North East Newsletter AIFD
In This Issue
Greetings from our President
Save America's Workers Act
NERC Members Shine at Festival of Flowers 2014
April 3-6th at Springfield Massachusetts Museum
Fifty Shades of Green
Lucy Hutton Smith AIFD CFD NDSF
Garden Design Meets Floristry & Fashion at Chelsea
by Hannah Dunne...Florist & Wholesale Buyer UK
Design Tips for Gluing Fresh Flowers with Floral Adhesive
Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI
Artist in Residence Program
AIR SUNY Cobleskill
Register Now!!!!
Transition Transformation
4 Reasons For Florists To Use Pinterest
NERC Memorial Scholarship Application
Scholarship Application for 2015 is now Available
Insight of Interflora Chelsea stand 2014
Showcasing skills of young florists
The Lonely Bouquet
Putting a smile on strangers faces...
Leaf Manipulation
Video Tutorials
PAFA in Bloom
Follow Up
15 Truths You Must Know To Create Almost Perfect Subject Lines
By Ryan Pinkham
NERC facebook Page Buzzing with Activity
Check out what your fellow members have been doing
Calendar of Events
Upcoming dates for your diary....
Northeast Regional Chapter
Board Contact Information
NERC Chapter Pins Available
Make sure you have a chapter pin....
Northeast Newsletter Contact Information
Editor: Jo Jarvis AIFD, CFD

May 19, 2014

Greetings from our President

Dear North East Members,

Spring is finally here, and many of you will preparing for the busy wedding season ahead.  Our members throughout the region have been participating in programs, educational workshops and demonstrations, and art festivals. Any of these events are a wonderful way to promote AIFD, demonstrate higher excellence in design, and share your passion and expertise with future potential members.  As your President this year, I have seen first-hand how many of our members truly give so much of themselves to promote the field of professional floristry and the mission of AIFD.  This year, the participation of and volunteering of our regions members has been overwhelming; your passion and dedication to AIFD and the floral industry is truly inspiring. Together, we are making a difference in the future of our chapter.   

I hope to see many of you at symposium in Chicago. 'Transition Transformation' is sure to be an exciting event this year, with a fabulous line-up of programs sure to inspire.  Frank Feysa and his team will make this symposium a year to remember.  We look forward to welcoming new inductees into our region, and encouraging their active participation with us.  

Ron Mulray AIFD is once again Chairman of the AIFD Foundation Fund raising Event this year at symposium, and we need your help!  This year's theme to create ˜Shoes: The Art of the Pump. The shoes may be designed as art pieces (to sit on table) or can be wearable art fashion. Think of the endless possibilities and fun you can have when designing these heels!  If you are willing and interested in being part of this important event, email Ron Mulray at: for a detailed set of guidelines and criteria for designing these shoes.

For our members 'Across the Pond' my best wishes to Sarah Horne and other members at the Chelsea Flower Show in the UK; their work is truly inspiring every year.  I also wish to commend Tina Parkes on her success in raising money for the Well Cool Fund for those in need of fresh water worldwide; she has raised over $10,000, and have 2 more demonstration fund-raisers to go. Tina, her team, and their talents are making a difference to communities affecting hundreds of lives.  Thank you for using your creative talents in such a positive way for a humanitarian effort.

 As I am very busy working at wrapping up this year's projects in our region, we look forward to Theresa Colucci and the new officers and board continuing with our region's goals and achieving new accomplishments.  My congratulations to the new NERC officers and board members for the upcoming year.

I also wish to announce the winner of this year's NERC Memorial Scholarship, Sharon Culau, employed at Nunan's Florist in Georgetown, Massachusetts. She is looking forward to attending  the symposium in Chicago; please welcome her if you are attending.

I want to thank Jo Jarvis for the fabulous job and interesting articles she is doing on our newsletter; we have been working together on this transition, and Jo is always looking for interesting news, events  and articles for our chapter. I appreciate the support our members have given her in submitting articles and information. Great job, Jo!

Wishing you are prosperous and enjoyable summer season in the upcoming months,

Polly Berginc AIFD
North East Chapter President  


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Save America's Workers Act

On Thursday, April 3, Congress passed H.R. 2575, commonly known as the “Save American Workers Act,” which raised the definition of full-time employment from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. This is very promising news for small business owners, especially florists, who have worried about how the Affordable Care Act will affect their employees’ schedules and their flexibility in hiring seasonal workers.

We caught up with Corey Connors, senior director of government relations for the Society of American Florists, who’s immersed himself in the Affordable Care Act to help floral industry professionals better understand it and stay in compliance. He shared a little about what’s going on and what it means for the industry.

KH: What is the "Save American Workers Act"?

CC: H.R. 2575, the "Save American Workers Act," was introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN-8) in June 2013 after Rep. Young heard concerns from the employer community about the definition of full-time employment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA's definition of full-time: "with respect to any month, an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours per week." This definition of full-time employment represents the first time in American history that a set number of hours was established concerning full-time employment.

Before the ACA, employers were permitted to determine what constituted full-time employment within their own business and offer wages/benefits accordingly. Typically, across many industries, the basic 40-hour standard was indirectly established, due to overtime regulations in wage law.

In many regards, the basic framework of the ACA's employer provisions were designed with large corporations and standard Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 jobs in mind. Unfortunately for our industry, and many like it, our employees do not work standard Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 jobs. There's considerable variability in hours worked, seasonal employment, with peaks and valleys throughout the year, nights and weekend event work, etc.

KH: Why does it matter for florists?

CC: It matters for florists in several regards. To be plain, 30 hours is simply not a standard of full-time employment that is utilized across the industry segments that SAF represents. Some choose 32 hours, some choose 35, some choose 37.5, some choose 40.

Prior to the ACA, companies would offer wages and benefits designed to attract/retain employees. Now, large employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (note: equivalents, not only full-time workers) are required to offer health benefits coverage to their full-time employees (working more than 30 hours/week in a particular month) that meet ACA standards or face a potential tax penalty. Those plans are benefit rich, which, on its face, would be a good thing for an industry that has had issues securing affordable benefits for its employee population. But there's a cost associated with those benefits, and that's where the 30-hour definition kicks in.

