Expert Panel

 

Susan McLeary | Passionflower
Susan McLeary
Passionflower

Susan McLeary is a floral designer, three-dimensional artist and instructor who creates unique and uncommon boundary-pushing floral art including elaborate headpieces, floral wearables, and her signature succulent jewelry. Susan’s intricate, seasonally-inspired creations and wearable floral pieces have been described as exquisite “living artwork.”
Considered one of the country’s top designers of floral wearables and succulent jewelry, her work has twice graced the cover of Fusion Flowers magazine, and has been featured in leading industry publications and websites including Martha Stewart Weddings, Flower, Florists’ Review, The Knot, My Modern Met, Refinery 29, SELF, Buzzfeed, Belle Armoire, Modern Wedding Flowers, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormond Wedding Style and the Slow Flowers Podcast.  She is a member of Chapel Designers and Slow Flowers, and is a member of the Botanical Brouhaha Expert Panel. A frequent featured designer on Etsy, her designs and living jewelry have been praised for originality, sustainability and style.
Extensively trained, she continues to pursue professional development by studying with leading designers and respected floral artists, and holds a Certified Florist Certificate from the Michigan Floral Association, is a Certified Floral Designer, and is currently pursuing European Master Certification.
Susan was a featured artist at Flower House Detroit and has presented or taught at the American Institute of Floral Designers, Philadelphia Flower Show, Floret, Detroit Flower Week, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, Whidbey Flower Workshop, Chapel Designers Conferences, Florabundance Design Days, Flowerstock, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and other top venues. A passionate teacher, Susan offers private design instruction for new and professional florists in her Ann Arbor studio and through destination workshops.

Laetitia Mayor

 

Laetitia Mayor
Florésie

Florésie is a living space, gentle and joyful where creativity is drawn from the laughter of children, the softness of chicken feathers, the singing snails, the surrounding cracked old stone walls and the scents of garden flowers, varieties often old, adorable in every stage of life that Laetitia learns every season to succeed a little better.
When Laetitia was a child, she was good at math, so naturally, she became an engineer. However after 10 years as a project manager, she realised that she was bored with solving equations and needed more beauty in her life. She decided to enroll in the floral design school of Paris and created the first french blog dedicated to floral art called Florésie in 2010.
Now a mother, Laetitia has turned her blog into a design studio set in the middle of the Picardy fields in France serving brides and grooms all over Europe, flourishing with a delicate and wild garden style.

Elisabeth Zemetis

 

Elisabeth Zemetis
Blush

Elisabeth started her floral business, Blush, in 2006 after earning a Bachelors degree in Studio Art. Located on the shoreline of Connecticut she works exclusively on wedding and event floral design. Elisabeth’s floral designs highlight organically styled, lush flowers with distinctive textural components. Working in the wedding and event industry pushes her to continue to grow with the trends and stay on her toes! She can’t imagine her life without flowers which she believes to be the most uplifting artistic medium. Each stem is completely unique making every floral creation different and fresh. Elisabeth lives a bike ride away from her little studio with her husband Marco (who frequently does the heavy lifting at events!), son Bodhi and dog Holly. When she’s not in the studio she loves tending her veggie garden, cooking for friends and being outdoors with her family.

Nick Priestly
Nick Priestly
Mood Flowers

After gaining a degree in International Business & Modern Languages and then pursuing a career in London’s financial district for five years, Nick retrained as a florist in 2003.

Today, his company Mood Flowers operates from an 1,800 square foot design studio in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. As well as designing over 200 weddings and events a year, Nick and his design team are the in-house florist for the majority of the West of Scotland’s 5 star hotels. Nick also teaches floristry to amateur and professional florists at the Mood Flowers School and many of his Career Course students have gone on to launch their own businesses.

His work has taken him around the world writing articles for various publications about the flower industry in New York, Stockholm, Paris and Hong Kong. His work is often featured in the UK press and he has demonstrated at consumer and trade events as well as on TV and radio. In 2014 he traveled to New York to attend the 3 day conference and become a Chapel Designer.

Jennie Love
Jennie Love
Love ‘n Fresh Flowers

Owner of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers in Philadelphia, Jennie Love is a leading farmer florist who has helped propel the local flower movement forward to where it is today. Jennie was selected by Martha Stewart Weddings magazine as one of the Top 62 Floral Designers in the nation in 2015 and has been featured in many other prestigious publications, such as the New York Times, for her farm-to-centerpiece efforts. Her distinctively lush and textural floral designs have been used in hundreds of weddings as well as for numerous photo shoots, magazines, style blogs, and books. Jennie is a warm and charismatic teacher who leads many hands-on workshops at her farm in Philadelphia and travels around the country to teach as well. Her master classes for floral professionals in particular have helped launch several newer pros into profitable and sustainable businesses.  Jennie is Vice President of the national Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Alicia Schwede
Alicia Schwede
Bella Fiori
Flirty Fleurs

Alicia Schwede became infatuated with flowers at a young age, while working with
her grandmother in the rose garden. Her career in floral design started with a few classes in 1998 and evolved into opening Bella Fiori in Denver, Colorado in 2003. As of 2013, she and her husband relocated to the beautiful state of Washington where Alicia continues to explore her love of flowers & design with a whole new plethora of flower varieties at her fingertips. Next on the horizon is the planning of an English Garden in the middle of a Washington Forest.

