Posts Tagged “symposium”

AIFD Symposium 2016: Remembering the Magic with Jacob McCall AIFD

AIFD Symposium 2016: Remembering the Magic with Jacob McCall AIFD

evil queen flower wall - mirror mirror

Guest Blogger: Jenn McJunkins

The theme for this year’s AIFD Symposium was “Inspiration” and Jacob McCall’s program was nothing short of inspired. With roots in the wonderful world of Disney, Jacob pulled inspiration from some of our favorite Disney classics displayed in magical vignettes.

First up was his floral interpretation of “The Lion King.” Using mostly tropical product, he achieved a look that was both masculine and exotic.

lion king inspired flowers

lion king inspired flowers

His second vignette was dedicated to the most evil Disney queen, Maleficent. The dark containers encapsulated Maleficent’s black garb, and the use of over 150 stems of gloriosa lilies represented her famous flame.

The third installation was geared toward a more classic Disney theme, a princess. He told the story of Cinderella using a much lighter color palette, dainty flowers and cascading vines. Of course the floral story of Cinderella would not be complete without a few fairy tale pumpkins and a glass slipper, or in this case a blinged out pump.

Continuing with the princess theme he let it all go with his vision of Frozen. Using mostly all white everything including containers, countless stems of phaleonopsis orchids and of course a lil snowflake bling, he really brought us into Elsa’s icy world.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the sparkliest of them all? This wall of red roses is adorned by a black vanity set covered in laser cut glitter and completed with a basket of red sparkly apples that would entice any beauty to eat the poisonous treat.

Which Disney movie inspires you most?

AIFD What Inspires You Contest Winners

The 2016 AIFD Symposium is coming up and we were excited to work with AIFD to award 3 Symposium education passes! We held a contest, inspired by this year’s theme “Inspire”, in which the participants selected something that inspired them and created a complimentary floral design. Thank you to all who participated!! Our 3 winners are Fabian Salcedo, Michael McCarthy, and Pamela Ball – congratulations!!


Fabian Salcedo


AIFD What Inspires You Contest Winners


“I wanted to make a mask, but I wanted it to feel alive and or growing over the face in some sense. I used flat cane lined with wire and wrapped in yarn as the frame. I liked the red and gold palette and that nod to an Asian aesthetic. As I was creating I began to envision a kind of futuristic floral cyborg. It was the combination of these three ideas that got me to this final product.”


Michael McCarthy


AIFD What Inspires You Contest Winners


“Nature and floral design go hand in hand. It is a prominent source for inspiration in many artists. From the source photo (Bridal Veil Falls II by Peter Ireland), my design was inspired by the movement and flow of the waterfall, the lush green burst of color, and the tension of rugged and smooth textures.”


Pamela Ball


AIFD What Inspires You Contest Winners


“My floral design is based on the enchanted forest. I love how nature and fashion come together to create another world. It is a world that captures the magic and beauty of flowers. A setting in a fantasy world in a fairy godmother’s magical workshop in the heart of the enchanted forest. A quiet place that the curious and adventurous search for, but only the one with the truest heart can see. Peak into this other world and allow peace and happiness to wash over you. Allow the magical scene to envelope you in pure imagination where magic truly exists.”

How I Shot my AIFD Journey

How I Shot my AIFD Journey


To wrap everything up surrounding my experience at the AIFD Symposium, I put together a little informational video on how I shot my AIFD journey while I was there!

This was my first year and I was the only one representing our Marketing Team, so we decided to streamline things and send me out with a few small pieces of equipment, rather than make me lug around a 300 pound equipment bag! Thanks guys!

Watch below for a short recap on my journey – enjoy!


AIFD Symposium 2015: Behind the Scenes with Ron Mulray AIFD

Ron Mulray AIFD


So AIFD Symposium may have been two months ago, but we have a couple final things to share with you! Gotta keep the fun going, right?

One of our favorite things at these shows is to catch up with people we’ve chatted with or blogged about in the past. This year, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Ron Mulray AIFD, who Yvonne just happened to interview a few years back at AIFD’s National Symposium in 2012! Check out that interview here. This year, he did another luncheon, entitled “Petaling into the Future.” Ron used upcycled bicycle parts and tropical flowers to create these unique and whimsical centerpieces and décor for the luncheon.

In this video, Ron gives us a behind the scenes look at what he did and how he created these awesome pieces!

DISCLAIMER: I am a newbie when it comes to video, and did not realize you must film horizontally to get the full screen. So, my apologies for the thin video… ya live, ya learn, right?