Mid-size floral industry employers (wholesalers, large retail florists) are not necessarily equipped to assume additional overhead that would be mandatory by providing coverage to employees that they had previously considered part-time. Their ACA compliance options are few: they can offer benefits and increase overhead costs to anyone working more than 30 hours a week, which has a trickle down effect on the price of products and services provided at wholesale/retail. Or, they can reduce the hours of employees below the 30-hour standard to not trigger the employer mandate penalties with certainty. But that might have the effect of diminishing product or services for businesses with razor thin profit margins competing in a challenging marketplace.

It's important to note that SAF did not and continues not to advocate against the ACA. Back when the original law was debated, the then SAF Government Relations committee made the conscious choice not to oppose the law in the hopes that it might reign in rapidly escalating premium costs, while providing smaller employers with avenues to offer coverage that they had been unable to do before. As the law was enacted and industry businesses began developing and implementing compliance strategies, the 30-hour rule became a major sticking point as it was not in line with traditional standards of employment across the industry. By in large, the florists and industry businesses I've spoken with want to offer coverage to their full-time employees and want to comply with the ACA without penalty. But the 30- hour standard was detrimental to both businesses that can't absorb the costs and employees that are seeing their hours reduced. In the end, SAF's volunteer leadership authorized the GR department to engage on the issue.

KH: What did SAF and its members do to lobby for the Save the American Workers Act?

CC: SAF members have done a tremendous job in supporting this legislation. Attendees at our 34th Congressional Action Days back in March took to Capitol Hill in support of H.R. 2575, urging their members of Congress to support it. SAF members also engaged in a significant grassroots campaign, one of the largest since I've been here, sending emails and making phone calls to their member of Congress in advance of the vote. In fact, one of our members had their letter to their Representative read on the floor of the House just moments before the vote. It has been an absolute textbook demonstration on why industry engagement on public policy matters and demonstrates the strength of our membership in the advocacy realm.

For its part, SAF continues to participate in coalitions of business trade groups in Washington that are continuing to fight for employer-sponsored coverage. Prior to the ACA, employer-sponsored health benefits were the largest source of health benefits coverage in the country. And while new doors have opened for the poor, the uninsured and those with chronic conditions that could previously not obtain coverage, it is imperative that employers continue to have choices and affordable options for attracting and retaining the best talent that they can by offering attractive wages and benefits. So SAF and its coalition partners continue to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure that employer-sponsored coverage remains viable and affordable, even with these highly regarded changes in the individual marketplace.

KH: What do you think will happen next?

CC: That's a great question. Obviously the House passed H.R. 2575 with some bipartisan support, but in the face of a veto threat by President Obama. It would appear that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is not inclined to bring up the 40-hour bill, as he is a close ally of the President and opposed to raising the number that significantly. However, and at the behest of moderate Democrats, Majority Leader Reid has left the door open a crack for targeted "fixes" to the law, including some potential movement of the full-time number up from 30.

What happens next is a very careful reading of the political tealeaves to determine how the ACA might impact the upcoming mid-term elections, where Democrats are fighting to retain control of the upper chamber. The enrollment numbers on the Exchange before the March deadline surpassed the modified target, which provided a slight bump in the law's popularity. But as the data subsets roll out (who's actually paying for coverage, what's the mix of people that have enrolled and how will that affect premium costs in 2015, how many were previously uninsured, etc.), it will be interesting to see if there will be any Senate action on targeted fixes moving forward. More interesting will be whether or not the President will get on board with significant changes to anything.

So in short: time will tell.

Katie Hendrick is a freelance writer based in Sarasota, FL, and editor of the Florist 2.0 newsletter. She is also a contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.

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NERC Members Shine at Festival of Flowers 2014
April 3-6th at Springfield Massachusetts Museum


Northeast AIFD members shared their excellence in design again this year at the 2nd annual Festival of Flowers held at the Springfield Massachusetts Museum in Springfield, MA. The opening event on April 3rd, 'Culture & Cocktails', was attended by over 700 guests, and  our AIFD members Bob Whitney, Heather Sullivan, Christy Langone, & Pat Parker, along with garden club members, designed beautifully creative hats adorned with flowers for the opening event. There is a video on youtube listed under: Springfield Massachusetts Museums - Culture and Cocktails 2014 showing many of the amazing hat designs. 

The Springfield Museums overflowed with stunning floral arrangements as this much-anticipated event returned for a second year. Galleries in all four museums burst with color when over 50 museum objects were creatively interpreted by florists, designers, and garden club members. The festival celebrates the coming of spring throughout the art, history and science museums with interpretations of works of inspirational art including French paintings, American contemporary art, Chinese cloisonné, Islamic rugs, the rainforest and Indian Motocycles.

 Our thanks and appreciation to our members for sharing their talents at this exciting event.  Below are pictures of their stunning pieces designed for the show.

Bob Whitney AIFD - Modern Interpretation of 'FUGUE' by George Sugarman.


Christy Langone AIFD - 'Steampunk' in the Special Exhibit Gallery.


Pat Parker AIFD - Her design of Saint Anthony's Abbott in the Medieval Gallery.

Heather Sullivan AIFD -  Interpretation of Hasbro 'Game of Life' Wheel.


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Fifty Shades of Green
Lucy Hutton Smith AIFD CFD NDSF

The Northern Echo: Fifty shades of green - the spectacular hat designed by Lucy Hutton Smith.

 Fifty shades of green - the spectacular hat designed by Lucy Hutton Smith.

The grey of winter has been left well and truly behind by the explosion of colour that is the annual Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

The event, on the Great Yorkshire Showground, runs until April 27 and this year boasts more than 1,000 exhibitors from all over the country.

Themes in the show gardens this year range from a tropical courtyard with the call of the Caribbean, to a coastal retreat complete with driftwood decking.

