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Slow Flowers has been making quite a stir in the floral world these past few years, pledging its members to source their flowers consciously and locally.

As the 10th anniversary of Amy Stewart’s movement-inspiring book, Flower Confidential, and with the momentum of 725 members now registered with Slow Flowers, 2017 was a prime year to hold the first annual Slow Flower Summit.

Slow Flowers got its start in Washington State, so it was only fitting to host the first annual summit in Seattle, WA. There designers, farmers and garden-lovers from all over the country gathered together to hear from a selection of inspirational voices– a “TED Talk for flower lovers”.

“I couldn’t be happier with the excitement, interest, and engagement for the first Summit. Attendees came from Ohio, Michigan, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Colorado, Georgia, and from all over the West Coast states. We had media attention from key trade publications, (Flowers&, Florists’ Review), we had editors from several top gardening publications in attendance, (Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, Pacific Horticulture, to name a few), and we had amazing speakers who developed new presentations just for the Summit audience.

I believe the Summit offered the floral community something at the human level that social media can’t achieve: face-to-face connections, dialogue and storytelling. There’s a place for both, and the Summit reminded me of that!”

-Debra Prinzing

Author of Slow Flowers and founder of the Slow Flowers movement

Below are summaries of the presentations given by all of the speakers at the summit. Each was inspiring in their own unique way, leaving the attendees motivated to spread the word and spread the love that surrounds the decision for conscious flower sourcing.

Amy Stewart: 10 years after the publication of her popular book, Flower Confidential, author Amy Stewart came to present a few updates on the flower-growing industry. The most noteworthy development in the last decade has been the rise of local, sustainable and seasonal flower sourcing by designers across the nation. It was the perfect way to kick off the day focusing on the Slow Flower Movement.

“Where’s The Diversity” Panel

with Chantal Aida Gordon, Leslie Bennett, Riz Reyes and Nicole Wahlquist: Here we enjoyed a well-selected panel of designers, and horticulturalists centering their conversation around one message: a desire to see more diversity in the flower and gardening world. Looking to icons such as Alice Walker, Maurice Harris, and Jamaica Kincaid, each panelist had the opportunity to share their hopes and vision for an industry that better reflects the diversity of the United States.

Teresa Sabankaya: In a world of many stiff, lifeless, and standardized flower arrangements, Teresa shared her approach to bringing more character into her flower designs. Using “The Language of Flowers” as her guide, she has created a business that thrives on the Victorian-era idea of arranging each posy around a symbolic message or theme that is then delivered to the applicable recipient. Complete with a demonstration, she shared some of her secret recipes for her message-bearing bouquets.

Emily Ellen Anderson: A master to the art of large installation pieces, Emily, of Lola Creative, shared Image after awe-inspiring image from her personal portfolio, showcasing the pairing of her artistic skills with her fearlessness of size and complexity. “In order to be an artist”, she said, “you need to come to the table unapologetically as an artist. Lead with art!” Her presentation left designers feeling inspired to dream bigger and build bigger, to say the least.

Lisa Waud: Coming to us from Pot + Box in Detroit, Lisa’s conversation centered on creativity and the realization of obtaining your future creative endeavors. Focusing on long-term goals she led the group on a meditative journey into the future of their individual businesses, bringing to life the realistic possibilities every designer has the potential to obtain.

Keep an eye out for more information regarding Slow Flower Summit 2018, currently being planned for Washington, D.C.

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