President’s Annual Letter to the Membership
Happy February Everyone:
I hope all of you are dug out of your snow banks by now and able to begin to operate in a somewhat normal fashion. I don’t know how people dealt with weddings and events planned for the 2016 Blizzard Weekend! I am sure there are some stories that we can share! And kudos to you folks who endured such a frigid Valentine’s Day!
I am shifting the sending of my annual letter to January (Feb this time!) to coincide with our change to a January to December schedule. Since there are really only 4 months of items to review in this one so it will be brief.
Our membership continues to grow. We had a great member incentive gift this fall the brainstorm of our Director of Membership, Terri Powers and our new Vice President, Anahit Hakobyan. We gave black nylon tool belts with the IFDA logo imprinted on them to those who renewed their membership or joined by the end of December 2015. A lot of you took advantage of the offer and we were able to ensure a healthy bank balance to begin the new year. As long as supplies last, the remaining tool belts can be purchased for the low price of $15 at the registration table during monthly meetings.
We always welcome new ideas like the membership incentive gift because they allow us to still able to keep our dues at the very low cost of $60 a year (that’s $5 a month folks!). In addition, our workshops are so inexpensive $ 20 each. It is important to the board to keep these costs low so that many of you can continue to grow your skills with us on a regular basis.
We had great programs in the fall of 2015. For September we had a first for us, a rotation style workshop organized by Dottie Harrigan, where we set up stations and our members moved from table to table to learn different ribbons techniques. Everyone loved this style of workshop because they went home with six different project ideas to use in their own practice. We will repeat this workshop format in the spring of 2016 with our bouquet treatment workshop where participants will learn four very different techniques for finishing off bouquet handles.
I was excited to organize our October 2015 panel discussion on home grown flowers for arrangements yet another new format of presentation for IFDA. Holly Chapple of Holly Chapple Flowers, Drew Asbury, overseer of the Hillwood Museum and Garden cutting garden and Kathy Jenz of Washington Gardener magazine sat on our panel and talked about the best plants, shrubs and flowers to grow for using in design work. We had a very well attended meeting despite the awful water main break on Wisconsin Ave right near our meeting venue! Kathy’s handy list of the perfect cutting flowers to grow in this area is available (on Power Point) to IFDA members on their Members’ Suite page of our website. If you are a gardener or want to try raising some flowers of your own you have to check it out.
The November program was a collaborative demo led by Terry Godfrey AIFD on re-imagined cornucopias. A large number of members brought in their version of a cornucopia and it was so exciting to see so many different takes on an old standby. We are always thrilled when many members participate in this type of thing it is a chance to really stretch our minds and see the work of others close up, and get to know their signature styles, personalities, and aesthetics.
December brought our winter social, this year held at Cedar Lane. Anahit was in charge of organizing and setting up the food and did a wonderful job. Members brought in sweet and savory treats. We all sat at real tables, with real linen and centerpieces and had a fun time. Our regular monthly meetings go so fast because they are jam packed with brief business announcements, introductions of our sponsor and speaker and then a powerful educational program. It was nice to be able to just converse with, catch up with, and get to know one another in such a casual relaxed social setting – before we all rushed back into our busy holiday preparations.
We look forward to a fab year of programs for 2016. Our January meeting featured a presentation by a long time member Karen Nelson Kent AIFD on freelancing with her amusing “Do’s” & “Don’ts”. I won’t list the entire year of 2016 programs you can find the list on our web site: MyIFDA.com. I encourage you to check that site often because we keep it updated with everything you need to know about IFDA month by month.
A note on our website, myifda.com. Dottie Harrigan and her Flowerhandlers group spearheaded the effort to produce this incredible site for us and we owe her a huge thanks. Anahit Hakobyan also helped with work on the graphics on our site.
I have to tell you about a special workshop program we have this year featuring another international designer! I was lucky to meet Neil Whittaker NDSF, AIFD last July at the AIFD Symposium in Denver. At that time he knew that he would be the Potomac Floral Wholesale’s 2016 Open House guest speaker, and he agreed to do a hands-on workshop for us the day after the open house on bridal work. We are thrilled to have Neil with us on Monday, March 14 for a full day workshop at Cedar Lane. See our website (Whittaker Workshop page) for more information. Neil was the runner up at the World Cup of Flowers last summer in Berlin and he is a top level designer not to be missed if at all possible.
Because floral education is what we are all about, we are keeping the cost for this very special workshop very low so you can experience this very high level of education. We want you to learn from the best the world has to offer and we are doing our best to expose you to this through our all of our workshops and programs.
IFDA is also using social media to expose you to the world of floral design and it’s possibilities and potentials. We are expanding our reach on several platforms. We currently have 472 friends on Facebook and over 175 members of our Yahoo group. Our Instagram page just went live you can find us at IFDAFlorists. Pinterest and other social media are in our sights. It is important to us to stay current with that world. If you are aware of a new platform that we should be one, please let one of us know.
Once again this year IFDA will have a table at the Potomac Floral Open House with a slide show of our member’s work, our activities, our program handouts and our membership forms. Come talk with our volunteers and find out how you can learn, grow, and participate with IFDA this year. If you want to help man the table, please contact me or one of the board members.
So there you have it. This IFDA Board is a well run machine at this point and we work well together. If you want to be (even a small) part of what’s happening at the board level, or take on a new task, we welcome you. Board Meetings are scheduled approximately four times a year and are always open to members. The Board and I are looking forward to a educational and inspirational 2016!
We Invite YOU to be a part of the Independent Floral Designers Association – Click Here for a 2016 Membership Form
The Independent Floral Designer’s Association was established in 1989 by a small group of professional floral designers who intended to offer educational, technical and moral support to one another. Over the years we have endured and expanded.
Our mission is to support floral designers in their endeavors by offering educational, technical and networking support and to help expand their knowledge of floral design and business practices.
The IFDA provides an opportunity for floral designers to meet, network and share design ideas and resources. And to provide educational programs related to the floral industry.
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