The imminent Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France, the 175th anniversary of the national charity, Perennial, and the 30th birthday of the Harrogate community learning group, Horticap, have also provided the inspiration for showpiece gardens.

The spring show hosts Britain’s biggest display of floral art and is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies with a spectacular hat made from flowers and foliage capturing "fifty shades of green."

The hat, which measures nearly three feet across, has been designed and created especially for the show by Lucy Hutton Smith, from Richmond, who will also be giving floristry demonstrations during the event.  

North Yorkshire News 

The Harrogate Flower Show 2014!!                                      By Lucy Hutton Smith AIFD CFD NDSF

I began competing at the show around 20 plus years ago – although I know in reality it is longer than that – I don’t really want to admit I’ve been doing it for 30 years !!! (This is probably the reason why I keep moving in a different direction every few years!!) Anyway – I had been competing in bridal design and shop window design for years there – and then reached the point where I didn’t want to anymore. There was a new floral design organiser appointed and she brought a fresh new look to the show allowing floristry its own section – so she asked if I would do this stand and I have been doing it for the last 10 years.

What is involved…..

Every Year I do a design stand for Smithers Oasis floral products UK at the show -  usually promoting a new range and showing how the products can be used – it has evolved over the years and now I have a great design team to work with – many are past students I have taught floristry to.

This year we titled it Very Vintage – it is still a popular trend in the wedding sector and a firm favourite with the public. We used the foam cupcakes, their gorgeous new acrylic and aluminium urns, beautiful soft pink, silver and mint green decorative wires and pins and their absolutely fabulous wool and felt products (which are a firm favourite of mine)

To add to the whole look we added handmade bunting and vintage tea cups, cut glass and crochet lace doilies.
We used vintage coloured roses – “Dolcetto”, “Quicksand” and “Amnesia” along with hydrangea, peonies, muscari, parrot tulips, eryngium, ammi, astrantia, dianthus, zantedeschia, and lots of succulents in wonderful subtle tones.
I incorporated hade made paper and felt roses into some of the designs to reflect the hugely popular crafting surge at the moment – I have begun to fuse floral design and paper craft in my work and had some lovely feedback.

It takes 2 days and well into the second night to set up – as attention to detail is important as the show is huge and lasts for 4 days. I sketched the designs and let the team put their own twist to each piece for a greater range of creativity.

I was also commissioned by the show to produce a foliage hat – titled “50 Shades of Green”!  Which was modelled at the show and then used to promote NAFAS 55th Anniversary this year.

This year I had my own stand at the show – mainly to promote my own floral design workshops – I finished teaching floristry at college last year to pursue a new route and am also covering designer/maker and craft events in the UK – it’s a whole new world to me and I have already met some amazing designers who have inspired and encouraged me. I had a very busy time at the show – inviting the public to have a go at hand made floral bracelets and up-cycled jam jar terrariums!

I have had no time to put my feet up as so many opportunities are arriving and I begin my formal demonstrator training for NAFAS this week!

Hope you like the designs from the show!

  Useful links -








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Garden Design Meets Floristry & Fashion at Chelsea
by Hannah Dunne...Florist & Wholesale Buyer UK

 Sarah Horne wearing an Edina Ronay dress


Sarah Horne AIFD CFD of Sarah Horne Flowers, three-time Chelsea Gold medallist and former Chelsea Florist of the Year, has joined forces with award-winning garden designer Debbie Cooke, of Creative Garden Design, both based in Leamington Spa, to create an exhibit for RHS Chelsea Flower Show that celebrates the town’s rich association with floral displays.

The exhibit will celebrate Leamington’s on-going association with beautiful gardens and capture the essence of the Royal Spa town with its smart Regency exterior and creative, cultural and theatrical interior.

It will have planting to reflect the different areas of Leamington with corresponding floral pods, each encapsulating varying styles. It will also contain a large water element to reflect the river, lake and fountains associated with the town.

Sarah said: “After achieving Chelsea Florist of the Year in 2011, I decided to look for a fresh challenge at Chelsea Flower Show and my dream to work on a large exhibit in the Great Pavilion has come true by combining my floristry skills with the garden design expertise of Debbie Cooke.”

Sarah will be wearing a striking garden print dress by celebrated British fashion designer Edina Ronay at the show. The shawl-collared dress from the garden print range featured in Edina Ronay’s summer 2014 collection.

Sarah will be wearing the vintage-style tea dress having worked with Edina Ronay last year when she took inspiration from the designer’s rose lace dresses for one of her arrangements.

Sarah said: “I am a huge admirer of Edina Ronay and in particular her floral designs so it is a real thrill to be wearing one of her garden print dresses at the Chelsea Flower Show.

“We believe that this is the first time that garden design and floristry have come together in an exhibit for Chelsea and so it is wonderful to now also be collaborating with Edina Ronay who is famed for her own floral and garden inspired designs."

Designer Edina, who has dressed the Princess of Wales, Twiggy, Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss and many other glamorous women, said: “Working with Sarah last year was a wonderful experience, she’s such a talented florist and I was very familiar with her fantastic work at Chelsea. We are delighted that she has chosen to wear an Edina Ronay design for the show this year. I look forward to seeing Sarah in my favourite dress in what is certain to be a fabulous exhibit.”

The exhibit will début at the Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from May 20 to 24, before being brought back to Leamington where it will be given a permanent home in the town’s Pump Room Gardens which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

BID Leamington, the not-for-profit business led partnership that is managing the town’s Chelsea project, hopes the garden will create a lasting legacy with aims for it to spark a revival of a historic flower festival dating back to the 1950s.

The garden design can be viewed at




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Design Tips for Gluing Fresh Flowers with Floral Adhesive
Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Design Tips for gluing fresh flowers with floral adhesive

Gluing flowers into a bracelet, ribbon, or other flower form makes fast, easy work of prom, wedding, or decorative designs. Using floral adhesive known as ‘cold glue’ is more time efficient than wiring and taping individual flower blooms. Using these quick design tips makes gluing an easy technique.

