Recap of the 2018 NCCPF Hands-on School

Events like the NCCPF Design School don’t happen without teamwork! Thanks to all the Education Committee members who have been able to help!  The NCCPF Design School took place August 22-25, 2018 at Lihmil, Inc. Flowers and Supplies in Kernersville, NC. Eleven students were ready to take on the challenging classes which began at 9:30 Wednesday. Nelson Simpson, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, NCCPF began the classes with positive words. He continued to praise students and push them to higher levels of design ability throughout the week.

The students began each day going over information from their textbooks referencing design styles and how to create them. Nelson would then meticulously demonstrate a design for them to recreate. Then it was up to the student to duplicate the design as closely as possible. They are graded on three designs in this manner: a formalinear arrangement, a funeral spray and a bridal bouquet. In between these graded designs, students created a wired and taped corsage, a parallel centerpiece, decorated a plant and created hairpieces using cold glue. Creating all of these items is to prepare students for what they may encounter in a retail environment. The knowledge is also useful for those who primarily work in events and weddings. Learning the correct mechanics for creating any design is of utmost importance, regardless of what sector of the diverse floral industry in which a person may work. 

The final day of class was relaxed when students were able to “play” with different types of wire and accessories to create body flowers of their choice. After this, each student was called up to present their design and received their certificate of completion. Happily, all the students in the class passed the Design School. Now on to completing the online classes to receive their NCCPF certification!!

Many thanks to the Board of NCSFA for voting to allow scholarships to the schools classes, both the Design School and the online classes. Also thanks to the Education Committee for their help throughout the year and also during this week of Design School. None of this is possible without your dedication to NCSFA and to educating its members! Members of the Education Committee include: Susi Gordon NCCPF Vice Chair, Pat Murray AIFD NCCPF, John Herron, Stephanie Garrett AIFD CFD NCCPF, Jeff Freeman, Mary Matherly NCCPF and Donna Pittman AIFD CFD NCCPF.

Bill McPhail
Education Committee Chairman

Instructor: Nelson Simpson, Aifd Pfci Cfd NCCPF

Student Reviews

At the end of every class, we pass out an evaluation form that allows students to critique the class and instructor.  Below are some excerpts from the students unedited and the names are kept private.

I love learning and this class was so informative! I am a hands-on learner and this class was perfect for me. Nelson was very thorough and great at reinforcing the techniques you need to know.
I enjoyed gaining a better understanding of floral techniques, tips, and skills. The instructor was very encouraging and I also liked the various floral professionals that came through the class. The ladies were more encouraging and helpful.
Very informative and educational. I really liked the teaching atmosphere and the sponsoring facility was very nice. Would be great to have mats to stand on. The cement floors were rough on the legs.
I really loved the hands-on experience and quality instruction, constructive criticism, and honest feedback. Nelson was knowledgeable and methodical in all facets of instruction.
I really liked how the class was structured around hands-on skills. A nice photo booth to take pictures of our designs would be fantastic. I would love to see the school offer an advanced class.
What I liked about my experience were all the tips and tricks that I learned. Would be nice to have some coffee furnished and Nelson was extremely thorough with his teaching.
The main thing that I liked was being challenged. The instruction was very thorough but I would have liked to have had more hands-on instruction on sympathy arrangements and especially casket sprays.
I loved meeting new people and the instructors and helpers. I'd like to see more basics of design that I could use every day in my business especially more tips and techniques.
I'd like to see the addition of a beginner's class. Instructor was extremely accomplished and having other industry professionals visit was a plus. The curriculum was challenging yet very competition-based.

Student Reviews

At the end of every class, we pass out an evaluation form that allows students to critique the class and instructor.  Below are some excerpts from the students unedited and the names are kept private.

I love learning and this class was so informative! I am a hands-on learner and this class was perfect for me. Nelson was very thorough and great at reinforcing the techniques you need to know.
I enjoyed gaining a better understanding of floral techniques, tips, and skills. The instructor was very encouraging and I also liked the various floral professionals that came through the class. The ladies were more encouraging and helpful.
Very informative and educational. I really liked the teaching atmosphere and the sponsoring facility was very nice. Would be great to have mats to stand on. The cement floors were rough on the legs.
I really loved the hands-on experience and quality instruction, constructive criticism, and honest feedback. Nelson was knowledgeable and methodical in all facets of instruction.
I really liked how the class was structured around hands-on skills. A nice photo booth to take pictures of our designs would be fantastic. I would love to see the school offer an advanced class.
What I liked about my experience were all the tips and tricks that I learned. Would be nice to have some coffee furnished and Nelson was extremely thorough with his teaching.
The main thing that I liked was being challenged. The instruction was very thorough but I would have liked to have had more hands-on instruction on sympathy arrangements and especially casket sprays.
I loved meeting new people and the instructors and helpers. I'd like to see more basics of design that I could use every day in my business especially more tips and techniques.
I'd like to see the addition of a beginner's class. Instructor was extremely accomplished and having other industry professionals visit was a plus. The curriculum was challenging yet very competition-based.

