Just a few days ago, we wrapped up our final Floret workshop of the 2015 season. We spent three beautiful, jam-packed days together here on the farm and attendees left filled with new ideas and hopefully a dose of inspiration too. The Floret workshops are the highlight of the season for me and the entire team. The excitement they generate, the energy that is created and the friendships that form are all simply amazing. I love teaching and sharing the lessons I’ve learned on this decade-long adventure as a farmer-florist. Having the opportunity to watch so many of our attendees go on to launch or refine flower-based businesses and emerge as new leaders in the seasonal flower movement is such a thrill.
On October 24th, we’ll be opening up registration for Floret’s 2016 workshops (preview all the 2016 dates here). During these classes we open the doors to our little farm and design studio to give you a personalized, behind-the-scenes tour of where we grow, live and create all of Floret’s flowery magic. The entire team and I work tirelessly to provide meaningful, memorable and valuable experiences for all our attendees. Over the course of the three-day workshops, we share our best growing tips and nature-inspired design techniques and answer all your burning flower-related questions. Nothing is sacred or off limits during these three days. You can ask anything, try anything, see anything.
Floret’s workshops sell-out quickly and after the flurry of recent press we’ve received, we anticipate even more demand. But before we officially open up registration, I wanted to share the details of a very special opportunity to receive a scholarship to attend a Floret workshop. It’s my little way of paying it forward for the support I received early on in my journey from some very generous mentors.
I started Floret with a $1,000 loan from my mom, a used wheelbarrow, a shovel, a few clumps of dahlias from a friend and a head full of dreams. I spent the first few years learning how to be a flower farmer largely through trial and error. It was a frustrating and back-breaking way to learn. I never felt like I was in a place that I could invest in my own education or myself.
My future changed the day I got an email from one of the most talented leaders in the floral design industry offering me a slot at an upcoming workshop if I could just get myself there. I’ll never forget that day; I sat at my desk and wept. It had been so hard and I was on the verge of quitting. I was fortunate to have someone take me under their wing and mentor me as I tried to follow my heart. Having that opportunity to spend a few days with one of my floral heroes was a turning point and completely transformed what I thought was possible. I came back to the farm refreshed, and with a renewed focus and a new plan to grow my business based on my strengths and passions. I also vowed that if I ever had anything of value to share with someone else who needed a leg up, I’d pay it forward. Always.
I’m thrilled to now have an opportunity to pass along something that will hopefully make a difference in another person’s life. This year, we’re giving away TWO Floret workshop scholarships – one scholarship to attend a growing-focused Flower Farming Intensive, and one to attend a design-focused Seasonal Floral Intensive.
I’ve invited last years scholarship winners to share a little bit about their experience applying, winning and attending in hopes of giving you the courage to apply yourself.
“I could have sworn I was dreaming in flowers.Ten days later and I am still on a crazy floral high with a full full heart. I was given this crazy gift that changed my perspective entirely. It allowed me to explore myself, see my work in a new light, collaborate and learn from other talented creatives and to cultivate life long relationships with flower friends and mentors alike. I took the chance to kick apprehension and uncertainty to the curb and drink in all of the knowledge, experience and creativity swirling around me. Thank you Erin for this incredible opportunity to learn from you an your unbelievably talented team.I am forever grateful for this treasured gift.”
— Jenn Henry of Field Day Creative
“Receiving a scholarship to the farmer-florist Floret workshop was the best opportunity I’ve ever had, and may ever have, since I entered the world of flowers 4 years ago. The workshop was part technical training, part personal retreat, part networking, and the synergy of the three parts filled me with knowledge, new ideas, and the courage to take big steps forward with my business. The three days were structured with a perfect balance of hands-on activities, demos, and presentations with just the right amount of Q&A and panel-like discussions which were both frank and informative. I am so inspired by Erin’s entrepreneurial skills and her efforts to keep a separation between personal and business, private and public. Hearing about how she, and other farmer-florists, have been able to start and grow successful businesses on a shoestring budget was very helpful. I had heard that there is a lot of “bonding” that can happen during Floret workshops but I was unprepared for the level of camaraderie, warm support, and fun that I experienced with the whole group.
Filling out the scholarship application was incredibly nerve-wracking but in my gut I knew how much I wanted, and needed, this experience; I was at a turning point in my life and business and I needed something major to ignite my self-confidence. The Floret workshop far exceeded my expectations. I still can’t believe that I was chosen for a scholarship, but I am determined to implement all that I learned from Floret into a joyful, successful farmer-florist business, and to one day pay this generous gift forward to many others.”
— Flora Brown of Frinklepod Farm
For this year’s scholarship, we’ve streamlined the application form and reduced the number of essay questions down to one. That means you’ll need to craft just one super short essay. The essay is the most important part of the application, so be sure to put some thought into it and really pour your heart into your submission. The essay is your chance to tell your story, share your dream and make your case. Think of your essay as your “Shark Tank” pitch, but for a flower-focused — and way friendlier — panel of reviewers!
We’re looking to invest in someone who is ready, willing and able to jump start their flower-focused business with a little help from Floret. I’d love to support someone who is hungry for the opportunity and ready to jump in with both feet to take their flower-filled dreams to the next level.
ELIGIBILITY & OTHER IMPORTANT DETAILS:
*Applications are due no later than 8:00pm PST on October 16, 2015. Due to the volume of applications and our limited staff, we cannot accept late entries.
*Applicants from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply.
*The scholarship is available to anyone who previously or currently owns, operates, interns or works in a flower-based business. We also welcome applications from “dreamers” – those who are dreaming or scheming of launching a flower farm and/or design studio in the future.
*Previous applicants who did not receive the scholarship in the past are strongly encouraged to re-apply this year. Previous scholarship winners, however, are not eligible for additional awards.
* Make your essay compelling and succinct. Your essay is restricted to just 1,000 characters.
*Only complete applications will be considered for a scholarship. Please be sure to complete all the application fields and upload your photo as part of the application process. Your photo can be no larger than 1024 kB.
*The scholarship does not include lodging or travel costs to Mount Vernon, Washington (one hour north of Seattle). While we will feed the winners, transport them to and from the hotel where we have a great block room rate and treat them to the class, winners must be able to cover their own travel and lodging.
*Winners will be notified by email and announced publicly here on the blog on or before October 23rd.
*Upon submission of your application, you will see a screen that says “Thank you! Your submission has been received.” You will not receive a separate email notification confirming your submission. If you accidentally hit submit before your application is complete, simply submit a separate, fully completed application. There is no need to email us to let us know (we get it–it happens sometimes!) and we will disregard the incomplete form and review only your completed form.
APPLICATION PROCESS NOW CLOSED.
I can’t wait to read your submission. Good luck!