Every year Floret provides full scholarships to aspiring flower farmers and floral designers to receive advanced flower farming and design training through our workshops.
Since we hosted our very first on-farm Floret Workshop, I have offered a handful of scholarships for a few lucky flower lovers to attend our training for free. I’m thrilled to now have an opportunity to pass along something that will hopefully make a difference in another person’s life. I love being able to support aspiring farmer-florists who are hungry for the opportunity and ready to jump in with both feet to take their flower-filled dreams to the next level. One of the greatest rewards of this work has been to watch scholarship recipients take what we have taught them and then go on to build thriving flower businesses. More than ever before, I am committed to investing in people who are ready, willing and able to build a flower business with a little help from Floret.
-Erin Benzakein, Founder of Floret
Floret Scholarships are a little way of paying it forward for the support I received early on in my flower journey.
How it all started
Years ago, I started Floret with a $1,000 loan from my mom, a used wheelbarrow, a shovel, a few dahlia tubers 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. But 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. Up until that point it had been such a hard process to grow Floret and, honestly, 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 away from my busy life, with one of my floral heroes was a turning point and completely transformed what I thought was possible both in life and business. I came back to the farm refreshed, and with a renewed focus and plan to grow Floret based on my strengths and intuition. 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.
Every year since I started hosting workshops, I offer at least one scholarship for someone to attend for free. I love being able to share the business and life lessons that I’ve learned and to be able to provide a unique learning experience that will hopefully make a difference in another person’s life.
Floret scholarships applications are accepted just once per year. Sign up to be notified about Floret’s next scholarship opportunity.
Past recipients share more about the impact that Floret Scholarships have had on their lives, businesses and dreams.
Joanna Letz | Bluma Farm
Receiving the scholarship gave me the push I needed to keep going into year three of owning and operating a flower farm and attending the workshop gave me the confidence to take my business to the next level.
At the end of last season I wasn’t sure how I could keep doing what I was doing. I was working myself into the ground. I made it through the first two years of my business on sheer will and adrenaline. And the only reason I survived those first two years is because my family made sure I had food to eat and clean clothes to wear. I knew I would not survive a third year that way.
Attending the Floret workshop was a game changer for me. The workshop provided me the confidence to grow as a business and also to grow on a personal level. The workshop made me realize I can have my flower farm and also have a good quality of life. Receiving the scholarship allowed me the room I needed to grow as a business owner and flower farmer. It offered me the encouragement, guidance, and insight to take my business to the next level.
To receive the life changing gift of the scholarship as a Mama of three young children lifted me and my family up in countless ways that are still unfolding. One of the many gems of life experience Erin shared is that we all have our strengths and natural talents and that when we direct our attention to cultivating our strengths instead of our perceived weaknesses life flows with much more ease. You don’t have to do it all by yourself! You also start to be more gentle with yourself and attract people into your life that compliment your skill set. This wisdom continues to teach me in all areas of my life. The wisdom, honest sharing and care that I received at the Floret Workshop has contributed directly to me and my family being able to follow our hearts and set out on the path to experience our dreams.Charlotte Chastain | Floralore
Before attending the Floret workshop my greatest challenge was efficiency. As a one-man-show, I needed to know how to streamline my operations. I was selling my flowers at farmers’ markets, which was certainly a step-up from my start with a roadside stand and selling to neighbours, but I still wasn’t running a sustainable and largely profitable business. I was also struggling with how to get the word out about my flowers. I loved my flowers, and I loved growing them, but at the end of the day they needed to sell! I hadn’t realized that there was so much more to this gig than just growing top notch flowers.
Attending the Floret workshop was an inspiring, informative, and very well-rounded experience. I left the farm with a newfound energy and direction. In fact, the workshop finally gave me the confidence I needed to do my very first wedding – my most profitable flower farming venture to date! I look back on the workshop with such fond memories for the people I met, the warmth and guidance of the Floret team, and, of course, the flowers!Antonio Valente | Antonio Valente Flowers
Becca Blue | Becca Blue Flowers
Before I received the Floret scholarship, I was burned out. The daily grind had me worn down. So. Worn. Down. I felt like I was being pulled in many different directions, all at once- and, if I was asked for something I would never, ever say no. To anything- or anyone. Ever. I struggled (and admittedly, still at times do) with pricing and seeing not just my product’s, but my own self worth. I think I had given so much of my self away- literally & figuratively that I had begun to lose sight of who I was- a woman, a wife, a mom, a friend, a business owner, a flower lover…and was left with a small echo of who thought I was supposed to be. Who I wanted to be. (Who I was trying to be?) I was stuck standing still.
