meet the SC Upstate Flowers team, from left: Erin Howe, Red Maple Flowers; Melissa Smith, Fraylick Farm; Kendra Schirmer, Laurel Creek Florals; Ashley Morris, Cultivated Creations; Ed Phillips, Field and Flower; and (in front) Julie Hill, Southern Wild Designs. Photo: (c) Suzie Bunn
Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore invited her customers and friends to a Flower Crown Workshop on a favorite flower farm.
4. Teach a workshop — A hands-on floral workshop is a brilliant way to connect people with flowers.
Past successes include workshops that invited students to “Design with Local Flowers,” “Make a Flower Crown” and more!
Share your ideas with workshop participants hungry for information and inspiration.
Sellwood Flower Co. in Portland invited their customers to make a centerpiece during American Flowers Week in 2016
Andrea Grist partnered with local flower farmers to teach a design workshop in Kansas City.
5. Engage the public — Pop-up Events are exciting and inclusive because they make your flowers accessible to people in locations where they frequent, such as coffee shops, farmers’ markets and other retail settings. Sell, share and include local flowers in their lives!
Low Country Flower Growers in the Charleston (SC) area hosted a pop-up Zinnia promotion at a local farmers’ market last year.
The Farmers Florist created a fun floral selfie frame for customers at a local coffee shop.
6. Use our graphics — Thanks to support from Slow Flowers members and sponsors, we’ve invested in fabulous graphics and free visual branding resources for you to down and incorporate into your American Flowers Week activities. Take advantage of this creative content and put your own spin on it! See the FREE DOWNLOAD button on the top of the home page. More resources here.
Download, print and share our awesome coloring sheets, designed by Jenny Diaz
We now have coloring sheets for every state featuring the official state flower!
Crowley House Farm invited kids to color an American Flowers Week floral map at their Farmers’ Market stall.
7. Produce a styled shoot — We’re so impressed with the creativity and inventiveness of Slow Flowers members. American Flowers Week offers a great platform to gather a creative team for a styled shoot. Pull your team together and see what you imagine and create — and share it with us!
Tammy Myers of First & Bloom partnered with fellow made-in-USA vendors for this styled shoot
8. Tell the media — When you create an event or beautiful visuals, it gives you an opportunity to reach out to local media and engage them (and their readers) with relevant and meaningful content. Use our sample press release and deliver it along with flowers to your local editor or news outlet.
The Oregonian featured a fabulous spread about American Flowers Week in 2017, featuring local flower farmers and designers in the Pacific Northwest region.
More images from the Oregonian’s 2017 story.
Localize the national story by putting you and your flowers into the news.
9. Be a brand ambassador — Share your ideas with others! Get in touch and we’re happy to send you extra resources for your projects. The best connections happen when you tell your story in an authentic and passionate way to people in your community. Tell your story in the context of American Flowers Week and let your audience know why it’s so important!
We love it when our sponsors stimulate the conversation, too!
Yep, you read that right: 5 million and counting! That’s the social media impressions generated by YOU and YOUR Instagram & Twitter Posts in the past 30 days!! #AmericanFlowersWeek has exploded — just like fireworks!
In our third year, participation in AFW more than tripled the impressions generated last year, putting #americanflowersweek on the map in all 50 states!
[Imagine the true metrics if Facebook let us track hashtags? Just sayin’!]
Thank you to each one who joined in! The Slow Flowers Communityhas the momentum to effect change in the marketplace, so continue posting and sharing the #slowflowers message every week of the year! Source: Keyhole.co
The 3rd Annual American Flowers Week has come to a close and it was our best ever!With participation across the U.S. in all sectors of the floral industry, this New Floral Holiday is waving the flag and making a splash from coast to coast.
Read on to discover how the Slow Flowers Community spent this year’s campaign celebrating American-grown flowers — be inspired and start making plans for your 2018 floral parties, events and creative projects!
Floral Fashions — a Couture Approach
Showcasing the design work of four Slow Flowers members, from left: Tara Folker of Splints & Daisies; Riz Reyes of RHR Horticulture; Teresa Sabankaya of Bonny Doon Garden Co. and Amy Kunkel-Patterson of Gather Design Co.
This year, Slow Flowers, which presents American Flowers Week, commissioned five floral-inspired fashion shoots depicting iconic American grown blooms. The designers who contributed their creativity and artistic talents teamed up with generous flower farms that donated stems straight from their fields and greenhouses.
Melanie Cherry, Town & Country Markets’ floral boss, shared this shot of an in-store sunflower display for American Flowers Week.
Diana Westcott, regional floral buyer for Whole Foods’ Mid-Atlantic Region based in Maryland, shared this beautiful display from one of her floral departments!
Slowflowers member Rita Anders of Weimar, Texas-based Cuts of Color, delivered hundreds of bouquets and bunches of American Flowers Week blooms to Central Market in Houston. She texted us these photos and added: “Labels look great! I love the labels!”
Steve Pabody, partner in Triple Wren Farms in Ferndale, Washington (with his wife Sarah Pabody) have a fabulous partnership with Cone & Steiner General, a neighborhood convenience store, with soon-to-be 3 Seattle locations.
AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK Promotion Idea
Kathleen Barber of Erika’s Fresh Flowers in Astoria, Oregon, donated all net proceeds of her locally grown bouquets sold during American Flowers Week to Northwest Battle Buddies, a nonprofit partnering combat veterans with professionally trained dogs. Love this idea and the personal, healing connections being made with Kathleen’s flowers.