Alicia is also the founder of the floral designer blog, Flirty Fleurs, which launched in May 2010. Plus, she is the author of the book Bella Bouquets, released in 2011. Bella Bouquets showcases vibrant, full-color photographs of over 100 stylish bouquets.

 

Holly Chapple
Holly Chapple
Holly Chapple Flowers

Holly started her home based wedding and event floral design studio 24 years ago. Being a home based event designer allowed Holly the opportunity to stay at home and raise her 7 children. In August of 2011 her husband Evan joined the company offering lighting, drapes and event design support. Evan now develops many the props Holly designs. The HHC studio services weddings and special events in the Washington DC area, as well as destination weddings.  In 2010 Holly founded the Chapel Designers, a collective with members/designers all over the world. The Chapel Designer organization has received international recognition for its efforts to support and educate designers who service weddings and special events. Chapel Designer workshops and conferences are held throughout the year in several countries and across the United States. Holly has shared her expertise through these conferences in Russia, Australia, London, New York City, California and several other USA cities. Holly, along with several of the Chapel Designers, designed the flowers for The Knot Dream Wedding in 2014 at the Biltmore Estate. In 2015 Holly Chapple was chosen as a Martha Stewart top wedding floral designer. In addition her work can be seen in numerous print and online publications. On July 30th 2015, Holly and Evan purchased a 25 acre farm that they named Hope. Hope Flower Farm is a flower art farm and Bed & Breakfast. Designers and educators from around the world will be gathering at Hope Flower Farm for educational workshops and art installations. Hope Farm is also available for weddings, special events and photo shoots. In October 2017, it was announced that Holly and Syndicate Sales have partnered up to create a collection of products bearing her name. The Holly Heider Chapple Exclusively for Syndicate Sales collection brings Holly’s game-changing “egg” and “pillow” mechanics to the floral forefront, along with a signature collection of coordinating vases. The Holly Heider Chapple Exclusively for Syndicate Sales collection will be available January 2018.

 

Emily Avenson

 

Emily Avenson
Fleuropean

Emily is a farmer-florist, outdoor enthusiast, and plant-dyed silk ribbon maker, the creative catalyst behind Fleuropean. Born and raised in urban California, Emily turned to nature as a way of growing new roots after finding herself settled in rural Belgium. Working the ground and getting her hands dirty, Emily found a friend in Mother Nature. What started out as casual courtship soon grew into a full-blown love affair, and Emily found herself sowing and growing a carefully curated color palette of blooms.

Emily prides herself on her naturally romantic garden-style arrangements. Constantly experimenting with new textures and color combinations, each new season brings fresh adventures deeper into the world of floral art. Somewhere along this journey, Emily started a grass-roots feel-good flower movement that would become known as The Lonely Bouquet. It is this combination of creative outlets that keeps Emily growing both personally and professionally.

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD

 

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD
Design358

Hitomi’s biggest pleasure in life is, ‘SHARING EVERYTHING I KNOW’!!

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese Canadian floral designer, keynote lecturer, demonstrator, educator and a consultant in all aspects of the Art and Business of Floral Design. She is the Creative Director for DESIGN358 (2008). She has guest-designed throughout North America, England, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Bermuda, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Colombia.

She owned and operated Satsuki’s Florist in Mission, British Columbia for 28 years. And established an Event & Education business, DESIGN358 8 years ago. Hitomi has collaborated with Tomas De Bruyne from Belgium to create a comprehensive ‘European Master Certification’ Program. EMC cycle 3 is underway with the final stage, PART III ‘Advanced’ scheduled for September/October 2016 in 2 languages.

Awards include: 1987 Gold Medallist – Great American Design Competition – North American Championship (Las Vegas) / 1998 Became the 5th recipient of the coveted AIFD ‘Design Influence’ Award in Boston – awarded to individuals who have made a significant impact and influence with their style / 2006 Recipient of American Horticultural Society’s ‘Frances Jones Poeltker Award’ bestowed on a person who has made significant contributions to the appreciation of creative floral designs inpublications, on the platform and to the public / 2008 Recipient of Gold Honors, for by invitation only ‘Windows to the World’ International Floral Exhibit at Singapore Garden Festival, and the winner of ‘Best of Show’ / 2009 Recipient of lifetime Honorary Membership to Garden Club of America (GCA)

Publication: 2013 ‘Fresh Look at JUDGING’ co-authored with Kathy Whalen AIFD, winner of 3 Ben Franklin book award for excellence in textbook/reference category.

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