North Carolina State Florists Association

An Elite Community of Floral Experts

Are you a flower enthusiast looking to take your skills to the next level? Look no further than the recent Hands-on Floral Design workshop presented by the North Carolina State Florists Association! In this four-day workshop, students had the opportunity to learn a variety of techniques and styles, from garden-inspired bespoke design to formal-linear arrangements.

On the first day of the workshop, students tackled vase arrangements and got a taste of the high-style, formal-linear design. This technique is perfect for those who love a more structured and elegant look. Garden-inspired bespoke design, on the other hand, allows for more creativity and personalization, perfect for those who want to express their individuality through their floral arrangements.

The second day was all about “Botanical Jewelry,” where students learned all the tricks of the trade to create stunning floral accessories. This is a unique and growing trend in the floral industry, and students learned how to create intricate pieces using fresh flowers, foliage, and other natural materials.

On day three, students mastered the spiral hand-tie technique and cascading bouquets. These styles are perfect for those who want a more natural and organic look, with flowers flowing and cascading in a beautiful way. The spiral hand-tie technique is a popular choice for bridal bouquets, while cascading bouquets are perfect for special events or as a show-stopping centerpiece.

The final day of the workshop was dedicated to sympathy tributes and designs featuring plants. Sympathy tributes can be challenging, as they require a delicate touch and a deep understanding of the emotions involved. Students learned how to create elegant and thoughtful arrangements that honor the memory of loved ones. Designs featuring plants, on the other hand, are perfect for those who want a long-lasting and low-maintenance option. With proper care, plants can last for years and bring beauty and life to any space.

Overall, the Hands-on Floral Design workshop presented by the North Carolina State Florists Association was a fantastic opportunity for students to learn new skills and techniques in a fun and supportive environment. Whether you’re an experienced florist or just starting out, this workshop provided valuable insights and hands-on experience that will help you take your skills to the next level. The Hands-on class is a prerequisite to obtaining your North Carolina Certified Professional Florist Certification.  Make sure to take some time to obtain and pass the Certified Professional Online courses also.  Those along with your hands-on class sets you up for your Final exam given by a Certified Instructor.  You can check out all the online courses under the Floral Education tab in the main menu above.

So, if you’re looking to expand your floral design skills and take your passion to the next level, be sure to keep an eye out for the next workshop presented by the North Carolina State Florist Association. With a variety of techniques and styles covered, you’re sure to leave feeling inspired and ready to create beautiful arrangements that will delight and amaze your clients and loved ones.

Thanks also to Mayesh Wholesale for hosting the 2023 Design School.

Joseph Barnes, Aifd  Cfd
Education Committee Chairman

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.....artistic design in real time with a unique perspective
3:00 - 4:30 pm Inquire at Registration table

This hands-on workshop will give you mechanical concepts and skills to easily construct intricate and impressive floral accessories to offer beyond corsages. These techniques will set you up to create designs that are updated, fashion-forward and artful while remaining mechanically strong and wearable.
* Please bring your own tools, i.e. clippers, scissors, wire cutters, and knives.

Heather Ann Miller, NCCPF is the creative director of Eclectic Sage, a Raleigh based event design and floral studio. While spending many years working in the interior architectural design field, Heather also explored product and textile design. During these explorations, she realized she loved the studio experience and started contributing her artistic eye for colors, trends, and design to a wide variety of projects. Her venture with Eclectic Sage bridges her various art forms and allows her to lend a unique perspective to every design. To see some of her work check out her website and follow her on Instagram where she often shares behind the scene stories. @eclecticsage

Sponsored by the NCSFA Education Committee

FREE to observe for Weekend Ticket Holders - $25 to Participate
Please pre-register so we'll know how many flowers to provide.


FFA WORKSHOP - Impress your AG Department
presented by former NCSFA President
Friday   4:30 - 6:30 pm in the Mendenhall Room
Sherri Suttle, Bostic, NC

Whether you are making arrangements for an FFA banquet , prom, etc. , learn how to make designs with an unexpected twist that will leave students and teachers alike in awe of what just came from the Ag Department! We will be using a variety of flowers, floral products and non traditional design products to create beautiful centerpieces that are sure to be a hit. Sherri will be showing you design tips, tricks and ideas, but this is a hands on class as well. So……. let your creative juices start flowing now!

$15 Discount Coupon for Members in the Members Zone


DESIGN II PROGRAM - "Will You Marry Me"
secrets will be revealed from a pro .....
Saturday - 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm in the Chimney Rock Room

Flowers are much more than flowers in the 21st century, and to separate yourselves from the competition, you need to do much more than just flowers.  This program will open your eyes to possibilities that have worked well for Fresh Affairs and Michael will share some of their secrets that will help you take a different approach to your consults and services that you should be offering!

Michael Whaley Aifd Cfd has over three decades of experience in the floral industry and has been involved with every aspect during his career. He has a passion for continuing self-education and, more importantly, sharing that acquired knowledge with other designers in the industry. Over the years he has studied with some of the greatest designers in the world including Gregor Lersch, Hitomi Gilliam, Tomas De Bruyne and Per Benjamin among others.  Michael has been awarded NCSFA Designer of the Year and Southern Retail Florist Association Designer of the Year.  His love of interpretive design led him to The Jim Treadway Cup for interpretive design and after winning this coveted competition three times he was inducted into the Jim Treadway Hall of Fame.  He was also a regional representative for Americas Cup, Great American Design Competition.  Michael was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers and has been heavily involved with programs presented at AIFD National Symposium. He is currently the chairman of the National Education Committee, serves as vice president of the Southern Chapter of AIFD, and is an AIFD certified evaluator/judge.  Michael currently works as Creative Director for Fresh Affairs, an upscale wedding and special events studio based in Raleigh, NC. 

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