Oasis Floral Adhesive used for cold gluing fresh flowers.

•Upon opening a tube of floral adhesive (cold glue) dab Vaseline, lotion, or other oil-based product onto the tube cap and nozzle, or spray the two with Pam. This will help prevent the glue from building up on the nozzle or hardening in the cap.
•Rub some of the oil-based product on your hands to help prevent the glue from sticking and make clean up easier, once you have finished.
•Save a few caps from emptied glue tubes, as the small black caps are easily lost on a busy design table. If you don’t have a backup, insert a corsage pin into the nozzle to seal it.
•Place a small dab of glue on a square of plastic to dip you flower stems into.

Use just a dab of glue at the time.
•Use only a small amount of glue at a time as it dries out very quickly. As you replenish, add in the same spot to hydrate the previous glue residue.
•Stand the tube of glue upright in a container to prevent it from leaking out as it often does when lying down.
•Be sure the flowers are at room temperature when gluing. Cold, damp flowers will not allow glue to dry and set firmly.

Dip stem of flower into floral adhesive
•Dip the flower stem into the glue and hold it in place for a few seconds until the glue becomes tacky enough to hold it in place.
•Glue bonds to glue, so in addition to adding glue on the flower stem, you can also place glue on the surface where the flower sit, for extra security.
•Allow the glue to dry before placing a fresh flower design in the cooler. If the glue is still hydrated, it cannot dehydrate in that moist environment and will not dry out to set properly.
• Clean the nozzle before putting the cap on to prevent it from sticking before the next use.

Use floral adhesive to glue fresh flowers onto a corsage, boutonniere, headpiece, armband form such as a bracelet, foliage, ribbon or any other creative floral design base you create for a  party, prom, or wedding event. It’s a great way to have fun creating floral accessories that can be worn for special occasions.


Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI                                                                                                                      .

For more flower travel, ideas, and products -


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Artist in Residence Program
AIR SUNY Cobleskill

*****    Artist in Residence Program at SUNY Cobleskill on April 15,2014   *****

The Artist in Residence Program took place at the State University of New York Cobleskill Floral lab on April 15, 2014.  The student chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers hosted guest designer, David Siders AIFD, from Experience and Creative Design, Schenectady, NY.  David came to the campus to work with students on Bridal work and body flowers.


The students watched demonstrations from David as he lectured and shared valuable information about wedding appointments.  He demonstrated several techniques and also shared care and handling hints that work well for his shop.  After his demonstrations, the students had the opportunity to have hands on sessions. 


David worked side by side to create a hand tied bridesmaid bouquet, a luxurious cascading bouquet, and body flowers. 

Student, Haley Miller remarked “Having a guest designer helps us get a different perspective on design, and we get to design things we don’t normally do in class. It’s a valuable experience for all of us. ”

Co-advisors, Mary Robinson AIFD and Theresa Colucci AIFD, PFCI assisted and helped the students bring their AIR project to campus.  Fitz Designs sponsored the program.

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Register Now!!!!
Transition Transformation

  Don't forget to that REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 2014 SYMPOSIUM! All details have been posted on the AIFD website so head there now to check it out and claim your spot!



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4 Reasons For Florists To Use Pinterest


When it comes to marketing online, too many florists are still completely ignoring the powerful online marketing tool called Pinterest. Based on the concept of pinning pictures to a board, Pinterest is a picture based website dedicated to user generated images.

The idea is to help share even more beauty around the world to as many people as possible. Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and they were right. You can describe something with 1000 words and it still wouldn’t be as real as a picture.

As a florist, it’s always great to have a platform like Pinterest where you can showcase your floral arrangements,
designs, styles, wedding bouquets and florist shop. So, if you aren’t using it already, here’s why you should seriously start.

The idea is to help share even more beauty around the world to as many people as possible. Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and they were right. You can describe something with 1000 words and it still wouldn’t be as real  as a picture.

As a florist, it’s always great to have a platform like Pinterest where you can showcase your floral arrangements, designs, styles, wedding bouquets and florist shop. So, if you aren’t using it already, here’s why you should seriously start.

Loads of Women Hang out on Pinterest

And guess who holds or pulls the purse strings in the family? That’s right, women. That’s your first reason right there. If that’s not enough reason, I don’t know what is. Admittedly, men buy flowers for their spouses and girlfriends.

However, more women spend more on flowers than men. This is not surprising seeing as they often get flowers for the home and garden, buy flowers for friends, are often in charge of procuring flowers for weddings and other events.

Higher Revenue from Traffic there

From a marketing standpoint, Pinterest seems to generate more high targeted and conversion traffic than Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. According to Josh Davis of LL Social, the thinking on Pinterest is basically, “see it, like it, buy it”.

And the data seems to corroborate it. Tons of people are buying items they see on Pinterest. Bottom line, if you have an online or offline business and aren’t using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, you’re leaving money on the table, period!

Big brands are also beginning to pile on. Lucky for you however, not all of them have. You need to get on there before the place becomes saturated and overtaken by big brands and businesses with way cash to spend on advertising than you do.

Great for Building Your Brand

There’s nothing better than having a free, highly popular platform with targeted buyers where you can build your brand, show the workings of your flower shop, display your creative floral designs and arrangements, and generally show people how beautiful their homes, offices or events can be with your flowers

You can easily build a following, get an audience and generate a significant list of subscribers from there. With over 80 million people that are accessible to you, you cannot go wrong with this platform, particularly when you understand and follow its best practices.

People Love Pinterest

Pinterest is in its early stages. This means that it’s at that stage where people love it. Remember the days when we were all addicted to Facebook and couldn’t help but be on there every single day?

Pinterest is at that stage right now. There’s incredible user engagement there. People are addicted to Pinterest and loving it. There aren’t many platforms like that right now. And the best part is, most of these people have money to spend.

Just think about that for a moment: a willing and highly engaging audience with money to spend.   



