Honoring A World Class Woman on International Women’s Day


Have you ever heard of International Women’s Day? It’s celebrated each year on March 8th, and is intended to honor the hardworking women around the world. It originally started in New York back in 1909 as a Socialist political event, and by 1917 it was declared a national holiday in the Soviet Union. It is still quite popular in many Eastern European countries, and is almost a mix between Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, with people paying respect to the impactful and beloved female figures of their lives. It is not uncommon for women to receive flowers, have the day off work, and maybe even get treated to breakfast in bed!


I’m sure we all have quite a few female role models we can think of who are responsible for making the world we live in a better place. One such person I’d like to highlight is Susan Murethi of the World Flower Council’s Kenyan Chapter. I first met Susan back in 2014 at the WFC Summit in Zagreb, Croatia. I was amazed to hear about how she started a flower farm outside of Nairobi, in Nayahururu, with the intention of creating jobs to keep her local community afloat.


Susan was tired of seeing people leave the community because there were no jobs or opportunities. She thought long and hard about what she could do to change this, and came upon the realization that Kenya is a leading exporter in roses. On top of that, she also realized that the climate and the location in Nayahururu were perfect to start up a flower farm. Shortly after, she and her husband created Suera Flowers Limited.

For nearly 20 years Suera Flowers Limited has been a successful driver in the community. It provides hundreds of jobs, and has grown to encompass 30 hectares, within which are the neighborhoods of Baraka, Nyota and Heikima, which translate to Blessings, The Star, and Wisdom respectively. The Core Values of Suera speak for themselves, as they are centered around the Home, the Company, the People and their Commitments. Suera is absolutely aligned with taking care of the community, ensuring the happiness of the employees and working topromote the longevity of the business, while at the same time producing high-quality, competitively-priced flowers.


As the business and the workforce grew, Susan saw the need to further satisfy and develop the community. She began to construct employee housing, to build a church and a school, and to ensure a hospital was in close proximity to the community. She even included a restaurant and a gas station for good measure. Dozens of employees have given birth in the hospital, and for a time Susan’s own son even worked as a doctor in the hospital, further adding to the “blessings” of the Baraka community.


In 2016, the World Flower Council Summit was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya. Before the official summit began, many WFC members enjoyed the opportunity to go out and visit Suera Flowers Limited and experience the beauty of Susan’s dream-turned-reality for themselves. Upon visiting the rose farm, it was evident that all employees take great pride in their work, and that they thoroughly love, appreciate and respect Susan for the amazing business-women and leader that she is.


Susan’s story is unique, and it serves as a great reminder of the power that lies within a determined woman. If you haven’t already, check out Suera Flowers Limited. Their roses are top notch, and the community behind them blossoms a bit more with each purchase. Also, take the time to surprise a special lady in your life with some flowers on March 8th, and share in the joy of International Women’s Day!


Learn more about Susan Mureithi and Suera Farm: www.suera.co.ke

WFC USA Chapter

           Mrs. Lori Haveman

           Mrs. Lori Haveman

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Lori Haveman, as leader of the USA Chapter.

Lori is a successful businesswoman operating Kennedy’s Flowers and Gifts, Grand Rapids, Michigan.   She and her daughter, Holly, share a passion for world travel.

Lori and Holly are strongly committed to the advancement of WFC and floral design, and the floral industry.

Please congratulate Lori on her appointment as USA Chapter President.

You can reach her at:  hpostman99@aol.com


Visit Kennedy’s web page: www.kennedyfloral.com

Flower of the King

Flower of the King

The Royal Project Foundation

By: Poo Chesdmethee


Recently on 3-11 December 2016, The Royal Project Foundation Thailand organized “Flower of the King”, in the remembrance of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016) at Hall of Fame, Siam Paragon Department Store, Bangkok, Thailand. Highlight of the event was the power of Thai people that participated to arrange total 9,999 hand made dried flower along with the special dried flower installation, 15 meter long and 4.50 meter high, designed by Poo Chesdmethee of Thailand    “The Remembrance of His Majesty” . There was also the show case of dried ornamental flowers display in the zone, “Heritages from His Majesty”, designed by educational institutions, associations and local floral designers. The audiences also enjoyed shopping the various kinds of dried ornamental flower products in the zone “the Royal Project Foundation”.

As the host chairman, Poo and his team has put up the best effort to organize and design this floral event for the Remembrance of His Majesty. There are more than 60,000 visitors to the show and more than 350,000 post and share in social media.

