Calling all Midwestern florists: there’s a killer workshop heading your way soon that will expand your design repertoire, sharpen your photography skills, offer a simple tactic for sticking to your budget, and leave you with three gorgeous designs to brighten your shop (or home) along with accompanying photos for your portfolio.
A few months ago, we introduced you to Christy Hulsey, owner of Colonial Flowers in Statesboro, Georgia, and the winner of Mayesh Wholesale Inc.’s Design Star contest. As part of her “reign,” she travels around the country, leading intimate design workshops.
The Design Star workshops primarily draw retail and event florists, but to Hulsey’s surprise, the first one in Los Angeles included a few consumers. “We had one woman in the class who’s renowned in the industry for her flower crowns, as well as a complete novice whose husband had just bought her a pair of flower shears,” she said. “It was fun watching the professionals in our group interact with her and teach their tricks.”
The next class will be Tuesday, March 21 at the Screw Factory Artists’ Studios in Cleveland. The $400 workshop, which is capped at 25 participants, runs all day and includes lunch and a professional photography session. Participants will make garlands, bouquets and a compote design.
Nicole Clarey, a photographer with a robust portfolio of wedding and floral imagery, will snap shots of participants’ work, which they can use on their website, social media pages and marketing materials. “The Screw Factory is this cool, industrial space with a lot of natural light, which will really make the flowers look fantastic,” Hulsey said. Clarey will also give participants pointers on how to take captivating photos and how to get published in magazines and blogs like Style Me Pretty, the Knot, and 100 Layer Cake. “We know photography is perplexing, but it’s so critical in getting consumers’ attention,” Hulsey said. “Her expertise will help participants rise to a new level.”
During the lesson, Hulsey will share her strategy for satisfying clients while staying on budget.
“I create a vision board and show it to my Mayesh rep, along with my budget,” she said. “She helps me get my money’s worth—and my client’s—by selecting seasonal flowers that fit the vision.” (Read: she never promises a bride peonies, dahlias or ranunculus, but rather “soft, ruffly, feminine flowers” in a certain color family.) She uses this method for every event, whether it’s a charity gala, wedding, or Design Star workshop—and never receives complaints. “I also don’t spend hours counting stems or doing math,” she said. “Plus my wholesaler can actually look around and study the product to get me the best of what’s around.”
Although she knows designing with premium flowers is the fun, romantic hook that reels in participants, Hulsey says she makes a point of dropping business nuggets into the workshops.
“We talk about everything,” she said. “If you’re not profitable, what’s the point? If you can’t stay in business, floral design can’t be your vocation — just your hobby.”
For more information and to sign up, visit http://www.mayesh.com/mdsworkshop/.