Posts Tagged “Kristine Kratt”

Interview: Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt

Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt


I had the pleasure of first meeting Bill and Kris at the 2012 The Special Event.  It was my first year attending our industry events and our first year bringing the video camera along.  I was thrilled that when I asked, Bill agreed to do a little video for us and he choose to speak about our Mayesh Destination Events service.  (P.S. Bill introduced me to our then future Mayesh Design Star, Jodi Duncan during this time too).  I’m always inspired by what I’ve seen from Bill & Kris – from their flower design sessions at the shows, to their Stars Project, the Philadelphia Flower Show, and more – that a book from this dynamic duo just feels like a natural next step.  I’m excited to share the interview below with you about the authors and their book, Taking the Flower Show Home !!


We’re on the ground floor in an elevator. Tell me the gist of your book before the doors open on the top floor.

(ok – I am assuming this elevator is in Dubai in the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world) ::::: deep breath :::::  In Taking the Flower Show Home we share an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at our creative process during the 2007 through 2012 Philadelphia Flower Show where we were awarded 3 Best in Shows. It takes the reader from the moment of conception to the placement of the final stem.  The book includes many of our original sketches and drafts, in addition to over 300 photographs by some of the most talented photographers.  At the end of each chapter of the book, we include a “How To” section.  The “How To” section uses each Exhibit as inspiration for learning techniques that we actually used for the reader’s own designs.


Turns out this car is stopping frequently. Let’s avoid uncomfortable silence. Flesh out your favorite point from the book.

Our absolute favorite point from the book is page 137.  Page 137 is why we do what we do.  It is a list of the designers and friends who make it all happen each and every year.  It is the Schaffer Designs Team – our Tribe!  As our Team grew with each and every year, our designs improved exponentially and our experiences became better and better.  We dream BIG and it is this group of people that make our dreams come true.


Why did you decide to write “Taking the Flower Show Home”?

Deciding to write Taking the Flower Show Home is different than why we wanted to be authors.  The story of this book has written itself.  It just needed to be organized and put on paper.  The individual people and companies involved in the 6 years that the book encompasses needed to be recognized.  The #1 question that we had received year after year was; “How did you do that?”  We thought that it was time to reveal it to the world.  The trials, tribulations and failures and the friendship, joy and successes come together in what is essentially a love story.  The love of what we do and a love for each other that came together as each year of the Flower Show passed and culminated in our actually getting married on the center stage of the 2012 Philadelphia Flower Show in front our family, friends and almost 10,000 Flower Show attendees.  It was televised to over 1 million people in our Tri-State area and seen by millions around the world on an episode of “The Cake Boss”.  OK – a little secret:  we pitched a series of ideas to a Schiffer Publishing and we were offered a multi-book deal – but – the owner of the company is actually a fan of the Philadelphia Flower Show, seemed to love this story and wanted this to be the first book of the deal.  Who were we to argue?


When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

We have been inspired by so many design books throughout our lives that became integral parts of our learning process, which made us want to share what we do in hopes of giving that same experience to others.


Who is the intended audience for your book?

Designers, Gardeners, Floral Enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good story of how an idea can come to fruition no matter what it takes – no matter how many obstacles it faces – that persistence, talent and a team working together can make anything come to life.  Though there are over 300 amazing photographs that tell the story; this book is about the story – the actual thoughts behind our process and the thoughts of many who helped us along the way.


How can our audience buy your book?

Taking the Flower Show Home, Award Winning Designs from Concept to Completion can be purchased through:

  • Schiffer Publishing
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Florists’ Review
  • Fusion Flowers
  • – you can order directly from Kris and Bill for your autographed copy of the book … We would love to sell it to you this way – BUT – it is probably the most expensive way for us to sell it – we don’t charge for the signing, but we do charge full price + shipping and packaging charges.  Now – if you happen to see us anywhere and have the book with you – we will sign it for free!!!


Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt Bill Schaffer & Kristine Kratt


Don’t forget to leave your comment below to win a signed copy of Taking the Flower Show Home!

2013 Philadelphia Flower Show – “JACK” by Schaffer Designs

Blogger: Jodi Duncan AIFD 


As a floral designer, to be involved behind the scenes of the Philadelphia Flower Show is an amazing experience. Working with Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI and Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI is invigorating. This dynamic husband & wife design team consistently push the limits of design, creating concepts where many fear to tread. Their flower show journey has been well documented in their book “Taking The Flower Show Home” available on Amazon. You’ll find a beautiful comprehensive look from concept to creation (and a few quotes & pics of yours truly along the way). They are amazing floral artists, and they are my dear friends. 

Taking a look at this year, however, they walked in with ʻbest of showʼ under their belt from the past 2 years. This couple was not afraid to take risks in 2013. They did not expect to win this year. They prepared the team: ”this exhibit will not win….but the story must be shared”. 

This year’s theme was the British inspired “Brilliant”. Among all the whimsy & jaunty iconic British themes, over in a dark corner, stood “J A C K”…..not the beloved Union Jack, but Jack the Ripper.

I told you they were risky! They chose to tell the story of Jack the Ripper for the merit of the story itself, for the way it changed the culture of London’s Whitechapel in 1888. Women lost their lives in tragic surroundings, and positive changes were thrust upon society in the wake of those horrific events. The interpretation did not glorify the crimes, but was life affirming, taking what could be seen as creepy….breathing hope and affirming life, a springing up of beauty from ashes, a floral cry for justice, for perseverance.

Through emails, Bill & Kris begin to share sketches nearly a year before the event, drawing inspiration from everyday life, photos, movies, magazines, music, pop culture. I love when I see something from Bill or Kris in my inbox.

A portion of the flowers used came from Mayesh. Their wonderful product was featured throughout in stunning ways….the sansevieria, huge extra large succulents, caramel antique garden roses, the cymbidiums….all were all utilized in creative, clever designs that enhanced the overall aesthetic.

To walk the show floor before anyone has arrived and leave long after everyone has gone home, to experience the scope of forklifts, freight, loading docks, unions, security, climate….the whole environment is exhilarating and exhausting. I love being a part. This was my 4th year as a member of Schaffer Designs. To know that I am just one small person on one large team who assembles an exhibit of this scale, that just happens to be just ONE exhibit under the same roof as dozens and dozens of others…its mind boggling.

The love of flowers brings amazing people together. To come together for such a pure purpose is a wondrous thing. It’s a want-to, not a have-to. The flower show experience is just another benefit of AIFD accreditation. Without AIFD, I wouldn’t know Bill & Kris. It was when I was testing that we met. The purity of the flower show experience is so near & dear to me. I wish everyone could come, to see the height & depth & length that creatives will go through, just to tell a story. I am thrilled to play a small part in the story and to share it with flower lovers everywhere. From the 30+ volunteers that come, to those who donate flowers & product, what an amazing thing to be involved with. Without the generous support of sponsors & designers & friends, the concepts of Schaffer Designs would never make it past the paper they are drawn on. The support of the floral community, from grower to broker to wholesaler to hardgoods to designers is what literally brings the exhibits to life. For that I am thankful.

Don’t miss next year’s show! I’ve already talked to Bill & Kris…(we were already on to 2014 before we were even done with J A C K…) ARTiculture is next years theme for Philadelphia.


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