Where it Began... Team Flower Workshop, Part I

It's been one incredible, life-changing year for me.  Where it began?  Nearly one year ago, I knew I needed to discover a new creative outlet.  I had been engaged for about 8 months and saw a Instagram post that encouraged those interested in floral design to treat themselves to a awe-inspiring, hands-on experience at Team Flower Workshop 2015

The workshop was exactly what I needed and had hoped for.  It fueled my leap of faith to transition back into the design field, leave my job of nearly five years, and move forward with creative floral design and event decor.  I had no idea that in only six months I'd be planning my own company and creating this website. 

The workshop was held at the beautifully, quaint North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC during the most beautiful time of the year.  Large fluffy clouds above, sun beaming through the clear skies in the far distance, and a gorgeous mountainside with just the slightest breeze and fresh, sweet scent of nectar in the air. 

These images take me back to my experience.  Here's a few favorites from the first day of Team Flower workshop artfully captured by photographers Heather Payne and Holly Carlisle.   

A beautiful three days at the North Carolina Arboretum hosted by Kelly Perry | Photo:  Heather Payne

At the Orientation Breakfast to my surprise I found a name tag engraved with my name.  How official! | Photo:  Heather Payne

Lovely gold and pinks at the entrance.  The music played set the theme for the orientation with "What a Wonderful World." | Photo:  Heather Payne

Each catered meal had a special theme and explanation of symbolism and planning involved.  Everything was purposefully hand-picked from the drinks to food to tapered candles to linens, and even the music. | Photo:  Heather Payne

 We explored the arboretum space and enjoyed meeting new faces in the courtyard with our baskets of white blooms and greenery.  | Photo:  Heather Payne

During the Meet & Greet, I met participants from all over like Toronto, Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, and even Hong Kong!  It made me feel better to know that their were others looking for a wonderful world through blooms. 

Kelly told us, " I helped my first bride at 14.  I intend to help my last one at 101.  Age is irrelevant when it comes to encouraging the world." 

Our host, Kelly Perry, planned everything "to a T." | Photo:  Heather Payne

She invited other floral professionals such as Holly Carlisle of Rosegolden, Deedie Springer from Springvine Design, Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions, and Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral to share their knowledge.   Linda Doan of Aunt Willie’s Wildflowers also shared tips on how to grow flowers. | Photo:  Heather Payne

Kelly Perry from Philosophy Flowers and founder of Team Flower inspires everyone she meets.  Even though I was the only attendee without a floral design business, Kelly's encouragement and natural teaching style made me feel at ease.  It was the first time I ever designed a hand-tied bouquet let alone a garden-style centerpiece.  Every moment was exciting and new, breathing to the sweet scents of garden roses and tulips and putting my art skills to good use when applying the principles of design in my arrangement. I tried to soak up anything and everything from Kelly and her team.   I was especially inspired by dogwood, peony, and lovely magenta-purple roses. 

This is where the magic happened each day!  Topics in principles of design, elements of design, growing flowers, and much more!  | Photo:  Holly Carlisle

*Sigh.  This was my first look at the flower room.  The scents!  The colors!  The textures!  | Photo:  Holly Carlisle

Can you imagine a day where you are working with buckets and buckets of the most gorgeous florals like Chocolate Scabiosa, Blue Muscari, Maria Theresa spray roses, Orange Poppy, Fruiting Blackberries, Sarah Bernhart Peony, Cappuccino Ranunculus, Karamel Antike garden roses, Chantilly Snapdragons, and Tulip Magnolia (just to name a few favorites)?  Each day felt like a dream...

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Team Flower Workshop experience where I'll discuss the importance of understanding your deep roots.  To learn more about "What a Wonderful World" inspiration for the workshop breakfast, read Kelly's post on the Team Flower Workshop website.