Miniature Workshop Fun and Informative

Held on Sunday, January 21st, 2018 from 1-4 in the afternoon at the Airport Embassy Suites in Greensboro, the Miniature Workshop was both fun and informative for attendees. Tammy Yow-Russell CFD NCCPF, the Queen of miniature competition, put together the workshop to enlighten attendees about miniature design and what fun they are to create. Twelve bold souls ranging in design experience from 1 month to more than 35 years, we won’t name names…, arrived promptly at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Tammy was well prepared with handouts and brought in some of her miniature designs, both those that won awards and those that were “disasters” in her words. She also provided lots of items to use in the creations. Registrants were asked to create a spaceship or something futuristic to go along with the theme of the 2018 convention. After some time to create the designs, each person presented theirs and said a few words about it. The atmosphere was very relaxed, and somewhat like a reunion for many who were there. The Education Committee provided snacks and small sodas and NCSFA was very gracious to sponsor the room. In Tammy’s words, “It is always so fulfilling to share the things you are passionate about with those who encompass the same curiosities and desire to learn! To explore and experiment in the realms of various designs is very rewarding to all!”

Author:  Bill McPhail, Education Committee

Here’s some great pics grabbed from a cellphone…

NC Certified Professional Florist School 2017

This year’s NCCPF Hands-On Design School . . . was held on September 27th – 30th. Our gracious host was Lihmil Wholesale Flowers in Kernersville, NC. With thirty plus years of experience, Nelson Simpson, AIFD PFCI NCCPF, the instructor for the course is a member of the NC State Florists Association since 1991, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers, Professional Floral Communicators International, and a NC Certified Professional Florist.

The hands-on design school is a very detailed program where students learn principles and elements of design, design terminology, current design styles, sympathy design, and wedding design. During the course, our students learned proper technique and also learned to execute methods of design skills from beginning forms to other advanced applications. The subject matter of the day ended with the student creating their own design with instructional oversight. Along with a grade for their design, the student is given a daily exam. Upon completion of the 3-day course, the student is eligible to begin or finish the online courses portion of the certification. The final goal is to pass the Final Certification examination and proudly earn their NCCPF certification.

This year’s NCCPF Hands-On Design School . . . was held on September 27th – 30th. Our gracious host was Lihmil Wholesale Flowers in Kernersville, NC. With thirty plus years of experience, Nelson Simpson, AIFD PFCI NCCPF, the instructor for the course is a member of the NC State Florists Association since 1991, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers, Professional Floral Communicators International, and a NC Certified Professional Florist.

The hands-on design school is a very detailed program where students learn principles and elements of design, design terminology, current design styles, sympathy design, and wedding design. During the course, our students learned proper technique and also learned to execute methods of design skills from beginning forms to other advanced applications. The subject matter of the day ended with the student creating their own design with instructional oversight. Along with a grade for their design, the student is given a daily exam. Upon completion of the 3-day course, the student is eligible to begin or finish the online courses portion of the certification. The final goal is to pass the Final Certification examination and proudly earn their NCCPF certification.

Pat Murray, a lifetime NCSFA member who originated the NCCPF School Program in 1986

Nelson Simpson, AIFD PFCI NCCPF

NCCPF 2017 Instructor

Nelson Simpson, AIFD PFCI NCCPF

NCCPF 2017 Instructor

Congratulations to all of this year’s students for exhibiting hard work and determination and in successfully completing and passing the hands-on portion of the NC Certified Profession Florist Design Program. This year’s roster included:

  • Joan Caudle – Young’s Florist, Kernersville, NC
  • Megan Purcell – Harris Teeter, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Shauna Bailey – Asheville, NC
  • Robert McGhee – Purple Poppy Florist, Wake Forest, NC
  • Melanie Murdock – Raleigh, NC
  • PangKou Xiong – PK Floral Design, Huntersville, NC
  • Frances Watson – The Wedding Woman, Durham, NC
  • Jane Utley – The Wedding Woman, Durham, NC
  • Nicholas Anders – S. Alamance High School, Burlington, NC

Congratulations to all of this year’s students for exhibiting hard work and determination and in successfully completing and passing the hands-on portion of the NC Certified Profession Florist Design Program. This year’s roster included:

  • Joan Caudle – Young’s Florist, Kernersville, NC
  • Megan Purcell – Harris Teeter, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Shauna Bailey – Asheville, NC
  • Robert McGhee – Purple Poppy Florist, Wake Forest, NC
  • Melanie Murdock – Raleigh, NC
  • PangKou Xiong – PK Floral Design, Huntersville, NC
  • Frances Watson – The Wedding Woman, Durham, NC
  • Jane Utley – The Wedding Woman, Durham, NC
  • Nicholas Anders – S. Alamance High School, Burlington, NC
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