5 Ways to Take Your Presentations from Good to Great

            Holly Haveman

            Holly Haveman

By: Holly Haveman

In the latest World Flower Council Summit in Kenya, we had the pleasure of being wowed by the presentation and demonstration skills of Tim Farrell, AIFD AIFC AAF PFCI. Tim’s performance on-stage left most of us feeling inspired, impressed, and incredibly jazzed up to be part of the world of floristry. During his floral workshop, as well as the grand finale floral demonstration, Tim captivated the audience with his charisma, backed up by knowledgeable tips, tricks and tales from his 20+ years in the floral industry.

We all know that “communication is key”, however, some of us may not feel so confident getting up to speak in front of others. Listed below are five things that Tim did during his floral demonstrations that we can all keep in mind to help us take our presentations from good to great.


1.     Encourage interaction.

As soon as Tim began his floral workshop, he let the audience know that even though he was on stage, this presentation was about everyone. He encouraged people to ask questions, share opinions, and to get involved.


2.     Share stories.

Throughout the presentation, Tim shared stories about his life and his experiences that helped the audience get to know him and to relate to him. From his story about starting out in the floral industry as a water bucket boy, to the story when he decided to open up his own shop as a fresh college grad with an accounting degree, to his story about his wife overcoming breast cancer, and everything in between, the audience was able to learn about his life, and thus, paid even more attention because they felt like he was one of them, and that they knew him.


3.     Use data and facts.

As Tim was doing his floral workshop, “Tension in Design”, he warmed the audience up into floral terminology by sharing the official AIFD definitions as he talked through different designs. Utilizing facts and data in presentations helps to educate the audience, and makes the information as straight forward as possible.


4.     Choose examples which are easy to understand.

During Tim’s floral design workshop, he showed many different floral techniques, and as he explained things he used simple, everyday examples which were relatable for people and easy to understand. When he showed a radial arrangement, he told the audience to think of fireworks, and how the light comes out from one central point, just as the flowers in this type of arrangement radiate from a central point.


5.     Raise the energy and get creative.

In his final floral demonstration, “Rhythm in Design”, Tim utilized music to take the audience on a floral journey from birth, to childhood and teenage years, through love and loss, and on to death and the unity among us all. Not only was the music a unique addition to the presentation, but it was also fun and had the audience singing along and eagerly waiting to see what the next floral demonstration and song would bring. Getting creative gets you remembered, and anyone who attended the WFC Kenya Summit will surely remember this particular demonstration for years to come.

All together, these five tips, combined with a bit of humor and a hearty smile, will help you to be more charismatic and relatable when presenting ideas and messages to others. They will help you take your presentations from good to great, whether in the floral realm, or in other aspects of your life, and help you be recognized and remembered. Good luck with your next presentation, whatever it may be!

Many thanks to Tim Farrell for being such an inspirational guest of honor at the World Flower Council’s 2016 Summit in Kenya.

The Beat Goes On with the WFC in Kenya

                                                                                                            Holly Haveman

                                                                                                            Holly Haveman

By: Holly Haveman

Take a moment, and let your imagination wander to Africa. What comes to mind? Chances are you're picturing wild, exotic animals roaming the jungles and the plains; tribal people dressed in colorful beads and clothes, dancing to rhythms that make you want to get up and move; and perhaps you're even thinking of some iconic wonders of the world, like the great pyramids of Egypt, the magnificent Nile River or even the massive Mount Kilimanjaro. If you’re a flower lover, your thoughts may go directly to the gorgeous Kenyan roses that have become a favorite among florists around the world.

It is indeed these roses that summoned the World Flower Council to hold it’s 33rd annual international summit in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit ran from September 1-4, and partnered with the Kenya Flower Council to put on an inspirational event which brought to life all the wonders of Africa.

World Flower Council (WFC) member Susan Murethi, of Suera Flowers Ltd, acted as the Summit Hostess and donor sponsor from Kenya, and supplied more than 2,500 roses from her farm in Baraka, Kenya. The day before the summit began, early arrivers had the opportunity to take a bus ride out to visit Susan's rose farm and to learn more about the unique community she helped to create back in 1996. A farm that had started with only 2 hectares of land has since grown to 38 hectares, and now includes housing for employees, a primary school, a church, a hospital, a restaurant, and even a gas station.  

WFC Visitors were led through the rose growth process, from propagation, where two types of rose stems were joined via a tight plastic tube, to the greenhouses, where the roses began to take root, and on to the "hardy" houses, where new plants were prepared to be transplanted to the outdoor growing spaces. Throughout the tour, the happiness of the workers was evident, as was their knowledge of their work, and the flower industry. "Baraka" means "blessing" in Swahili, and there is no doubt that many workers feel blessed to be part of the community Susan has helped to create. 

