Interview: Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF

I interviewed all of our Mayesh Design Star Finalists so that you may get to know them a bit better.  Patience is first up, and I have to say that I really enjoyed her interview.  I mean, how many times do you get to read about panties relating to wedding flowers?!  Patience is a breath of fresh air, and like our other 2 finalists, she is truly inspirational.  If you are #TeamPatience, please be sure to watch this month’s video and stay tuned for her final installment in August!


When did you realize this was the career for you?

Well, I’ve always been artistic….painting, drawing, etc… But my sweet daddy told me “you cant make a living being an artist”, so I went to school for nursing for 3 seconds, where I was shocked to discover that I had EVERY disease we learned about, even testicular cancer!!!!  Soooo, when a struggling shop came up for sale in my town I purchased it, fell in love with designing and the rest is history… dad, you were wrong, but I love you anyway!!! EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji


Why do you want to be the next Mayesh Design Star?

I love doing design programs, it’s half “paying it forward” for all those that helped me get to where I am, and half loving being on stage and presenting.  While I’ve been blessed to be asked to do lots of programs throughout the Midwest, I would love to get my name out to the rest of the country as well and Mayesh Design Star is definitely a great way to do that.  Plus, I get to work with all those AWESOME BLOSSOMS!!!


Tell us a little about your floral extracurricular activities?

hmmmmm… lets see…. I’m currently the President for the South Dakota Floral Association.  I’m past president for Teleflora Minndakota board.  I was excited and honored when I was given a position on the North Central AIFD board and asked to be on Tim Farrells AIFD national board. I was super excited to be asked to be on the Fitz Design Team recently – all that gorgeous bling is SO MUCH FUN!!!! I will travel great distances to get to see an educational event or take part in any learning experience to better my designing skills. I work with local FFA students to prepare them for state. I love to mentor up and coming designers and I am EXTREMELY excited to say I recently launched my new website,– a fun place to share my love of flowers, and my passion for the floral industry.  I have started a blog on there as well as a gallery, which is tons of fun!! Team Florgasm includes myself and Ace Berry TMF, and we are currently searching for a third equally passionate, equally insane member for out design team.  Lots of fun, check it out and of course, if you are in need of an incredibly fun design team, well give us a call!!! Emoji


How would you describe your design style?

Probably organic with a bit of ADD.  I often say its pretty hard for me to design without a branch or moss covered rock or something from the outdoors… But having said that, my fave design style is formal linear.  I love simple monobotanical/monochromatic designs, yet I adore yummy, lush over-the-top Victorian inspired bouquets.  So IDK, is ECLECTIC a design style?!?!?!


What or who inspires you?

Pat Gustaf, he was/is my mentor – sweet, talented, kind.  Pat took me under his wing 17 years ago, welcomed me into SDFA, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since!  Jim Johnson, I find his passion and enthusiasm for flowers absolutely endearing!! Tim Farrell – simply stated, the NICEST man in the industry! I look up to him in so many ways, but especially how he is as an educator – kind, encouraging, and an amazing man! Gerry Toh – he mentored my when I was studying for AIFD.  I love his style of presenting and love his humor.  Kevin, Marie, Hitomi, Jodi – so many super amazing people in our industry!!!


What floral tool can you not live without?

Ummmm…. hellloooooo… Pink Teleflora knife!!!


If you had to pick just one (I know it is nearly impossible) what would be your favorite flower and why?

I CANT!! I’ve been asked this question many times.  I love too many – peony, tulips, stock, garden roses, fun seasonal flowers.  Right now I’m addicted to eryngium thistle…yum!!


Tell us a short floral story. Have you ever had a strange floral request? Created something wonderful out of a sticky situation? Have you ever felt like MacGyver and used your mad floral skills in a non-floral situation?

hmmmm. Probably the funniest thing that’s happened to me was the bride who brought me in a pair of lace panties in a zip loc baggie.  She handed them to me and said, this is the EXACT color of my wedding, she wanted all roses, and they had to be that EXACT color of coral. This was many years ago and to this day I still shudder when I see Peekaboo roses!! My poor salesman didn’t know what to do when he received that color swatch!! Anyhow it ended up being a gorgeous wedding, to this day, the biggest I’ve ever done – nothing but thousands of coral roses.  I think brides are the ones with the most unusual requests and who wants to tell those sweet ladies no – not this girl!!

Then there was the time a family came in with their loved ones ashes and wanted them inside latex balloons so they could release them up to heaven after the services.  I quickly learned as I was breathing in Mr. X and soon sweeping him off the floor that ashes aren’t really ashes at all, but shards of bone that are sharp and pop helium balloons.

I’m not very Mac Gyver-ey…I really don’t even like to pump my own gas…(don’t judge….I do…but I don’t like it! )  but living in the middle of no where.. I feel I can make  some pretty cool designs with very little.  I definitely can throw down with what’s in my cooler!


What trends do you see emerging within our industry?

Funny you should ask!! I just wrote about this on my Florgasm blog.  I find it interesting that with every trend out there, there seems to be an opposing trend.  Anyhow, there’s lots going on in our wonderful industry but one of the most interesting to me is the whole field to table/bohemian/pinterest-ey trend.  Very organic, just picked looks – “un-arranged”, uncommon flowers, lots of unique “fillers”.  Anemone, and ranunculus, fragrance is important, garden roses, stock, sweet pea and herbs…. vintage inspired, loose,  low centerpieces in old  china, mercury glass compotes… unusual earthy containers. Just as the floral community at first loved to hate and then accepted and then embraced Martha….. the same is developing with Pinterest…….but please….enough with the burlap and baby’s breath!!! EmojiEmojiEmoji


What is your best piece of advice for new comers into the floral industry?

That’s such an easy question for me to answer!! Never stop learning!!! Don’t be afraid to charge for your artistry!! Take every single opportunity you can to learn about this wonderful industry we are in!!!


How can our viewers connect with you?

Please friend me on Facebook!!!  Like myFlorgasm page on facebook.  Follow my blog  I love all  my floral friends, they are my second family!! I may slightly biased, but  I think florists are soooooo cool!!!!


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