  Article written by Oscar K 

  Oscar is a content writer for the Strider Online Marketing team

Copyright © 2014 Florist 2.0 Blog                




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NERC Memorial Scholarship Application
Scholarship Application for 2015 is now Available

The deadline has past for this year's Scholarship application, and the committee is reviewing the applications of the promising designers that have applied. We are thrilled to have had so many applications this year, and look forward to sending one of these designers to the 'Transition Transformation' Symposium this July in Chicago.

If you know of a promising floral student or intuitive designer who would like to attend symposium next year in Denver, encourage them to apply for our NERC Memorial Scholarship.  If they are not already CFD or AIFD designated, they are eligible to apply.  Scholarship and grants are also available through the AIFD  Foundation.

 North East Regional Chapter Memorial Scholarship

Please review the Scholarship Criteria page, as there have been some recent amendments to better serve our applicants applying for the scholarship.

Our scholarship liaison is Mary Robinson.  The attached application can be downloaded. Please follow the application instructions, and return the application to Mary at:  24 Cassidy Dr. Saratoga Springs NY 12866

The date for the Memorial Scholarship application is 1 month earlier this year.  Application for the 2015 scholarship due by February 1, 2015.

NERC Memorial Scholarship App 2015 link is below:

NERC Scholarship App 2015.doc 


AIFD Foundation Scholarships funded by the North East Regional Chapter

 The following Scholarships & Grant Applications are available to apply for at the AIFD Foundation:  
                                                                       2015 Student Application
                                                                       2015 Grant Application        
                                                                       2015 Symposium Scholarship 

 To find these apps:  Go to:

 Look under the 'Scholarship Information' Tab on Toolbar

Choose the 'Scholarships & Grants' Tab

Download the application forms listed above

Deadline for the Foundation Scholarships & Grants is January 31, 2015.
The applications must be received at Foundation Headquarters by that date.  


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Insight of Interflora Chelsea stand 2014
Showcasing skills of young florists

It is always interesting to have a heads up of what Interflora Chelsea Stand to Showcase Young Skills 
Thursday, 08 May 2014 18:57 Written by Hannah Dunne

Interflora-chelsea-rhs-young-florist-floristryInterflora will be celebrating the remarkable skills of some of their up and coming young florists at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May with an exciting new design exhibit named ‘Succession’.

This year, Interflora’s exhibit will be created by a team of five young florists from across the UK. The florists, aged from 21 to 27 years, were all selected for their passion, floristry skills and creativity, and their work will be on display at the show which runs from Tuesday 20th – Saturday 24th May.

The young florists will be building, designing and embellishing individual hanging canopies within the Grand Pavilion. With 90% of people saying that floristry lacks career appeal (RHS research) Interflora have tasked their young experts to showcase the young talent coming through the industry, and to call for more students to study the art.

amy-manley-interflora-chelsea-rhs-young-florist-floristryAll five florists have won awards in competitive floristry, including a Gold medal and the title of RHS Young Chelsea Florist of the Year 2013 for 25 year old Paula McLagan, and Interflora’s Florist of the Future 2013 for 24 year old Rebecca Hough. A wealth of extremely talented florists belong to the Interflora network and this year Interflora want to shine a light on this young talent, celebrating their amazing skills and expertise.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 will be the first time the young team have all worked together, and on a project of this scale. The team of five florists will concept-interflora-chelsea-rhs-young-florist-floristrywork closely with RHS Chelsea Gold medal winning Interflora florist David Ragg on the creation of ‘Succession’.

The exhibit will consist of five wire canopy frames, each unique to the florists who will adorn them individually with beautiful flowers falling in the colour palettes of pinks, oranges and yellows. Common features will link all the frames together giving the exhibit a clean, fresh and cohesive appearance

David Ragg explains further, “The five canopies will drawing-interflora-chelsea-rhs-young-florist-floristrywork in synergy to create the overall display. All the frames will hang around an elliptical canopy in succession, giving the illusion they are floating. Each frame will be internally lit and mirrors on the base of the exhibit will enable visitors to view the inside of the frames. It really will be a fantastic design.”

The group includes 21 year old Amy Manley from Coventry who has been selected to build, dress and embellish a hanging wire frame canopy in time for the show on 20th May. Whilst many her age are at University, Amy started working in floristry aged 17, winning second place at Interflora’s Florist of the Future competition in 2013 and a Silver-Gilt medal at Chelsea last year in the Young Chelsea Florist category. She currently works at The Tomlinson Flower Company in Coventry.

Helen Quinn, Interflora Commercial Director concludes, “Each year we hope to succeed the last in terms of creativity, design and individuality. We want to represent the future of our florists and their outstanding expertise by showcasing their fantastic talents in our design exhibit. We have had great success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show over the last four years, winning three Gold medals and one Silver-Gilt and we are very excited to be back again this year, especially after winning a Gold medal last year,”

Last year’s exhibit, ‘Timeframes’, was a celebration of Interflora’s 90th Anniversary, capturing their history and heritage over the last nine decades. Visitors to the show were able to enjoy a bit of nostalgia and see how styles, trends and flowers have changed through the years.

Visitors to RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 can visit the Interflora ‘Succession’ exhibit at stand GP/E17 in The Great Pavilion.

Pictured here is some concept visuals of the Interflora stand.




The 2014 Interflora young florist exhibit team:

Paula McLagen, 25, from ‘Something Special Flowers’ in Blairgowrie, Perthshire (RHS Young Chelsea Florist 2013 – Winner)

Rebecca Hough, 25, from ‘Diana Kaye’ in Yarm, Cleveland (RHS Young Chelsea Florist 2013 – Silver, Interflora Florist of the Future 2013 – Winner)

Sophie Watton, 24, from ‘Bleujen Florist’ in Bude, Cornwall (RHS Young Chelsea Florist 2013 – Bronze, Interflora Florist of the Future 2013 – finalist)

Charlotte Cooke, 27, from ‘Hilary’s Floral Design’ in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire (RHS Young Chelsea Florist 2012 – Silver, Interflora Florist of the Future 2012 – 3rd)

Amy Manley, 21, from ‘The Tomlinson Flower Company’ in Coventry (RHS Young Chelsea Florist 2013 – Silver-Gilt, Interflora Florist of the Future 2013 – finalist)

  Bookmark this!! --->
 Our Chelsea 2014 page is all set up and ready to go, where we'll be uploading photos and updates from the world famous flower show as it happens. See lots of you there... Caroline Marshall Foster


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The Lonely Bouquet
Putting a smile on strangers faces...

