Hey there! I was going to start off the year with a glorious recap of 2014...then this awesome event popped up in my event calendar. Seattle Wholesale Growers Market (SWGM) was having Christina Stembel owner of Farmgirlflowers and Mickey Blake creator of Floral Soil! I have some videos...please excuse my amatureness on recording, and my kiddos who came with me, and the background train noises. LOL.
So, I'll start with with Farmgirl Flowers. Christina is not a trained florist. That being said, she is one hell of a business woman who LOVES flowers. She also has amazing principals supporting the slowflowers movement. Supporting locally, and US grown product is important is so many aspects. I became a fan of her business model and how she manages to stay on top of social media advertising and her website is awesome! I heard of her on YFEchat first...great resource if you are a female entrepreneur. The only thing I tend to disagree with her on is that education in the floral industry isn't necessary. Which she talks a little about on the YFEchat...If you've read my blog, you know how I feel about education. But, high-five to her, she totally hates the designs from the drop shippers! Here's her comparisons. The designs definitely serve a niche market, I wouldn't call them modern. But the lush, fresh picked and burlap wrapped drop in bouquets are extremely popular.
Then there is this really really cool stuff called floral soil. Mickey Blake is the CEO/Founder of Floral Soil. "It all started in kitchen". She began this labor of love helping a friend in the flower industry who wondered why they can't come up with something better. Starting in the floral industry and learning about how the dust from the green foam is actually pretty bad for you I often wondered the same exact thing. I got the courage up to ask an Oasis rep at a show once...my answer was not very fulfilling, so I just sort of sucked it up. The question has always been there though. I mean where is the innovation? The green blocks have the same if not more chemicals than they did when they first came out in 1954. Here's the MSDS sheet write up on the green foam if you want to know more about it. It does contain chemicals that are non-biodegradable and should be treated/used with care. I am not saying I'm against using floral foam, but I am struggling with the carbon footprint it does take up. I mean the stuff has to go straight in the trash when you're done with it...no way that's its composting anytime soon. I hope to see more forward movement with the other industry leading floral foam companies. I did notice that Oasis has a new container line called ECOssentials that is totally biodegradable! So, way to go Oasis! This is what we need. Healthy competition in the industry to make it better.
That being said, I am excited to try out the Floral Soil sample I received at the market. Mickey had seven major goals when designing Floral Soil ™ - Support cut flowers, be non-toxic, plant derived, biodegradable, hold water, grow seeds and be safe enough to eat. I know that if floral soil is a comparable product for mechanics and is as affordable for the customer I will for sure be making the switch. Here is some more info from floralsoilsolutions.com on the product and models of sustainability. There is also a webinar that aired on Dec 9th with Debra Prinzing (her books are beautiful) and Mikey Blake. I did miss it, but you can view the slides for the show at their dropbox link.
In the videos, Mickey is explaining her core goals, that the product only has 3 (YES, just 3) ingredients. I guess she is being stalked by other companies that make foams and they keep on asking how she's done it...she has stumped their Phds. Just hearing this woman talk, you can tell she is so passionate about what she is doing.
What are your thoughts on Floral Soil? I will keep you updated on how I plan to use this lovely little block of Floral Soil. And, of course I will make the same design in Oasis as well to keep a proper log of how it compares.
Thanks for reading! (special thanks to Debra Prinzing and SWGM+friends for the snacks and help keeping my less interested munchkins from going crazy!)