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D.C. Floral Designer Tills Soil with Weekly Paid Classes

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Floral Industry News | 0 comments

Holley Simmons of She Loves Me in Washington, D.C., launched “The Secret Garden” program to deliver online workshops to customers around the globe.

Encouraged by the response to flower and plant virtual classes — but looking to create a more streamlined approach to online classes — the owner of She Loves Me in Washington, D.C. recently launched a full year of weekly Instagram class, exclusive to paid members.

On Dec. 1, Holley Simmons, who opened the boutique floral and craft shop in January 2019, announced “The Secret Garden” program. Starting Jan. 1, she’ll post a “bite-size, no-fluff floral tutorial” every Friday of the month to a private, access-only Instagram feed and private You-Tube channel. The class, available starting on the last Friday of the month, will build on the previous week’s content and incorporate live product. For $22 a month, students from anywhere in the world can watch and learn at their own pace, as the content remains available through the year. Customers who live within the shop’s delivery range can get fresh materials and a the more in-depth workshop at the end of every month for $150 per month. (Both options require a three-month commitment).

“I love teaching, especially in person, and this is the next best thing,” Simmons said about the yearlong pre-recorded curriculum she’s already mapped out.

Simmons, like many florists, has offered live classes before, but logistics and quality of live video left her wanting for a more polished, organized learning environment — one that makes students feel part of the community. While not answering questions live, Simmons will monitor the weekly classes and make sure to answer questions and encourage students to direct message her with questions.

So far, the demand for the effort is strong. One day after announcing the 52-week program, 20 students had signed on to participate — generating enough revenue to cover Simmons’ investment for the first three months.

As for topics and content, Simmons said each month will be themed. For example, in the January session, she’ll focus on design foundations and care and handling primers, with a lesson on tools, processing and tips on extending the life of flowers, in addition to final bouquet creation. Future lessons will focus on “florist hacks” and tips on how to make value stems appear higher end.

Amanda Long is a contributing writer and editor for the Society of American Florists.

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