• Featured Florist


     

  • We are excited to announce our Facebook contest winner. We asked our Facebook followers to submit their best tablescapes. The photo that received the most likes was our winner.

    We would like to congratulate Candice Hart CFD, ICPF of Pollen and Pastry on her winning submission!

     

    What shop do you work for? What is your job there?

     

    I am the owner and lead designer for my wedding and event business, Pollen and Pastry. In addition to florals, I also create desserts! I create all our events from my home studio based in Bloomington, IL. 

     

    How long have you been in the floral industry?

     

    I've been in floral since I started college 11 years ago and have officially been in business about 8 years now. 

     

    How did you find yourself in the floral industry?

     

    My adventure into the floral industry really started at the age of 8 with my first 4-H floral design project. Year after year I would continue to do that same floral design project, but didn't really realize  it could lead me into a career until I took a Horticulture class during high school. Since then I've been hooked. I studied Horticulture at the U of I where I started my business as a side job to get through grad school and haven't stopped since! 

     

    What is your favorite flower/color scheme?

     

    Favorite flower is such a hard one to choose of course! But I'd have to go with ranunculus on most days. I use them in almost every one of my weddings because of their graceful shape and gorgeous color options! My favorite color scheme really changes from wedding season to wedding season, but lately it's anything that includes some vibrant color!

    What is your favorite part of being a florist?

    For me, it's the actual flowering. Shutting myself into my studio, turning up the music, and just getting to work on a piece is what I love. To be immersed in the design. Seeing the bride's reaction upon delivery is a pretty great part too!

     

    Who is your inspiration inside and outside of the floral industry and why? 

     

    Outside the floral industry, I find a lot of inspiration in my work as a horticulturist. Visiting garden centers, botanic gardens, and other display gardens always leaves me seeking out new plant materials to design with and I really enjoy being able to grow as many flowers and foliages for my brides as I can. 

    Inside the industry, there are several designers who are big names in larger wedding markets that I look to for design expertise, as well as business know how. I'm always looking for new marketing and business ideas that can take my business to the next level. Participating in professional associations has been key for me as well, whether through ISFA, AIFD or the Chapel Designers group. 

     

    Do you have any advice for other florists or aspiring florists?

     

    If you're new to the industry and afraid to put yourself out there, just start! Take every chance you get to shadow, assist, or help other florists, attend every design show and class that you can, and just immerse in it. You'll make some of your greatest friends while working in the floral industry. They really are the greatest people. 

     

    Have you attended our ISFA annual design show before?

     

    I definitely have! I started attending the show while I was a student in college and love attending every year. 

     

    If so, what did you learn or enjoy the most?

     

    I learn something new at each and every design show I attend and always walk away feeling re-invigorated and inspired to get creating. Catching up with floral friends I only get to see once a year is always great too. 

     

    Are you a member of ISFA or a member of your area state association? 

     

     absolutely am as the Secretary of ISFA ;) 

     


     

  • We are excited to announce our Facebook contest winner. We asked our Facebook followers to submit their best bridal bouquets. The photo that received the most likes was our winner.

    We would like to congratulate Lauren Moscato of River City Florist on her winning submission

     

    photo credit: Kelsi Kliethermes Photography LLC

    What shop do you work for? What is your job there?

    River City Florist What is your job there? Owner & Special Events Designer

    How long have you been in the floral industry?

    7 years 

    How did you find yourself in the floral industry?

    I owed my father money, so I started processing flowers and sweeping floors to pay him back quicker! 

    What is your favorite flower/color scheme?

    Mixed greenery, funky textures, and deep jewel tones! I could never pick a favorite flower! But I do love a good phalaenopsis orchid. 

    What is your favorite part about being a florist?

    My favorite part about being a florist are the connections and relationships that I've made with people. We have such an impact on so many important events in a persons life, and I find joy in bringing comfort to people, whether the occasion was joyful or saddening. 

    Who is your inspiration inside and outside of the floral industry and why?

     Mr. Stacey Halstead. He's been guiding me and encouraging me from the day I met him, and I couldn't be more thankful for our friendship. He's always there to lend a tip or trick. Plus he's a fabulous designer! Outside of the floral industry, would be my father. He has successfully run a business for 30 years and has always inspired me that I can do the same, it just takes hard work and dedication! 

    Do you have any advice for other florists or aspiring florists?

    Never. Stop. Educating. Yourself. I cannot stress that enough. We are in an industry where trends are always changing, so it's very important to stay on top of things! Stay true to yourself, and have fun! 

