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Shop Talk: Success in Design

We are always proud of our members when they accomplish personal goals and one talented florist did just that!

Doug Bates during his AIFD testing.

Doug Bates during his AIFD testing.

Doug Bates of Designs by VOGT’s of Sturgis, Michigan, will be initiated into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) this July 2015.

“It’s always been a personal goal of mine,” Bates said. “It’s like the PhD of the floral world and it’s a level of skill and ability that is recognized worldwide.”

Bates hasn’t always had this goal on his bucket list–in fact, he never thought he would be a florist to begin with!

It All Began

In March 2006, Bates’ son was born and he was looking for a part-time job so his wife could stay home with their newborn. In his teen years, Bates used to do pizza delivery, so he ventured out to all the pizza businesses for work. No one would hire him. Thinking of other businesses that required drivers, he headed to a local flower shop who was in need of a new driver. They hired him on the spot.

The second Saturday he was working deliveries, the flower shop was bombarded with orders and the only people working that day was Bates and the owner of the shop.

“I was handed a stack of orders and told to get them done,” Bates said. “That started something.”

Of course, the orders he did were fairly simple: fruit baskets, etc. But since that day, design clicked for bates and the owner saw the talent.

Setting Goals

In 2010, Bates became certified through his state association and began designing professionally. Once he heard about the AIFD certification, he attended Symposium and made it his goal to be part of the institute.

“This certification has give me confidence as a designer,” Bates said. “As creative people, we all second guess ourselves. To me, something could look good, but there is a theory to design. There is a reason something looks right.”

This designer took the three-year journey through the certification process. Throughout the course, he learned about different materials and techniques. He also learned that becoming a part of this certification also made him a part of the AIFD community. His final exam took place at the Chicago Symposium in July 2014, and he will be inducted into the institute this year.

“I never finished college, so this is my great accomplishment,” Bates said. “To think that before this, I made windows for RVs. You never know how things are going to work out!”

If you’re a florist who is interested in getting the AIFD certification, contact your state association chapters who have scholarship opportunities and information available for you.


2012 AIFD Symposium – An Unforgettable Experience

One of the florists in our network had the marvelous opportunity to attend the AIFD National Symposium in Miami and has shared her story with us. Lori Himes, AIFD, CFD from A’Bloom LTD in Walkersville MD tells us all about this once-in-a-lifetime floral experience.

AIFD Fun Arrangement Interesting Floral Design, AIFD 2012 Symposium

“Caliente means Hot, it was in Miami.. but it was hotter here [Maryland] than in Miami,” Says Lori.

“My first [symposium] was in California. And that was what… 5 years ago?” Lori has been hooked every since. And why not? The AIFD Symposium is one of the biggest floral design shows in the world. Lori not only attended this year’s conference, but also helped out behind the scenes.

WOW - AIFD Symposium

“We did probably $100k worth of decor before we were done. That’s something I’ll never get to help with again in my life. [Read more…]

Southern Florist Recaps Biggest Floral Event of the Year – AIFD’s National Symposium

AIFD Imagine Symposium 2011Written by member florist, Shirley Carmack of Shirley’s Florist in Birmingham AL:

I have not been home from AIFD Symposium in San Francisco a week, and my head is spinning from the magnificent floral displays presented! Being a “white knuckle” flyer, it was a pretty big deal for me to get on a plane and fly across the United States to attend this — my first AIFD Symposium. I can not describe the excitement I was feeling by attending this event!

The theme of symposium this year was all about 60’s Flower Power. I am old enough that I actually lived through this era as a young teenager. The hotel, every restaurant, walkway, doorway, you name it was covered in flowers! Flowers were inside bookcases, stairwells, landings — even the back wall of the check-in desk was covered in foliage and anthuriums! I have honestly never seen anything like it.

Flowers at the Front Desk - AIFD Symposium

The first reception I attended, everyone was dressed in 60’s hippie garb. Tie dyed T-shirts and pants, denim and leather jackets complete with fringe, bell bottom pants, and flowers, literally everywhere. I was dressed in jeans, tie dyed T-shirt, leather sandals and peace sign earrings. [Read more…]

The ART of Dying by Ty Leslie

Ty Leslie AIFD gives a little insight into his presentation The Art Of Dying. This was a fascinating presentation about revitalizing the old traditions and funeral customs from the Victorian Age and transforming them into something new and beautiful. Sympathy flowers are important and vital role in a florists’ industry and should not be overlooked!