The summit commenced with a welcome dinner at the Norfolk Hotel on Thursday September 1st, where the already-beautiful backyard gardens were enhanced with statement-sized gorgeous green arrangements, and attendees were welcomed by Chairman Lynn Hoffman, Chairman Emeritus Dean White, and Kenyan representative, Susan Murethi. It was a night full of festive conversation, and a mix of reunions between old friends, and meetings of new friends. 

The first full summit day kicked off with a lively tour around Nairobi, giving attendees a taste of the flora, fauna, and friendliness that Africa has to offer. The first stop was a tour around the Winchester Farm of Mzurrie Farms, where visitors learned about how roses are propagated, planted, picked and packaged to be shipped around the world. The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage was the second stop and a true treat for all those who visited. The rescue center shared the stories of orphaned baby elephants while allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the young elephants as they came to the viewing area to be bottle-fed. The final stop of the tour was the beautiful Hemingway Hotel for a delicious courtyard lunch, where members could indulge in delicious African dishes while simultaneously enjoying the opportunity to mingle with other WFC members. 

Upon returning to the Norfolk Hotel, some summit-goers had the pleasure to attend a design workshop by former AIFD President and renowned designer, Tim Farrell, where he delved into the theme of "Tension in Design". Tim started off by introducing himself and sharing the story of his humble beginnings in the flower world which have led him to where he is today. He utilized a PowerPoint presentation full of AIFD design definitions and floral pictures which connected the words with images, and he brought it all to life with active design demonstrations and real-world examples which the audience could relate to.

One example of this is when he explained the term "radial" and showed a stunning picture of a design that started from the center and moved outwards, then he related this to fireworks, and the bright point of light that everything comes out of. He concluded this example by demonstrating to the audience how to achieve a beautifully curved calla lily through gently shaping the stem with your thumb and forefinger. His design workshop was full of useful tips, and it ended with a one-hour "assignment" to create a design that depicted "wind" as the chosen force acting upon the floral arrangement, and encouraged the group to challenge themselves by trying things they had never done before. 

The second day of the summit was full of floral excitement, starting with the Kenya Floral Arrangement Club's demonstration "Dreaming of Africa", continuing on with the crowd-favorite "My Country Design" demonstrations, and finishing with a design workshop by Anson Low, AIFD, of Singapore. 

"Dreaming of Africa" was a lovely tour through Africa via floral demonstrations depicting many of the wonders of Africa. It started with Mount Kenya and continued on to the pyramids of Egypt and the world's longest river, the Nile. This was followed by a trip across the Indian Ocean, where the artist brought the voyage to life through stories of the spice trade, slavery, and the collection of precious gems.  

Of course a journey to Africa wouldn't be complete without a visit to the tribal villages, and also a run through the massive agricultural sector of Africa's produce and flowers. The club president wrapped up the demonstrations by sharing a gorgeous representation of an African sunset, and the DJ brought the event to a close by playing Shakira's 2010 World Cup song “This Time for Africa" as the crowd climbed to their feet and applauded all the designers who came together one last time on stage. All creations were stunning and, as a result of the artists' commentary, the crowd learned a lot about Africa in the process. 

The multi-cultural "My Country Design" demonstrations kicked off the afternoon and transported the audience around the world as the artists came to the stage to share a bit about their homeland with the audience through a floral design representing their country. This year there were four sets of four countries, and the commentators were Els Hazenberg of the Netherlands and Poo Chesdmedthee of Thailand. The designs varied wildly, from Chinese lanterns to a Thai elephant to a massive fountain of hope from the islands of St Kits and beyond. The commentary and artists' explanation was just as entertaining as watching them complete their designs of floral art on stage. 

The day rounded out with a design workshop by Anson Low, where he shared his secrets on how to twist wires into exquisite sculptures and creations which could be used to hold flowers and accent arrangements. He playfully teased the crowd and patiently taught and re-taught the simple twisting patterns which he had actually used to create the very structure that he shared as part of his “My Country Design” piece. The crowd loved the class, and did their best not to poke their neighbors as they manipulated their wires to form mini-masterpieces.

The final day of the summit was truly spectacular and completely embraced the theme of “Fascinating Flora, Fauna and Friends”.  The morning kicked off with a fantastic floral demonstration on “Rhythm in Design” by Tim Farrell, and the afternoon was full of fun, first with the “Swinging Safari” floral fashion show and then with the “Floral Olympics”. The summit came to an end with the closing ceremony, and heartfelt farewells between friends from around the world.

