North East Newsletter AIFD
In This Issue
North East Regional Chapter Presidential Report
Robert De Bellis AIFD, CFD, PFCI
In Tribure To Stijn at Fleuramour
Written by Hannah Dunne September 25, 2016 The Florist
Water-Free delivery on the horizon....
Katie Adames June 21, 2016....The Florist
A Star is Born...
Darcie Garcia AIFD CFD
Wendy goes to Singapore
Anson Low AIFD CFD
5 Top Tips To Improve Your Customer Service
Written by Katie Adams August 11, 2016 The Florist
Written by Rob Straathof August 09, 2016
Frozen Flowers Are Your Next Great Rainy-Day Project
Francesca Capossela Aug 17 2016
UK Star Neil Whittaker Launches Design Gallery Shangai
Written by Hannah Dunne September 19, 2016
Heathrow Airport Reveals Huge Fragrant Map
Written by Hannah Dunne 21 September, 2016
How to Get Bigger, Better Sales (Without Really Trying)
By Katie Hendrick Florist 2.0 Blog
The Florist
In Lieu of Flowers!!!!
Written by Hannah Dunne September 13, 2016
You shop. Amazon gives
Editor information
Jo A Jarvis AIFD CFD
Northeast Board and Chapter Pin Information
NERC info

September 30, 2016

North East Regional Chapter Presidential Report
Robert De Bellis AIFD, CFD, PFCI

   And so it begins ……. My year as NERC President!!! I am very excited and proud to be taking the reins of what I think is one of AIFD’s hardest working chapters!! Let me begin by thanking Janet Black AIFD for her amazing service to our region this past year as our president. Janet is so committed to AIFD and all it stands for. She will be a tough act to follow.    

 At our amazing symposium in the OC of California we installed our new officers and board members. I look forward to working with this amazing group of people. I would like to introduce you to our new officers: Dan Firth AIFD (President Elect), Dot Chenevert AIFD (Vice President), Laurie Lemek AIFD (Secretary), Suzanne Sampson AIFD (Treasurer), and Janet Black AIFD (Past President). And here are our board members: Susan Krabill AIFD, Chris Ondrak AIFD, David Siders AIFD, Alisha Simone Bell AIFD, Rebecca Carter AIFD, Marianne Suess AIFD, Cres Motzi AIFD, Bunnie Hovan AIFD, Christy King AIFD and Jennifer Plasky AIFD. Ron Mulray AIFD will once again represent us on the National Board and Polly Berginic will be our foundation representative.    

This year at symposium the NERC hosted the first night Hospitality Party on July Fourth!! With the help of our sponsors Burton & Burton and World Class Flowers, I can honestly say (and many have come up to me and said it too) that it was one of the best, over the top, crazy fun hospitality nights we have had in years!!! Thanks to the Balloon artistry of Peggy Williams and Melissa Rhea Vinson, my co-chair Linda Murray AIFD, and a group of our talented floral artists, guests entered through a huge balloon arch with wild red white and blue palm trees, played with beach balls and danced the night away flanked by a 10’ x 20’ American Flag made entirely of balloons!! And who could resist the Patriotic CANDY BAR!!! All those who attended sported their finest patriotic beach wear and let’s not forget our hostess with the mostess, Ms. Libertee Belle LOL!!!      

 This year our region was proud to induct 12 new AIFD members and 2 new CFD members. Welcome and congratulations to Maureen Christmas AIFD, Theresa Clower AIFD, Janet Corrao AIFD, Patti Fowler AIFD, Darcie Garcia AIFD, Yoli La Guerre AIFD, John Lechliter AIFD, Linda Murray AIFD, Michele Peters AIFD, Cullen Schneider AIFD, Shannon Toal AIFD, Rene Tucci AIFD, Mieko Kawazoe CFD and Yong Hee Petrik CFD. We are honored to have you become part of our NERC family.    

Autumn in the North East….a spectacular time of year. Temperatures cool down and the trees begin to turn into a spectacular array of colors. A busy time of year for many of our members as the busy North East Fall wedding season begins! And what better way to kick off the season than with an amazing Fall Wedding Show on October 18th sponsored by the NERC and Sieck Wright Wholesalers in Hightstown NJ. Co-Chaired by Chris Ondrack AIFD and Rick Cunneo AIFD, the show offers a unique new twist.. This exciting wedding program is going to be chock full of amazing AIFD designers. Be sure to try to attend and support our region.

The show will feature three teams of talented Industry Veteranswho are partnered with newly inducted AIFD up and coming design stars! The show will be commentated by the one and only Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI and will feature the designs of Rick Cunneo AIFD, Shannon Toal AIFD, Dan Firth AIFD, Renee Tucci AIFD, Maryetta Bartlett Downing AIFD and Darcie Garcia AIFD. This promises to be a great night of education and fun showcasing the newest trends in wedding design.    

The region would also like to give a shout out to Rick Cunneo AIFD for his amazing design work at the Miss America Pageant this September. Ricks designs were seen on nationwide television even if to Ricks dismay the newly crowned Miss America held her floral scepter UPSIDE DOWN!! Oh my, well thankfully she is at least pretty!! LOL    

 Our region is also busy planning for our big spring events….The Philadelphia Flower Show and The North East Floral Expo both taking place next March. Anyone interested helping with either of these two events should contact Cres Motzi AIFD ( for the Philadelphia Flower Show or Rebecca Carter AIFD ( for the North East Floral Expo. More information on both events to follow.

 Lastly I would like to congratulate our six new 2017 AIFD Inductees to our region. They are Sun Ja Park CFD, Caroline Crabb CFD, Kathryn Delve CFD, Amanda Randell CFD, Mieko Kawazoe CFD and Lori Kunian CFD. We also welcome three new CFD members: Shawn Brown CFD, Elizabeth Kim CFD and Yong Hee Petrik CFD. Welcome all and we celebrate your achievements!!!

