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Fresh Perspectives

The 1-800-Flowers.com Local Artisan Collection showcases exclusive arrangements designed and inspired by talented florists from all over the United States. Designs for the collection are chosen from bouquets created at the Local Artisan Design Workshop, which is hosted each year by 1-800-Flowers.com at the company’s headquarters on Long Island.

The workshop brings together a select group of florists to discuss trends, share ideas, and collaborate with the 1-800-Flowers. com product development and merchandising teams. Specially curated arrangements crafted by the florists are chosen at the workshop to become part of the Local Artisan Collection the following year and are then available for sale nationwide on the 1-800-Flowers.com website.

Valerie Ghitelman, Vice President of Product Development and Design for 1-800-Flowers.com, says that one of the best parts of these workshops is the relationships that blossom with the floral artisans. “The Local Artisan Design Workshop is a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with our talented florists. We spend three days with them, learning not just about their business model, but also about their needs and the challenges they face. They really become our partners and our friends during this process, and we enjoy staying in touch.”

The 2020 Local Artisan Collection features a diverse range of uniquely crafted floral designs. “We want to make sure that we have well-rounded appeal from a product perspective,” says Lisa Carmichael, Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development for BloomNet. “We get to learn firsthand about products that florists are using every day in their own shops. This gives us exposure to a variety of different design approaches and artistry that we may not see otherwise.”

Valerie adds that the workshop gives florists an opportunity to work on ideas that otherwise might have taken a backseat to fulfill orders. “It’s a very relaxed, creative environment. They get a sense of quiet where they can really brainstorm and pursue new product concepts without the pressure of running a business. That’s when the magic happens.”

Adding to the diversity of products offered through the Local Artisan Collection are the differing geographic roots and innovative ideas of the florists who take part in the workshop. Participants come from throughout the country and encompass a combination of seasoned, highly successful designers.

During each workshop, the participating florists are given a summary of the celebratory occasions and events for which 1-800-Flowers.com is looking to develop products. The designers are also provided with price ranges, along with florals based on seasonal availability and containers to work with. Furthermore, the florists are encouraged to send in any of the containers they use in their stores that they think should be part of the arrangements they create.

Five new florists contributed eight arrangements to the 2020 Local Artisan Collection. Those florists include Doreen Gordy from Bloomers of Tomball in Tomball, Texas; Chelsea Mahoney, also from Bloomers of Tomball; Carrie South from Bloomin’ Genius in Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Phyllis Rega from Phyl’s Flowers in Stratford, Connecticut; and Sophie Clary from 1-800-Flowers | David’s Flowers & Gifts in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

In addition, seven Local Artisan florists whose designs had been featured in previous collections contributed 10 of these popular arrangements to the 2020 Collection. Those designers include Develyn Reed from 1-800-Flowers | Achara Florist in Stafford, Virginia; Ann Marie Pierce from 1-800-Flowers | Imperial Florist in Baldwin, New York; Breanna Cartwright from Fresh Ideas Flower Company in Modesto, California; Ashlee Roberson from Simply Roses in Ormond Beach, Florida; Margaret Fleegal from 1-800-Flowers | Twinbrook Floral Design in Fairfax, Virginia; Tricia Smith, also from 1-800-Flowers | Twinbrook Floral Design; and Wendell Cook from 1-800-Flowers | Nancy’s Floral in Gresham, Oregon.

In addition to showcasing their design talents through their featured bouquets, Local Artisan florists themselves are key to marketing the Local Artisan Collection. “We truly want to showcase our designers’ ideas and their creative process, but we also want to spotlight their contributions to the collection,” states Lisa. “When a designer’s product goes live on 1-800-Flowers.com, the florist is highlighted with a photo and also a brief quote about their background. It’s great to put the faces of the florists who create these arrangements out front and center so our customers can see who helped imagine and craft their bouquets.”

To learn more about the Local Artisan Collection, go to bloomnet.net/programs-services/localartisan.