Attending the Floret workshop… was a dream. I cannot use any other word to describe my experience. Since the workshop I have found a very clear flower voice, that is all my own. (In which the word “no” is included in its vocabulary.) I have two other MASSIVE takeaways from the workshop…and about a million smaller ones…but the biggies are that I have allowed myself to push my dream further than I thought it could go.
When I applied for the Floret scholarship, I truly felt like my life was at a turning point. I had been running the business end of our veg farm for three years, had two young kids, and was growing flowers “on the side” – i.e. in-between everything else, i.e. at the bottom of the priority list. But the fact I was totally in love with flowers AND I was ready to apply 100% of myself to something that was all mine is what drew me to Floret and to the dream of winning the scholarship. The Floret workshop experience not only provided tons of factual information, but also exposed me to other amazingly hardworking, driven, talented and creative women which boosted my self-confidence and reinforced my hunch that I was indeed on the right path. Thanks to this workshop and Erin’s approach to flowers and business, I am proud to consider myself not just a farmer-florist but also an entrepreneur and a creative ,identities which just a few years ago I would never have had the confidence to embrace. Flowers totally excite me and I am also excited by how to share them tangibly with others, how to educate and inspire others to enjoy flowers, and how to make an honest living in doing so.Flora Brown | Frinklepod Farm
I applied for the Floret scholarship in the fall of 2014 despite the long odds. I dreamt of taking a seat amongst the company of many fellow flower enthusiasts at that circle inside the Basye Family Barn. At that time, I had recently rebranded my business but was doing only a few small jobs here and there. My goal was to begin my path towards becoming an accomplished floral designer taking on large weddings and events. To increase my number of events, I needed to overcome my largest hurdle- a severe lack of confidence.
I went into the workshop intently focused on overcoming my struggle and as it turned out I left the workshop with much more than a little self-esteem. Instead of focusing on the number of events I hoped to book in the coming year Erin pushed me to develop more of what that goal really meant. She taught me how to establish a strategy to approach each of the challenges I would face in achieving my goals. I was heading home with a plan. In addition, I made lifelong friends with my peers that I would cherish for both support in my business and in my personal life.Jenn Henry | Field Day Creative
Receiving a scholarship and attending the Floret workshop was one of the most validating and exciting experiences of my florist life. Starting a new business—any business—as many of us know, is challenging and can often feel lonely and never-ending. The workshop was a breath of fresh air—to be able to press pause, enjoy being surrounded by so much beauty, and learn some valuable skills at the same time. It was the refresher I needed to return home reenergized and excited for things to come. My advice to anyone even remotely thinking about applying is—do it! At the very least it’s a perfect opportunity to examine where you are, where you want to go, and maybe even be proud of how far you’ve come.Maggie Smith | Pine State Flowers
One of the best advice i was given by the Floret team is to try to put as much love as you can in everything you do at and around the farm. In life in general could be a good thing actually.
Keep on doing that. It’s so important.
Floret is a beautiful headlight, a reference for many of us and i am happy to get blown away and inspired from them. Day after day.Chloe Roy | Floramama
Jamie Sammons | Jayflora
Winning the Floret Scholarship was a dream come true! Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever imagine myself winning, but I decided to put words to paper and summit my entry. It is amazing what happens when you put your whole heart and sole in to something. Attending the Floret workshop encouraged me to never give up on my passions. It created a network of people to call on for help or motivation. It also strengthened my desire to farm and give back to the community. My goal for future years is to focus more on helping others and to give back the education and inspiration that was so kindly given to me.
Over the course of our days together, we listened and thought and listened and talked. Pennies dropped and ideas clicked and paradigms shifted. In many ways, the more time passes since the course, the more grateful I am for the time I had with Floret and her team. My business is very different now. I know my strengths. I play to my strengths. Sometimes I don’t and things get tense and stressful again, and I go back to what I learned from Erin, and I re-adjust. I now sell beautifully packaged cut flower seed because that is what works for me. I ask other people to do things that are their strengths and not mine, and this has improved every area of my life.Grace Alexander | Grace Alexander Flowers
Frequently Asked Questions
When will you be opening up scholarship applications?
Applications for our 2018 scholarships are now closed. We will accept applications for our 2019 scholarships in the autumn of 2018.
I don't yet have a farm or flower business yet. Can I still apply for a scholarship?
Yes! Applications are welcome from "dreamers" and established flower farmers alike.
I don't live in the U.S. Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?
Yes! We accept applications from flower lovers from across the globe. In fact, at least two past scholarship recipients have been from outside the U.S.
How many scholarships do you offer?
In 2017, we offered three third scholarships. In 2018, we awarded a total of six scholarships, our most ever! Read more about our 2018 winners here: https://www.floretflowers.com/2017/11/meet-2018-scholarship-winners/
We accept applications for Floret Scholarships once per year.
To please add your name to our list to be notified about our 2019 scholarships.