I’m so excited to finally be able to share the details for our second annual Floret workshop scholarship opportunity! This year we’re offering TWO scholarships, one for each of the late season workshops.
One lucky winner will get a free seat at our design-focused Seasonal Floral Intensive which will take place during peak dahlia season–August 28, 29, & 30.
The other lucky winner will get a free registration to our Farmer-Florist Intensive which is slated for September 25, 26 & 27.
The Floret workshops are my pride and joy and they are the highlight of the season for our entire team. Normally not open to the public, 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 the flowery magic. Over the course of the three-day workshops, I share all our best growing tips and nature-inspired design techniques and answer any burning flower-related question. Nothing is sacred or off limits during these three days. Attendees can ask anything, try anything, see anything.
Floret’s workshops sell-out quickly (both Spring workshops are completely full with growing waiting lists and only a handful of seats remain for the August and September dates) but we’ve saved two seats, one at each of the late season workshops for two very lucky scholarship winners.
I know better than anyone how tricky it can be to break away from day-to-day life and invest in yourself. During the early years of business every penny counts and when you’re brand new, it can seem impossible to gather the needed funds, supplies and support to move forward towards your dream.
I started Floret with a thousand dollar loan from my Mom, a used wheelbarrow, a shovel, a few clumps of dahlias given to me by a friend and a head full of dreams. It was years before I felt like I was in a place that I could invest in my own education and ultimately myself. I spent far too long overworking and trying to prove that I was worth investing in, but no matter how hard I worked or how well I did, I never kept my word to myself and followed through on my hands-on education. Everything I learned came from books, articles, emails and chat boards.
I was extremely fortunate to have some of the industries most talented leaders generously take me under their wings, answer my questions, share their hard-earned knowledge and essentially mentor me as I tried to follow my heart. At the time I was still scraping together enough money to cover our monthly grocery budget. Attending a workshop was out of the question! We truly couldn’t afford it.
Then one day I got an email that said that if I could get myself there, I could attend a workshop with one of my all time biggest floral heroes for just the cost of supplies. I’ll never forget that day. I sat at my desk and wept. It had been such a long, hard journey up to that point and I was on the verge of quitting. That experience transformed what I thought was possible in life and it was a huge turning point for me. I vowed that day that if I ever had anything of value that I could share with someone else who needed a leg up, I’d pay it forward, always. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to have the opportunity to pass along something that will hopefully make a difference in another persons life.
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 go out on a limb and apply yourself.
The following is from~Becca Blue, Becca Blue Flowers, Chicago IL
“I only told my husband I was applying for the scholarship. I didn’t want anyone else to know- not just because I hated the thought of not getting it, and then having to tell everyone I told I didn’t get it (because that was huge!) but because this was something so special and so dear to my heart, I thought if I told anyone else what I was doing – that I was trying to achieve a dream – then there was no way it could ever possibly come true. It would just remain a daydream. I was afraid to try for it…but even more afraid of not trying at all. I put my heart on an email, and my flowers in a picture and kissed it, and wished hard on it and sent it- before I could rewrite, or redo or rearrange.
Finding out that Erin picked me- well, honestly it still seems more like a dream than reality. (Or a joke that she somehow emailed the wrong person….) For the life of me I don’t know why she chose me- but I cannot tell a lie, I am forever grateful that she did.Waiting to leave for Seattle- I will tell you- I cried. In the plane. Before takeoff. To myself. For myself, perhaps. I know for me- and I think for most women- we give and we give and we give until we have absolutely nothing left for ourselves, and dang- how long can you run on empty? Sitting there on the plane I was just on the tip of understanding that I was about to get a refill. August 19th, 2014 was one of the best days of my life. The best. How often do you get to say that?
Yes, I had the Floret team, the flowers, (oh the flowers!) and the farm- a fantastic foundation for learning- and new friends but what I really found was…me. I was completely unprepared to meet her. I (re)discovered that I kind of like her and what she can do. I wasn’t ready for that kind of experience- nor did I know how desperately my spirit needed it. I think everyone, should you ask them, takes a little something different away from the workshop. For me, it was self-discovery, on a multitude of levels. I will never be the same.
Now that I am home- back in the routine of the day to day, if you look past the floral designer and the mom and the wife that is here, and just at the girl you will see there is a fire- a desire- a quest that needs to be fulfilled within me that didn’t burn quite so brightly before my time at Floret. I have found that I am on a fantastic (flower) journey that is just beginning- and I am not sure where it is going to take me quite yet, but I am so ready to find out. Anais Nin wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” and it is so true. How do you ever say thank you for being given the opportunity to bloom?”
The following is from Chloe Roy, Flora Mama Quebec, Canada
“I had never made a bouquet before! Imagine how grateful I was to have been choose to attend THE worskshop, Floret’s workshop! I was starting my own flower farm with no money, no experience, only a handful of books to help me and, well, a whole lot of courage!! (yes, I could add; not much of mental health…!) I applied for the workshop with the feeling that I would never be chosen and a kind of grimace on my face, knowing it was in the middle of May, during seedling time and that it was 3029 miles away. Also with a little bit of shyness due to my inexperience compared to others, struggling to figure which questions I would ask.
Well, it turned out I was chosen!! Attending Floret’s workshop made a huge difference for me in terms of demystifying things. I had devoured all of Erin’s post on the blog and scanned every single picture trying to catch all the details of Floret’s magic. But then, being on the farm is another story. I took my antennas out and tried to absorb as much information as possible, ask as many questions as I could with my little experience and took notes on all of the techniques, spacings, varieties, equipment, etc…I also had the chance to put my hands on tons of marvelous flowers, to finally start to sharpen my fingers on the bouquet making thing. It was an awesome experience learning so many good tricks from the team. It sure was a leap forward over many possible mistakes for me.
Back home I was much more confident in myself about ways of doing things on both sides of flower farming; in the field and the design studio. It has been in the many little details that I’ve notice Floret’s tips popping out in my work all season. I still have A LOT to learn but through this experience gave me many great skills to rock this crazy project of being a flower farmer out!”
After receiving hundreds of applications and questions last year, we’ve worked really hard to streamline the process and make it as straightforward as possible, but here are a few other important details you should note:
*Applications are due no later than 12 noon PST on January 17, 2015. Due to the volume of applications and our limited staff, we cannot accept late entries. Sorry, no exceptions.
*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, they must be able to cover their own travel and accommodations.
*If you already registered for a 2015 Floret workshop and wish to apply for a scholarship, you are more than welcome to do so. If you win, you will be credited the full cost of tuition.
*Only complete applications will be considered for a scholarship. Please be sure to fill out all of the questions and upload your photo as part of the application. If a question doesn’t apply to you (i.e. you don’t have a website) you may answer N/A.
*You do not need to be currently employed in the floral field to apply. Scholarships are open to “dreamers” and creatives as well as established flower farmers and floral designers.
*The winners will be notified by email and announced publicly here on the blog on or before January 31.
REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED
Finally, I would like to ask for a HUGE favor. Would you please share this opportunity with anyone that you feel would benefit? With your friends, a family member, your Facebook friends, your Instagram followers, inside your flower community or on a industry bulletin board? Be sure to use the hashtag #floretworkshopscholarship if you’re on Twitter or Instagram so we can follow along as you share.
I look forward to reading your applications and thanks in advance for spreading the word!