In January, Erin and I had the privilege to attend Florabundance’s first annual floral design conference at Dos Pueblos Ranch in beautiful Santa Barbara. Its purpose was to bring together the industry’s top wedding and event designers, while providing workshops on inspirational design, the industry’s latest trends, social media expertise and more. Plus, sunshine and the ocean in the middle of the winter seemed like a no brainer!
The first morning, our group (99% women, of course!) was picked up by an antique trolley and carted to Florabundance’s warehouse. If you haven’t experienced the thrill of flying down Cali’s busy freeway in an open window trolley, we definitely recommend you do! Florabundance is a direct shipper of wholesaler cut florals located in the seaside town of Carpinteria where the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest meet the Pacific Ocean. We were able to get to know our peers while we toured their warehouse, which was stocked full of fresh and fragrant buds and blooms.
Next, we headed to our classroom, the spectacular Dos Pueblos Ranch. This barn-style wedding venue (among other things) consists of over 2,000 acres including a private sandy beach, abundant agriculture, livestock (the baby goats were obviously our favorite) and 13 homes and residences. Despite it’s size, we were blown away by its quaint beauty and character.
We spent the next few days buried in everything flowers. Holly Heider Chapple and Ian Prosser (check them out if you haven’t heard of them) led various discussions on the wedding industry, business models, pricing, etc. and Alicia Schwede and Chuck Graham, co-bloggers on Flirty Fleurs, led discussions on social media and blogging. Most presentations led to open forums where we all could openly chat, give advise and ask questions. We were given many opportunities to design and learn new tricks with an endless supply of flowers. We were all in heaven!
To wrap up the workshop, we had the pleasure of working together as a group in designing aisle décor, a chuppah, an arch and a fabulous tablescape. It’s pretty amazing what 38 florists can create when working together!
Enjoy our photos… click to enlarge for a better view.