Archive for the ‘Strolling with flowers’ Category

How memorable moments!

AIFD(American Institute of Floral Designers) National Symposium was held in Boston, MA, this year.  I don’t know that many people who are involved in the organization, but I feel the annual symposium is like a huge family reunion- uncles from Europe, aunts from Asia, sisters from South America.

This year, it was held in Marriott Copley, Boston, which is on one of the busy streets to see the historic Trinity Church, Prudential Center, Hancock Tower, Charles River, Newbury street and so on.

I love Boston because it’s such a beautiful city with such historic stories and also because of my personal experiences with this city. And this beautiful metro city gifted me two great moments this year:  One was when I was invited for the induction ceremony night to be a member of AIFD

AIFD Induction Ceremony 2010

and the other one was when I had a debut stage at the AIFD national symposium!!

The program called “Consortium”.  It was hosted by Ted Bruehl AIFD and 9 newly inducted AIFD designers were invited to feature their designs on the stage on behalf of new inductees.   We all had worked so hard in the workroom right after we checked into the hotel.   There were moments I could visualize how my design would come out great and also there were other moments I got so depressed and frustrated about my design.  This happens all the time so I can say it was very normal, but a couple of days right before the program where I would stand in front of hundreds of people, it was not an easy moment to take it as normal..  My poor roommate, Yoko, had to keep me encouraged :)

All those ups and downs, all of us finished our designs and got ready for the showtime!!   We all moved our floral pieces to the back stage.  Waiting until our program started, we all were pretty quiet-of course, we were not allowed to make any noise because we were right behind the main stage- and I was just hoping I could say what I needed to say about my design without my mind going blank.  The first designer was on the stage and then others…  It was now my turn.  I was waiting for my name to be called behind the screen.  I finally could hear Ted introducing me to the audience and calling my name, Jamie Chae AIFD!  I approached the stage where my design was placed hearing all the cheers.  We talked about the inspirations and the details of the design.  The audience was all quiet and listening to what Ted and I were saying.

Jamie Chae AIFD(Dolce Floral Design) at the AIFD national symposium, Boston, MA

Jamie Chae AIFD, Dolce Floral Design at AIFD National Symposium 2010, Boston, MA

What an amazing experience I had in Boston!

We had positive feedback and compliments.  All the floral designers seemed to enjoy the program concept which was introducing new talents to the industry.  I think that’s a very humble attitude that we should stay with.  No matter how much we succeed in our business or in this industry, we should always be open to accept new people, new talents, new skills and etc.

Dolce Floral Design, AIFD National Symposium 2010

Dolce Floral Design, AIFD National Symposium 2010

I have been blessed that I could get this opportunity and will try to contribute my little talents and knowledge to the industry and the community for many many years to come.  Cuz I owe a lot.

Cheers for my lifetime memories!

Boston, I LOVE YA!!


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I first heard about the Bouquets to Art several years ago when I enrolled in college to study floral designs.  Bouquets to Art is an annual floral exhibition hosted by the de Young Museum -one of the fine arts museums in San Francisco.  Florists, designers and garden clubs are invited to present floral interpretations of works in the museum’s permanent collections, and the floral displays are presented juxtaposed with the works that inspired them.

I loved the concept and appreciated BTA with Ooos and Aaahs as a museum guest for years and was finally invited to participate in the show as a co-exhibitor this year.  How awesome!

Our chosen artwork was modern abstract sculptures created out of blown glass objects and mirrored glass called Model for Total Reflective Abstraction.   After a hard brainstorming process, we decided to go with a modern floral design style, and silver, green and white for the colors.  Since our art piece was not tall, we wanted to design something that was low and could be looked into and, of course, should be related to the theme of the art piece; all about the reflection, repetition and simplicity.

Another important matter that we needed to consider was this; the show opened to the public from Monday through Saturday, so we needed to select the appropriate flowers that were pretty sturdy, even though we still could maintain our floral design every morning before the museum opened.  Done pre-order, pick-up and processing the flowers, we made it through every single step which is applied for any floral business.  The designs were done on Sunday with plenty of ups and downs along the way.  Finally, our design was set up and ready for the show.  It turned out wonderful and went perfect through the exhibition week.

Designed by Jenny Tabarracci and Jamie Chae, Bouquets to Art 2010

Designed by Jenny Tabarracci and Jamie Chae, Bouquets to Art 2010

Designed by Jenny Tabarracci and Jamie Chae, Bouquets to Art 2010

Designed by Jenny Tabarracci and Jamie Chae, Bouquets to Art 2010

It was a fabulous experience as a floral designer and I can’t wait to have another one next year!!