How one person can make a difference in the world.  This story began in the border region between the Netherlands and Belgium, where Emily Avenson lives.  As a way to bring a little sunshine and cheer to the local area, Emily used cut flowers from her garden and made small bouquets and then left them around the town for people to find and enjoy. 

A little over a year after starting to leave the little bouquets, Emily decided that as she had brought smiles to people in her area that why not use social media and see if others would like to spread joy in their own villages, towns, cities and countries.  On June 30th, 2013 the first International Lonely Bouquet Day was born.with over (1000 people worldwide signed up to participate.  As word spread thanks to social media, the movement took on momentum, and before I knew it there were over 1000 people worldwide signed up to participate.

This year the (inter)National Lonely Bouquet Day that will take place on Sunday the 29th of June.

What began as a simple idea to spread the joy of flowers throughout our local countryside has blossomed into an initiative that was meant to inspire hobby gardeners all throughout the world, not only have flower arrangers and  gardeners flocked to this lovely idea but professional florists worldwide have joined the movement to spread joy to total strangers. After-all, the beauty of flowers knows no boundaries…

The basic concept of the Lonely Bouquet goes a little something like this:

1) pick flowers fresh from the garden or forage straight from nature or in the case of professional floral studios pick up some local and or seasonal flowers

2) arrange the flowers in a small, recycled jar,

3) add a signature “take me!” tag, and

4) leave the homegrown arrangement behind for a lucky local to take home. Voila! You have just delivered a handful of flowers that will surely put a smile on a stranger’s face


Many, both businesses and individuals, continue to make and distribute Lonely Bouquets, and we're planning our second annual International Lonely Bouquet Day on Sunday June 29th, 2014. Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate! Participants can prepare and print out tags via and are encouraged to add their bouquet(s) to the map. It's lots of fun seeing where new Lonely Bouquets pop up, and the website allows businesses to create a profile page with contact information, etc. and the "finders" can easily adopt/comment/share pictures.


nafas lonely bouquet flowers florist campaign kindness

NAFAS to Distribute 60,000 Lonely Bouquets 
News Published on Thursday, 01 May 2014 21:01 Written by Hannah Dunne

Lonely Bouquets will be making an appearance on our street corners and park benches once again as NAFAS celebrate UK National Flower Arranging Day (Friday 2nd May) by distributing a whopping 60,000 mystery bunches across the UK… plus their campaign is being fronted by a famous face!

In celebration of their Emerald Anniversary the charity is planning the mass distribution on a scale never seen before. NAFAS Honorary Patron, TV’s Nicki Chapman as seen on BBC’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show coverage, is fronting the campaign.

Mystery bunches of blooms will be placed everywhere, from shop doorsteps to well-known landmarks and surprise locations in the hope that they will find a home and brighten someone’s day.

The random act of kindness initiative was the brainchild of florist and blogger Emily Avenson. The idea went viral last June (International Lonely Bouquet Day – 29th June) and Lonely Bouquets have been distributed across the globe ever since.

This year NAFAS is taking the concept even further with the help of its members. Sue Brinton Chairwoman of NAFAS, commented:

“The concept is simple. We are asking all our members to make a bouquet, attach a tag asking, ‘Take me home and adopt me’, and leave the Lonely Bouquet in a spot where a lucky stranger will find it and give it a new home. With over 60,000 members we hope we will be able to communicate our love of flowers on a national level by becoming part of this great, heart-warming movement”

Nicki Chapman says: “The ‘Lonely Bouquet’ is a lovely idea which is fast gathering momentum around the globe. It’s a simple idea really with no ulterior motive other than to brighten somebody’s day and to spread the joy of flowers and floral design.”

NAFAS also hopes that by promoting the ‘Lonely Bouquet’ concept, it can in turn promote the flower industry itself and attract new members to join NAFAS clubs.

Nicki Chapman added; “With Kirstie Allsopp flying the flag for homemade crafts, Mary Berry teaching us how to bake and customised clothing becoming all the rage thanks to Claudia Winkleman’s Sewing Bee, now is the time to bring another great British tradition into the spotlight.

“Floral design is a true art form and we hope that this huge initiative can help spread our passion across the UK. Keep your eyes peeled in case you spot a posy - it just might be the good home those flowers are looking for is your own!”

NAFAS plan to scatter over 60,000 Lonely Bouquets across the UK from the beginning of May. The new owners are encouraged to post a message back to NAFAS to let them know it found a good home.

For more on the Lonely Bouquet, visit


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Leaf Manipulation
Video Tutorials

Ever wonder how to manipulate Tropical leaves or to Weave Palms if so then you should check out these

FREE Video Tutorials and SUBSCRIBE to for MORE Future and Exciting UPDATES!

JR Nocon AIFD CFD is sharing his knowledge and skills via youtube to demonstrate out easy it is to manipulate tropical foliages....

  WARNING: These video tutorial online series contain CHALLENGING, CONTROVERSIAL and at times UNACCEPTABLE or OFFENSIVE steps to others in the floral industry. Without sacrificing design principles and fundamentals, the steps presented are aimed to REVOLUTIONIZE, REINVENT, RE-ENERGIZE the artistic mind and spirit. TRUE ARTISTRY thrives in infinite and undefined dimensions and follows NO RULES, it dies once it's boxed in. LIVE and LET LIVE!



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PAFA in Bloom
Follow Up


Galleries at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) brimmed with blooms at the inaugural “PAFA in Bloom.”

This three-day showcase, which took place April 4-6, was held in PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building in Philadelphia, where more than 45 floral designers and 15 garden clubs converged to create floral art interpreting the masterpieces on display in PAFA’s collection.