OK Happy Fall Everyone! Try to get to the North East Region to experience this amazing time of year in our neck of the woods and good luck with the upcoming Fall Holidays!

 Respectfully Submitted

 By Robert De Bellis AIFD, CFD, PFCI
President NorthEast Regional Chapter AIFD

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Technology is fantastic when it does what it is supposed to do.  After a new motherboard, keyboard and rebooting my computer it decided that all by itself I needed to be updated to Windows 10. ARGGGGGGG

Frustrating is not even the tip of the iceberg…not only do I have to now purchase Microsoft Office so that I am able to create PowerPoint presentations for International floral courses but I still am having a devil of a time inserting pictures into the Northeast Newsletter…thank goodness I do not give up and have worked my magical fingers and blown a ton of little gray cells and sorted the problem. To think I took computer programming in school mind you that was writing software not coping with Windows 10 and all its idiosyncrasies.

Apologies to everyone for the dry spell over the summer…it is not for lack of trying that is for sure.
With luck everything will be back to normal for the next issue.


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In Tribure To Stijn at Fleuramour
Written by Hannah Dunne September 25, 2016 The Florist


  Just two months ago our industry tragically lost one of its greats, as gifted designer Stijn Simaeys passed away while at work in China on 23rd July 2016. Here at Fleuramour flower festival at Alden Biesen, in his home country of Belgium and where Stijn’s unique touch has graced the halls for years, many of Stijn’s friends and contemporaries have created moving tributes, placed throughout the castle.

An innately talented designer who loved to work with raw nature, Stijn was most recently freelancing, often working and demonstrating all over the world, always driven to try new floral challenges.
We met Stijn at Flowers@Oxford, an event organised by Judith Blacklock and Fleur Creatif, the people behind Fleuramour here in Belgium. We left feeling inspired by the way he drew creativity from nature, as he demonstrated using a hollowed out tree trunk which he’d picked up in the woods as a container for one of his works. On stage, he told his audience how much he loved the flora and fauna growing in the event’s Oxford grounds, and admitted sneaking plenty of cuttings.
Heartfelt and personal tributes to Stijn were scattered all over this year’s Fleuramour show. Some give him a subtle but special nod, others striking statements showcasing his own style.
We were most moved by the room of fire created by Stijn’s dream team in the castle’s basement. Encompassing the entire, cavernous room, hot red blooms were strung from the curved ceiling and dripped from above, running all the way to the floor.

On the wall was a note from his team which read:
We’re told that you wouldn’t be there.
You’ve taught us to always believe in what we truly want.
This year you will be with us once again at Alden Biesen.
Your desired choice is fire, obviously.
Now we’ll weave a flower exhibition one last time with you, going all the way from the ground to the ceiling, taking the time to admire it, so that everyone present can gather your strength, your thrill of life, your determination and your spark.
We’ve made our minds up mate: let’s make one of your oldest dreams come true: burn Alden Biesen. This time you will be our flame!
Your Dream Team
Stijn’s Dream Team are Maria Grazia Scalzi, Charline Bernard, Audrey Gatineau, Tiffany Paillard, Angeline Delebecq, Gilles Vial-Caille and Madeleine Sarradell. 

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Water-Free delivery on the horizon....
Katie Adames June 21, 2016....The Florist

A ground-breaking packaging solution for flowers means we will no longer need to transport flower deliveries in water, says shelf life extension company, PerfoTec.

PerfoTec Director, Bas Groeneweg, explained that flowers can last longer using a technology called Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging (AMAP). A technique where the air in packaging is removed entirely, more commonly called vacuum packing, to extend the shelf life of perishable products whilst maintaining quality.

The technique is mainly used for meat and bakery products, as PerfoTec already has a major global presence in the fruit and veg market, but sussing flower transportation was harder because humidity inside packaging caused flowers to be affected by diseases such as Botrytis.

India’s largest flexible packaging company, Uflex, bought PerfoTec Systems for India, which was suffering similar problems transporting mangos. Chairman and managing director of Uflex, Ashok Chaturvedi, accepted the challenge and developed a new biodegradable film called ‘Flexfresh’ which allows flowers to ‘breath in’ oxygen and water whilst releasing any excess humidity to keep the flowers dry.

Using this technique, flowers are ‘put back to sleep’, and can go without water for up to five days. Once delivered to the customer, PerfoTec promises that bouquets will remain fresh in the vase for a guaranteed seven days.

“This partnership has created packaging that can offer a guaranteed shelf life, lower costs, a reduction in our carbon footprint, and a better product for the customer,” said Siva Shankaran from Flexfresh — Uflex.

Giant flower organisation Dutch Flower Group (DFG) was shown the new packaging style and was extremely impressed by the results, in fact one of its retail clients has already introduced the new style so they’re now able to integrate flowers into their grocery home delivery service.

“The gallons of water used delivering flowers is in the millions, so by eliminating that problem Flexfresh is one of the most sustainable packaging solutions around,” added Ashok.

Dutch internet start-up, BloomPost, which delivers flowers throughout Europe, is the first online flower business in the world to implement the new delivery packaging style. BloomPost CEO, Van Stijn, said that embracing this technology will make enormous savings. He even added that he is visualising an in-store floral display without water and cooling, and that web shops will one day be able to send flowers by mail without having to worry about poor quality upon arrival.

“It’s available for fresh cut flowers being delivered from the grower to the market or shops, and also for internet deliveries, so it covers the entire market’s needs,” said Andrew Sharp, from PerfoTec. 

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A Star is Born...
Darcie Garcia AIFD CFD

Inspiring Sympathy Design Program in Bloomsburg, PA
Wednesday August 17, 2016

After being inducted into AIFD in early July, Darcie Garcia, AIFD, is off to a running start in her new role as an industry leader. Shortly after she returned home from her time in California, she was invited to lead a design program at Dillons Floral in Bloomsburg, Pa. After being filled in on the particulars of the program she said “YES!” in an instant. The folks at Dillons paired her to present alongside Allen Baney, of State College, PA. Allen is currently pursuing his accreditation with AIFD and, from the presentation he put on, there's no doubt that big things are in his future too.

