Miami, Florida. Another year into the pandemic, but another year where connections and collaborations reflected the need for in-person interactions that the industry missed for the past two years and pretty much the rest of the world. On Monday, March 7th, following the first day of the FDC/WFFSA Conference under the slogan “Breaking Boundaries and Bridging Divides”, the Bloom Together After Party took place at Tripping Animals. This was another consecutive celebration with more than 150 attendees in a space that transformed from a local brewery in Doral, into a great space where connections were made, partnerships started, conversations ignited long-term collaborations and the floral community strengthened.
WFFSA/FDC, Molly Mullins, and the entire WFFSA team were great supporters of this collaborative event, which is a sign of #oneflowerfamily throughout the entire floral industry. Thanks to events like FDC and associations like WFFSA, the floral industry can come together and grow while allowing for other collaborative events such as “ The Bloom Together After Party” to take place.
Wholesalers, growers, distributors, farms, and the key players of the floral industry got together to talk about deals and ways to collaborate in a more meaningful way. Raffles, pool tables, local beer, live music, and Miami bites marked the return to face-to-face events with a clear path on what the future holds for the industry.
Sahid Nahim and David Kaplan, the organizers of this event and founders/Co-founders of New Bloom Solutions and Above All Flowers, acted as the link to connect the main personalities of the flower industry in South Florida and beyond leveraging their network of floral leaders throughout all sectors with their media channels and PR reach.
“My vision was to combine 30+ collaborators to come together and contribute to making a big showing of our combined support for collaboration, networking, and building community within the floral industry. My vision was shared by the local brewery Tripping Animals which became the first official brewery of the flower industry offering happy hour discounts and corporate events at a special price”. Sahid mentioned.
“As an industry, we need to start having these conversations and create a safe place to explain our difficulties and challenges to learn from each other. Education, information, collaboration, innovation, and communication are key to growth. In 2018 statistics showed our industry was on a downward trend when it came to sales and florist shops existing, then came COVID where the industry fell into a screeching halt, then fast forward to today, the industry is doing better than ever and much more open to innovation, networking, collaboration, and building community. We hope that this event is a small reminder of where we were and what it took to get here and a way to inspire continued efforts towards growing the floral industry as a community”.
Some participants also expressed their thoughts at the event:
“Collaboration is having collective innovation and partnerships that help us build up our business in the industry. Is connecting the farms with the retail and supermarket customers and building programs of value”. Said Mark Dubner from Stellar Farms.
“Collaboration in the floral industry is having events like this where we can have everything from transportation companies to media, growers, importers, wholesalers, and the idea is to get together and realize we are all in the same business with the same problems and to try to solve all those problems together because everybody will benefit from each other experiences”. Said David Kaplan from Above All Flowers and New Bloom Solutions, one of the organizers of the event.
Part of the proceeds from this event was sent as a contribution to the FSFAI scholarship fund that continues to offer opportunities for education, business experience, and growth in the floral industry. “To New Bloom Solutions, Above All Flowers, and all 26 collaborators, a heartfelt thank you from all that will benefit from your generosity. Together we are a stronger industry”. Said Jackie Lacey, Director of Education and Industry Relations – Floriology and President of the Florida State Florist Association International.
“It is through the contributions of individuals and companies such as this that FSFAI can provide scholarships for continuing education, mentorship opportunities, and convention attendance to florists of all levels. In 2021 FSFAI awarded two education scholarships, three mentorships, and six convention scholarships for a total of almost $6,000”.
The second year of this after-party celebration is the result of all the hard work that is done behind the scenes to bring to life new ideas and to create an environment for innovation and creativity. “We are here to stay, and next year we will double the number of participants and Collaborators”, said Sahid Nahim.
New Bloom Solutions & Above All Flowers have an open door policy for everyone in the floral industry no matter how large or small your company is. If you would like to be a collaborator for the next event feel free to reach out.
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