The Society of American Florists’ membership includes all segments of the industry — and that community is the heart of SAF. This bi-weekly feature will spotlight SAF members sharing inspirational stories, professional insights, and the opportunity to form new industry connections.
Robbyn Rae Repp, AAF, has been designing at her North Bend, Oregon Petal to the Metal flower shop since 2014, with her overall floral design experience extending three decades. Repp was born and raised in Oregon but has lived in California and Hawaii, which helped her learn different design styles while developing her own approach.
What Excites Her
Repp gets excited about harvesting responsibly from her surroundings in the Pacific Northwest, and allowing her creative expression to come from designing with natural product.
“It is calming and exciting to explore the ocean and the forest,” Repp says. “I never know what to expect and when I’m asked what I’m looking for I say, ‘We won’t know until we get there and Mother Nature will tell us what she has for us today.’”
Like many flower shop owners, Valentine’s Day 2021, which fell on Super Bowl Sunday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, proved to be a big challenge. In response, Repp rallied other downtown businesses and pitched an idea for a Valentine’s Day shopping weekend they dubbed, “Fall in Love with Downtown.”
The weekend featured a drawing for gift basket items including gift cards from other local business. Petal to the Metal spotlighted each business that participated on their social media pages, and they got the support of their local Chamber of Commerce and mayor and city manager, all of whom helped promote the event.
“As small businesses, we all came together to support each other,” Repp says. “We plan to do this quarterly with the seasons and holidays.”
Her Secret to Success
Repp says the secret to her success is networking because “we are a stronger community when we work together.”
Repp has found great value in attending a variety of SAF events.
After she attended a 1-Day Profit Blast in Portland, Oregon, she realized how important it was to invest in herself and her business.
“I found that at SAF I was surrounded by people just like me with similar concerns, questions, and ideas,” she says. “It was like having teachers, consultants, and advisers at my fingertips at one time, and I was able to bring [ideas] back to my shop and implement a lot of the information immediately.”
Repp attended SAF Orlando 2022, SAF’s 137th annual convention, earlier this month. While there, she was inducted into the American Academy of Floriculture for her commitment to the industry and her community involvement.
“It was everything I was hoping for and more,” Repp says.
Do you know a member who should have a chance in the spotlight? Email Stephanie Brady, project manager for SAF.
Stephanie Brady is the project manager for the Society of American Florists.