Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hitomi Gilliam at Dillon's Floral Open House

Sunday September 14th, Kelly and Heather traveled to Dillon's Floral Corporation in Bloomsburg, Pa for their 34th Annual Open House. Part of their open house is to feature a well known designer and educator in the floral industry. Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD was the Educator for the day. She shared for 5 1/2 hours in three segments encouraging the floral industry to set themselves apart from the mass marketer and grocery stores. Hitomi is currently an educator, coach, designer, event planner, creative director and a driving force in the floral industry. She also won the prestigious AIFD (American Institute of Floral Design) Design Influence Award - she is only 1 of 5 who have received this award. The photo to the right is a picture of Hitomi (left) and Kelly Buck (right) on the stage at the design show.

Her designs were inspirational taking their cues from the fall and winter seasons. Natural color schemes and solid color blocking is setting the trend in the fall with accents of orange. For the Christmas and winter season lime green is making its way into the lime light! The color creates a wonderful contrast with the traditional red and adds lightness to the deep greens of pines and fir foliage that is popular from December to January. On the left is a close up picture of a garland that she created for a mantle.

The arrangement by Hitomi Gilliam in the picture at the right is a large 4 foot piece in red and gold designed in a 6" ceramic container. It was created in silk to be offered in the silent auction later in the afternoon. The leaves and berries sparkled with glitter under the lights. The armature was formed from tall gold stems with the berries and branches intertwined and tied into place for stability.

We were able to browse Dillon's floral and supply departments and purchase new products as well as ate a delicious lunch in their working greenhouse filled with tropical and blooming plants. A friend in the floral industry who recently moved to the Pocono Lake area (not far from Dillon's) joined us at lunch. The employees at Dillon's were helpful and offered us suggestions throughout the day.

Although Dillon's was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Fairless Hills - it was well worth the trip. We were not the only crazy florist traveling on a Sunday, there were over 200 florists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Maryland. This will be something to visit again next year. The more design shows and floral educators we can learn from the further we can strive with our design skills and talents.

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