“Quito workshop leaves attendees with renewed passion for the floral industry” 

When you work with flowers, events and people, you quickly get a sense for when you’re experiencing something that is extra special. You know the feeling – usually goosebumps and misty eyes as life pokes at you to pay close attention. When the Mayesh team stepped off of the bus and walked through Hacienda Cusin’s breathtaking estate for the very first time, we knew that we were embarking on a week that was going to be something that we’ve never experienced before.

Not only did this once in a lifetime experience involve staying at the most beautiful restored Ecuadorian estate that dates back to the early 1600s, but so many elements came together to create this magical moment. First, we had a very diverse group of people from all over the map, including three very talented designers – Holly Heider Chapple, Susan McLeary, and Veronica Cicero – who lead the hands-on design tutorials, as well as 24 flower passionate attendees. The experience would not have been complete without a stunning array of floral product from South America and Holland and visits to two exceptional Ecuadorian flower farms – Greenrose and ValleFlor.

Our farms near and far love hosting groups to help educate and increase awareness of the growing and harvesting process – this moment was not an exception. It was an enlightened journey for most as we learned more about the farm segment of our industry, all the while increasing our appreciation for the care, skill and mostly hands on work that goes into a single bloom long before it ever arrives in a florist’s shop. In addition, it was great to learn about the employee benefits that the farms provide and about the technological advances that are being made like Greenrose’s water system. This eco-friendly water system, Neuthox, allows the farm to manage water more efficiently, eliminates bacteria and provides better vase life for the roses.

The experience continued with a tour of the picturesque Old Town Quito, brimming with character at every turn, and concluded with a farewell dinner under the stars while watching a local dance performance. As we said our thanks and bade farewell wishes to our group, many were overcome with emotion. Needless to say, I ran out of tissues as all of the feelings were quite overwhelming – the love, passion, camaraderie and just pure joy. It was a pleasure and honor to play a small role in the experience.

Shelley Pease, one of the attendees, shared her overall thoughts about the experience. “The Mayesh International Workshop was beyond my expectations. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with a warm smile and felt welcomed and part of the group. The selection of flowers was beyond amazing, the instructors were first rate, and the whole experience was a dream come true. After 36 years in the industry, this experience made me feel alive and once again reinforced my love for the flower industry.”

The Quito workshop also gave Holly Heider Chapple a renewed love and appreciation for the floral industry. “The trip to Quito was an incredible experience. We were surrounded by endless beauty and constant inspiration. My love for the profession of floristry was ignited by seeing and meeting the growers and being with them in the field. I was honored to get to know the family known as Mayesh, as their deep respect and commitment to the farmers and their clients made me love them all the more!”

The experience also left Veronica Cicero feeling recharged and more passionate about the industry. “Every trip we took had the scent of hard work, dedication and passion from all the growers. Every day was carefully planned for learning, exploring and sharing the love of flowers with the sweetest group of people at the first Mayesh International Workshop. I feel empowered, recharged and grateful!”

With a similar perspective, Susan McLeary summarized her experience. “We were hosted by two incredible flower growers and both farms impressed us by the high quality of the operations, care for flowers and workers alike, and the obvious passion they have for the industry they grow for. I gained insight into large-scale floriculture, and truly have a renewed respect for what it takes to get flowers from the field to vase.”

As the workshop rejuvenated the love for our special industry, while inspiring creative ideas, and creating life-long friendships – what more can you ask for?

If you are interested in learning more about our future international workshops, please visit mayesh.com/FR.

Sponsor Summary

Greenrose flowers, manpower to pick up/process/drop off flowers, lending buckets to use, and hosting our group for the tour and at their horse farm;
ValleFlor flowers, hosting group for farm tour; EZ Flower a ton of flowers;
Accent Décor large urns;
Oasis Floral Products tools, supplies, glue, etc.;
Syndicate Sales compotes, eggs, pillows, chicken wire;
Berwick Offray ribbon;
Agricola flowers;
Alexandra Farms flowers;
Bellaflor flowers;
Latitude Zero flowers;
Rosaprima flowers;
Valle Verde Roses flowers;
Décor Rental EC rentals/tables/chairs; UPS – gave us a special freight rate.