The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has partnered with THERESA Floral Design, a boutique event floral design company in Newark that specializes in event work throughout Philadelphia, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland, to launch Blossoms at the University of Delaware, a six-month initiative that will provide an experiential learning opportunity for UD students to plan and provide flower arrangements for special events on campus.
UD Blossoms is modeled after the UDairy Creamery in terms of student support and learning experience. The pilot program will start Aug. 15 and run through Feb. 15, 2016, and will focus on events of all sizes within the University.
CANR Dean Mark Rieger said of the partnership, “I am delighted that this pilot initiative will give our students additional opportunities to have practical training in floral design for events. Collaborative and creative partnerships such as this provide valuable co-curricular opportunities that help train students for today’s professions in agriculture and natural resources. We are optimistic about the project’s potential.”
Students will be provided with hands-on work and management opportunities through the interdisciplinary program, which will cover all aspects of the business, including purchasing, distributing, marketing, designing and selling floral products.
Emma Brown and Sarah Morales, both seniors in CANR, have been chosen as the first two student interns for Blossoms at the University of Delaware and both will be trained in design work.
Brown will be the shop and studio manager and will work with the plant material, processing the flowers that come in weekly for orders, keeping the coolers clean and making sure the inventory is correct and organized.
Morales will be the assistant manager and will be in charge of communications and marketing. She will oversee the installation teams that put the floral work in place and will be responsible for publicizing Blossoms at the University of Delaware.
Theresa Clower, manager of Blossoms at the University of Delaware and owner and principal designer of THERESA Floral Design, will oversee the project. Clower is quite familiar with the University, having done many of its floral design projects for a number of years. She developed the project’s concept of taking the investment the University is currently making in flowers for special events and turning it into a professional learning experience for students.
Blossoms at the University of Delaware will run out of THERESA Floral Design’s studio for the first six months with the hope to eventually establish a location on campus to house the program. Clower’s intent is for Blossoms at the University of Delaware to become a stand-alone business separate from THERESA Floral Design. The pilot project will be assessed officially after its six-month duration.
“The plan is to use local product as much as we can but when you’re dealing with event work, it can be impractical for some things,” said Clower. “This year, we do have some basics started and we will use those to the extent that we can. But most of our material will come from wholesalers.”
Clower said that with the time frame for the pilot project, which runs through football season — where they provide flowers for tailgate gatherings — and the holiday season, Blossoms at the University of Delaware will have a good snapshot about what they will be able to manage.
They currently are scheduled to provide flowers for several fall events on campus.
“We haven’t even publicized yet and the requests are starting to come in. I’m optimistic that this program will succeed by providing quality and creative floral designs for events throughout the University at the same time providing students with a real-life learning experience,” said Clower.
Article by Adam Thomas
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