“Conference looks to build bridges between floral designers, industry and local communities.” 

The second annual Team Flower Conference (2019) was full of flower knowledge, with attendees building relationships and memories to last a lifetime. Farmers, designers, retail shop owners, wholesalers, event planners, floral artists and floral media pros all gathered together under one roof for three days, and it was incredible.

This year, our vision for Team Flower – and the floral industry as a whole – is “Building Bridges,” in the way that we would build bridges between all flower professions, generations and design and business styles, and together embrace the impact we have in our communities. We all need each other.

This vision was clearly felt at the 2019 conference, where 250 floral pros and fans from all walks of life and types of businesses gathered together in Waco, Texas, to learn, grow, connect and celebrate flowers together. At the start of each day, Kelly reminded us of a theme: REST for Day 1, RISE for Day 2 and SHINE for Day 3. And, boy, did we feel motivated in all of those things throughout the conference.

During the event, we heard from nine industry experts as they shared wisdom, encouragement and inspiration with us all while Kelly continued to encourage us to “rest, rise and shine!” On Day

1, Bows and Arrows Flowers, in Dallas, Texas, created a gorgeous floral backdrop that set the stage for the rest of our time together.

The “Designer of the Year” competition started off with a celebratory entrance, and on the same day, floral artists shared their talents with us for the “Flowers in Art” exposition. It was a gorgeous way to honor so many different design styles in one place.

We marked this day with floral beauty of all kinds in the creations made by the “Designer of the Year” participants, the floral artwork shown by contributing artists and our hands-on service project. Our service project was an illustration of how floral pros can build bridges within their local communities. Conference attendees designed approximately 300 arrangements to donate to patients in assisted living or nursing homes in the Waco, Texas, area through The Full Bloom, a nonprofit organization that recycles donated, gently used blooms into bouquets for patients in hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; it was a time of creativity, refreshment and connection to others.

There were buckets and buckets of gorgeous flowers for us to pull from as we handcrafted arrangements and gifted them to 300 people to brighten their day. It was an excellent reminder that our work is important, indeed.

Linda Whitten, of Wedfully Yours in Dallas, Texas, with her completed arrangement for the “Designer of the Year” competition.
“Designer of the Year” competition participant Cara Lard crafts her arrangement

We wrapped up the event with dinner and a special ceremony, dressed in all levels of floral attire. The theme for the evening centered on “Bridge Building,” and we reflected on the goal to build bridges regularly in our own cities and across the floral industry once we left the conference.

In addition to the education and growth we experienced, the best part of the conference for many of us was making lasting connections and friendships (and having those Instagram friendships blossom into in-person ones).
Overall, the 2019 Team Flower Conference reminded us all that floral work is not only beautiful but also amazingly impactful to our communities. When you gather 250 kind, open-hearted floral professionals in a room for three days, magic is bound to happen.
So go out into the world knowing that your work is important and that you can build bridges that make a diff erence in the floral industry and your local community.
You can join the next Team Flower Conference in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 3-5, 2020, by visiting teamflower.org/pasadena.