PAFA in Bloom also featured workshops for adults and families as well as floral design programs by renowned British designers Wendy Andrade, AIFD, NDSF, FBFA, and Neil Whittaker, AIFD, NDSF, FSF.

To pull off this massive production, PAFA partnered with Philadelphia’s Schaffer Designs, whose leaders Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, and Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, are well known for large-scale installations.

Additional photos are available on PAFA’s Facebook page and on Bill Schaffer’s Facebook page.

 Designer Susan Krabill, AIFD, of Jen-Mor Florist in Dover, Del., beautifully interpreted Daniel Ridgway Knight’s “Hailing the Ferry” (1888) painting with collections of roses and lilies in an oblong vessel.


Frank Furness, whose architectural firm designed the building that houses PAFA’s collections, was known for his use of arches. Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, and Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, of Schaffer Designs in Philadelphia, created this fabulous interpretation of his architecture using a spectacular array of florals on a dozen 12-foot-tall arches.

In PAFA’s Cast Hall, which is rarely open to the public, this dramatic floral sculpture, created by David Potosnak, CFD, interpreted PAFA’s cast of the Vatican’s “Laocoön and His Sons” sculpture.

 Photos courtesy Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

  Super Floral - Copyright 2014
 Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc


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15 Truths You Must Know To Create Almost Perfect Subject Lines
By Ryan Pinkham

Ah subject lines…
Those less than ten-word phrases that can often make or break an email marketing campaign that took weeks to put together—aren’t they a joy to create?

I wish I could tell you that somewhere out there is the perfect subject line, one that could send your open-rates skyrocketing and make opt-outs and spam reports ancient history, but I can’t.

I can tell you, however, that creating almost perfect subject lines is possible and it starts with understanding certain truths about your readers—15 truths to be exact.

1. People won’t act unless told to do so
Before sending your newsletter, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take?

That action won’t always be one that has an immediate impact on your business (buy now!) but it should be the first step in some path toward driving real results from your email marketing. Keep in mind your subject line will be the first impression you’re email has on your reader—making it your first call-to-action will improve the likelihood of that action being taken.

2. People are skeptical of most emails
The best way to overcome this skepticism is by thinking about why your subscribers signed up to receive your emails in the first place. (If you don’t know, then you may want to consider sending out a survey to your customers about the content they want to see more of or even start sending a survey as part of your initial “welcome” email.)

Once you’ve figured that out, you can alter your subject lines to better suit their interests.

3. People do NOT like to have their time wasted
I don’t need to tell you how much people value their time. When it comes to your emails, you have at most, only a few minutes to get your message across. When it comes to your subject line, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention. It’s no surprise then that subject lines with less than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more, and click-through rates are 75% higher.

Keep in mind the typical inbox preview pane will only show 30 to 40 characters (the typical mobile device shows around 15 characters). If possible, shoot for 25 to 40 characters or 5 to 8 words.

4. People respond to numbers
Numbers help quantify any message and put the content people are receiving into terms they understand. Whether it’s a percentage (Learn how to grow your Facebook fan base by 400%) or a list (10 steps to getting more friends on Facebook) or a monetary value (How one business made $5,000 from marketing on Facebook)—numbers can take a complex problem like getting better results on Facebook and present it in a way people will respond to.

5. People are more likely to act when they feel a sense of urgency
Please do not take this as a call to add “ACT NOW!” or “LIMITED TIME OFFER!” to every one of your subject lines. But do take it as a call to consider using urgency to invigorate your customer base. This is especially true if you’re running a promotion, having a sale, or trying to drive attendance to an upcoming event. In these situations, the difference between using a subject line like: “Our annual end of summer sale is next week” or “Only 5 days until our end of summer sale begins” can be huge. One tells people you’re having a sale and the other tells people you’re having a sale and they better start getting ready.

6. People care more about the sender than the message
While the content of your email and the design of your subject line are important—nothing is more important than the relationship the recipient has with the sender (that’s you!). According to a recent Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what is in the subject line.

Want the best results? Tell people who the email is from in the subject line.

            Here are three ways to do that using my fictional business, Pinkham’s Pies:
[Pinkham’s Pies] We’re sharing our secret apple pie recipe
A secret pie recipe from Pinkham’s Pies
Pinkham’s Pies News: Our secret apple pie recipe revealed

7. People hate being misled
Even the most honest businesses can sometimes be guilty of unintentionally misleading their customers. It may not be your intention, but if your subject lines aren’t telling the whole truth or are structured in a way your customers may misunderstand—than you could be putting your reputation at risk.  

If my fictional business is having a buy-one-get-one free sale, than I’m much better off using a subject line like: “Buy one pie, get a second pie FREE” than “Come in and get your free pie.” It’s still going to seem like a great offer and it comes without any risk of disappointing your customers.

8. People want things to be personal, just not too personal
There is a right way and a wrong way to personalize your subject lines. The right way is to add a more personal touch by using words like “you” or “your” (10 tips to grow your Facebook fan base). It lets people know there’s an actual person sending the email and that they understand their interests as a reader.

The wrong way to personalize your emails is by including the recipient’s name in the subject line. This is a practice that is most typically used by spammers. (Check your spam or junk folder for plenty of examples of these.)

9. People want you to share your expertise
Guess who thinks you’re wicked smart? Your customers!

It’s true, and many of them signed up for your newsletter just for that reason. So don’t just tell them what you’ve read or what you’ve heard—tell them what you know.

When it comes to subject lines that start with injected yourself into them with words like “my” or “our” and ends with sharing your expertise. Consider these from Pinkham’s Pies: “Our secret apple pie recipe revealed” or “10 baking tips from our kitchen”.

By far, my biggest pet-peeve in email marketing or social media marketing is the abuse of capital letters and exclamation points. To me, “WE’RE HAVING A SALE!!!” doesn’t convey excitement—it conveys a feeling you’re trying too hard to get my attention. That’s not to say they should never be used. If you hit a milestone for your business, are having your biggest sale of the year, or are opening a brand new location—than by all means, show your excitement, just don’t abuse it.

