Posts Tagged ‘Hitomi Gilliam AIFD’

Florabundance Design Days 2017 - Welcome Sign

The fifth annual Florabundance Inspirational Design Days took place January 8-11, 2017 at the beautiful LotusLand Gardens in Montecito, California.

Attendees were treated to three full days of floral design classes and an amazing assortment of flowers with which to create their flower arrangements. Five world-renowned floral designers gave demonstrations; Ariella Chezar, Hitomi Gilliam AIFD, Francoise Weeks, Holly Chapple, and Amy Osaba.

In addition to the headlining floral designers who taught hands-on design sessions we also had a variety of other speakers. Jodi Duncan AIFD shared how to work with Design Master, Emily Carter shared her event floral planning program Lobiloo, Gayle Smith shared how to use Chrysal in the care & handling of flowers, David & Leanne Kessler shared how to use Facebook Live, and I, Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs, gave a talk about what’s new in Instagram.

All the photographs in this blog post were taken by Lerina Winter of Winter Creative Co. and Sarah Colliers of Taken By Sarah Photography.







Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2017 - Jodi Duncan AIFD

Jodi Duncan AIFD demonstrates how to use Design Master paints.

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2017 - Gayle Smith of Chrysal

Gayle Smith talks about how to use Chrysal products in the care and handling of fresh flowers.


Amy Osaba was the first floral designer to present at FDD this year and she demonstrated how to create a bridal bouquet-


Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Amy Osaba leads a design session featuring a bridal bouquet

Amy demonstrating how to create a bridal bouquet

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days -  bridal bouquet designed by Amy Osaba

Bouquet designed by Amy Osaba

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - a selection of flowers available from Florabundance

A snippet of the beautiful flowers that the attendees got select from to create their bridal bouquets

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - attendees select from a plethora of flowers to create their bouquets

Ladies selecting from a plethora of flowers to create their bridal bouquets

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days -  ladies designing bouquets

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days -  ladies designing bouquets

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days -  ladies designing bouquets

Shawn and Alex share a laugh as they create bridal bouquets

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days -  bridal bouquet designed by  Lorelle Boak of Banff Flower Girl

Bouquet designed by Lorelle Boak of Banff Flower Girl


Holly Chapple started off Tuesday morning jumping right into creating a large tablescape where all the designers were able to contribute their own touches. It was a fast paced morning and was fun to watch all the attendees participate in creating this design!


Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Design Session with Holly Chapple where attendees created a lush tablescape

The completed tablescape

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Design Session with Holly Chapple where attendees created a lush tablescape

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Design Session with Holly Chapple where attendees created a lush tablescape

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days - Design Session with Holly Chapple where attendees created a lush tablescape

Holly Chapple


After Holly’s morning design session and before our lunch break we were given a tour of Lotusland Gardens. There are so many words to describe these gardens – magical, one of a kind, unique, amazing .. just to name a few! The attendees were broken into small groups and headed out with docents to tour the 37 acres. Here are a few shots of what we saw-


Lotusland Gardens in Montecito, California. Photograph by Lerina Winter

Cactus Gardens at Lotusland Gardens, Montecito, California. Photo by Taken by Sarah

Cactus Gardens at Lotusland Gardens, Montecito, California. Photo by Taken by Sarah


After our lunch break we entered the afternoon design session with Ariella Chezar. Oh, I should mention that each breakfast and lunch was catered by Rincon Events, and they do an absolutely wonderful presentation.


Florabundance Design Days 2017 - Ariella Chezar - Floral Design Workshop


On our third morning of conference we moved over to the Rincon Beach Club. This last inspiring day began with a demonstration by Francoise Weeks. Francoise worked with attendees on creating bridal bouquets which featured the most detailed tid-bits.


Florabundance Design Days - Francoise Weeks


After an enjoyable lunch we headed back into the tent where Hitomi Gilliam finished off the three day event with a fantastic demonstration packed with clever mechanical information! You can see in the photos below that Joost got in on the action, I’m not exactly sure what they are working on but I know it involved a drill & yarn!


Florabundance Design Days - Hitomi Gilliam


Here’s the whole crew at Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2017, at Lotusland Gardens in Montecito, California –

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2017


This blog post is brought to you by Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs Flower Blog. OH, I should mention that I did give a presentation on using Instagram for building up your online presence. I am happy to say that this was my 5th Florabundance Design Days and each year it is a fantastic event. The perfect way to celebrate the beginning of a new year! I do hope you mark your calendar to attend this awesome event next year — January 14-17, 2018 to join in on the fun!!

We are delighted to announce the line-up and dates for Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2016!!

Once again, our yearly event will take place at a magical floral inspiring location – The Orchid Farm at Dos Pueblos Ranch! Three fabulous days will be filled with educational sessions filled with new methods and design techniques, networking, and fun in the California sun!

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2016


Register for Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2016 – Click Here

In the meantime, check out our exceptional group of presenting designers from around the country:

Hitomi Gilliam AIFDHitomi Gilliam AIFD (Vancouver, BC)

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese Canadian floral designer, keynote lecturer, demonstrator, educator and a consultant in all aspects of the Art and Business of Floral Design. She is the Creative Director for DESIGN358 (2008). She has guest-designed throughout North America, England, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Bermuda, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Colombia.

She owned and operated Satsuki’s Florist in Mission, British Columbia for 28 years. And established an Event & Education business, DESIGN358 8 years ago.