AIFD Journey 2016: Slow Motion Videos & Photos

Our flower wall, flower props, photo booth and video booth at the Partners’ Expo and the Welcome Reception all designed by Beth O’Reilly AIFD was a huge hit!

Beth created a 3-panel flower wall for our Partners’ Expo display which was separated by strands of flowers for the Welcome Reception.  Such a great idea to get the most mileage out of the flower wall! Thank you, Beth for all of your hard work and thank you to everyone who participated in both of the booths – we hope you had a blast!

[both the photo and video booths were provided by A Custom Look Photography]

Mayesh slow motion video booth

Click to view all the videos:

Mayesh slow motion videos
Here are the photo booth pictures and picture strips that we posted to Facebook for your viewing pleasure. Fee free to download, tag your friends and share!
Mayesh flower wall and photo booth

AIFD Symposium 2015 Favorite Moments: A Fashion Flower Collaboration & Mexican Culture

AIFD Symposium 2015


There were a couple of shows that were just incredibly visually stunning, so I decided to collect some of my favorite moments from these dreamy presentations.

During “Besame Mucho – Kiss Me A Lot,” designers Rocio Silva AIFD, CFD and Jose Luis Silve AIFD, CFD took us through the rich culture and design inspirations from Mexico. The stage was dominated by an amazing interpretation of one of the Mexican pyramids, constructed from a wooden square frame, and Oasis foam tiles.


AIFD Symposium 2015


All of the sudden, the room got dark and the music turned low and sultry. I realized there was someone walking down the middle aisle towards the stage, and when she reached the stage, was in awe over the beauty of their interpretation of La Catrina. La Catrina is the iconic skeleton figure in Mexican culture that represents death and the way Mexicans face it. She was beautiful and the use of color and flowers was amazing – bravo!


AIFD Symposium 2015


The next day, we were transported to the world of color, in John Haines AFD, CFD and Gretchen Sell’s show, appropriately named “Color.” I had the privilege to sit next to John’s daughter and two granddaughters, who were seeing their grandfather in his element for the first time. It was so cool to hear their reactions and watch younger generations be inspired by the world of floral design! John and Gretchen’s show started out with an amazing collaboration between fashion and flowers, and it felt like a real life, couture fashion show. The clothes and models were gorgeous, but the way John and Gretchen incorporated flowers into the outfits was just stunning. Enjoy!


AIFD Symposium 2015

AIFD Symposium 2015

AIFD Symposium 2015

AIFD Symposium 2015

AIFD Symposium 2015: Plants with Jenny Thomasson AIFD, CFD

AIFD Symposium 2015: Plants with Jenny Thomasson AIFD, CFD


Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware that plants are in. Everyone wants the newest, coolest succulents, and people are filling their homes and gardens with all sorts of plant varieties. Well, Jenny Thomasson AIFD, CFD, ofStems Florist, is also aware of this phenomenon, and has taken a special interest in designing with plants. She believes, however, that designing with plants has become a bit monotonous, and hoped to inspire us with her designs to “open our minds to designing with plants” in a unique way. She also let us in on her little theory about the direction things are going… “something that is more sculpture, something that is more art… I think that’s where the world of plants is going.” I happen to be a believer of this sentiment as well, and was inspired by her belief that we need to design with more purpose, and not just use plants and greenery as fill-in and a way to finish off an arrangement.

Jenny’s first design was inspired by the traditional Japanese art form calledkokedama, which basically involves the use of moss as the container for a plant. She took this to the next level, however, and evolved this idea into a living wall sculpture, which she deemed the Moss Ball Wall. Using a combination of chicken wire and hog rings, she built the lightweight structure and from there attached all of the moss, flowers, and plants. Living walls are such a fresh, current take on sculpture, and reminded me of Beth’s flower wall! These living walls can be used in a number of settings, including a corporate setting, hotels, weddings, and more. So fun!

For her next design, Jenny scaled things down a bit and showed us her take on container gardening. According to Jenny, “copper is the next metal is coming,” and was sure to use it in this design! She used UCI’s copper patina containers and a minimum amount of product to create this beautiful display. Through the use of bamboo, she created vertical lines and repetition, two very important components of floral design. She then terraced small wooden disks wrapped in a way that gave it depth and intrigue, as well as carried on the repetition of elements. This display showed us just how easy it is to create a visually stunning and interesting piece, without needing an excessive amount of living product.

