top of page

Meet Hitomi Gilliam


Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese Canadian Flower Artist.  She has guest-designed and taught extensively throughout North America and around the world – England, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Australia, New Zealand, Oman, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Hitomi began her career in the Green Profession as a farmer-florist. She currently works with her son, Colin Gilliam, in an Education-based business, DESIGN358, founded in 2008.  They currently host design workshops and educational events, and video education through Hitomi’s YouTube channel and her Patreon page.

  1. What is your astrological sign? Capricorn

  2. What book(s) are on your bedside table right now? Braiding Sweetgrass (Robin Wall Kimmerer); Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond); Werner's Nomenclature of Colours (Patrick Syme)

  3. What do you want our guests to know about Canada's local flower/Slow Flowers or horticulture/garden scene? From what I am aware of . . . it is becoming quite vibrant. I have visited couple of farms, and am aware of those whom I would like to visit in B.C. Just recently I have seen @fraserriverflowersociety formed. I have been more embedded in the North American Floral Industry scene through my career, helping floral professionals have successful retail businesses, and have gotten more involved with farmer florists over the last 10 years to help educate in the areas of floral mechanics and methods. In the past 6+ years, in a more sustainable ways via our platform . . . Florists Recognizing Environmental and Eco-Sustainable Ideas and Applications (FREESIA) our biennial Summit which transitioned from my former Trend Summit. I am choosing to support the needed future direction of floristry vs. Trends now. I represent not necessarily the Canada's version but a more holistic vision of the Floral Industry as a whole . . . to chip away through education to make way for the cleaner future. In having worked with and having conversation with Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers and multiple members of this movement, I am convinced that this direction must be pursued for the whole floral profession. Sustainable Floristry needs clear direction, one step at a time.

  4. Share something that you're excited about exploring in your floral enterprise this year? I'm excited to have more conversations with members of Slow Flower Society at the Summit. More relationship with farmers to me is very important . . . love visiting farms and understand their stories. I would like to apply that knowledge to empower the learning in the Floral Design profession. I am in a position to connect the stories for betterment of the Floristic community. The narrative can't be just in the grower or distributor or manufacturer or florist's perspective... the story has to connect the efforts of all to bring sensible practices and direction that everyone within can strive for, one step at a time. It has to be a very positive movement. I love to search for the 'It' product, something new or found that can be our answer to our sustainable dilemma of the moment. Everyone needs useful, applicable answer or solution to the obstacle ahead. My eyes are always open to see possibilities from within our industry, but often the solution are seen in most obscure places outside of our industry. I like looking for alternative solutions.

  5. What is the craziest or most clever thing you've done to pack flowers or plants for travel? The latest idea comes from my son, Colin. Specifically, in packing flowers to travel for a recent event I serviced . . . Colin shredded cardboard as primary packing material. We have more cardboard than ever before in the flower industry but also with Amazon shipments. Too much cardboard!! We purchased a heavy duty shredder that easily breaks down those cardboard at home. This material is sturdier than shredded paper . . . and can be reused multiple times as filler for transporting. And as it ages or gets wet and mushy, they easily compost. Half the work is done once we shred the cardboard, so they don't have to be flattened and sent to recycling . . . more carbon footprint . . . we can do the work ourselves to get it to compost, saving those steps. We have to learn to contribute to the waste management system . . . we don't need to rely always on others to do it for us.

Learn from Hitomi at the Slow Flowers Summit:

Monday, June 24th. Lecture, demonstration, and hands-on group design  FLORAL IMMERSION: Artful & Sustainable Armatures

Hitomi will lead one of three afternoon break-out sessions during our Floral Immersion Experience. She will introduce how to design a variety of sustainable and reusable armatures that incorporate fiber, yarn, and other natural materials. These sculptural pieces are designed to be seen, as essential to the botanical elements they support.Participants in this half-day session will experiment with Hitomi's armature techniques using a range of materials. The hands-on group project will produce an artful installation that will be on display throughout the Summit.

Tuesday, June 25th, design demonstration, followed by a Q&A SUSTAINABLE & CANADIAN-GROWN DESIGN

Hitomi Gilliam returns to her farmer-florist roots for the Slow Flowers Summit's capstone presentation.

We've asked this world class floral artist to demonstrate a Canadian-grown floral arrangement in her signature style, as she shares her insights on the shifts and changes in the floral industry -- shifts to a more sustainably-minded approach to the craft. 

She'll use all-local and seasonal, B.C.- and Alberta-grown botanicals for her design, and leave us inspired to continue sharing the Slow Flowers Movement in our own practices as growers and designers.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page