The morning’s floral demonstration, “Rhythm in Design”, was the type of presentation that captured everyone’s full attention. Tim Farrell and his assistant Patricia Patrick, AIFD, utilized music and songs to demonstrate how the rhythm of life can be felt in each individual design. Tim tapped on the fact that every person has unique experiences in their life, so designs can evoke different perceptions from different people. Using the floral designs and the accompanying songs, he led the audience from birth, to childhood and teenage years, on to love and loss, and even touched on disease and death and overcoming it all. As Tim designed on stage, he shared tips and tricks, as well as stories. He ended by taking a flower from each of his creations and placing it in an intricate African sculpture which he had borrowed from the hotel’s front lobby and it depicted many people coming together to create something beautiful, just like everyone in the World Flower Council.

The afternoon’s “Swinging Safari” floral fashion show was an absolute treat for everyone involved. Over a dozen different exotic animals were brought to life through floral fashion and fabulous body paint, and they wowed the crowd as they strutted, slithered, or scurried across the stage. After all animals had made their way down the catwalk, they came back to the stage for an encore round to show off their designers, and afterwards everyone went outside to enjoy the sunshine of the gardens and take photos with their favorite creative creatures. Also in the garden was the friendly Floral Olympics competition, where participants were given a design assignment and a limited time to complete the arrangement, and after multiple rounds a winner emerged.

The summit’s closing ceremony started with a social cocktail hour that began in the garden and moved onto the ballroom. Chairman Emeritus Dean White thanked all attendees for coming, and for helping to continue the World Flower Council’s mission of World Peace through the beauty of flowers. He was then presented the Floral Laureate Award of Distinction, WFC’s highest honor. This award has only been given three times in the World Flower Council’s 33 year history, and it is intended to honor an exemplary person who has dedicated fifty years of their life to the flower industry. The award was to recognize Dean’s role as an eminent philanthropist, contributor and donor in the floral industry. All members were happy to celebrate the beloved Chairman Emeritus for his efforts over the years.

As the closing ceremony continued, WFC Members, decked out in their finest floral fashion, stood to applause their fellow designers as certificates of recognition were handed out to floral demonstration participants. Before the crowd took to eating dinner and dancing the night away, Chairman Lynn Hoffman and Kenyan Summit Hostess Susan Murethi officially handed off the WFC flag to Su Li Si of the Guandong China WFC Chapter. Overall, the 2016 summit in Nairobi was a smashing success. All attendees left the event enthusiastically looking forward to their reunion next year in Guangzhou, China, where the World Flower Council will hold its 34th international summit. 


Dean White, WFC Chairman Emeritus, is awarded the Floral Laureate Award of Distinction

WFC’s highest honor, The Floral Laureate, is presented to Mr. Dean White, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, DAFA, WFC Chairman Emeritus, at the closing night Gala, 2016 International Summit, Nairobi, Kenya.

The Floral Laureate Award of Distinction, only given to  an exemplary person who has dedicated 50 years of his life to the flower industry and is recognized as one of the most eminent donors, contributors and philanthropists in the floral industry.

Dean is one of the founding members of World Flower Council and AIFD.  He has devoted his life to inspiring florist around the world.  WFC honors Dean White for his generous contribution to World Flower Council and betterment of our floral industry.

Experience David Austin Roses With All Your Senses, at Fleuramour

Close your eyes and imagine…

You walk inside a castle and are drawn to a doorway by a lovely scent that gets stronger with each step. You enter the room.

Fragrance envelops you — a complex, rose scent with hints of citrus and spice, raspberry and vanilla. A field of David Austin Wedding Roses — thousands of them — hovers in the air before you.

Colour is all you see — roses in every shade of pink, peach, blush, magenta, raspberry. There are two-toned yellow roses, white roses with a tiny touch of blush at the centre, blooms with petals that change from deep pink to light, from coral to gold.

You begin to notice their shape and texture. Some flowers are deeply cupped; others are broad and flat. One large beauty is so densely petaled it looks like white lace. The cut out edges of another suggest a charming pink ruffle.

Rising above it all are enigmatic floral creations — compelling, innovative designs that speak to you of fire and water, air and earth. You move forward to learn more…

It’s not a vision. It’s a description of the “David Austin Roses Experience” awaiting visitors at Fleuramour, one of the largest and most prestigious floral design events in Europe. On Sept. 23-26, Alden Biesen, a 16th Century castle in Bilzen, Belgium, will be filled with a dream-like landscape of transformative floral design.