Her third (and my personal favorite!) design showcased her take on terrariums. Terrariums are a huge trend today, especially for my generation. Since half the people my age live in small apartments, terrariums are the perfect way to bring plants inside, without taking up too much space. Jenny loves them as well, but wanted to do something that is so trendy and popular in a more unique way. She used pod vases to house these mini gardens, creating a terracing garden effect with multiple vases and tables at varying heights. Within each “pod,” she worked with layers of sand and moss to create rolling hill landscapes and mimic the contours and lines of nature. Such simple ways to elevate a popular trend in plants! I will definitely be exploring these ideas in my own small apartment terrariums!

Last but not least, Jenny revealed her grand finale, which had made the thirteen hour drive with her from St. Louis in the back of her trailer. The strange looks she received on the drive were worth it, because Jenny’s driftwood tree was spectacular! She spent years collecting driftwood from a number of rivers around St. Louis, including the Mississippi, to create this beautiful tree. The rebar structure stood on an oversized pallet on casters, and the tree basically held itself together with layers upon layers of driftwood. Spanish moss and yellow vanda orchids made up most of the canopy, and she even designed her own mechanic, “the claw,” to attach the orchids to the tree and give them the ability to stand straight like they would in Mother Nature.  This driftwood tree was definitely her pride and joy, and an awesome finale to a great show.

Thanks for all the fabulous inspiration, Jenny, we can’t wait to see what happens in the world of plants!



Photos by Molly Baldwin

Fifty Years of AIFD

Fifty Years of AIFD


For those of you that don’t know, this was my first year attending AIFD’s National Symposium, and it was definitely the right year to go, as it was their 50th anniversary! The excitement and energy was palpable all week, and it was inspiring to be a part of such a big year for AIFD. To kick off the week, their first show was called“Reflections: AIFD’s Five Decades of Design Excellence,” and for a wide-eyed newbie like myself, it was a great way to learn about the history of AIFD, and really get a grasp on what it is all about. Five designers were given the task to transport us all to a different decade that they were a part of. Here’s what we learned on our trip down memory lane!




The sixties were all about geometric shapes. Two very popular bouquet forms were the asymmetrical triangle, and the round ballerina bouquet. To give us an idea, Bob recreated a bouquet that had been featured at AIFD’s second symposium back in the sixties, using lily of the valley and phalaenopsis. Around the time that the Kennedy’s came into office, things became a bit more casual than the severe geometric look, and looked towards nature to create forms. Such a fun time, and according to Bob ” GEOMETRIC FORM IS COMING BACK!” So get ready, we’re going back to the sixties!


1975 – 1985

George Mitchell AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI

Next, we traveled a few years forward to the heart of the seventies. Around this time is when floral design in the US really began to be influenced by European and Dutch design. There were lots of design classes in Europe that Americans and Canadians were flocking to in order to learn about European design. Everything was about texture, and bigger was definitely better. George’s true love was designing garlands, and he showcased a beautiful, cascading garland inspired by these trends in the seventies!


1985 – 1985


Oh boy, the eighties! Now, if you can believe it, I wasn’t even born yet (90’s baby all the way!) but I’ve been around long enough to know what the 80’s were all about! In terms of floral design, everything was about lines. Tina stressed the importance of parallel systems and lines in floral design at that time. Her first arrangement was a windswept design with parallel systems, whose diagonal structure was reminiscent of a tipi. Her bouquet also focused on repetition in design, with the pattern created over and over. I definitely walked away with the newfound knowledge that repetition and lines was huge in the eighties – somewhat surprising with all that big, wild hair everywhere!


1995 – 2005

Scott Alan Awad AIFD, CFD

In talking about the nineties, Scott looked for inspiration from The Lion King, and I couldn’t be more excited upon hearing that! It was my favorite Disney movie growing up, and I attended the Broadway play in Los Angeles alongside our huge family, wide eyed and awestruck by the beauty and colors. But I digress. Scott chose this as his inspiration because he was asked to do the flowers for the Lion King’s extended stay in his hometown in Michigan (nope, not jealous at all!) The nineties were all about wiring, banding and binding. He showed us a few examples, including a traditional hand tied bouquet with wire armature, corsages, and boutonnieres. We also saw a spectacular table centerpiece, which was made up of three square wreath forms wired together, and placed on a tray with a large piece of foam for the upper structure. It incorporated parallel lines and framing, pave and sheltering, and ruscus to hide the mechanics.


