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 The Independent Floral Designers Association


JANUARY 8, 2019

Program – The AIFD Symposium Experience

Presenter: Gabby Washington – 2018 Scholarship Winner


In 2018 we will meet at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church

9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda MD 20814

Print Your Program Handout Here


Report on 2017 AIFD Symposium


Christi Lopez EMC, CFD


Garlands for Spring Events

Workshop $25

Dana O’Sullivan


Royal Fascinators

Workshop $25

Daniel Espejel


Alternative Petit Bouquets

Workshop $25

Terry Godfrey AIFD

MAY 15

Elevated Designs


Ellen Seagraves & Dana O’Sullivan




Shelley Chasen & Guests


Woodland Designs

Workshop $25

Ellen Seagraves & Sherene Tan Lee


Arrangements on Metal Structures


Speaker: Maureen Christmas


Third Annual

Local Grower Event


Floral Design in Japan


Akaya Tomiyama


Unusual Holiday Greens

Workshop $25

Karen Kallmyer


Holiday Party

Hostess: Terry Godfrey


We Invite You  to be a part of the Independent Floral Designers Association

President’s Annual Letter to the Membership

Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 we will celebrate 30 years of IFDA! We are so proud of this organization’s longevity and the floral education we have provided to many in this industry.

Our 30th Anniversary year opens with IFDA elevated to the national spotlight. The January 2018 issue of Florist Review has an article about our September 2017 Grower’s event written by Debra Prinzing with photographs by Ann Marie Van Tassel. There are two pages devoted to our event and to IFDA and we are thrilled. I hope you can all take a look.

2017 was a great year for IFDA. Our … 

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Our social media platforms continued to grow. We have a strong presence on Facebook and Instagram and we our website ( has been updated. We opened a Members only page on Facebook – it is called Independent Floral Designers Association – MD Members. We will be adding tips and sources as these come up and hope you follow it.

In 2017 we had 48 paid members, we hope to continue to grow our group in 2018. This coming year our member incentive gift is a pretty black and green tote bag. Our membership will be $75 this year and our workshop fee will be $25. This will enable us continue to offer quality programs and product.

We are thrilled to announce that Rene Van Rem, the Potomac Floral Wholesale speaker will be doing a one day workshop for us on Monday March 20. He will teach 3 different projects including two bouquets. Member signups end on Jan 23 and then we will open the registration to non-members.

Our 2017 programs provided members and guests with a wide variety of techniques and floral information. In January we hosted Sue Prutting, Janet Flowers and Dana O’Sullivan in a panel discussion about business and pricing. At our January meeting, Christi Lopez was the first winner of the AIFD scholarship to Symposium in Seattle. February brought us a shared ideas evening with Carol Inskeep. The theme of the evening was Corporate Designs and Carol brought her own design that added several levels (and prices) to show us how to achieve a grand lobby design.

In March, Bryan Swann of Karin’s Florist taught a workshop on Altar Design using a wire armature. Many of our attendees made the armature applicable to different kinds of pieces including a bouquet holder. In March, as usual, we had a table at the Potomac Floral open house. We always like to be there, talk to the many people who come through and encourage them to join IFDA. It is a lot of fun for everyone who volunteers to man the table. Paula Winker came to us in April and spoke about interpreting art works into floral design. She spoke about techniques for creating floral art based on fine art.

In May, Amanda Buckland taught us some techniques of cell phone photography. Many members brought work to photograph and we worked outside in the Cedar Lane courtyard on our pictures. David Powers talked about care and handling at our June meeting. This is always an interesting meeting and he spoke about some new products that extend the longevity of cut product.

In July, Dottie Harrigan gave a workshop on vase mechanics and showed a myriad of different ways to create arrangements in a vase. August brought us a collaborative program with Dana O’Sullivan moderating. Many members brought in foliage heavy arrangements for discussion.

