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Floral Design Events: The Harwood Cup Competition

The Harwood Cup Competition at the Southern Retail Florists Convention is a very challenging interpretation competition.

Each contestant has 2 hours to interpret a chosen artwork — in this case, a beautiful raku ceramic vase created by Kerry Gonzalez, Winston-Salem, NC. Designers push their creativity to it’s limits for this challenging competition. Each entry was completely different that the last, from color to materials to size…

Flower Shop Network got to see this competition first-hand over this year. Check out our mini-documentary all about this competition, as well as interviews with the winner and runner up!! Great inspiration for florists everywhere!

This article is brought to you by local Winston-Salem NC florists.
Not in Winston-Salem? Use Flower Shop Network‘s handy directory of real local florists to find a florist near you!

Florists: What Great Things To Expect At Floral Conventions

Flower Shop Network and Suzanne Baillie talk about the exciting events going on at the Southern Retail Florists Convention in Concord, NC. Florists from 17 states visit this show— lots of great networking opportunities for florists. There are competitions, hands-on workshops, educational presentations, marketing seminars, and much, much more!

No matter where you live, there is bound to be a floral show near you! We hope every florist has the chance to visit at least one show this year! Just listen to all of the great things you can do:

This post was brought to you by local florists in Concord, NC.
Not in Concord? Use Flower Shop Network‘s handy directory to find YOUR real local florist.

Did You See Us At The SRFA Convention?

Network coordinators from Flower Shop Network recently attended the 2009 Southern Retail Florists Association Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. From the stories I’ve heard, it was a lot of fun! Here’s some of the stories Joe Hays and Leslie Cox brought back from the convention.

That’s One Dedicated Florist — It’s not everyday that you meet someone who drove hundreds of miles just to see you. It’s a very flattering sentiment which is why it stuck out in Joe’s mind when he was reliving how he met Jerry and Judy Eisenberg. Jerry and Judy own a flower shop in Gathersburg, Maryland called Floral Scentsations.

When Jerry and Judy heard that FSN would be at the SRFA convention, they decided that it was the perfect time to visit one of their children who lives near Charlotte and stop on the way just to say hi. That’s over 400 miles and 6 hours of driving just to be able to stop in and meet the people they’d been working with for over four years. They wanted to tell us in person that they’re dropping all of their other wire services and sticking with Flower Shop Network exclusively. Joe and Leslie were thrilled with the touching action and are very pleased to have been able to meet such a lovely couple.

Rosemary from Daniels Florist, a Raleigh North Carolina flower shop, also made a large trip just to see her Network Coordinator from Flower Shop Network. She stopped to take photos with Joe and Leslie, share stories, and encourage the people around her. Rumor has it that she is a dear, sweet lady and a huge pleasure to be around.

Take A Reading Break — Leslie also had the privilege of meeting a recent author, Rick Rivers of A Floral Boutique in Ormond Beach Florida, who was at the SRFA convention this year as well. His book, Blooming At The Top:  12 Strategies To Double Your Sales, is a smash hit. Thankfully he took a moment to stop and chat with Joe and Leslie and pause for a quick photo op. After more than 25 years in the floral industry, both successes and failures helped shape Rick’s creative tips for growing a flower shop. His insight was very appreciated.

50 Years Is Small Time — After more than 50 years in the floral industry, Eula Le Foskey of The Flower Shop in Homerville, Georgia decided that it was time to become a member of Flower Shop Network. Leslie was happy to oblige but was more interested in this sweet lady’s story. Eula Le has been a member of the SRFA for over 40 years. Only in my 20’s now, I can hardly imagine doing something for so long but Eula Le’s passion has never faded. She is still an endearing, inspirational, wonderful lady and we are happy to have her with us.

Training Day Is More Than A Movie — This was one of the few times that vendors were able to sit in on the convention’s sessions. The conference room held all of the conventions as well as the vendors so Joe and Leslie were able to learn some very interesting things. Among them was that “silk and artificials” is an out word. It’s passe. The new phrase for turning silk flowers into something profitable is “permanent botanicals“. Means the same thing but says it with a lot more punch. Interesting.

Also, Joe and Leslie were able to watch as they awarded each design competition winner. Some of the arrangements were stunning even to those of us who have been around flower designs of all types for many years. Feel free to view photos below and click on each for a larger picture and more information about the design. We were so proud to see many of our member florists achieving prominent positions in the rankings. Among them were Kristina Reese of Floral Dimensions in Durham NC who took first place in the sympathy division.

A Special Thanks To — A very special thanks goes out to Gallery of Flowers. The flower arrangement displayed inside FSN’s booth at the 2009 SRFA Convention was designed by this wonderful flower shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sad To See It End — It’s hard to remember all of the stories about three fun-filled days but Joe and Leslie tried their hardest. After all of the jokes and sweet stories ended, it was a definite letdown to know that no more humorous anecdotes or funny stories would be heard until the next show. Well, not without your help so share them if you have some! If you weren’t at this year’s show, sorry we missed you and hope to see you next year. Please enjoy the SRFA convention photos below! [Read more…]