Darcie and Allen were asked to put on an educational event focusing on sympathy work. All of their arrangements were practical for every day shop use, but they were far from the norm. The designs all had twists that encouraged the audience to up-sell. They showed countless ways to create keepsakes from sentimental notions told about the deceased form their family members. Above all else, they encouraged everyone to pursue relationships with their local undertakers. These relationships are not only good from a business standpoint, but trust from your local funeral home means that you can create new and different compositions that will turn heads, warm hearts, and ultimately result in a growth in your sympathy business. 


From just sitting in the audience, you would have never been able to tell that this was the first time  Darcie and Allen were taking the lead in a program. Their commentating was top notch, surpassed only by the designs themselves. Hands-on demonstrations showed the crowd tricks that they had never seen before. The presenters made AIFD proud by discussing things like mechanics essentials, precise banding, complimentary color schemes and how to use accessories to make your florals rise above.

As the team brought out the Tribute Wall finale pieces, and placed them on each side of the 9' calla lily casket spray, the audience realized a quick 5 hours had passed by and all were sorry to see the show come to an end. Dillon Floral did a fantastic job in assembling this design team, allowing them to showcase their natural talents with Dillons beautiful blooms, and created a fun, engaging and supportive environment for everyone. If you have a chance to attend any of the Dillon University programs, it is highly recommended!

Written by Renee Tucci AIFD CFD  


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Wendy goes to Singapore
Anson Low AIFD CFD

In May, we had a wonderful and interesting workshop, Creating Wearable Arts with Wendy Andrade, NDSF, AIFD, FBFA.

Organized by Nobleman School of Floral Deisgn, a group of students, from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, UK, China, Korea, gathered under one roof, had a fun time doing wire works. All for the quest of making something beautiful, and they achieved, after much hard work and dedication, over 3 days of non-tiring works.

“I have never done so much work, bending over and concentrating for 3 full days in the past,
but this is really fun and interesting, and the results are beautiful”, one participant said.
“Wendy is so fun and friendly to be with, she is very clear in her instructions and I have learned a lot in this workshop” another participant said.

“I often wondered how I can do the beautiful works as shown inher book, and how much time it takes, now I know, and I look forward to her next book” said some.

Indeed, judging from the happy smiling face of all, wearing their beautiful works , it is indeed a memorable event for all.



Established in 1994, Nobleman School of Floral Design (NSFD) is one of the premier floral design schools in Asia Pacific. With the reputation of their widely acclaimed trainers, NSFD constantly attracts numerous local and overseas students from ASEAN, China, Japan, ANZ and Europe, to attend its specialized floral art courses. Currently overseas students form more than 30% of the yearly enrolment.

NSFD courses are broad-based as well as specialized to cater for students with different requirements. The objective of the lessons is to teach in a creative and easy-to-understand manner. In addition, they adopt the latest training curriculum and techniques with the top priority being to ensure the students understand the floral techniques and think creatively. As an internationally recognized floral institution, all NSFD professional certificates are endorsed exclusively by the World Flower Council (WFC), which is a first in the world. NSFD has also been awarded the status of AIFD Approved Education Partners. The first in South East Asia.

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5 Top Tips To Improve Your Customer Service
Written by Katie Adams August 11, 2016 The Florist

According to research by ava, 51% of people in the UK would happily pay over the odds for goods if it meant they received better customer service. In the florist industry simply answering the phone correctly, having friendly, helpful staff and a great website could make a big difference to your margins. With that in mind, here’s five ways to get (and stay) on the right side of 2016’s ever-demanding consumers.  
Companies are becoming far less likely to get a second chance to rectify a customer service mishap. As such, it’s crucial that you start as you mean to go on. Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, recently said: “Getting it right first time has to be a prerequisite for any organisation. Customers expect to be dealt with quickly and competently — as soon as they start to feel let down or ignored, their trust is lost.”
Her comments were made shortly after it was announced that currently leads the way in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI). The report also showed that it is possible to make significant customer service improvements in a relatively short space of time. Indeed, Wilko secured second position, having risen from 45th place in 2015, while Land Rover made an even more impressive improvement, rising 54 places since July 2015.
It goes to show that if you put effort into getting your customer care right straight away, your reputation — and ultimately your profits — will inevitably grow.  
According to research by Toister Performance Solutions in 2015, customers now expect businesses to reply to their email within an hour. Once upon a time, consumers were happy enough to receive a response on the same day. Things have changed and businesses are under an incredible amount of pressure to be responsive.

