AALSMEER, The Netherlands: Before reading this article you should watch this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d83Q3zDYk4&feature=youtu.be In less than eight minutes this film gets to the heart of Floral Fundamentals, an organisation in which all parts of the horticulture chain work in tandem to strengthen the industry. Here’s the story.
At its core, Floral Fundamentals brings together florists, wholesalers and growers to share their passion for flowers. By doing so, people see what the other contributes to the industry. It is about creating mutual understanding and mutual trust.
It started with people realizing that the established method of floral promotion was insufficient. It missed the true target group by placing too much emphasis on lifestyle and forgetting that it’s the florist who eventually sells the product to the consumer.
Things sped up when wholesalers Marius Dekker and Piet van Kampen and grower Steef van Adrichem met with Alison Bradley, who is both a floral designer and a floral journalist. “We wanted to do on a low-budget what others with more promotional money failed to do; get florists back into the limelight. So we developed the idea of Floral Fundamentals. In Floral Fundamentals growers learn to see the industry from a florist’s perspective and florists learn to see the industry from a grower’s perspective. We planned to organise Floral Fundamentals weekends in which top florists from all over the world would come together, visit nurseries of top growers and have two whole days to create top floristry. This is not extremely expensive. You need some airline tickets, hotel rooms and wholesome food. When we revealed our plans, we found a group of growers and suppliers to finance it. Initially, we held the photo shoot weekends at various growers but then found a location at the Aalsmeer Boerma Institute in Holland where these top florists like coming to, to network with others in the industry.”
Floral Fundamental weekends have a simple objective. After having done a growers’ tour, they start working with flowers. Every florist makes at least three hand-tied bouquets for a variety of prices with approximately 150 arrangements being completed over the course of the weekend. All of these arrangements and bouquets are photographed and described professionally. The results end up in a Floral Fundamentals e-magazine, which everyone can see at www.floralfundamentals.com. Three times a year we have a group of top florists create commercial floristry to inspire their colleagues worldwide. At the beginning of the weekend, we make a hand-tied, low-cost bouquet, a mainstream bouquet and a bouquet to the florists’ own taste. This is a meeting of floral styles worldwide. But it has to be commercial so commercial florists can find inspiration to be used in their shots in Lucerne, Cape Town, Vancouver or Kuala Lumpur.”
“One of Floral Fundamentals major spin-offs is that florists and growers meet each other. They get to know each other, become friends and exchange information. Both florists and growers learn the other’s passion. Growers learn what florists do with their products. Florists learn the breadth of the floral assortment and the stories behind it. Both florists and growers are always eager to participate in Floral Fundamentals. These are weekends full of revelations. “I never knew it took twenty years to develop a new Gloriosa or a new Tulip,” a florist told us.
Maybe the essence of Floral Fundamentals is the family aspect. Being connected to Floral Fundamentals means being part of a group of top florists and top growers who share knowledge and information. For a whole weekend they work alongside each other, seeing each other’s work and being influenced by it. They learn to use other flowers that are not often available at home that they can order. They are inspired by each other’s styles and they inspire colleagues worldwide by the beauty of flowers and floristry.
If you read this article before you watched the video, we still recommend that you see it. The emotional effect will make it clear what Floral Fundamentals is about; creating an international floral family.