In Sept we had our second popular Local Growers Event. This year we had 7 designers on stage creating arrangements with product donated by the attending growers. Each grower had a large table with a great selection of their flowers, foliages and greens. And if you don’t mind me repeating myself, there is an article in Florist Review about this event! Cathy Houston taught an interesting workshop on line design in October. Our members came up with a good variety of arrangements based on line principles.

In November, Carol Caggiano led a collaborative workshop working with many new varieties and some old favorite mums. Delifor donated the product and we were thrilled to see what is being offered. And in December we had a great catered holiday social. It is always such fun to just be able to be together and chat without the time constraints of a meeting.

We wish to thank our 2017 sponsors, Potomac Floral Wholesale, Deliflor Chrysanthemums, Flower Handlers, Delaware Valley and Sunshine Bouquets.

Many of our members participated at the North Carolina Museum of Art Art in Bloom Event which this year included a live fashion show. Sherene Tan Lee, Terry Godfrey, Anahit Hakobyan, Carol Inskeep and Christi Lopez all designed floral artworks based on an actual art work in the museum. In addition, Sherene, Terry, Anahit, Christi, Kate Han and myself showed floral fashion on the runway.

In July, Sherene, Christi Lopez and myself tested for AIFD in Seattle. I am pleased to announce that all three of us passed and will be inducted at the AIFD Symposium in DC in July 2018. We celebrate our teachers.

Terry Godfrey at Anne Arundel Community College, Dottie Harrigan of FlowerHandlers and Kyoko Petersen at Hana Studios continue to educate and inspire local students. As always, if you have news to share about your floral accomplishments, please share these with us, we are happy to publicize your news.

Your board has worked hard this year to make IFDA run smoothly. Our 2017 Board Members included Dana O’Sullivan, Terri Powers, Donna Snyder, Dottie Harrigan, Gaby Williams, Cathy Houston, Terry Godfrey, Shelly Chasen and Stevi Allen. I applaud their hard work and dedication. I would ask if any of you have an interest in joining the board to contact me. Many of us current members have sat on the board in various positions for years and we would welcome you to join us. We are looking for people to step up and help IFDA have a good future. We have had discussions about scaling back our yearly programs in order to lesson the workload of the current board if the same group continues to serve. Please consider this. The workload is not terribly heavy and we all support one another in this work.

At this time I want to thank Dottie Harrigan who is stepping off the Board this year. Dottie has worked tirelessly for IFDA over the past years and has helped us create a framework for operations that has served us well over the years and will serve us into the future. We would not be in such good shape financially and operationally without her and we thank her enormously and wish her well on her new endeavors. We look forward to great programs in 2018. We are still finalizing our offerings for 2018 but have some wonderful programs in process.

At this point we will welcome Christi Lopez CFD in January. Christi won the AIFD scholarship last year and attended Symposium in Seattle in July. She will talk about her experiences there. Stay tuned for great programs to follow! We welcome any and all suggestions on how to make IFDA a better organization. All board meetings are open to members contact Ellen if you wish to come. Thanks for your participation in the wonderful endeavor of IFDA, 30 years strong!


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IFDA welcomes everyone with an interest in floral design … whether it’s with curiosity, as a hobby or from a professional point of view …to join our organization.

Our members are varied in their backgrounds and current business interest. Members include business owners (both brick and mortar owners and home based owners), professional floral designers, floral suppliers, design teachers, and those with a general interest in floral design.

Contact them if you are interested in their services.

A 2018 Members List PDF will be posted after the annual Membership Campaign

We Invite You to be a part of the Independent Floral Designers Association

Get our 2018 Membership Form Here


In addition to the Leadership above IFDA relies on, is served by and appreciates the support of its many active members who participate throughout the year. If you are interested in participating beyond attending monthly meetings touch base with one of the Executive Officers or Board of Directors listed below. They’ll find the perfect role for you.

It takes a committed group of people to make this organization run and to be responsive to its members. The more people that can help the more we can accomplish. If you would like to volunteer please contact our President, Ellen Seagraves, at: or 301-675-1728.