Social media has really changed the game in terms of how quickly businesses must react to queries and complaints. Facebook keeps close tabs on how long it takes you to reply to people. This shows you how it works in a little more detail.
Getting the elusive “Very responsive to messages” badge of honour isn’t easy. To be eligible, your page must have demonstrated a 90% response rate and an average response time of just 15 minutes over the previous seven days. This is a tall order even for the biggest companies with the deepest pool of resources, but it demonstrates that if you can be consistently quick to deal with customers’ questions, other potential customers will notice.
In terms of dealing with phone calls, speed and professionalism are imperative. Research by Addison Lee in 2013 found that the average Briton will spend 22 days of their life being stuck on hold. Lengthy calls also cost us up to £385 a year on average. 
As you can tell, the emergence of technology had a dramatic impact on our customer service expectations and it’s safe to assume that these will only grow even further in the coming years.
The Institute of Customer Service recently conducted some research into the ‘customer of the future’ and it’s clear that businesses will have their hands full. One of the key takeaways from the report was that consumers will want a personalised service. In fact, this is already happening to an extent.
Some brands are also equipping their in-store staff with tablets, which enables them to offer a more thorough, customised service to shoppers. From a customer service standpoint, we can say with great confidence that automated systems aren’t going to cut it for much longer. People don’t want to be palmed off on a robot — they want human contact and to feel like the company actually cares about them. 
Research undertaken by BDRC Continental and published by Marketing Week showed why it’s so important that brands have a robust social media strategy.
BDRC Continental Director, Tim Barber, was quoted by Marketing Week as saying: “It is 2016 and people expect a rapid response. If they don’t get it, you could lose them forever.” Crucially, he suggested that businesses need to treat social networking platforms as an extension of their bricks-and-mortar stores.
“You have to have the infrastructure in place to respond to every single tweet – that’s important. You don’t pick and choose who you speak to when someone walks into a store – you aim to speak to everyone, so why do the opposite on Twitter? Treat every Twitter user like a shopper inside your flagship store.”
In 2013, the Internet Advertising Bureau conducted a study, which concluded that 90% of consumers would recommend a brand after interacting with them on social media. The main lesson here is that customers’ habits are changing and businesses — regardless of their size — cannot afford to view social media as a “nice to have”. It’s essential. 
We’ve already seen how Facebook allows brands to promote how responsive they are, but are businesses doing enough to shout about their exemplary levels of service elsewhere?
This Trustpilot report from 2015 explained why customer reviews and online reputation are the “cornerstone of online success”. One point in particular summed it up nicely: “Online reviews are the middle point of digital and traditional business, where customers meet sellers and talk to other customers about their experience with a particular seller.”
Earlier this year, Trustpilot announced that it had garnered more than 20 million reviews across 130,000 businesses in 119 countries. Online reviews are crucial as they can make all the difference between securing a new customer and seeing them take their money elsewhere.
The overriding message is this: if you’ve put so much time, effort and money into improving your service offering, make sure everybody knows about it. Otherwise you won’t reap the rewards.  

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Written by Rob Straathof August 09, 2016

Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis, got in touch to offer up his advice on how you can expand your florist business from your computer. Liberis say they provide simple, straightforward funding to small businesses across the UK. Backed by the British Business Bank, they’ve helped over 3,000 SME’s obtain circa £120 million in funding since 2007.  

You’re ready to expand your floristry business – but opening new stores or taking on more space isn’t what you have in mind.
Luckily, growing your company doesn’t have to mean increasing the physical size your business – more often than not the secret lies in enhancing what you’re already doing and outshining your competition.
By using technology, and tapping into new marketing tricks, you can grow your business by becoming more visible to new customers and strategically nurturing the relationships you’ve already got.
Here are three ways you can take your floristry business to the next level without the need to open another outlet in a new location.
Nearly half of all people now use social media when undertaking their wedding planning, with people most likely to follow photographers, venues and – you guessed it – florists.
However, with so many platforms to choose from, it can be easy to spread yourself too thinly and become frustrated when you don’t see results.
Each social media network works best for business when you can devote more time to becoming a confident user, as a florist it makes sense to focus on the most visual platforms. While Pinterest is great for inspiring brides with your beautiful arrangements, Instagram is better for connecting with individuals at a local level.
Instagram lends itself well to ‘micro-blogging’, where you can share your stories and build authentic relationships with your potential customers over time.
You can also use hashtags on Instagram so that people who don’t follow you can still find your business, like Gillyflower does:


Social media isn’t a numbers game; instead, focus on making quality connections with individual people who you think are the most likely to buy your products. Base your decision on your own experience as well as what you know about any new markets that you’d like to target.
For example, you could start by seeking out people using local hashtags (try to check they weren’t just visiting the area on holiday first), or look for couples who are planning their wedding at a venue near you.
You could also look for users who are enthusiastic about the qualities that your business possesses. In the example above, Gillyflower grows British, organic flowers, so the business taps into some of the hashtags used by customers who might share the same interests.
Feel free to Like posts by potential customers and leave a comment if you have something valuable to add to the conversation – customers increasingly like to have a two-way dialogue with brands and to see the people behind the accounts, so don’t be shy.
If you get a warm response, consider adding your new lead to your paid advertising list and, with a little bit of social media stalking, create ads you think they’d find enticing across the platforms they seem to be most active on to help keep you front of mind.
Search engines like Google and Yahoo! are increasingly providing more useful search results for consumers based on their search queries as well as their location.
This presents a great opportunity to appear in front of more relevant people and to grow your floristry business, and all it takes is a bit of digital prep work.
 Identify your profitable keyword
You need to discover the keywords your potential customers are using in their searches on the main search engines before you do anything else, so start by using Google’s free Keyword Planner to determine the best keywords for you to target.
Lots of people will be searching for ‘wedding flowers’, for example, but generic search terms like this will be really competitive so also check to see if people are looking for more specific things like ‘organic florist’. You can even look down to a local level, for example ‘wedding flowers Berkhamsted’.
The search volumes will be much lower, but so will the competition, meaning your floristry business will have more chance of appearing in the results pages for these search terms.
Plus, because ‘longtail’ keyword searches are more specific they often imply buying intent, meaning they’re more cost-effective to target.
 Use your keywords on your website
Every page should have a unique title and description and be written in a way that makes users want to click through to your website – so no stuffing these fields full of vague or irrelevant keywords as search engines will simply penalise you.
You can even make your images search engine-friendly by naming the image file using keywords and using ‘alt’ tags which are attached to the file when you upload images to your site and simply require a concise description of your image.
Your URLs should be as brief and descriptive as possible – doing this for new pages is simple but, if you want to go back and change old URLs, make sure you use a permanent 301 redirect from the old page to the new one so that search engines know the old URL no longer exists.
Lastly, provide your business address, opening hours, phone number, images and map for your company’s location on a page on your site:, make sure this matches all the information you use across your Google account, which brings us nicely onto the next step.
 Set up your Google account
A well-optimised website paired with a complete Google account gives you a better chance of appearing in Google’s search results for your target keywords, like you can see here.
For more attractive search engine results which get higher click-through rates, set up and link your business’ Google Plus page with Google My Business, which allows you to update your company information across Google Search, Google Maps and Google Plus all in one go.
Be sure to use a consistent company name, address, location and telephone number across your Google profile and your website so that Google can easily make the link between your account and your website.
Also, fill in every field you can with as much keyword-rich detail as possible to help search engines and potential customers to understand your business and the products and services you offer. 
A huge advantage of blogging and online PR is that, so long as a website is running, content has the potential to drive customers to your website for weeks, months and even years to come with no extra effort on your part.
Creating unique, useful and interesting content for your own blog, sprinkled with your target keywords, gives your website the chance to rank for that longtail search traffic, as well as cementing you as a go-to source for information and tips among your existing customers.
Another highly effective way to reach new audiences is to supply external websites with content that would interest and benefit their readers whether through guest blogging or paying for sponsored features.
Not only that, but if you secure links back to your site from authoritative third party websites, this hugely helps your own website to rank in search engine results, which can continue to bring you organic web traffic long after it’s been published.
Ideas for consumer titles could be the latest trends in home décor and tips on how to achieve a certain look, or ways in which you can save money when planning a wedding or funeral.
Don’t forget that B2B readers are still consumers, so consider writing columns for marketing and business websites describing ways you’ve successfully marketed your floristry business or consumer trends you’ve noticed based on your sales data.
In a highly visual world where attention spans are dwindling, you could also have fun with different content formats, from articles and infographics, to galleries and videos.
People love ‘how to’ tutorials as well as human interest pieces and fresh data with case studies go down well with the national, regional and local press.
Another option to consider involves signing up to services that alert you when a journalist is looking for expert quotes for the chance to be included in the press, like florist Lorraine Wood did in the Daily Record two years ago.
Of course, creating high quality content and signing up to media services can take up a lot of time and often requires specialist knowledge so you may wish to hire a freelancer or agency to do the work for you.
Consider making use of finance for small businesses to cover this investment until you start to see the returns, keeping in mind that the results often start small and snowball over time.
Lastly, don’t forget to make your content go further by shouting about it in your social media and email marketing messages!