    Have your attended our ISFA conference before ? If so, what did you learn or enjoy the most?

    I have attended for the last two years. I'm a little obsessed with it. It's a ridiculous amount of fun! I enjoy all of it! But especially the stage presentations. I love seeing the collections of designs, listening to where their inspiration came from, and tips and tricks on how to recreate them ourselves! 

    Are you a member of ISFA?

    Yes, I am a member of ISFA. 

     

     

     

     


  • We are excited to announce our Facebook contest winner. We asked our Facebook followers to submit their best floral to wear. The photo that received the most likes was our winner.

    We would like to congratulate Lisa Belisle CFD, ICPF of Flora Elements Education and Design on her winning submission

    Lisa Belisle, CFD, ICPF

    What shop do you work for? What is your job there?

    I own Flora Elements Education and Design where I teach basic and intermediate floral design classes and the important business skills needed in the industry.

    How long have you been in the floral industry?

    20+ years and have worked every aspect including retail, wholesale, exports, transportation, events and management. I have also owned small floral businesses in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

    How did you find yourself in the floral industry?

    I was always the crafty kid, making things and started working in a greenhouse at age 16. One of the designers taught me how to make a simple arrangement and I was hooked.

    What is your favorite flower/color scheme?

    I love monochromatic, one colour and all the hues makes the most impact to me. If someone was to send me flowers I would be amazed by a green and white arrangement.

    What is your favorite part about being a florist?

    I love education and being a part of a person's growth and founding knowledge. When I get to watch them from not knowing how to use a knife to getting new orders and a wedding and sharing photos with me that process of blossoming is what I live for.

    Who is your inspiration inside and outside of the floral industry and why?

    My inspiration is my mentors Rene VanRems, Phil Rulloda and Hitomi Gilliam. Rene has been an amazing mentor but I love his colour theories and his business skill set. I look up to him and value the business skill set he has shown works. Phil is inspiring to me because he was my first mentor who sat me down and told me like it is. I loved his realism and how passionate he was for me to succeed. 18 years later I still get a big hug when I see him! Hitomi I only recently met and have spent time with, she has lit a fire under me to strive to be my personal best, to earn my AIFD credentials and start my school. I admire her structures and armatures but more so the blending of all the worlds she travels. Her designs speak to me from the countries she has travelled.

    Do you have any advice for other florists or aspiring florists?

    Of course...educate yourself at every opportunity, be willing to travel, and do whatever it takes to get what you want from life, and always be grateful.

    Have your attended our ISFA conference before ? If so, what did you learn or enjoy the most?

    Yes, every educational opportunity is amazing! I participated two years in a row. Once as an attendee and the second as a design assistant to Rene VanRems. I just enjoy the whole experience, meeting new people and getting the most out of it.

    Are you a member of ISFA?

    Yes, of course. I also just completed my ICPF in March along with three of my students, group effort!

     

     


     

  • We are excited to announce our second Facebook contest winner. We asked our Facebook followers to submit their best holiday arrangement. The photo that received the most likes was our winner.

    We would like to congratulate Stacey Halstead of Florissimo in Jefferson City, Missouri on his winning submission.

     

    Keep watching our Facebook page, facebook.com/ISFAFlorists, for details on our next contest!

    Learn more about Stacey Halstead of Florissimo below.

     

    ISFA: What shop do you work for? What is your job there?

    Stacey: Florissimo designer/consultant

    ISFA: How long have you been in the floral industry?

    Stacey: 23 years

    ISFA: How did you find yourself in the floral industry?

    Stacey: Started in plant maintenance, moved to design

    ISFA: What is your favorite flower/color scheme?

    Stacey: My favorite color scheme changes, being a wedding florist it's easy to burn out on color combos, I enjoy mixing tropical with temperate climate blooms, lately I'm loving pink roses with pink mink protea and grey greens.

    ISFA: What is your favorite part of being a florist?

    Stacey: I enjoy most aspects of my work; I've been getting a lot of satisfaction lately from doing high-end permanent designs.

    ISFA: Who is your inspiration inside and outside of the floral industry and why?

    Stacey: Lately I've been drawing inspiration from Russian designers; Paul Gorbenko and Onega Dahlgren are incredible. I really like the Russians' approach to texture, makes for really engaging designs.

    ISFA: Do you have any advice for other florists or aspiring florists?

    Stacey: My advice to aspiring designers is to learn Principles and Elements thoroughly; you can't build without a base

    ISFA: Have you ever attended our ISFA conference before? If so, what did you learn or enjoy the most?

