As I shared in my post over the weekend, Floret Workshops are really, really special events. During these classes we open the doors to our little farm and design studio to give attendees a personalized, behind-the-scenes tour of where we grow and create all of Floret’s flowery magic.
Over the course of the three-day workshops, I share my best growing tips and nature-inspired design techniques, plus business do’s and don’ts that I’ve honed over this decade-long adventure as a farmer-florist. My team and I answer any and all burning flower-related questions. Nothing is sacred or off limits during these three days. Attendees can ask anything, try anything, see anything.
On October 17th, we’ll be opening up registration for Floret’s 2017 workshops (preview all the 2017 dates here). As you’ll see, we scaled back the number of workshops we are offering next year. With my book coming out in February and all the associated events and appearances planned, maintaining such a rigorous teaching schedule, and having time with my family simply is not possible. So in an effort to bring in more kindness and balance, we are teaching only four on-farm workshops in 2017. Floret’s workshops sell-out extremely quickly and given some of the recent press we’ve received and the fewer number of classes offered, we anticipate continued high demand.
But before we officially open up registration, I wanted to share the details of a very special opportunity to receive a scholarship to attend a Floret workshop. It’s our way of paying it forward for the support I received early on in my journey from some very generous mentors.
Here’s a little background: I started Floret with a $1,000 loan from my mom, a used wheelbarrow, a shovel, a few dahlia tubers from a friend, and a head full of dreams. I spent the first few years learning how to be a flower farmer largely through trial and error. It was a frustrating and back-breaking way to learn. But I never felt like I was in a place that I could invest in my own education or myself.
My future changed the day I got an email from one of the most talented leaders in the floral design industry, offering me a slot at an upcoming workshop if I could just get myself there. I’ll never forget that day; I sat at my desk and wept. Up until that point it had been such a hard process to grow Floret, and honestly I was on the verge of quitting. I was fortunate to have someone take me under their wing and mentor me as I tried to follow my heart. Having that opportunity to spend a few days away from my busy life, with one of my floral heroes was a turning point and completely transformed what I thought was possible both in life and business. I came back to the farm refreshed, and with a renewed focus and plan to grow Floret based on my strengths and intuition. I also vowed that if I ever had anything of value to share with someone else who needed a leg up, I’d pay it forward. Always.
I’m thrilled to now have an opportunity to pass along something that will hopefully make a difference in another person’s life. This year, we’re giving away two scholarships to attend a Floret workshop of the winners’ choice.
I’ve invited last year’s scholarship winners to share a little bit about their experience applying, winning and attending in hopes of giving you the courage to apply yourself.
“I still remember the very morning I woke up, roughly a year ago, when I felt so inspired and compelled to finally sit down, tell my story, and apply to the Floret Flower Farming scholarship. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be chosen, but I took the chance. I knew I needed to invest in myself and this tiny little flower farming business of mine if I truly wanted to take it to the next level. I recall seeing the email from Floret and assumed it was a generic, auto-reply message thanking me for my application. As I opened the email and began to read it, realizing that I had been invited to attend one of their esteemed workshops, I literally sobbed like a baby in utter joy and disbelief.
Attending the Floret workshop was an inspiring, informative, and very well-rounded experience. I left the farm with a newfound energy and direction. In fact, the workshop finally gave me the confidence I needed to do my very first wedding – my most profitable flower farming venture to date! I look back on the workshop with such fond memories for the people I met, the warmth and guidance of the Floret team, and, of course, the flowers! I strongly encourage those, both dreamers and realists, who wish to learn the ins and outs of a working flower farm to apply to the scholarship!”
-Antonio Valente, Antonio Valente Flowers, Thornhill, Ontario
“How can you ever say, “Thank You!!!” enough when your life has been changed for the better in such an incredible way?!