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photographed by dolcefloraldesign, designed by a European designer

photographed by dolcefloraldesign, designed by a European designer

 The American Institute of Floral Designers(AIFD), established in 1965, is the oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and promoting the art of floral design as a professional career.  It has more than 1200 members engaged in a variety of professional programs and activities through a network of six regional chapters throughout the United States and Canada.   http://www.aifd.org

AIFD National Symposium is held yearly and this year,  highly talented and enthusiastic floral designers flocked by the masses to Kansas City, MO, in July.  They come quite literally from all corners of the globe from Europe to Asia and from California to New York.  It is about a week long event beginning with Students’ floral design competition and the AES test, and keeps going for 3 full days of floral design programs and ends with a one-day hands-on workshop from the world reknown floral designers.  We could look around and have knowledge of new varieties of botanicals and meet many vendors, who carry all kinds of floral supplies through the event.   It is a very exceptional floral event and educational floral show. 

I’d like to talk more about AES test.  AES is a qualification test to be an AIFD member.  We need to apply for that several months ahead and take a written  test a few months before the symposium.  Then, at the symposium, we take an actual design test; AIFD organization provides all botanicals including supplies and when our time starts, we need to make 5 designs in 4 hours.  Those designs are graded by a panel of 7 judges and if an applicant has enough points for qualification, he or she is now invited to the AIFD induction the following year where they’ll become a member of the AIFD. 
photographed by dolcefloraldesign

AES test hall

I was one of the applicants this year.  I went through everything I needed to do and took AES design test.  About a month after the symposium ended, a mail from AIFD commitee was delivered stating that I was accredited for the induction to be an AIFD!  Yeah!!  As I was reading through the mail, I thought of  almost all the people I knew, my family, friends, and my instructors.  Because of them, I am who I am now..

I love my career.  I love what I can do.  I feel I’m so blessed to live and work as a floral designer.  Fortunately enough, my work and my potential are qualified by others.  How awesome! 

A few years ago, I’ve met a designer at a floral design workshop and he said becoming an aAIFD is just the beginning, not the end.  Honestly, I couldn’t understand what he meant at that time, but the more I work in this industry, the more I reflect and understand what he said..

Wouldn’t it be great if we can see a very talented and creative designer yet very humble?   That’s going to be my other goal now and this is going to be my fresh start!!  Can’t wait to be inducted at the AIFD National Symposium in Boston next year!

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preserved roses preserved roses

My first trip to Japan in March, 2007.   That was my ‘official’ business trip and I very much enjoyed it personally as well!  I was led to the flower shop in a luxurious Tokyo hotel  and found the coolest thing.  Multi-colored, preserved roses!  Most likely, they carried the small gifts and small arrangements for the hotel guests.  That rose was one of the gift items.  I think I’ve seen it from the magazine before, but it was a truly eye-pleasing experience when I saw it in real life.

U.GOTO Florist

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The entrance of U. GOTO Florist, Rokbonki, Tokyo, Japan: They boast the longest floral business history in Tokyo.

Lush, the handmade natural soap shop, was combined with the florist and I think it’s a very good business idea.   We enjoyed being tested with all different natural soaps!

Then, turn to the right, there comes the main floor/ show room of this flower shop..

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That’s not all!  I’d say that is just about a quarter or one fifth of the entire shop space..   They have..

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Plants room,

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Orchid room,

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Rose/Orchid stem room…

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And they carry..

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so many different varieties of flowers, branches, orchids, and plants..

They all looked  fresh and healthy.   No wilting flowers, no discolored petals..  Everything seemed to be maintained in good condition, like clean water, nice containers, even dirt-free table and floor..  Isn’t that amazing?   How many florists on earth have that luxurious flower shop?  Beautiful tile flooring throughout the shop, marble pillars, marble display tables, each special purpose rooms, and all kinds of botanical items..

As a florist, it doesn’t matter if we run a storefront or studio, we all work with perishable materials: They have a life span, they have their own preference to eat and live, and they have biological systems that can be infected by bacterias or something else.  So we need to deal with all these and plan ahead accurately from planning of purchase till sending them out as goods.   That would be the main reason why we don’t see that many flower shops like U.GOTO FLORIST on the street.   I was all excited like a kid in a candy store and so glad to have a chance to look around U.GOTO Florist.   That’s simply because they show us how successful business a florist can manage!  If someone can do it, that means we also can do it!  Doesn’t it?!

One florist from the shop seemed to look at the roses to use for their arrangement.  How wonderful would it be to pick flowers out of all amazing flower varieties!! :)


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