Taj goes to Oklahoma City

13 Aug

Since it’s inception,  Cedar Grove Gardens  has always taken a great  amount of pride in the quality of work that we put out and the gold standard that we strive to meet in all facets of our business. Whether it is something as simple as a wrapped bouquet or the care and handling of sympathy work,  we want to make sure that we exceed your expectations. A large part of our business is wedding and event work. We aspire to stay current with modern trends so that your dreams are delivered without sacrificing quality. That is why our Design Manager, Tajah Downey,   attended “The Art of the Party”  workshop in Oklahoma City. It was a 4 day hands on workshop that focuses primarily  on party and event work.  Taj, along with 25 other florists from all over the nation,  worked  alongside with Tom Simmons one of California’s leading floral design professionals and  a member of Teleflora’s prestigious team of Education Specialists.

teleflora education center collage

Below is a copy of the press release


(July 31, 2014) Tajah Downey Cedar Grove Gardens, Dorchester, Ma, recently completed the class The art of the Party   hosted by Teleflora at it’s state of the art Education Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. Floral designers from all over North America attended the seminar to sharpen their skills and grow their design abilities.

Downey participated in four days of intensive  hands-on design sessions, mastering the latest in creating designs fresh for parties and special events. Taught by a widely recognized floral artist and instructor, Tom Simmons AIFD of Palm Springs, Ca, the students focused on creating new styles of tables and venue decor using the latest techniques and mechanics. Each student was taught how to design, transport and install event flowers. The students also completed a series of floral assignments designes to give them insights into the latest design styles and also learned how to manage events of a large scale.

“Event work is all about evolving your personal style.” said Marie Ackerman, AIFD, Vice President of Education for Teleflora. “It’s exciting to see designers learning to be their best as floral artist and how to meet client’s needs for memorable events.”

Downey received a certificate of completion from the Teleflora Education Center, now in it’s 30th year of providing advanced floral education, in recognition of the advancements made during this intense hands on design class.

The class I am attending is titled “The Art of the Party” instructed by Tom Simmons, AIFD CFD CCF. It is a 4 day, hands on workshop focused on party and event work. I will be meeting 25 or so florists from all over the nation with an interest in party/event work. It will also address the business end of it, i.e. selling the product using less to make more. I leave on the 26th and begin class mid morning on Sundayafter a brunch with the other attendees. I will have the opportunity to spend a few evenings in downtown Oklahoma City, taking in the food and people. Along with that, we have a nice dinner at the end of the session with awards and such. It’s a relatively dressy occasion, with dancing and other fun. I fly back on the evening of Wednesday the 30th after a “graduation ceremony” of sorts.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Tom in the past for Teleflora presentations while on the Puget Sound Unit Teleflora Board in Seattle, designing for some of his shows. He’s extremely talented and an inspiration to me. He also works closely, on many projects, with my mentor from the first shop I worked in. It’s quite an experience.

This is the second time I’ve visited the Teleflora Education Center, but first time on a Teleflora Scholarship. I applied last fall at a wedding demonstration and found out in March that I am the New England Unit Recipient (not winner). They cover my airfare, hotel, transportation daily, tuition, and some food costs.

Tom’s basic profile from teleflora:

Class description:

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