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Joseph Abken + James Gagliardi

Bellevue Botanical Gardens Presents: GARDENS FOR PEOPLE

In their welcoming remarks, Garden Director James Gagliardi and Bellevue Botanical Garden Society Director Joseph Abken will set the tone for our two-day immersive experience at Bellevue Botanical Garden as they share the story of this important cultural resource serving the people of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2022, BBG is known for its world class perennial border, the result of a partnership with Northwest Perennial Alliance. We'll learn about the flowers, plants, and people of this beautiful destination.

Monday, June 26th (Day One, Illustrated lecture, followed by a Q&A

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Amy Balsters


Amy Balsters' mission is to demystify the art of designing an effortless, hand-tied, spiral bouquet -- something many have struggled with. She has taught more than 1,000 floral designers at her in-person workshops and tens of thousands of online students by reinterpreting classic floristry principles. Her approachable teaching style introduces students to mechanics, color theory, stem selection and bouquet composition with confidence. In her presentation for the Slow Flowers Summit, Amy will demonstrate how she designs loose and airy hand-tied bouquets in several interpretations -- and she will share simple steps from her Bouquet Bootcamp curriculum for you to put to use in your own floral enterprise.

Monday, June 26th (Day One), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by a Q&A.


Lennie Larkin

THE FLOWER DOLLAR: Knowing the true cost of your flowers + designs

Managing your floral business for profitability is a major goal for many entrepreneurs, but achieving and sustaining those margins is often unattainable. We've invited experienced farmer-florist and first-time author Lennie Larkin of B-Side Farm to talk about her upcoming book, Flower Farming For Profit, and

to share her methods on building profitable businesses through first understanding your true costs. She'll present a breakdown of "The Flower Dollar," a visual interpretation of costs from administration to farm supplies, land costs, payroll and profit. This disciplined goal-setting approach is designed to empower flower farmers and floral designers alike in understanding costs, pricing and profitability.

Monday, June 26th (Day One), Illustrated lecture and flower pricing demonstration, followed by Q&A. 


Julio Freitas


A huge part of The Flower Hat's success, says Julio Freitas, "is the ability to buy flowers from ourselves."  
Julio will present a one-hour mini-version of The Flower Hat's popular workshop series, tailored for florists, growers, and farmer-florists. He will discuss The Flower Hat's unique business model executing flowers for dozens of weddings and events each year. Featured in numerous national and international publications, the common thread of The Flower Hat's weddings and events are LOCALLY GROWN FLOWERS, which Julio credits as a major distinctive for his studio's aesthetic and brand. Despite a short season (USDA Zone 4b) and limited acreage, The Flower Hat maximizes production by carefully selecting crops that elevate arrangements -- including hard-to-ship and hard-to-find varieties that bring floral designs to life. Julio invites us into his world of growing and designing with local, Montana-grown flowers, followed by a design demonstration and a Q&A.

Tuesday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by a Q&A.

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Valerie Crisostomo


Valerie Crisostomo established Black Girl Florists as a community for Black women in the floral profession. Hear her story as an event planner-turned-floral designer-turned-change leader in the floral industry. Meet the creatives involved in Black Girl Florists and learn how you can get involved in this dynamic collective that is opening doors and elevating Black women in floristry.


Tuesday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by Q&A.


Gina Lett-Shrewsberry


Gina Lett-Shrewsberry is a Northern California-based wedding florist and owner of Inspirations by Gina. She is the first Black florist on San Francisco's City Hall's preferred vendor list and she is frequently seen on local television as a floral lifestyle expert. Gina works closely with Sacramento area flower farmers to source botanicals for her designs and she will discuss how to build relationships with flower farmers to create a distinct aesthetic for your portfolio.


Tuesday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by Q&A.


Dee Hall

CREATIVE BUSINESS STRATEGIES for an Urban Micro Farm + Design Studio

Dee Hall continually finds creative ways to bring her seasonal flowers to customers in her Norfolk, Virginia, community. Beyond her CSA subscriptions and everyday deliveries, Dee builds community with fellow flower farmers. She will discuss how she developed Mermaid City Flowers by growing flowers in her own residential garden and on "borrowed" property of her neighbors. You'll also hear about Black Flower Farmers, the organization she founded in 2021 that has grown to include more than 25 flower farmers in the U.S. and abroad and learn how you can get involved and support its growth.

Tueday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by a Q&A

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Tracy Yang


Tracy Yang will share the success story of JARN Co. Flowers as a startup flower farm, including her advice on making smart decisions on crop planning, finding your niche, and marketing for small-scale farmer florists.

Learn how JARN Co. Flowers has determined what to grow, how much to grow, and how to sell their flowers. Come with your questions and get ready to dig into the business side of flowers!

Tuesday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by a Q&A

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Becky Feasby


Becky will share an overview of sustainability from the lens of environmental, social, and economic principles, and how these relate to our work with flowers. She will introduce the concept of social sustainability and discuss the issues that affect florists and flower-growers in the U.S. and North America, including an overview of the Sustainable Flowers Project's support of anti-racist practices to build a more socially just and sustainable floral community. She will encourage and challenge the audience -- from the larger industry to individual business owners.

Tuesday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by a Q&A


Sarah Reyes


Learn about Wildflower & Fern's sustainable business model and hear from Sarah Reyes about how she has developed the tiny flower shop into an important hub for locally-grown flowers for the Bay Area. Sarah will share strategies and tips for creating a flower shop that highlights artisans and local growers, as well as nurturing a community of passionate customers who value Wildflower & Fern's mission of local, seasonal, and sustainable botanicals. 

Tuesday, June 27th (Day Two), Illustrated lecture and design demonstration, followed by a Q&A

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