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Slow Flowers Summit co-locating with AIFD Annual Symposium

The second annual Slow Flowers Summit is co-locating with the American Institute of Floral Designers Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. The one-day conference will take place on June 29 at Marriott Wardman Park, according to a news release.

Developed and produced by Debra Prinzing and Slow Flowers, LLC, the event also coincides with the fourth annual American Flowers Week, June 28-July 4.

SF-SUMMIT The 2018 Summit is turning its attention on the future, innovation and reinvention, and invites florists, floral designers, farmer-florists, retailers, wholesalers, growers, media, educators, students and progressive thinkers to take part.

“I’ve asked this year’s speakers (flower farmers, farmer-florists and floral industry leaders) to focus on new business models in floral design,” wrote Prinzing in an article about the event. “I am excited by the diverse range of experiences and voices coming together for a day that promises to enrich professionals and thought leaders in the progressive floral community.”

The keynote speaker will be Christina Stembel, founder and chief executive officer at San Francisco-based Farmgirl Flowers. Christina’s topic, “Scaling Your Floral Business to the Next Level,” will share insights and lessons learned from her e-commerce floral business.

The keynote will be followed by four other presentations:

“A Year of Local Flowers” presented by Kelly Shore, creative director at Petals by the Shore in Olney, MD, and Mary Kate Kinnane, creative director at the Local Bouquet in Little Compton, RI.

Both women specialize in weddings and events and will co-present their personal design and sourcing philosophies and demonstrate floral techniques featuring botanicals and their favorite local flower farms.

Kit Wertz and Casey Schwartz are sisters and partners in Los Angeles-based floral business Flower Duet. They have grown their company into a multifaceted studio with services ranging from workshops, tours and online teaching to weddings and events and corporate commission. Casey and Kit will outline how to think strategically and diversify a non-retail floral studio to attract customers throughout the year and they will also demonstrate their take on floral design.

“Tech & Flowers: Amazon, Uber and the Floral Industry,” a panel discussion featuring Christina Stembel, founder and CEO at Farmgirl Flowers in San Francisco, Jonathan Weber, co-owner at greenSinner Floral & Garden in Pittsburgh, PA, and Jessica Hall, creative director at Harmony Harvest Farm & Floral Genius in Weyers Cave, VA.

This panel will address how floral businesses large and small can think innovatively about delivery of their product to the end consumer.

“Planting Seeds on Urban Flower Farms,” a presentation featuring Walker Marsh, founder at the Flower Factory in Baltimore and Mud Baron, project director at Muir Ranch in the greater Los Angeles area.

These men are rethinking the way flowers are grown and who gets to produce them in cities facing change, social pressures and economic disparity for many communities.