Report: Trend Summit 2020

TREND SUMMIT 2020 Attendees, volunteers & participating vendors came together to write a Sustainability Statement, a pledge to be more responsible and support green initiatives. The floral community is invited to join this mission to not only promote flowers and plants as an essential part of humanity’s wellbeing, but to do so in a sustainable way. 

Gina Thresher, AIFD, EMC, of From the Ground Up Floral, shares this first-person review from Trend Summit, which took place March 12-15, 2020. She attended as a member of the media to cover Trend Summit for AIFD. Thanks to Gina, who is also a Slow Flowers member, for sharing her story and photography with us here.

The Trend Summit took place March 12-15, 2020 with presentations from Susan McCleary, Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Holly Chapple, Debra Prinzing, Leatrice Eisman and Gregor Lersch

Day One: Thursday, March 12, 2020

I am greeted at 8:30 a.m. by this amazing display shown above. All-American-grown tropicals, provided by the Hawaii growers of Neotropica. The product was gorgeous, with so many incredible varieties and definitely not-your-average foliage options. I would highly recommend sourcing from Hawaii’s growers if you’re looking to find unique things to design with. The neotropical look is not only trending, but it’s here to stay — with customers loving plants and foliages as much as the focal flowers.

Debra Prinzing (right) moderated a panel of British Columbia’s flower growers and wholesalers
“Innovation: The Key to Success Through Color and Design Trends,” presented by Leatrice Eiseman (left), during a Trend Summit Q&A with Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD

Day One continued with mini demos from Trend Summit sponsors and demonstrations from Gregor Lersch and Susan McCleary. We ended the day with an evening thought- cloud-bubble with panel discussion of local Canadian flower growers moderated by Slow Flowers’ Debra Prinzing and a Color Trends Report from Leatrice Eisman of the Pantone Color Institute. It was an incredible review of how as humans and florists, we make choices and our choices can influence the consumer. We have to be powerful, responsible, and aware.

Days Two & Three: Friday, March 13 & Saturday, March 14, 2020

Rebecca Raymond (left) with a Trend Summit student

Day Two brought us a Design Immersion. The floral team walked us through their process of creating designs that included very minimal conscious use of foam, or foam-free entirely. We enjoyed beautiful presentations by Jorge Uribe, AIFD, EMC; Rebecca Raymond, EMC; Brenna Quan, AIFD; Jim Martin, EMC; Susanne Law, AIFD and Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD.

Time for some hands on! Holly Chapple taught a spectacular masterclass with the Egg mechanic she developed with Syndicate Sales. She knows weddings like nobody else!
Holly’s bouquet
Francoise Weeks has the most unique creations you have ever seen. If you could imagine becoming part of the forest as a fairy, you would not be far from her creations. She taught us the careful techniques for using Oasis floral adhesive to create floral couture. The purse, bouquet and earrings were my favorites.
Finishing details to a Francoise Weeks bouquet handle

Susan McCleary taught about floral tattoos, creating some of the coolest wearables you’ve ever seen. Using a hydration technique taught by Hitomi, it’s possible to use even the most finicky of blooms.

Botanical earrings, designed and worn by Myca Sturtevant of Whirly Girl Flowers
Headpiece designed by Steven Stewart-Clark of Stinko’s Las Vegas

Gregor presented a slide show highlighting many design styles, including structures you can build, repurpose and reuse. The hands-on techniques were useful and gave me ideas for pieces that could easily be used in corporate and event work. His style of teaching is kind, and his curiosity is contagious. He will get you to flex several design muscles you haven’t used in a while.

Day Four: Sunday, March 15, 2020

Trend Discussion: Over the our days together attendees rotated through “topic” tables where instructors led conversations on a variety of themes within the floral industry. It was so refreshing to see a cohesive theme and thoughtful mindset as we reported our group responses, table-by-table, on each subject. Topics discussed ranged from botanicals we all adore, to hardgoods, supplies, accessories, containers, wedding styles, bouquet styles, wearable flowers, wedding decor, wedding installations, design style, plants, curvilinear/formalinear and shapes of designs, dried material, alternative mechanics, lifestyle trends and a large variety of sustainability ideas and definitions. It was truly in-depth and extremely relevant for the times.

Trend Summit took place in early March, just days before the U.S.-Canada border began closures due to Covid-19. Participating in the Trend Summit was a creatives’ haven. It gave inspiration, provoked insight and encouraged us to do better. As a Slow Flowers member, I was honored to be among peers who are making an effort to bring this industry longevity. Now, more than ever, we have to be conscious of our output and pivot to not only survive, but thrive. I will be keeping an eye out and looking forward to the next Trend Summit.

Product and Sponsors that made this event one for the books:


Alexandra Farms

Accent Decor

Eco Fresh Bouquet

Oasis Floral Products


Design Master

Syndicate Sales

Florist’s Review

Our gracious hosts: United Wholesale flowers and Hitomi Gilliam with Design358

Special thanks to Tony Graaf.

Gina Thresher

Gina Thresher AIFD EMC Gina Thresher is owner of From the Ground Up Floral, a wedding, event + special occasion floral studio. She is also the operator of, a podcast, teaching, and learning adventure for florists and creatives. Gina is a contributor to Fleurvana learning and the EMC mentorship program. She is AIFD NW Chapter President and AIFD National Social Media committee president.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


Media Contact:

For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)