The Allied Florist

 Monthly Newsletter of the Allied Florists of Houston

Jim johnson

 May 2018

AFH Quick Calendar of Events

 May 13

 Mother's Day

 May 28

 Memorial Day

 Jun 12

 End of year meeting / Voting in new Board for 2019

 Jun 14

 Flag Day

 Jun 17

 Father's Day

 Jun 21

 Firsr Day of Summer

 Jul 14-15

 Texas Floral Forum – South Shore Harbor Resort and Conference
 Center, League City, Texas

 Oct 3

 Texas Floral Showcase “West Texas Region” McKensie- Merket Alumni
 Center Lubbock, TX

The Houston Cup 2018

On April 10, 2018, The Allied Florists of Houston held The 39th annual Houston Cup Competition. The event was hosted by Pikes Peak of Houston and it brought out 12 of Houston’s finest competitors all vying for the coveted Houston cup. The pool of talent was composed of all types of designers with various backgrounds. We had event designers, we had wedding florists we had freelance designers and we even had one competitor who had never made a design in his life. Some designers were seasoned competitors. Some were competing for the first time. The common factor was everyone’s desire to take home that beautiful trophy.

The contestants were asked to arrive early and bring in a prop that represented the theme which was Houston and what it means to you. The designers arrived and submitted their props for approval. It is truly amazing how each designer brought in their prop and no two were the same. There were representations of many different reasons that demonstrated the love and inspiration one feels from living in this iconic city. References ran the gamut from graffiti art to our hometown heroes the Houston Astros. Some pieces were literal interpretation, some were nuanced and super creative. They were all beautiful and served as a canvas for the floral placement to complete their undeniable presence.

The evening began with our friends from Oh So Elegant events providing delicious street style tacos and nachos. As usual, Lisa and Darrel did not disappoint. The food was delicious. The attendees mingled and rallied behind the contestants who were hard at work on their interpretative design with their prop. The competitors were all given the same flowers, the same foliages, and the same hardgoods and accessories. You are allowed to bring in your tools and not much else. The point of this is to create a level playing field so that everyone can demonstrate their skills with minimal artifice.

Ace Berry AIFD chaired the competition and shared emcee duties with Alan Masters AIFD. The pair commentated as the designs were brought out from judging and provided attendees with insight as to what criteria the pieces were being judged on. The crowd enjoyed the commentary and also learned from these two experience gentlemen both of whom are Past Houston Cup winners themselves. These gentlemen are to be commended for their tireless service to our industry.

Pikes Peak did not disappoint with the product selection. The flowers were fresh and gorgeous and they gave the designers plenty to choose from. There were 3 categories for the competition. The interpretative piece, the piece for an art gallery opening and the surprise situation which was a bridal bouquet with a matching bouttoniere. The competitors are given a time frame in which they must complete the designs and submit to a panel of well qualified judges for evaluation.
Houston Cup Judges

Our Esteemed Judges

This year’s judges were Debby Gordy AIFD, Beth O’Reilly AIFD and Alex Torres AIFD. The judges faced the difficult task of scoring the designs. The judging is done anonymously and with no identifying marks other than a letter which represents the designer who created the piece. This is done to insure an unbiased, objective judging that is fair to every competitor.

The contestants are judged on the elements and principles of design and they receive a cumulative score from 1-10 with 1 being poor to 10 being exceptional. The scores are tallied by 2 separate people so the judges can focus on judging and not math. This year’s scorekeepers were Kathy Green and Robin Hoggard Martinez. It is not an easy job so the best course of action is to create designs that are easy to judge. A cleanly made design gives little room for interpretation and will score higher than something that is fussy and cluttered. Special attention should always be given to every element and principle of design, but overall consistency is the key in design competition work. Arguably, the most important thing that these designs are judged on is Mechanics and their professional application. The true mark of a designer is the way he/she handles this category. The product should be cleaned and trimmed of any imperfection. There should be no foam showing or any mechanical aspect should be identifiable. The holders on bouquets should be concealed. There should be no visible tape or wire or glues/adhesives of any kind. This alone separates the designers and sets them ahead of the competition.

The designers each turned in designs that were completely different from each other. All design styles were presented that day. Some techniques were tried and true, some were innovative and trend- forward. In the end, the judges tallied the scores and the judges were introduced to the crowd.

Peoples Choice Award Design Michael McCarthy
This year’s peoples choice award winner was Michael McCarthy who designed an interpretation of a dream catcher which featured a meticulously yarn wrapped foam wreath with a floss “catcher” the florals were swirled artistically radiating from the base and up alongside the wreath form. He placed tulips in water vials and secured them in a swirling pattern on the face of the design. It was truly a work of art and so deserving of the award.

The Winners were as follows:
3rd place: Hallee Morrison from the Senterpiece
Haille Morrison

2nd place: Alanna Kaiser from the Senterpiece
Alanna Kaiser

Winner: Michael McCarthy AIFD from The Blooming Idea
Michael McCarthy

Congratulations to all the designers for sharing your talents with your peers. Everyone left with a ton of inspiration and new techniques to try in their own shop. Thank you to Pikes Peak and Wil Guzman for going above and beyond in support of our industry and thank you to everyone who attended to support the competitors. I encourage everyone thinking about competing to just do it. It is scary and challenging but so exhilaring. Trophies are great, but in the end the personal growth you achieve from competing is more tham worth it.