    Stacey: I've been to 3 ISFA conferences; my favorite part is assisting in the workroom, great learning experiences and loads of fun!

    ISFA: Are you a member of ISFA?

    Stacey: I'm an ISFA board member.

     

     

     


     

  • The ISFA board is excited to announce our first Facebook contest winner. We asked our Facebook followers to submit their best fall arrangement. The photo that received the most likes by November 17th was our winner.

    We would like to congratulate Tracy Jayko of Fresh Flower Market in Barrington, Illinois on her winning submission.

     

    November's winner received a ISFA “Featured Florist”  Q&A. Keep watching our Facebook page, facebook.com/ISFAFlorists, for details on our next contest coming up in December.

    Learn more about Tracy Jayko of Fresh Flower Market below.

     ISFA: What shop do you work for? What is your position?

     Tracy: I work at The Fresh Flower Market in Barrington. The shop is based on European shops. All of the flowers are kept out of the coolers, customers encouraged to touch the flowers and enjoy the fragrance. When you walk in the door you are instantly greeted by floral beauty. I'm currently the head designer.

     ISFA: How long have you been in the floral industry? How did you find yourself in the floral industry?

    Tracy: I will be there 12 years this coming Valentines. In the early 1990’s I was working in corporate  America. There was a florist in my building. I’m sure I drove them nuts hanging around all the time. Bored with having a desk job, and always having an artistic side, I thought it would be“fun” LOL to be a florist. I called a local florist and asked if they needed help…. and that's how I got my start.

    ISFA: What is your favorite flower/color scheme?

    Tracy: My favorite flower or color scheme changes with the seasons. Right now I’ve been favoring  dahlias. Years ago I thought the color pink in fall arrangements was a no-no. Now I can’t get enough of pink, burgundy, cream with fall texture.

    ISFA: What is your favorite part of being a florist?

    Tracy: For me the best part of being a florist is the constant connection to nature. Being around flowers all year is a truly a gift.

    ISFA: Who is your inspiration inside and outside of the floral industry and why?

    Tracy: I find my inspiration in the natural world. My co-designers are always an inspiration as well! What could be better than to be around people who love flowers as much as you do?

    ISFA: Do you have any advice for other florists or aspiring florists?

    Tracy: Advice for aspiring florist…..Be prepared to work hard, it's not all running in the flower garden wearing a floppy hat and a pretty dress. It's messy, dirty, and tiring, but worth it!


     

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  • Become an Illinois State Florist Association (ISFA) Board Member

    What is the Illinois State Florist Association Board?

    The Illinois State Florist Association (ISFA) is managed and under the administration of a Board of Directors comprised of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasure and Regional Directors.  Board members are chosen from ISFA members in good standing.

    Why should You consider becoming a ISFA Board Member?

    Because of your commitment to education and as an ISFA member in good standing, the ISFA Executive Board and Board of Directors would like to invite you to consider becoming an ISFA Board Member.  By becoming an ISFA Board Member, you can enhance your career, enabling you to make a positive impact in our industry as well as grow personally.  As a member of the ISFA Board, you have the opportunity to gain insights and new knowledge about various aspects of our industry.  You have the opportunity to give back to the floral community by channeling your passion, commitment and motivation in a positive and productive way by assisting other floral professionals.

    Through your association with ISFA as a board member, you also are given opportunities to grow as a leader in the floral industry.  By being involvement in the ISFA’s decisions making process that reflect emerging issues, you will be working with like-minded people who are making choices that will affect the future betterment of our profession.  Your knowledge of current events in our industry will offer you the chance to develop your skill base in interpersonal communication, decision-making, problem-solving, team-building and time-management skills.  Furthermore, you will be able to expand your networks by making connections with other board members and other influential individuals in the floral community.

    What is ISFA Board Members Required to do?

    As a board member, you will be asked to:

    -attend six annual board meetings which are held in Springfield, Illinois,

    -sit on various committees

    -participate in the Annual Design Floral Show during the third weekend of March at Decatur, Illinois Conference Center

     

    How long is a ISFA Board Term of Commitment?

      Your term on the Board normally requires a three year commitment.

    Become an ISFA Board Member

    If you are interested in becoming an ISFA Board Member, please download the ISFA Board Member Application and return it to Julia Marie P. Schmitt AIFD, CFD, EMC, ICPF, Chair of Nominating and Human Resource Committee, at Pualeialii@hotmail.com and Adam Havrilla AIFD, CFD, ICPF, President of Illinois State Florists' Association