Hitomi is the founding organizer of the Annual ‘Survival of the Creative Minds’ Conference in Taos, New Mexico. 18th Annual Conference ‘REDUCTION’ is scheduled for October, 2015.

Hitomi has collaborated with Tomas De Bruyne from Belgium to create a comprehensive ‘European Master Certification’ Program (EMC). We are headed into the third cycle in 2015/16 having just completed cycle 2 in Bruges in May, 2014.

Hitomi is the founding director of NEOflora, a non-profit association of forward-thinking floral designers (2012). The first project, NEOflora POP UP store in Vancouver, Canada was a resounding success in October, 2012


Kim Curtis of ToastKim Curtis (Santa Barbara, CA)

TOAST, located in Santa Barbara, is a full-service event design, floral, production and coordination company. TOAST started out as a design and coordination company over 17 years ago with floral design becoming a key part of the business over the past 6 years.

Kim Curtis got her start in flowers while working a summer job in high school. Years later, after only doing coordination and design, she decided to add floral design to service offerings for TOAST. Having floral done in-house ensures that the event design is cohesive in all aspects of design.






francoisweeks2Francoise Weeks (Portland, OR)

Honing her talents through training with the florists of Antwerp, Françoise discovered her signature—a unique lush and textural style, heavily imprinted by her love of nature and art. Since 1996 she has translated her passion into creations of flowers, herbs, fruits, vegetables and foliage in a way that the masters could only paint.

Her portfolio runs the gamut from elegant natural simplicity to the abundant and bountiful; she consistently delivers the unexpected. Françoise’s first priority is to realize the ideas and needs of her clients and bring to the process her attention to detail and unique creativity.

Recently her work has emerged into two distinctive styles: URBAN WOODLANDS—contemporary stylings of mosses, lichens, bark and forest floor gatherings and FLORAL FORWARD—exquisite botanical haute couture creations of purses, headpieces and shoes.

She shares her trademark style and vast knowledge of floral design and mechanics through teaching inspiring workshops hosted at her intimate studio in Portland, OR and at hosted locations throughout the United States and Internationally.

Françoise has been the subject of numerous magazine articles throughout the United States and Europe.

hollychappelHolly Chapple (Lucketts, VA)

Holly Chapple founded her wedding and event floral design business 23 years ago as a way to earn a living while working from home as she raised her children. Over the years, the Holly Heider Chapple Flowers brand has continued to grow and gain national recognition as a result of Holly’s involvement in social media and the popularity of her blog, The Full Bouquet. Today Holly’s studio services weddings and events in the Washington DC area, as well as luxury destination weddings.

In 2010, Holly founded The Chapel Designers, an international collective of wedding and event floral designers. The organization educates, supports and mentors creatives while encouraging the authenticity of each designer. In recent years, Holly has developed extensive cutting gardens on her Virginia property as a supporter of the American Grown Slow Flower movement. She enjoys drawing inspiration from the cutting gardens and including the locally grown flowers in her work.

Holly and her husband Evan celebrated 28 years of marriage this January and are the proud parents of seven wonderful children ranging in age from 6 to 28.

Susan McLearySusan McLeary (Ann Arbor, MI)

Susan is an Ann Arbor, Michigan based floral designer, artist and instructor who creates unusual, boundary-pushing floral art including elaborate headpieces, flower crowns, and her signature succulent jewelry.

Her soulful, seasonally-inspired creations and floral wearables have been described as innovative, exquisite living artwork.

Considered one of the country’s top designers of floral wearables and living jewelry, Susan received one gold and three silver medals and placed second overall in the 2014 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year competition.

A passionate teacher, Susan offers private design instruction for professional florists in her studio and through destination workshops.

Susan’s work has been featured on the cover of Fusion Flowers Magazine and in leading industry publications and websites including Modern Wedding Flowers, Flowers&, Style Me Pretty, Field to Vase, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, and The Knot. Susan is a member of Chapel Designers, Slow Flowers and Style Me Pretty’s “Little Black Book.” A frequent featured designer on Etsy, her designs and living jewelry has been praised for its originality, sustainability and style.


aliciashwede2Alicia Schwede (Seattle, Washington) |

Designer and blogger Alicia Schwede is the founder of the leading floral design & industry blog and magazine Flirty Fleurs. She regularly lectures on design and social media at workshops and events around the country. She is also the creative mind behind Seattle-area floral design studio Bella Fiori. Her work has been featured in The Knot and Style Me Pretty and in her book Bella Bouquets.

Alicia will be joining the workshop to present on all things digital media: blogging, social media, website tools and more!







eleanor clevengerEleanor Clevenger (Miami, Florida)

Director of Cut Flowers for David Austin Roses, Eleanor Clevenger, will be sharing care & handling tips for their exquisite garden roses. Eleanor will address the varieties they offer and share wonderful information about designing and everyday gifting of the roses.









Florabundance Design Days

Hotel Reservations:
A block of rooms have been reserved for the event from January 10th through the 14th at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara. This special room rate will be available through December 10th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

Book Your Hotel Room by clicking here and visit our special event page.
If you have additional questions about accommodations at the Fess Parker resort, you can call direct to reach Christine Heinrich (Sales Manager) at 805-884-8522. As part of your hotel stay, you will get free parking – free WiFi – free pickup and drop off at the Santa Barbara Airport.

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