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Frozen Flowers Are Your Next Great Rainy-Day Project
Francesca Capossela Aug 17 2016

Frozen Flowers Are Your Next Great Rainy-Day Project


Dancing In the Dark. Photos by Bruce Boyd
Colorful flowers, whose own simply beauty is ageless, are frozen into blocks of ice and then dropped into ponds for a series of photographs which at once celebrate and mock the clichés of flower photography. These prototypical images of natural beauty are made alluring and unfamiliar when faced with frost.
Bruce Boyd, the photographer, and Tharien Smith, the designer and arranger, note the complicated relationship between flowers and ice on the website for their project, 0˚C. It's a series both startlingly beautiful and slightly melancholy: In one piece, small bones are encased alongside what look like bulrushes.

Violently Happy
Flowers have always been one of the most important visual motifs in art, but they’re also one of the most cliché images in photography. Boyd and Smith complicate cliché flower photographs in 0˚C, resulting in a playful but also melancholy series. An image of sunflowers covered in ice is poignant—their vivacity is almost palpable—but in another photograph, white flowers seem to be a part of the ice, rather than being destroyed by it. See more of the series below, and for more frozen flowers, check out the works of Azuma Makoto and grade.

Fields of Gold

Take This Waltz

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UK Star Neil Whittaker Launches Design Gallery Shangai
Written by Hannah Dunne September 19, 2016

Northeast member taking the world by storm....

He’s taking the globe by storm following a stomping second place at Interflora’s World Cup, runs a blooming Manchester business, and now Neil Whittaker (not just a talented designer but lovely man as well) is set to become Principal of his first floristry training gallery in Shanghai.

Neil, who co-owns Design Element Flowers in Manchester with Anthony Williams, is set to fly to Shanghai on 2nd October in preparation for the launch of the Neil Whittaker Design Gallery of Shanghai.
Not just his namesake, Neil is officially the school’s Principal and will be running regular workshops in a brand new building in the bustling Chinese city. Neil tells us his first run of official workshops will begin on 11th October, with a grand showcase happening five days later. 


Uniflorist, the Chinese company behind the Shanghai-hosted Interflora World Cup in 2010, spotted Neil at last year’s Berlin edition and immediately wanted our star man on-board. So not long afterwards, Uniflorist asked Neil to be the official trainer for China’s next World Cup competitor.
Gallery director Rain Wang is very excited about the new adventure, and Neil says, “It’s an honour to have a school named after me, and going out there to showcase my skills is really exciting. It’s an amazing new building, we can’t wait for the champagne reception!”
Manchester locals can rest easy for now as Neil won’t be permanently relocating, but instead travelling out around once a month. With courses already fully booked, the Neil Whittaker Design Gallery is set to become one of Shanghai’s top floristry destinations.  

