HITOMI GILLIAM, AIFD
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.
Melanie Harrington is the owner of Dahlia May Flower Farm, founded in 2014. From beginning eight years ago selling her flowers off a single pallet in her driveway, Dahlia May Flower Farm has gone on to be featured in Chatelaine magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Canadian Florist Magazine, The Toronto Star; on CBC television and radio; and by PayPal, Google, and more.
Melanie was awarded “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2018 by the Quinte Business Achievement Awards, and Dahlia May was named “Agri-Business of the Year” by the same in 2019.
Dahlia May specializes in growing and providing cut flowers on Melanie's family’s third generation farmstead. She combines her background in horticulture with her willingness to share her own story into her hard work; through her ability to persist and to risk, Melanie continues to build community while making her rural property a destination for flower-lovers and a hub for those seeking locally grown blooms.
Embarking on her 16th growing season, Janis Harris continues to cultivate not just flowers but a legacy of natural beauty at Harris Flower Farm in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. Janis grew up around flowers and vegetable farming, first pursuing a career as an optician until flowers and a desire to grow them called her back. Janis is now a full-time flower farmer with help from her husband, parents, children and flower farm team.
As a farmer-florist, Janis approaches each season with a blend of experience and an ever-renewed sense of wonder. Harris Flower Farm markets its flowers at various local farmer’s markets, via on-farm retail and delivery services, and provides wedding design and event design.
In the fertile fields of South Western Ontario, Harris Flower Farm stands as a living testament to Janis and her family's commitment to excellence, dedication to growing and sharing the seasonal beauty of local flowers.
Heather Henson is a floral artist who grows specialty cut flowers, designs for weddings, and sells retail bouquets as owner/operator of Boreal Blooms, based in Cold Lake, Alberta.
Established in 2013, Boreal Blooms specializes in direct-to-consumer bouquets through local markets and a long-running bouquet share program. "Dried flowers are my passion, and I love creating dried flower weddings for brides who want local flowers that last," she says. Heather is a wife and mother to four mostly-grown children. She also works as a doula and is the co-host of The Sustainable Flowers Podcast.
Lorna Jackson is a founding member of the Island Flower Growers Co-operative. She grows an acre of flowers at Ninebark Farm in Metchosin, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed is a botanist, herbalist, educator, and artist, and is co-owner of ALCLA Native Plants a native plant nursery based in Treaty 7 Territory, near Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
She holds a BSc in Botany from the University of Calgary and an MSc in Herbal Medicine from Middlesex University, London, UK. She has been working with native plants for 15 years and her expertise includes identification, sustainable collection, cultivation, and ethnobotany.
In 2016 she founded Latifa’s Herbs, which primarily serves to educate the public on the edible and medicinal uses of wild plant species in both Alberta and British Columbia.
She is a former faculty member at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC where she taught Botany and Horticulture in addition to Wild Plant Nutrition.
Jaimie Reeves has been working with flowers her entire life. Her love of nature and floral design began early as she spent her childhood helping out and eventually working as a florist in her family-owned garden centre. She soon turned her passion for creative floral design into her own full-time business when she opened Leaf and Bloom in 2013, beginning as a retail flower and plant shop providing design services, and now focuses solely on weddings and other big events.
Jaimie co-founded and continues to run The Local Flower Collective; since its inception in 2018, the Collective has been mandated to support local flower farmers and provide Toronto-area florists with access to uncommon, and chemically untreated flowers that are (most-importantly) grown within two hours of Toronto. The membership-based collective features an online wholesale webshop, a communal design studio, decor rentals for events, and a vibrant network of local activity.
Cara Scott is the Market Manager at Island Flower Growers Co-operative, a producer-owned co-operative of cut flower growers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada, and is the owner of Hermit & Camellia floral design company.
Growing joy and creating magic is right at our fingertips: a mantra Lourdes keeps close to her heart. She hopes to inspire others with her work at Masagana Flower Farm & Studio by interacting with plants and flowers as natural dye sources. She juggles the roles of a flower grower, a natural dyer, and an experiential tourism guide at her farm in southeast Manitoba. In her flagship offering, the Tinta Experience,
Lourdes started as a self-taught flower grower, natural dyer, and tourism operator but has since learned and trained from industry leaders. Her curiosity continues to lead her entrepreneurial journey. It has expanded her work outside the farming community to explore ways to diversify her farm operations in the short growing season of Manitoba. Her farm may be seasonal, but her floral-dyed projects are year-round. She is in the first year of having a new studio-in-the-woods at the farm. She is currently exploring all the programming possibilities she can implement in her dream space to show others that growing joy through flowers and creating magic through plant dyes are right at our fingertips!
With an infectious, optimistic spirit and a belief that we all need more beautiful in our lives, Cynthia shares home and garden inspiration as a writer, photographer, stylist and presenter.
Cynthia is known for her accessible approach to character-filled spaces, carefree flower displays, and an appreciation for antique and artisanal objects. Recognized as a Country Home Magazine Style Maker, Cynthia is regularly featured in leading international lifestyle media and is the author of House + Flower: Reviving Forgotten Homes and Gardens published by Bloom Imprint.
Our Local Host
Becky completed her gardening and landscape design training in New York, Calgary, and Chicago and has completed floral design training with many leading florists who specialize in environmental-friendly florsitry and who support the Slow Flowers movement.
She previously worked as the Horticultural Therapist at the Alberta Children's Hospital, where she oversaw the design and management of five acres of gardens. In creating prairie girl flowers, she wanted to utilize all of her training to bring sustainable beauty to Calgarians - and to cultivate a change in the floral industry. A change that makes florals better for the planet and creates opportunities for clients to make a conscious choice that supports local growers and our environment.
Becky is currently working towards her Master degree in Sustainability at Harvard University - because sustainability is not only the focus of our work, but also the reason for our existence: to create a sustainable floral business in Calgary that maintains the environmental, social, and economic integrity of the floral industry.
Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the online directory to farms, florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers in the U.S. and Canada. Each Wednesday, approximately 2,500 listeners tune into Debra's "Slow Flowers Podcast," available for free downloads at her web site, slowflowerspodcast.com, or on iTunes and via other podcast services.
She is the creator of American Flowers Week, launched during the July 4th week in 2015 with more than 5.0 million social media impressions in 2017. Debra has authored more than 12 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet.
Debra is editorial director and co-founder with Robin Avni of BLOOM Imprint, a boutique publisher that identifies and develops creative book ideas by and about members of the Slow Flowers Movement.