Ty talks about establishing a relationship with your funeral directors, working with customers to personalize funeral tributes, early symbolism in the 19th Century funeral monuments and much, much more.

AIFD National Symposium Photos, Boston MA

Flower Shop Network is proud to show you photos from our latest adventure! AIFD’s National Symposium in Boston MA gave us the opportunity to photograph some of today’s greatest floral artist’s designs! Check them out and be sure to comment!
[Read more…]

Upcoming Show: AIFD National Symposium in Boston, MA

Pack your bags, it’s almost here! The floral industry’s most premiere show — the AIFD’s National Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts.

An incredible event, the week starts with an amazing fireworks display over the Boston Harbor, and continues with a host of interesting and informative presentations by the industries leading florists. The lineup this year is truly astounding! With guests like Michael O’Neill, Ty Leslie, BJ Dyer, and many, many others, even the most seasoned florist will bring home a wealth of new ideas and plenty of inspiration.

Find more about the AIFD National Symposium…

Flower Shop Network WILL be there! Our social networking ladies, Mandy and Ashley will be on location Tweeting and Facebooking from the event! You can follow us and everyone tweeting from the event on the #AIFD hashtag page! Add it to your bookmarks! It’s almost like being there! …. okay, not exactly…

In the days following the event, keep an eye on our blog and Facebook to see all of our amazing photos, videos, interviews and more!

Need a little inspiration to hold you over til the 4th? Check out FSN at the AIFD Southern Conference…

Congratulations To The Newest AIFDs!

And people assume florists just DO flowers.

American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD)

American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD)

That’s hardly the case for the 116 florists who took part in the Accreditation Evaluation Session (AES) of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) at the yearly Symposium held this year in Kansas City, Missouri. 46 of the 116 earned the AIFD accreditation and can now say that they are AIFD certified florists. Flower Shop Network would like to congratulate all of the new AIFDs, but 5 individuals have earned a special pat on the back.

Flower Shop Network is very proud of the following members who earned their AIFD accreditation at the 2009 AES:

The AES is not a contest and no winner is declared. However, it’s not easy either! Florists are judged on 10 points of professional floral design including mechanics, balance, color, theme, line and creativity. This is something that takes many hours of preparation (days, months even) and has earned its elite reputation partially due to the difficulty of the AES. When a florist earns his or her AIFD, they should be heartily congratulated at the least.

We at Flower Shop Network want to extend our congratulations to our good friends above and to the other florists who participated in the session. The 46 floral designers who earned their AIFD accreditation will be inducted officially at the 2010 AIFD Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts.

69 of the remaining 70 participants earned the Certified Floral Designer (CFD) accrediation which is the AIFD’s newest designation program. Among these were three Flower Shop Network members who deserve a feather in their cap:

Congratulations everyone!

Click the photo above to view the official AIFD press release and see a complete list of newly accredited participants.

Do Flower Shows Peak Your Interest?

Flower shows just seem like the perfect time to chit chat with florists from your area and even some from far away. Being a little bit of  a social butterfly, this prospect definitely appeals to me.

Just think about it. You get to discuss what you love with people who share your passion. You learn, grow and develop your passion and your talents while making new friends. You get to take a break from the rush-rush-rush of the office but you’re not far from the action. With all this in store, who wouldn’t love a flower show?

Network coordinators from Flower Shop Network recently made their trip to the Florida State Florists Association Convention. They returned with great stories. I must admit, I was a bit jealous after hearing what some of the florists at the show had to say! Everyone came back with a smile that was twice as large as when they had left. In light of everything going on today, I find this chance to be inspired by other florists very appealing. I’m ready for the next flower show!

What’s on the agenda for this summer? Flower shows taking place in June/July 2009:

What do you think of flower shows and florist association conventions? Ever been to one? Tell us your favorite stories from the trip!