Receiving the 2016 Flower Farming Intensive Scholarship was a profound gift in my life story that continues to give! Seeing a personal message from Erin Benzakein, one of my major Heroes, sharing with me that I was chosen for the scholarship left me weeping with joy and shattered so many limitations that I had placed on myself and my life’s dreams. The process of applying for the scholarship was an invaluable experience as it required me to find time and put myself first, get quiet and become clear about why I wanted to pursue my dream of being a farmer-florist. I am a Mama of three children and finding time for myself can be tricky, but going through this process helped me to begin to break the habit of continually putting myself last and to work with my dreams/goals in a whole new way!
After years of dreaming about attending a workshop, I found myself walking into the most beautifully restored barn bathed with natural light and sitting in a circle with Erin, the incredible Floret team and so many wonderful soon-to-be flower friends. We were all welcomed in such a thoughtful and loving way. Every aspect of the workshop exceeded my expectations and I learned so much on so many levels. All questions were welcomed and encouraged. The way that Erin and Team Floret work together and enjoy each others’ company is incredibly inspiring. I truly changed during the workshop for the better! Plus, I now have the most amazing mentors and dear friendships. Before, I had dreams of farming flowers and creating with them but I didn’t know how to make the dream a reality. Now, I can see a clear path before me and I have the skills to cultivate being a farmer florist! I encourage you to follow your heart and dream big, take the time for yourself to fill out the scholarship application and cast your line out to catch your dreams!”
-Charlotte Chastain, Floralore Flowers, Sonoma County, CA
“I applied for the Floret scholarship thinking what do I have to lose? Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be chosen, but I was! It was life changing! It had been a dream of mine to attend a Floret workshop for many years. The experience was unforgettable. I made incredible new flower friends, learned how to better my business and gained the confidence I needed to succeed. My best advice is to dream big and always follow your heart. Dreams can come true when you believe in yourself.”
Jamie Sammons, Jayflora, Fonda NY
The scholarship application process is quick and hopefully pretty easy. We’re accepting applications for one week only, so don’t delay if you plan to apply. We’ve kept the application process really simple. The application consists of a short essay question and a few multiple choice checkboxes. Yet, even though the application is brief, it’s your chance to tell your story, share your dreams and a bit of your heart.
I want this opportunity to be given to someone who is ready, willing, and able to jump-start their flower-focused business with a little help from Floret. I’d love to support someone who is ready to take their flower-filled dreams to the next level. If that someone is you, please consider applying.
ELIGIBILITY & OTHER IMPORTANT DETAILS:
*Applications are due no later than 12:00 noon PST on October 10, 2016. Due to the volume of applications and our limited staff, we cannot accept late entries.
*Applicants from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply.
*The scholarship is available to anyone who previously or currently owns, operates, interns or works in a flower-based business. We also welcome applications from “dreamers” – those who are dreaming or scheming of launching a flower farm and/or design studio in the future.
*Previous applicants who did not receive the scholarship in the past are strongly encouraged to apply again this year. Previous scholarship winners, however, are not eligible for additional awards.
* Make your essays compelling and succinct. Each essay is restricted to just 1,000 characters / approximately 200 words.
*Only complete applications will be considered for a scholarship. Please be sure to complete all the application fields and upload your photo as part of the application process. Your photo can be no larger than 1 MB. We will use your photo only for the purposes of announcing the scholarship if you are chosen as a winner.
*The scholarship does not include lodging or travel costs to Floret in Mount Vernon, Washington (one hour north of Seattle). Winners must be able to cover their own travel and lodging expenses.
*Winners will be notified by email and announced publicly here on the blog on October 14th.
*Upon submission of your application, you will see a screen that says “Thank you! Your submission has been received.” You will not receive a separate email notification confirming your submission.
*If you accidentally hit submit before your application is complete, simply submit a separate, fully completed application. There is no need to email us to let us know (we get it–it happens sometimes!) and we will disregard the incomplete form and review only your completed form.
I can’t wait to read your submission. Good luck!
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