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Heathrow Airport Reveals Huge Fragrant Map
Written by Hannah Dunne 21 September, 2016


Passengers travelling through Heathrow, the UK’s hub airport, this week will be treated to a spectacular scented new installation as the airport unveiled a giant floral map of the world on Monday.
Created by florist Larry Walshe using around 2,000 fresh flower stems and studded with a textural tapestry of other curiosities, including raw amber stones and sandalwood, the impressive 11ft by 18ft living artwork will be housed in Terminal 5 to celebrate the new season of fragrance until the 24th September.
Larry, whose clients include Stella McCartney, Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana, created the impressive floral map to showcase the most popular scents by country en vogue right now, based on Heathrow’s latest global fragrance report of duty free sales. Over 2.6 million bottles of perfume are sold at Heathrow every year, that’s around five bottles every minute, and more perfume is sold at Heathrow than any other location in the UK.
The airport’s new global fragrance report highlights both purchasing trends of passengers travelling through Heathrow, and wider fragrance behaviours from across the world. The installation offers unique insight into the four key fragrance notes of the new Autumn/Winter season: woody, fresh, oriental and floral, and fragrance preferences from around the globe. Each country in the map depicts the fresh scents that feature in the most beloved fragrances of different nations.
The map includes roses, which Heathrow says hit the right note for floral-loving Brits and lavender and orange blossom, which tantalize the senses in the US and Mexico. Fresh scents including mint and mandarin feature as favourites in India, whilst spicier, oriental scents such as cinnamon and ginger are preferred by those in the UAE. Whilst each nation has a specific note it likes best, the most popular scents across the globe were revealed to be jasmine (28 per cent), lavender (27 per cent) rose (24 per cent), vanilla (20 per cent) and sandalwood (19 per cent).
Heathrow’s new fragrance report also reveals as a nation, Germany are most likely to follow their nose when choosing a new fragrance, with two in five people (40 per cent) attracted to specific notes in a scent. India, on the other hand, is all about the brand name, with nearly a quarter (22 per cent) admitting that they would choose a fragrance based on the designer.
China are the most led by iconic scents, with one in four (26 per cent) saying that they’re attracted to iconic fragrances because of their popularity. Globally, it seems that Brits are the least likely to be influenced by celebrities, with only two per cent choosing a fragrance based on a celebrity endorsement. 
With fragrance long-renowned for its powerful ability to evoke strong memories and emotions, the report also revealed that nearly a quarter of Brits (22 per cent) admitted that certain fragrances evoke memories of a past lover. Making the most of the power of scent, one in five British men (22 per cent) stated they wear fragrance to feel more desirable, while 34% of women say they wear fragrance because it makes them feel happy and boosts their confidence.
Chris Annetts, Heathrow’s Retail and Service Proposition Director said: ‘September is a really exciting month for us when it comes to fragrance. Heathrow is home to around 3,405 fragrances across 104 brands. We have both exclusives and new season fragrances including a new floral exclusive Tom Ford Vert Boheme, as well as a new season fresh CK One Gold. We wanted to celebrate our amazing collection by bringing the scents to life and help our passengers better understand the fragrance notes they enjoy the most. Larry’s floral artwork is a fantastic way for people to explore new fragrances as well as enjoying their favourites when they fly with us.”
To commemorate Larry’s exhibition at Heathrow, World Duty Free has created a limited edition gift wrap inspired by the installation for passengers who purchase any fragrance during the month of September.
Fred Creighton, Managing Director at World Duty Free said ‘Our exclusive gift wrap by celebrated British artist Larry Walshe is the perfect way to present a fragrance to someone special. Our dedicated fragrance team as always will be on hand to help customers navigate our carefully curated selection of scents to ensure customers find the perfect match for themselves or a loved one.’
With over 2.6 million bottles of perfume sold at Heathrow each year and around five bottles sold every minute, the study also found that the following fragrances top the charts around the globe:
Most popular fragrances (World Duty Free data) by country
Gucci Bamboo, Dior Miss Dior, Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin
United Arab Emirates
Tom Ford Black Orchid, Guerlain Santal Roya, YSL Oriental Collection
Gucci Bamboo, YSL Black Opium, Dior Sauvage
Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia, Jo Malone Red Roses, Jo Malone Wild Bluebell
CK One, Davidoff Cool Water, Gucci Bamboo
Hong Kong
Dior Miss Dior, Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia, Jo Malone Red Roses
United Kingdom
Gucci Bamboo, Dior Miss Dior, Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir
YSL Oriental Collection, Dior Sauvage, Giorgio Armani Prive Rose D’Arabie
Emporio ELLE, Boss FEMME, Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt
Guerlain Santal Royal, YSL Oriental Collection, Dior Sauvage

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How to Get Bigger, Better Sales (Without Really Trying)
By Katie Hendrick Florist 2.0 Blog

Taking sales calls is not unlike going on a first date. Worry about how the other person will react can cause you to clam up or overthink everything you say, resulting in awkward conversation that sounds insecure and falls short of selling your assets.

Disclaimer: I’m extremely experienced with the latter scenario, but I’ve never actually tried to sell a floral arrangement. Still, I think I get it. I’ve listened to countless test calls by Tim Huckabee, of Floral Strategies, so I’ve heard all the common pitfalls. Also, I spent about a year working for Ann Taylor, where I was the absolute worst member of our team at getting customers to open credit cards. The ask made me uncomfortable, which showed big time in my voice and composure, so naturally, no one took the bait.

I heard Huckabee speak once again at the recent Canadian Florist Business Forum, where he demonstrated how to sound more confident and effortlessly land more profitable sales. No matter how many times I hear him, I learn something new. Below are a few of my latest takeaways:

Ask fewer questions. Give more advice.

“The floral industry is notorious for torturing customers with questions, many of which they don’t know how to answer,” he said. Among his most despised queries: What kind of design do you want? Which flowers? How much do you want to spend?

Huckabee advises that florists ask only two questions: What would you like the card message to read? (to gauge the occasion and number of people the gift represents) and Have you shopped with us before? (to expedite the order-taking process and get a sense of the sender’s preferences in terms of style and budget). Equipped with this information, you are poised to offer your expertise, Huckabee said, offering this example for a hypothetical dinner party arrangement:

“What I suggest is a wide and low arrangement in a glass vase that includes a leaf wrap. It covers the stem and has a nice clean finish, which is really great if your guests will be looking at it all evening long.”

By contrast, if you ask if the customer if wants a leaf wrap, “he’ll be confused and feel embarrassed that he doesn’t know what that is,” Huckabee said. That discomfort might stop him from ordering flowers again.

Get sensual.