Thousands of people — both floral professionals and everyday flower lovers — will be at Fleuramour this year. The “David Austin Roses Experience,” designed by European Master Certification (EMC) students and instructors, is expected to be one of the highlights.

“There will be more than 5000 David Austin Roses in one room, the scent will be amazing. We want people to stop, take in the fragrance, the visual impact and feel the emotions these beautiful flowers evoke,” said Tomas De Bruyne. (He and fellow floral educator Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, are the founders and directors of the EMC Program.)

The unusual, multi-sensory display features a full array of David Austin Wedding Roses and individual designs by eight EMC students.

EMC invited its advanced students and graduates to choose one of the four elements – Earth – Air – Fire – Water — from Fleuramour’s theme and submit ideas for designs featuring David Austin Roses.

“They had to be forward-thinking, experiential — this isn’t about just creating (the look) of a fire. It’s about giving people the experience of fire, through flowers,” said Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD.  The eight designs selected “are all very different. There’s a lot of innovation … students came up with some new techniques and even new materials,” Gilliam said.

At Fleuramour, the young designers will be on hand explaining their concepts, sharing ideas, and helping visitors appreciate the full David Austin Roses Experience. “Most of the time, floral designers come in, do an installation and leave,” said Gilliam. “At Fleuramour we get to see people react to our work, to talk to the public and to other designers about it.”

Just as David Austin is passionate about roses, said De Bruyne, “EMC is passionate about inspiring people and raising the floral industry to a higher level.”


Source: http://davidaustinweddingroses.com/experience-david-austin-roses-with-all-your-senses-at-fleuramour/

David Austin English Garden Roses

The ultimate wedding flower, David Austin English Garden Roses are available for your summer weddings!

The unusual and sophisticated colour of JULIET (Ausjameson) was not found in roses of the past and is hard to find among modern roses. Pale peach buds open to reveal deeper inner tones neatly arranged within the heart of the bloom. Beautifully cupped rosettes are held elegantly upright on strong stems. Juliet deserves its place as our most popular variety. A light fragrance reminiscent of snowdrop and daffodil.

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PATIENCE (Auspastor) is a delightful buttermilk rose with ruffled petals evocative of fine lace. The creamy yellow buds open out fully to reveal a classic rosette of unparalleled beauty. The romantic coulour, combined with a fragrance of fruit, lilac and myrrh, create an atmosphere of purity and innocence.

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KEIRA (Ausboxer) has highly desirable blooms with natural charm and radiance. The colour of each bloom is subtly different, blending from blush pink to cream to light pink, sometimes within the same rose. The waved appearance of its outer petals make Keira look like it has been freshly cut from the garden. A wonderfully romantic choice.

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CONSTANCE (Austruss) is a wonderfully pretty and romantic rose, with an overall effect of soft pink. Constance's lovely mix of rose pink to blush tones within the blossom adds to the charm. Blooms hold in a pretty cupped shape. Delicious fruity fragrance.

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The intriguing rich colour makes the DARCEY (Auschariot) rose exceptional. Bright magenta-crimson coloured buds gradually open to reveal a rich raspberry tone in the center. The flowers are a lovely in-curved shape, that slowly develop into a perfect deep rosette.

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MIRANDA (Ausimmon) is a large, lovely rose with gorgeous natural romance. Two tones within the bloom add interest and depth to this charismatic rose. When fully open, the many inner petals have a wavy edge that fills the center while the outer, lighter pink petals reflect back for a classic open rosette shape. The rose has a delicate, fruity fragrance with a hint of honey.

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Large rosettes of pale pink with peach overtones open fully in the CHARITY (Auswasher) rose. Charity has a prominent spring green stamen that adds interest to this delicate colored bloom. A strong rose fragrance makes it a popular choice for weddings and events. The fresh scent is reminiscent of Turkish Delight and rose water.

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Glorious BEATRICE (Auslevity) is David Austin's first true yellow rose. Blooms begin as ruffled cups, opening to classic rosettes; the many petals radiating from the center of each bloom in a loose swirl. With its rich coloring and delightful scent it is ideal for summer weddings and events. The fragrance has hints of lilac, almond and myrrh.

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EDITH (Auspluto) is a large flower with a distinct, two-tone colour. Old golds and warm peaches combine in the middle, surrounded by yellows. Outer petals of a deep rose tone make it unusual and joyful. An intense fruity fragrance, with hints of raspberry and vanilla, enhances this spectacular rose.

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Call your favorite supplier today!

Don't hesitate to push David Austin English Garden roses to your brides this summer. Supplies have been expanded!

For more information and pictures, please visit:
David Austin English Garden Roses