Parsons achieves floral design highest designation

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Swift Current's Poppy Parsons is Saskatchewan's only florist to have achieved her Accredited in Floral Design designation from the American Institute of Floral Designers. She received her designation at the AIFD's 2014 National Symposium in Chicago on July 3 to 7.

Poppy Parsons formally received her Accredited in Floral Design designation at the American Institute of Floral Designers 2014 National Symposium in Chicago on July 3 to 7.

Parsons, owner of Smart Flowers in Swift Current, had previously received her Certified Floral Designer status through the organization, with this latest honour placing her among the elite in the floral industry. She was one of 16 individuals in Chicago recognized to have achieved AIFD status, along with individuals from South Korea, Japan, Costa Rica, and China.

Her AIFD designation ends an over two year process to achieve her high honour.

"The process was actually quite amazing," Parsons said of the testing procedure where she attended major American Institute of Floral Designers events in order to show her proficiency.

She achieved her Certified Floral Designer status in 2012 after attending a American Institute of Floral Designers Symposium in Florida, and this past summer she proved her talents at a Symposium in Las Vegas. She can now use the AIFD mark now that she has been formally presented with the designation.

Parsons said she appreciates the recognition from other top florists in the industry now that she has this designation. She notes is was special to be recognized by fellow Canadian Hitomi Gilliam from Vancouver, as she has loved her works over the years and was motivated by her.

"To be recognized by her, somebody who I've admired and loved and has been like a mentor to me. For her to start asking me to come help her on projects, and for her to give me a great big hug when she saw me in Chicago and congratulate me and be recognized for being one of them," Parsons said. "To work along side them now, and be recognized in the same way that they are, is pretty rewarding."

Her Professional Floral Design Evaluation was conducted through a four hour design session where her work was evaluated by a panel of AIFD members. The arrangements were judged on balance, colour, theme, line, creativity and mechanics.

"Basically I let my creativity come out a little bit better," Parsons said of the accreditation evaluations which scored higher in Las Vegas than her first try in Florida. "I kind of learned from my mistakes from the previous year, kind of honed my time, and made sure that I had enough time to do all the pieces. I was a little more prepared I guess. Not so nervous."

She is now excited to share her talents with her customers. Her new designation will help her get access to new products a little bit faster, with companies sending her samples to work with in recognition of her skills.

"It's just having the ability to show Swift Current professional floral artistry, and just be recognized that I do have good skills. As soon as you have a designation that really helps."

Organizations: American Institute of Floral Designers

Geographic location: Chicago, Swift Current, Florida Las Vegas

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