Gabby Washington WINS!


The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) is an association dedicated to education for professionals in the field of floral design. They offered IFDA 1 FREE Registration (valued at $600) to attend their 2018 annual National Symposium, which will be held in Washington DC from June 30 – July 4, 2018. Gabby’s name was drawn from the pool of entries at our January meeting.


IFDA Members meet monthly from 7pm – 9pm.


Our programs utilize a variety of formats.

These descriptions will help you get the most from your memberships.


These are hands-on classes to which you will bring your tools and create a project during the meeting. Workshops often have additional fees, which will be announced in advance of registration.


These mixed media educational programs are offered by industry experts on a specified floral design or business topic.


A combination of Workshop / Demo. Participants plan a design using a favorite technique, process, method, or prop and bring their own supplies to complete a unique piece in class with fresh product provided by IFDA or our sponsor. Workshops often have additional fees, which will be announced in advance of registration.


We’ve had great responses to the IFDA version of “Show & Tell” many times over. Some of our best ideas are exchanged between members willing to share with one another.


So much to learn … so little time! IFDA’s solution is to set up hands-on work stations with a different project taught at each one. Participants move from station to station to learn a variety of design techniques in a single meeting. Workshops often have additional fees, which will be announced in advance of registration.


IFDA Invites You to Connect


Our President, Directors and Members share all kinds of Floral Inspiration here.


Reminders and Announcements to Members and Friends are sent through this medium.


Images of Monthly Programs, Workshops, Presentations and Member Shared Designs are posted here.


IFDA operates with a structure of Bylaws through a Volunteer Board of Directors and Directors-At-Large.

Read Bylaws



Ellen Seagraves

2018 / 2019


Shelley Chasen

2017 / 2018


Dana O’Sullivan

2018 / 2019


Gabrielle Washington

2017 / 2018


Terry Godfrey AIFD

2018 / 2019


Terri Powers

2018 / 2019


Vacant – Need Volunteer




Stevi Allen



Cathy Houston



Vacant – Need Volunteer




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.

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We continue to come together on a regular basis to support each other, to share resources and ideas and to expand our knowledge of floral design as well as the business issues that surround it. Our yearly calendar of programs includes presentations, workshops and panel discussions. Retail florists, flower growers, design schools and teachers, freelance designers, independent floral designers and those who have businesses related to the floral industry are all represented among our membership. Recently, we have developed an ever-increasing presence on the internet and social media with our sizeable Yahoo group email list of friends and supporters and a very active following on Facebook.


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.


IFDA is greatly indebted to our Sponsors

They make our Educational Programs Possible!

Members and Guests: “Please Return their Support by Using These Suppliers for Your Floral Needs”.

We Love Our Sponsors – Thank You!

Contact any Board Member if you are interested in being an IFDA Sponsor


Membership fees are due in January and cover the entire calendar year. As an alternative to paying an annual membership fee, you are invited to attend meetings as a guest for a fee of $20 per meeting. If you discover us late in the year (October) it may serve you better to pay ($20) guest fees and applicable ($20) workshop fees for the meetings you attend. An early bird Membership Campaign usually starts in November for pre-payment of the next year’s dues. Special incentives are awarded during this time. The Early Bird Campaign insures that our volunteer board has time to gather and organize all membership information to start the year in January. Early Bird dues payments allow the Board to move into the year with confidence that the programs, workshops, presentations, special events and activities that are planned for the year can be produced in a financially safe way.


  • Monthly Floral Education Meetings
  • Discounts on Workshops
  • Priority Registration for Special Events
  • Listing on IFDA Website (If Desired)



This year’s Early Bird Renewal / Join Campaign begins at our November meeting and runs through January 30.

Those who pre-pay their upcoming IFDA Membership Dues of $75 will receive a handy tote bag and have a chance to win registration to AIFD Symposium for 2018 in Washington DC.

2018 IFDA Membership Form

The AIFD Free Registration Opportunity was won by Gabby Williams

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