  Houston Cup Album

Click picture to go to album

AFH Board Nominees for 2019

It’s that time again. Nominations are being accepted and we encourage all those interested in a position to contact the Nominating Committee as soon as possible. Please consider this wonderful opportunity to assist in bringing various educational programs to the Houston area. Become a valuable leader for future florists, designers, event specialist and business owners. Come help make our voice heard through our local news media, magazines and positive advertising.

Qualifications for Office

  A.) Each officer shall be a member in good standing with Allied Florists of Houston, Inc., and maintain a satisfactory credit rating with all Allied members of the floral industry. Candidates for President shall have served for at least one year as a Board member prior to election.

  B.) Employee Director shall be a member of the Association in the General Member category.

We are excited to introduce the following nominees who will be running for office this June to serve on the Board of Directors for Allied Florists of Houston.

Alan Masters AIFD
Lewis Career & Technical High School
Houston, TX
Vice President
Alex Torres

Houston, TX

Second Vice President
Maggie Bailey
Bramble and Bee School
Tomball, TX
Past President
Nicola Parker AIFD, CFD, TMFA
Towne Flowers
Spring, TX

Retail Director (2 yr term)
Kim Jones
The Blooming Idea
The Woodlands, TX
Retail Director (2 yr term)
Lana King
Blooms from the Heart
Cypress, TX

Retail Director (2 yr term)
Briana Owens
G Johnsons Floral Images
Houston, TX
Retail Director (2 yr term)
Ace Berry
Fulshear Flowers
Fulshear, TX

Wholesale Director (2 yr term)
Rob Spikol
Greenleaf Wholesale Florist
Houston, TX
Wholesale Director (2 yr term)
Nora Cisneros
Mayesh Wholesale
Houston, TX

Employee Director (2 yr term)
Michael McCarthy
Blooming Idea
Houston, TX
Employee Director (2 yr term)
Vivianna Valverde
HEB Blooms
Houston, TX

Debbie Lyon
Kroger Floral Dept
Houston, TX
Keith Taylor
Taylor Wholesale
Houston, TX

Message from the President

Greetings to my Floral Family, 

What an awesome Spring we are having. I don’t know about you, but I am loving the weather. It actually feels like we are having more than two seasons this year. I want to congratulate Michael McCarthy as the winner of this year’s Houston cup competition. Michael, as always, did a beautiful job on his designs, and this year, really shined in and amongst a field of very talented opponents. Again congratulations Michael. I also want to take a minute to say thank you to “Oh So Elegant Events”. Lisa and Darryl do such an amazing job each time they cater for us and we don’t always remember to give them credit for the excellent food they prepare. We are so lucky to have such an amazing company and team as a part of our Allied family.  

Mother’s Day is approaching quickly and I hope that you are all preparing for the best one yet. As we head into May and that holiday, let’s remember to take time ourselves to tell all of the Mothers in our lives thank you for all they do. Whether it is your Mother, your wife, your sister or a friend, take time to wish them a happy day and show them your love. To all of you who are Mother’s, let me wish you a happy Mother’s Day. You are all so special, not only to your family but also to each of us in the Allied Family and we are so proud to have you as a part of our organization. May your days be filled with happiness and joy, laughter and love, may all you dreams become reality and heres to your day being filled with everything you love.

Don’t forget to put the end of year meeting on your calendar and I am looking forward to seeing each of you there. As always, Keep Bloomin’ and go out and make something beautiful today. 

Alan Masters AIFD, CFD

  Scholarship Information

Were you aware that Allied florists of Houston offers three scholarships to their membership towards educational expenses? The Scholarship applications can be found at Texas State Floral Association.



Members first consideration. If there are no AFH Member applicants then the scholarship goes to the next qualified applicant. Don't let that money slip away, we want these scholarships to benefit our members. The deadline is quickly approaching.

Become a Member of Allied Florists of Houston

To see all the benefits that membership provides go to the About Us page.

Dues can be paid online and fax your completed application to 281-360-1035 OR
Mail your check and completed application to:
Allied Florists of Houston
c/o: Taylor Wholesale
1601 W. 21st
Houston, TX 77008

Retail Membership Qualifications 
Retail shops actively engaged in the full time sale of flowers, plants, and related items and located within 100 miles of Houston qualify for this classification. 
The locations shall be clearly identified by an outside florist sign; shall have a separate sales area; a floral display refrigerator; and shall have a delivery vehicle.
At the time of application for membership, the retail shop shall have been engaged in the florist business for at least six months; have a commercial telephone listing; have a full time designer on duty at all times; and belong to at least one wire service.
~ Annual dues are $150 billed each July
~ Includes Voting Privileges
Download the Retail Membership Application.

Wholesale / Grower Membership Qualifications
Individuals, wholesalers or wholesale-grower firms who are actively engaged in the production and/or distribution of cut flowers and/or plants and/or related items and located within 100 miles of Houston qualify for this classification.
~Annual dues are $150 billed each July
~ Includes Voting Privileges
Download the Wholesale/Grower Membership Application.

Associate Membership Qualifications
Associate Members shall be firms or individuals engaged in wholesale or floral related businesses not qualifying for retail member classification.
~Annual dues are $150 billed each July
~ Includes Voting Privileges
Download the Associate Membership Application.

General Membership Qualifications
General Members shall be individuals employed within the floral industry or students or instructors of floriculture, landscape gardening, landscape architecture, or ornamental horticulture. 
~Annual dues are $50 billed each July
~ NO Voting Privileges.
Download the General Membership Application.

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