“The flower business and the restaurant industry are first cousins once removed,” Huckabee said. “There’s a lot of shared DNA: perishable product, nightmarish holidays, demanding customers.” However, there’s a fundamental difference in how waiters and floral sales people peddle their product.

“Waiters do a fantastic job making their dinner specials sound like phenomenal experiences,” Huckabee said. “They whet the customer’s appetite by describing the flavors and spices, the food’s origins, the presentation on the plate. They never ever start with the price!”

Customers are prepared to spend more than you think, so take a shot, use your adjectives, and pitch a grand design featuring premium flowers in vibrant colors and terrific textures that conjure, say, Grandma’s garden or a contemporary and chic museum or hotel lobby.

Sell more finishing touches.

You can easily improve your bottom line if you sell more add-ons. But don’t do it haphazardly.

“Make only one suggestion and make it relevant for the sale,” he said. For instance, a bright mylar balloon befits a birthday arrangement, whereas a box of gourmet truffles is more appropriate for an anniversary arrangement.

Introduce the suggestion with the proper language. Don’t say, “Would you like to add a stuffed animal to your order?” A more natural (read: persuasive) pitch would be, “As a finishing touch, we can attach an adorable plush monkey.”

Finally, price it. “…and it’s only $5!” 

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The Florist

I thought it would be interesting to read a the scenes look at what goes on in a Chelsea Florists mind before the day.

It’s been a month since RHS Chelsea closed its famous floral gates for 2016, and nearly a month to go before its sister show begins at Hampton Court. Chelsea hype has now calmed but it’s far from a distant memory for 32 competitors who put their all into creating the finest floristry UK and Ireland has to offer. This year we followed one of 2014’s Silver medallists, Karen Massey from Dublin, along her second Chelsea journey as she scooped another medal.

“From the minute I knew I’d qualified it was all I could think about,” she told us. Exhibiting at RHS Chelsea is a dream come true for so many florists and one only achieved by a lucky handful each year, after competing in local heats organised by the BFA.

Karen’s shop, Fleurtatious, is just outside Dublin city centre, and with no full-time staff and a serious commitment to flowers, there’s only a select few reasons for her absence. Either something really, really bad has happened or she’s off to Chelsea!

Following the competition heats, Karen said, “I’m not the most patient person so waiting for the result nearly killed me!! Finally the brief came through and I was really excited. I liked the idea of a headdress… I just had to figure out how to make it!”

Karen was sponsored by Chrysal, Viaflor, CYMoreFlavour (Cymbidium), Crown Jewel (Gloriosa), Anco Pure Vanda (Orchids), Winco Holland (Succulents) & Corsa Plant (Airplants)


This year’s brief for Chelsea’s Florist and Young Florist of the Year competitions asked designers to create a headdress for a Brazilian carnival.

“I started researching carnivals and straight away knew I wanted the design to be big, bright and colourful. Originally I thought about an open peacock style, but after discovering restrictions to width and depth in the brief, I decided to design it tall with parts trailing down.”

“I didn’t want the headdress to look too solid, so I chose to incorporate clear acetate to give it movement, light and flow. I’m a quick decision maker so once I had the picture in my head, that was it. I just needed make it work and make sure the flowers lasted.”

Flower choice is crucial in competitive floristry, and that doesn’t just mean picking the prettiest stems. Like it or not, much of the show’s floristry entries involve a lot of cold glue. So whilst contestants have to work within strict guidelines and include a range of techniques, unless you’ve loads of water vials or innovative methods, flower choice has to include heads that will last without water.

“You can never really be sure what the judges are looking for”, explains Karen. “So I just focused on making sure mine was a design that I would be happy with.”

Karen in The Florist magazine offices with florist Jenny Murphy


Creating a Chelsea exhibit can be an expensive experience if you’re not savvy about sourcing; imagine costing-up a carnival headdress to sell to a customer.

Karen told us, “I was really lucky because growers very kindly sponsored me and sent some incredible flowers. I had a fantastic mixture of Vanda Orchids, Cymbidium Orchids, Oncidium Orchids, Craspedia, Gloriosa, Strelitzia, Scabiosa, Nerines, Hypericum, Senecio Rowleyanus, Ceropegia Woodii, succulents and the most amazing air plants from Corsa Plants.

“Air plants aren’t really something I’ve used a lot in the shop, but during a recent trip to Holland with Floral Fundamentals, I fell in love with them and I knew I had to have them in my design. A number of growers very kindly donated their wonderful products; Anco, Cymore Flavour, Winco Holland, Corsa Plants, and Crown Jewels were all so generous!”

“And Anco were great because they sent me a sample box of orchids in all sorts of different colours so that I could test that they’d work well together. Viaflor, my suppliers, were fantastic as not only did they sponsor the rest of the flowers and plants that I used, they also organised transport for all of the goodies the growers were sending me.”


And it’s not just about flower costs, as Karen adds, “Chrysal very kindly sponsored me, which helped fund the travelling. I was delighted because it is a great experience but very expensive, and their sponsorship is a real confidence boost too.”

As flowers are perishable products, competitive floristry usually means working to the bone on zero hours sleep and buckets of coffee, since so many of the materials can’t be placed in advance. But that’s not to say the whole thing is complete overnight.

Months ahead, florists decide on colours, flowers and plant material plus structure, which techniques to use and – in the case of a Brazilian headdress – sussing how various contraptions are going to stay put on the mannequin’s head. 

“I worked on the headdress every night after work, and all day on Sundays, but things didn’t really go to plan. I knew what I wanted it to look like but it wasn’t doing what it was told!! So there was a lot of stopping and starting and in fact, I took the entire frame apart and remade it just before Chelsea,” Karen explained.

“It caused a LOT of stress but was totally worth it in the end. It felt like it took forever, and it completely consumed me. I was waking up in the middle of the night with thoughts about flowers and plants to include, so I was exhausted by the end of it.”


