Something pretty amazing took place a few months ago when the Wholesale Florist & Floral Supplier Association (also known as WFFSA) conference was held in Miami.
As attendees from around the world walked into the Miami Airport & Convention Center, they were greeted by an 8-by-12 foot “Stars and Stripes” flag fabricated out of approximately 10,000 stems of foliage and flowers.
Designed by Slowflowers.com member Christy Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers, the amazing, three-dimensional installation was impossible to ignore. “It stood proudly in the lobby of the conference registration area for all to see and it was a beautiful piece, enjoyed by many people who took their picture with it throughout the week,” says Kasey Cronquist, administrator of Certified American Grown Flowers, who envisioned the giant floral flag, invited Christy to produce it and recruited numerous flower farms to contribute thousands of flowers and foliage stems for its construction.
While this story has nothing specific to do with American Flowers Week, I want to share Christy’s story of passion, commitment to her family and community, and love of American flowers. This is a story of total sacrifice and it shouldn’t go unrecognized.
PLUS, I think you’ll draw inspiration as you plan your own over-the-top way to celebrate American Flowers Week 2017! You just might want to build your own FLORAL FLAG!
ALL AMERICAN INSPIRATION
There’s nothing more near and dear to me than American flowers,” Christy says. “It was such an honor to create this piece.
The larger-than-life botanical endeavor came together with ingenuity and sheer determination, the type of superhuman skills required of a designer like Christy who is used to executing large-scale weddings and events for her south Georgia-based floral business. “This project came together in less than four weeks. We had to build it on-site in a very short period of time.”
Christy credits fellow Chapel Designer Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistles in Auburn, Alabama, for helping her with the conceptual design. “Lisa created the original outline for the wall. She drew this! Out of the goodness of her heart. No compensation. No credit. She just did it! And she also created the flower recipe,” Christy says. “Without being asked, Lisa just took the ball and ran. She spent so many hours working on this project . . . and thank goodness.”
[Note: This help was so essential to Christy because at the time, her home town had been hit by a fall hurricane and she was without electricity and certainly didn’t have access to the Internet.]
Christy’s husband Brian Hulsey, who has extensive carpentry and electrical training, lent hours of his construction talents, as well as financial support for supplies. “It’s amazing that we were able to make this happen,” she says.
The structure’s plywood base was constructed to look like a flag billowing in the wind. It was so large that once Brian finished, Christy had to rent a cargo van to transport it more than 500 miles to Miami. Erected on site, the base was stabilized with a pulley system attached to the back of the wall. Four buckets filled with 100-pound sandbags were hooked to the pulleys as counterweights.