2005 – 2015

Brooke Raulerson AIFD, CFD

When we made it back to the present, I knew I was back in my element. Words like “Pinterest,” “tweeting,” and “instagraming” were thrown around, and I felt right at home! Brooke came out with her cell phone, pretending to multitask by talking on the phone, sending emails, and checking her Pinterest all at the same time. Hey, it might seem crazy to a lot of you, but at least we can laugh at ourselves and acknowledge how insane we must look! As many of us know, social media and technology now plays a huge role in floral design. Gone are the days that brides walk into a consultation with a completely open mind, instead pulling up their Pinterest page within the first two minutes. While much has changed, Brooke pointed out that everything being done these days is not completely and 100% new. Designers look to the past for inspiration, and use trends from past decades to reinvent the wheel and come up with fresh takes on old trends. She left us with the sentiment to “expand your horizons” and find inspiration in everything, and then hit us with her grand finale, a costume change into a beautiful wedding gown holding a gorgeous, cascading bridal bouquet. And then the music started blasting and floral students basically held a bouquet fashion show/dance party all in one and it was awesome and high energy and a great way to kick off the week!


See You at The AIFD Symposium in Denver

AIFD Symposium 2015


As my AIFD Facebook friends are chatting about the last couple of days, it is Pre-Symposium week! Everyone is making last minute preparations for their travels to Denver, CO for the 2015 AIFD Symposium. We too are finalizing the small details for next week as well since we are Gold Elite Partners! We are sponsoring Beth O’Reilly AIFD, TMF’s Welcome Reception, will have a spot    at Partners’ Expo, and will be sending my team member, Ali, to gather content!

It is always exciting to be so involved with a show and I wanted to share some of the exciting things that will happen next week. So first up will be the Partners’ Expo. Usually we have a table full of flowers, but we wanted to have more of an experience where you get to interact with the flowers and decided on an open air photo booth complete with a flower wall created by Beth! Isabelle, Charity and Sarah from our LAX shipping team will be hand to answer any Mayesh or flower questions you may have … and be available to pose with you if you want!!


AIFD Symposium 2015


Then, right after Partners the Welcome Reception begins. Sponsored by Mayesh, Beth is the featured designer and has pulled together a fun floral evening. I’m sure her execution will be on point, as always, by incorporating an collaborative design element  honoring AIFD’s 50th Anniversary and a super awesome slow motion video booth. Beth is also taking this opportunity to repurpose the flower wall from Parnters, but has a great concept on how to change it up.  I cannot wait to see all of the videos that are going to be made that evening!! Both the photo and video booths are provided by A Custom Look Photography and working with Murray has been great!!

Since we are a Gold Elite Parnter, we were able to submit a commercial.  So be sure to look out for that after lunch on July 2nd before the 1:30 p.m. “Besame Mucho – Kiss Me A Lot” program and you will be the first to know about a very special announcement!


AIFD Symposium 2015


Next up is all about repurposing. What are we going to do with all of those flowers after we are done with them? Much of it will be heading over to Fitz to incorporate into their demonstrations. Always love when we get an opportunity to repurpose!

Last, but not least, if you are at the Symposium and you see Ali walking around please say “hi”. This is her first year on my team and first time attending a Symposium, so any help you can provide in the networking area would be greatly appreciated. She will be attending the programs, gathering content, trying to get interviews and be our social media butterfly at the show. So much to do!!


AIFD Symposium 2015


I will be following all of the great content I see here from South Florida.  AIFD Symposium is always a feast for the eyes and I cannot wait to share with you in that.


AIFD2013: AIFD Award of Merit – Industry

This year I am pleased to announced that AIFD recognized Mayesh Wholesale Florist with the Award of Merit – Industry!


“This is an award that is presented to professionals in the floral industry who are not a member of AIFD, but who are serving a crucial role in advancing the industry.  [Mayesh is] also recognized for their long-held commitment and dedication to the AIFD Symposium.”


We really do to strive to serve our industry as a whole and I am so happy to see our efforts recognized by such a great organization!  I also wanted to say congratulations to Accent Decor, as they too received the Award of Merit – Industry!

Below is a video of the introduction of the award and of our CEO, Patrick Dahlson, giving his acceptance speech.  (The picture is not quite clear, but the audio is pretty good.)


“…A beautiful industry that provides incredible art to the world via the vehicle of flowers.  We at Mayesh are delighted to be a part of the solutions.”
~ Patrick Dahlson, CEO Mayesh Wholesale Florist


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