To save shipping a delicate floral headdress across the Irish Sea in the middle of the night, Karen needed somewhere near London to work before the show. The Florist magazine’s Hammersmith offices fit the bill and we were happy to oblige, so Karen transported her finished structure on the ferry and set up a workspace in London ready to add fresh flowers and perfect her piece.

Karen’s entourage included her fiancé and 2012 RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year winner Jenny Murphy. Jenny is based at her mum’s shop, Flowers by Moira in County Meath, Ireland, and jumped on board to assist Karen at the last minute, enjoying a trip to Chelsea after a four year gap since her last experience. 


By the following evening Karen’s design was ready to go, so she stowed away in the back of her van to keep a tight hold on the mannequin during the drive to the showground. All twelve Florist of the Year competitors had from 9:45 pm until 1:45 am to stage their creations and add any final finishing touches. Chelsea is an eerie but magical place in the middle of the night, and at this point helpers weren’t allowed near competitors, so many were on coffee duties whilst waiting at the sidelines. 

With wide eyes and tired fingers each designer left for a few hours of shut-eye before spending the following day at the show, enjoying the sights and waiting for the big announcement. Dennis van Wonderen, the BFA’s Events Co-ordinator, rounded everyone up along with the President of the RHS who awarded this year’s coveted Best in Show award to Di Marvell from Petals Florist in Margate.

Despite relentless work, competitors don’t regret the experience. Karen says, “The best bit is actually being able to see it!! Last time I competed, my sister got married on the Friday of the show so I had to fly home and back to London in the middle. Plus this time my partner, was able to come along too, so it was great for him to see it and be there with me.” 

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In Lieu of Flowers!!!!
Written by Hannah Dunne September 13, 2016

Some families will always opt for donations in lieu of funeral flowers and during a tough time those personal wishes must be catered for with ultimate sensitivity. Which is why Jo Newington of The Village Florist in Storrington has come up with a genius offering that allows florists to add the special warmth that only flowers can bring, while still giving mourners the chance to donate to charity in honour of their loved one.

Jo shared an image of her design which sees charity collection tins décored with beautiful blooms, alongside a comment saying, “In an attempt to get around funerals in lieu of flowers, how about a new range of collection tin designs to encourage mourners to donate to the family’s chosen charity?”
Here at The Florist Magazine we felt it was the perfect solution and whilst the florals don’t have to break the bank, they’ll still serve that important purpose they carry at funerals, whilst giving friends and family the chance to donate to charity in honour of their lost one.
Fellow florists loved the idea too, as Daisy Johnson wrote on Facebook, “Absolutely brilliant and wonderful of you to share your idea! Amazing!!” and Sue Hodges added, “Such a good idea and very unique. Well done — I think I can see this idea working.”
Following lots of impressed messages Jo added, “Thank you to everyone for their kind comments about the design, please feel free to copy the idea to produce your own collection tin designs. After all, we florists should stand united if we wish our industry to succeed.”

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You shop. Amazon gives


Help AIFD Foundation raise funds with the click of a button......


Welcome to AmazonSmile! 

When you shop at, Amazon donates to your favorite charitable organization

What is AmazonSmile?
 AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
 To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
 Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?
 Yes, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

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Can I change my charity?
 Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”  

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
 The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?
 Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you. 


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Editor information
Jo A Jarvis AIFD CFD

Dear Northeast Members….

Thank you to the couple of people who sent in articles it always helps.

If you do have anything of interest please send it my way and will endeavour to either include it in the newsletter or put it on our chapter Facebook page.  Email address to send to is  attention of Jo Jarvis

Please Note: All photos submitted should be sent as a jpg file; I have finally managed to suss out how to reformat and resize.  Once shown it was easy…

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. 

Remember if you are going to change your email address to inform me if not you will not be on the Newsletter Management list.  

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Northeast Board and Chapter Pin Information
NERC info

The Northeast Chapter includes the following;

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

AIFD Northeast Regional Chapter Officers - 2015 – 2016

President: Janet Black
Cell: (207) 514 3500, E-mail:

President Elect: Rob DeBellis
Wk: (609) 965-4200, E- mail:

Vice President: Dan Firth
Wk: (717) 248-7843, E-mail:

Secretary:  Susan Krabill
Wk: (302) 697-3273, E-mail:

Treasurer:  Dot Chenevert
Home: 845-229-9336 Cell: (914) 447-8764, Email:

Past President: Theresa Colucci
Wk: (845) 255 3866 Cell: (845) 706-9378, E-mail:


Ron Mulray
Cell: (215) 495-3043 Wk: (215) 824-1819, Email:


Mary Robinson
Home:  (518) 584-2445, Email: 

AIFD NERC Board of Directors – 2015/2016

Crescentia Motzi (’16)
Cell: (610) 518-1270, Email:

Michelle Miracle-Feld (’16)
Wk: (978) 531 0047, Email:

Rick Cuneo (’16)
Wk: (856) 665 7660, Email: 

David Siders (’17)
Wk: (518) 374-6885, Email:

Laurie Lemek (‘17)
(860)454-4045, Email:

Chris Ondrak (’17)
Wk :( 908) 782-5459, Email:

Alisha Simone Bell (’18)
Wk: (856) 357-4250, Email:

Rebecca Carter (’18)
Wk: (603) 817 4780, Email:

Marianne R Suess (’18)
Wk: (416) 905 707 6618, Email:  


The Northeast Chapter has a beautiful gold (not solid but coloured) pin which represents our chapter with a spray of acorns and a cluster of oak leaves, this symbol represents the Region on both sides of the pond.  The pin is approximately 1"W x 3/4 H.

For those members who would like to purchase the Northeast Chapter pin  If you do not already own our chapter pin, they are still available to purchase. 

The price is $25.00 (plus $5 shipping). If you are interested in purchasing a pin contact Janet Black,  or mobile number (207) 514-3500. 

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