FR’s inaugural recognition of our readers’ favorite designers—and more—of the year

By Tonneli Grüetter

In October, we opened our polls for the first time ever, inviting you to have your voices heard, and, indeed, you spoke up! Over the course of two weeks, 1,500 of the most passionate members of our floral community cast their votes and witnessed the industry’s beloved stars vying for the top spot in our inaugural “Readers’ Choice Awards.”

The competitors were chosen from 2023’s fan-favorite social media features and magazine issues to compete in seven categories:

• Favorite New Cut Rose

• Favorite Installation Designer

• Favorite Floral Couture Designer

• Favorite Floral Educator

• Favorite FR Tutorial Instructor

• Favorite New Book Release

• Favorite 2023 FR Magazine Issue/Cover

At the core of our thriving floral community lies a deep passion for innovation and artistic expression, as well as a profound love for learning. At Florists’ Review, we celebrate the sacred space where florists, floral designers, floral educators and flower enthusiasts from all walks of life come together to create, educate and inspire. As esteemed readers of Florists’ Review, you cast your votes and crowned the following winners!


Bailey Rose by VIP Roses

‘Bailey’ from VIP Roses Breeding

Nieuwveen, Netherlands


The ‘Bailey’ brown rose, introduced this year by VIP Roses Breeding, has taken the crown as the “Favorite New Cut Rose” in this year’s “Readers’ Choice Awards.” This stunning rose, with its captivating blend of soft brown and pink hues and ability to reach a full open bloom, offers a fresh perspective on traditional roses and brings a distinctive beauty to any arrangement. The hybridizers at VIP Roses Breeding have truly outdone themselves with this breathtaking addition to the floral world.


canaan marshall

Canaan Marshall

Canaan Marshall Designs

Macon, Ga.


With an innate talent for crafting captivating installations, Canaan Marshall was voted our readers’ “Favorite Installation Designer.” His work has consistently pushed the boundaries of floral design, transforming spaces into veritable works of art. Marshall’s creative genius has once again been celebrated by flower design enthusiasts who appreciate his ability to transform any setting into a flower-filled dreamscape, and he is a consistent favorite on social media and in magazine features.


Best floral couture designer carol jillian

Carol Jillian

Jillian Design

Austin, Texas


Floral couture is a realm where creativity knows no bounds, and Carol Jillian’s innovative designs have earned her the title of “Favorite Floral Couture Designer,” as voted by our readers. Her unique ability to blend fashion and flowers has left a mark on the industry, where her creations are not only breathtaking but also reflective of the latest fashion trends. Carol’s visionary approach to floral couture and technical innovation is a true testament to her artistry.


Top educator Hitomi Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, CFD

Bowen Island, B.C., Canada


A dedicated mentor and educator can shape the future of the floral industry, and world-renowned Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, CFD, is undoubtedly one of the best. Her extensive knowledge, dedication and passion for teaching have earned her the title of “Favorite Floral Educator,” as voted by our readers. Gilliam’s commitment to sharing her wisdom and experience has inspired our community members to embark on their own journeys in floristry. Gilliam is a champion of the tropical nouveau style of design and a trailblazer in the pursuit of sustainability.


best tutorial artist Beth O'Reilly

Beth O’Reilly, AIFD, CFD, TMF

Cypress (Houston), Texas


Tutorials play a vital role in helping both beginning and expert floral designers enhance their skills, and, in 2023, Beth O’Reilly’s tutorial in our August issue ( embracing the beauty of Alexandra Farms’ garden roses delighted our readers. Her tutorials are clear, concise and brimming with innovative techniques, earning her the title of “Favorite FR Tutorial Designer.” O’Reilly’s commitment to education has made her an invaluable resource for those seeking to refine their craft.


Flower Love: Lush Floral Arrangements for the Heart and Home

by Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht

The release of a new flower design book is always an event to look forward to, and 2023 brought several exciting new releases. Of these new books, Flower Love: Lush Floral Arrangements for the Heart and Home by Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht has captured the hearts of our community members. This insightful book takes readers on a journey through the world of floristry, providing inspiration and guidance for both beginning flower arrangers and professional floral designers. VanderYacht’s expertise and artistic sensibility shine through every page, making this book a must-have for any flower enthusiast.



August 2023: Modern Sympathy

Featuring cover art by Leah McLean, The Salted Image, Pittsburgh, Pa.


Every month, floral enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the latest issue of their favorite publications. In August 2023, our issue featured the headline story “Modern Sympathy” and stunning cover art by Leah McLean, owner of The Salted Image in Pittsburgh, Pa. McLean, who is known by her fans on Instagram as @thesaltedimage, graced the cover and captured the title of “Favorite 2023 FR Magazine Issue/Cover,” The poignant and classic still-life composition captured the essence of empathy and artistry, delivering a powerful message through the beauty of flowers.

In this year’s “Readers’ Choice Awards,” these talented individuals and creations have been celebrated, and their contributions to the world of floristry have been acknowledged with the highest honor. As we continue to nurture our love for flowers and artistic expression, these winners stand as a shining example of the creativity, innovation and dedication that make the floral community a vibrant and welcoming space for all. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you for inspiring us with your talent and passion.