By Jodi McShan, aaf, tMf
July brought ﬂorists from Texas and surrounding states to League City, just outside of Houston, to experience the 2018 Texas Floral Forum, presented by Texas State Florists’ Association (TSFA). For three days, attendees participated in hands-on classes and attended lectures, demonstrations and main-stage presentations, with time set aside for questions and answers and networking with peers.
The weekend opened with Jenny Thomasson, AIFD, PFCI, EMC, sharing her approach to “Modern Works” on Friday. Tips and tricks were emphasized while she demonstrated the most trending styles.
The inspiration and learning continued of Friday afternoon with New York stylist Christopher White and globally recognized ﬂoral designer Kiana Underwood, providing hands-on classes sharing the intricacies of their art and style. White focused on “Trending Socially,” paying attention to just how to photograph and romance images to gain the most from social media. Underwood taught the fundamentals of a classic style that has resurfaced and how “Reclaiming the Past” can oﬀer future opportunities. The evening provided an opportunity to network while cruising the bay during the Texas Floral Endowment Event.
Saturday was all about David Tutera. The day opened when an intimate group of ﬂoral professionals shared brunch and “Time with Tutera.” Forum Chair Rene Johnson facilitated questions for Tutera and then reviewed images of event work presented by those in attendance.
Later in the day, Tutera presented “Main Stage.” While highlighting the incredible design work of Texas designer Fabian Salcedo, Tutera encouraged all attendees not to undervalue themselves or their work, to know their true worth as artists and business professionals. He went on to explain that how you market yourself is how the consumer sees you. He encouraged the audience to see themselves as ﬂoral designers. He led attendees through his career, giving advice and showing how you can get over any hurdle if you focus on the outcome.
With the trends of Pinterest and Instagram, he shared ways to be successful with events. He explained, “You can’t control the outcome if you don’t stay in control of the moment.” Tutera repeatedly emphasized that you need to be true to yourself and your art to have true maintainable success.
Following “Main Stage,” a “Step and Repeat” brought everyone into the Product Gallery. “Dining with Tutera” completed the day with a dinner in grand Texas style.The ﬁnal day of Forum brought Christopher White, Pete Samek, AIFD, and Kiana Underwood to the stage. White translated interior trends. From oversized leaves and macramé to marbles and metallic, White designed creative vignettes to display ﬁve selected interior trends, highlighting the need for designers to look at each individual ﬂower or plant and ﬁnd the natural beauty, as well as creative ways to reuse and reframe products for longer use and creative displays.
The “Stars of Texas Luncheon” featured Samek walking the audience through the stages of growth of a ﬂoral designer. He created three designs with the same ﬂowers, with each design illustrating a diﬀerent stage – copying, transforming and creating. Samek also demonstrated a few of the many possible categories a competitor in the FTD World Cup 2019 may face. A trip for two to the event – donated by FTD, with proceeds contributed to the Texas Floral Endowment – was awarded to TSFA member Cheryl Vaughan, TMFA.
Kiana Underwood closed the weekend of events teaching attendees how to reclaim a classic style to introduce a modern inﬂuence. With Dutch Masters art as the basis for her designs, Kiana demonstrated how her creations come to life in modern-day settings while staying true to an old-world classic style.
At the end of this business weekend, David Tutera’s voice rings true: “All you have in this world is the ability to make others happy. If everyone could make one stranger smile, imagine how amazing this world could be.”