Why I went for my AIFD, but got me EMC first!

aifd education emc floral education life with christi mayflower hotel Jun 11, 2018

Next month I will be inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). After testing last July in Seattle, Washington I was awarded my CFD (Certified Floral Designer) designation and tested high enough to get my AIFD. Participants have to wait until the following year for the induction ceremony. It's been a long year of waiting, and I am very excited!

You may ask, why did I wait so long? For the past six years, I had a second location at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Having two places took all my focus, and I couldn't get back into the realm of the floral industry that I love...education! I declined the additional 5-year contract at the hotel to get back to my roots in a single studio and being active in the education of flowers again.

In addition to the second location keeping me from focusing on studying, the annual AIFD Symposium falls on my wedding anniversary every year. This isn't exactly how my husband wants to spend time together for our anniversary (which I totally get). :) This year, not only is the Symposium over our anniversary, but induction is the same day. So I will have a lot to celebrate with induction and 18 years of marriage to my amazing husband, Greg.

But, back to why I waited...While having a penchant for soaking up all things floral design, I have always been secretly enthralled with European designers. In the early days of figuring out the floral business, I would go to the library or bookstore and buy any floral book or magazine that I could find that wasn't from the U.S.! I know, crazy, right? Back then, (uh-hum~30 years ago), there wasn't the internet, online videos, or a plethora of floral magazines to choose from.

Fast forward to three years ago, even while focusing on having two locations, I took some time out to look into another educational route. EMC (European Master Certification) was having a 4-day intensive Intimate-to-Ultimate workshop. It was a way to get a glimpse of what EMC was all about. I took the plunge and went to Atlanta along with several other people. I had been a long-time fan of Hitomi Gilliam (who isn't, right?) and since she and Tomas de Bruyne were the designers of EMC, I couldn't go wrong. After that trip, I knew I would sign-up for the EMC Program that Fall. I completed the year-long program in the Fall of 2016 and earned my EMC initials.

This learning experience gave me the confidence for the PFDE exam for my AIFD. Could I have done it without my EMC experience? Absolutely! Ultimately, being a part of the EMC community (well, actually, Family) has been an utterly phenomenal experience, and I can't wait to see how joining the AIFD community will be. With much anticipation for the upcoming induction...I hope to see many of you next month!

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