11. People are starting to think much more “socially”
Businesses aren’t the only ones looking for inspiration for content to share on Facebook or ideas for things to tweet about—your customers are, too. If you have a socially-savvy audience, thinking of your subject line as status update on Facebook or a tweet, can improve your emails shareability.

For Pinkham’s Pies, a subject line like: “A secret pie recipe from Pinkham’s Pies” is much more “tweetable” than “[Pinkham’s Pies] We’re sharing our secret apple pie recipe.

12. People don’t want to be left out of the conversation
Nobody wants to be the only person that’s not “in the know.” Whether it’s a TV show everyone’s watching, a movie everyone’s talking about, or a book series that’s become the latest craze—nobody wants to be left out of the conversation. Your newsletter may never get the Twilight or Hunger Games treatment, but using your subject line to make your content a must-read will generate more opens.

13. People actually do like being teased
There’s a reason why people hate commercials but love movie trailers—commercials are all about promotion; trailers are all about getting people’s attention and leaving them wanting more.

This is a commercial-type subject line: Our fall collection is now in stock.

This is a trailer-type subject line: We’ve got a new collection … we think you’re going to love it.

One tells the reader exactly what you’re selling and the other leads them to want to find out more.

14. People have needs, questions, and concerns
If any of these truths is truer than the others it is this: all people have certain needs, questions, and concerns. Understanding that can help overcome one of the biggest email marketing obstacles: relevancy. In a recent study 56% of people credited a lack of relevancy as the number one reason why they choose to unsubscribe to a newsletter.

Think about your audience’s needs or the type of questions that might be on their mind when they’re going through their inbox—if month after month you’re answering those questions, your content will always be relevant.

15. People hate being sold to
If you want to drive real business results from your email marketing, you’re going to need to learn how to sell … without selling. That starts with your subject line.

Using an overly “salesy” subject line is like hiring an overly aggressive salesperson—they may get you results sometimes but for every one sale they make—they’ve chased ten others out the door.

Next time you’re thinking of making your subject line a sales pitch, consider these 15 truths first and try to come up with something better than sell, sell, sell.



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NERC facebook Page Buzzing with Activity
Check out what your fellow members have been doing

We did it!  Over 1000 facebook members on the AIFD Northeast Chapter page....

For our social media members, we need your help!  Please visit our facebook page and become a fan. See what's happening in our region, and 'Like' our posts, share them with friends, etc.  If you are working on anything floral related or have an educational event, please post it and share with other members. 

Our facebook page is listed as AIFD Northeast Chapter.  If you even search 'Northeast' it comes right up.  Without your support, our page will not be gettting the attention it deserves to spread the word on floral related issues.  So please support our Chapter and look us up on facebook! 






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Calendar of Events
Upcoming dates for your diary....

May 20 - 24, 2014
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea, London, England


June 10 -11, 2014

SAF Retail Growth Solutions

brings acclaimed retail strategist Jim Dion to Chicago for Retail Growth Solutions! REGISTER NOW!

 July 3-7, 2014

2014 AIFD Symposium
“Transition Transformation”
Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605


September 11 -14, 2014

Timeless Traditions

Zagreb, Croatia, 


October 22 -23, 2014

  Landscape Ontario's Garden and Floral Expo

Find out more information about the expo here:







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Northeast Regional Chapter
Board Contact Information

 Includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
 Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Canadian Providences of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick,
 Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the United Kingdom.

 Regional Officers:

 President - Polly Berginc 724-679-2872
 President-Elect - Theresa Colucci  845-255-3866 
 Vice President - Janet Black 207-514-3500
 Secretary - Colleen Kelly 570-642-1058
 Treasurer - Ken Norman 201-675-5946
 Past President - Lisa Greene 978-902-2754

Board of Directors:
 Michael Brody (2015) 570-522-6476 
 Dot Chenevert (14) 845-229-9336
 Rob DeBellis (16) 609-270-7884
 Deryck de Matas (14) 518-207-6879
 Jane Godshalk (15) 610-896-8292
 Susan Krabill (13) 302-697-3273
 Crescentia Motzi (16) 610-518-1270
 Bill Murphy (717) 679-9009
 Patricia Patrick (14) 519-856-9237

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NERC Chapter Pins Available
Make sure you have a chapter pin....

If you do not already own our chapter pin, they are still available to purchase. Members have been requesting information on how to acquire one.  The beautiful gold colored pin represents our chapter with a spray of acorns and oak leaves, which are prevelant throughout the entire Northeast region. The pin is approximately 1" W x 3/4" H.

The pin price is $25.00 (plus $5 shipping). To purchase a pin by mail, please contact Janet Black. Her email address is: Janet's cell Phone # is: (207) 514-3500.

The pins will also be available for purchase at upcoming NERC sponsored events.  Get your pin soon!   


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Northeast Newsletter Contact Information
Editor: Jo Jarvis AIFD, CFD

Please contact Jo Jarvis or Polly Berginc  with any news stories or information you wish to submit by email to: or  We are always looking for news involving our members and regional upcoming events, so PLEASE help us keep the newsletter interesting by submitting leads and information.

Please Note: All photos submitted should be sent as a jpg file; We can re-size the images to fit into the newsletter format as needed.

Please also visit the national website at for additional news and information.  Current and back issues of our NERC Newsletter are available on the NERC Chapter page. 

If you have a change of address, or a new email address, please forward me the information for our contact distribution list update. (Otherwise, you may not receive future newsletters to your email)  

NEXT ISSUE mid June 2014 ...

Deadline for articles for next issue is June 5th, 2014==so if you have any news or something of interest to share please send it in to either of the above emails to ensure it is published...

If there is anything that you would like to see in the newsletter, business, design trends, techniques, new products please let me know so that I can endeavour to be able to research in order to put it in one of the issues....this is a work in progress and I need to know what you want to read....Jo 


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AIFD North East Region,
720 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
TEL: (410) 752-3318
FAX: (410) 752-8295