Show and Tell Speakers

Tanner Wheat

Tanner Wheat

Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center, Lafayette, Colorado

Tanner Wheat attended the Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado and joined the family business, where he is now the Greenhouse Manager/Buyer, after a decade long career in the cycling industry. Tanner and his wife, Kayla, an art teacher for Denver Academy, enjoy their days off camping and mountain biking through their beautiful state. Their sidekick Turbo, a rescued retired racing greyhound, visits the greenhouse every day with Tanner and is loved by staff and regular customers. Tanner has attended SAF’s Congressional Action days since 2015, bring the floral industry’s message to Capitol Hill. He is also the past member of the board of directors for the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

Tanner will Present the Following Demo Videos:

Renovation Reveal: Tour recently reorganized Greenhouse

Take a tour of the recently renovated 5,000-square-foot greenhouse at Lafayette Florist (also featured on the cover of the Jan/Feb issue of Floral Management Magazine). Walk through the aisles to learn what’s where—why.

There’s a Plant for Everyone: Use targeted customer bases to inform purchasing

Tanner knows the importance of finding out what his customers want — he asks, and he listens. What do new plant customers need? And how can you purchase the best inventory for experienced plant owners? Learn why it is critical to source for a variety of different customers.

Social Inspiration: Promotion strategies to receive the “likes” your plants deserve

Plants make people happy! Make sure this point rings through on your social media channels. Learn when to have fun (Instagram stories) and what to take seriously (photo resolution, plant names and buying info). Show your followers why you provide the best selection and the most enjoyable plant buying experience.

Eileen Weber, AAF

Eileen Weber, AAF

Lake Forest Flowers, Lake Forest, Illinois

After growing up in her father’s flower shop, Eileen pursued a bachelor’s degree in horticultural production and marketing at Purdue University. It was her love of working with people and the impact of flowers that led Weber to officially join the family business. She has an MBA and serves as vice president of Lake Forest Flowers managing business operations, marketing and community engagement. She teaches floral design at a local art center, garden club programs, private parties and monthly adult and children’s workshops.

Eileen will Present the Following Demo Videos:

Give Customers What They Don’t Expect! Unique-Sourcing Secrets

Ready to add to your plant collection? Eileen tells it like it is—to be successful, you must develop strong relationships with your suppliers. If you want your plant inventory to stand out from the crowd, this is a must-see! Go boldly beyond the basics with sourcing know-how and social media tips.

Showroom Goals: Healthy Plants = Healthy Sales

If your plants look like an afterthought in your shop, that’s exactly what they will be to customers, too. Learn how to care for and curate your plants so they are healthy, thriving and ready to move out the door.

Superior Interior Design Tips from a Plant Installation Pro

Eileen saw plant sales at Lake Forest Flowers increase 150 percent in 2020—with a hefty portion coming from plant installations. Learn how to step confidently into customers’ homes and give them a plant experience they want to live with every day.

Heather Waits, Bloomtastic Flowers & Events

Heather Waits

Bloomtastic Flowers & Events, Columbus, Ohio

Heather Waits is president of Bloomtastic Florist Inc., in Upper Arlington, Ohio. An expert on marketing, networking, operations and customer service (particularly in relation to weddings), she has written articles for several industry publications, including Floral Management, Florists’ Review and The Wedding Business Magazine. She has presented sessions at two SAF conventions and served on the Floral Management Advisory Committee. The Knot and Wedding Wire have recognized her work and locals named her shop “Columbus’ best florist.

Heather will Present the Following Demo Videos:

Sign Me Up: Lessons from a Plant-Subscription Pro

Learn the do’s and don’ts of launching a successful plant subscription service. Take it from a plant subscription vet: do your homework, find the right cadence, get your supplies and commit to marketing.

Secrets from a Potting-Bar Star

Customers will be clamoring to visit your potting bar when you stock it with the correct supplies and create a one-of-a kind atmosphere. Plus, keep costs in check with tips for promoting your potting-bar events via social media. .

Want to Create a Plant Customer Community? Try a Plant Swap!

Ready to dive into the plant world, but not sure if there’s enough demand? Try hosting a plant swap. Learn how this low-cost event works, strategies to spread the word and create a community of plant loving customers.

Michelle Blakeslee

Michele Blakeslee

Nielsen’s Florist & Garden Shop, Darien, Connecticut

Michele Blakeslee is a Horticulturist, UConn Graduate and avid gardener who is passionate about plants and pollinators. She is celebrating 12 years at Nielsen’s Florist this year and is known to many as the plant expert or houseplant guru. Michele is known for her help with seasonal containers, educating gardeners in the community and inspiring children about the world of plants through Nielsen’s lectures, hands-on classes and children’s events throughout the year.

With a strong knowledge of herbs, Michele was mentored by the Gilbertie family on the basics of herb and organic vegetable gardening in her earlier years. A few years later, Michele established her own small landscape company providing design, installation and maintenance for perennial and ornamental gardens. Today, she continues to pass along these practical tips and convey the importance of how we can make a difference keeping our earth chemical free. Growing plants should be stress-free and enjoyable and Michele’s philosophy is to inspire people to grow plants inside the home or create outstanding gardens in the landscape.

Michele will Present the Following Demo Videos:

It’s Not a Jungle in There: Ease the Plant-Buying Experience

Do your customers have to crouch, climb or search to find your potted plant selections? Learn how to position plants of all sizes so customers can grab and go. Check out the clean organized displays at Nielsen’s and discover how positioning can help shoppers visualize your plants in their home.

Handle with Care: Educate New Plant Parents

Attracting and retaining plant customers starts in your store. Take it from Nielsen’s in-house horticulturist: don’t send anyone home without the equipment and information needed to grow and care for a healthy plant. From signage to sales technique, every plant encounter should be fueled by facts.

Terril Nell, Ph.D.

Terril Nell, Ph.D.

Terril A. Nell is Professor Emeritus of Floriculture at the University of Florida. He served as chair of the Environmental Horticulture Department from 1991 – 2012 and he was Professor of Floriculture from 1977 – 2011 before retiring from the University of Florida in 2011. His research results have led to changes in floral industry practices including enhanced production techniques and improved flower and plant longevity. He is a member of the American Academy of Floriculture and received the Paul Ecke Jr. Award from the Society of American Florists for exemplary devotion to profession, industry and community. Terril served on the board of directors of SAF from 1995 – 2007 and was president of the Society of American Florists from 2003 – 2005. He currently serves as the Research Coordinator for the American Floral Endowment.

Terril will Present the Following Demo Videos:

Arrive and Thrive! Welcome Plants into Your Shop the Right Way

A step-by-step guide for care—starting with knowing how your grower handles their product impacts quality. From the moment plants arrive at your store avoid common mistakes like overwatering, ethylene exposure, overheating, over cooling and more.

Three Secrets for a Perfect Display: Light, Temperature and Water

Terril shines a light on the essential factors needed to successfully display leafy and flowering potted plants. Cool down your display area, make sure your light level reflects the average home, and only water when needed to start.

Grow Repeat Customers with Care Tips, Advice and Personalized Service

Happy customers come back and buy more. Arm customers with the information they need to support long-lasting, fully-opening plants. Providing shoppers with care and handling basics leads to healthy plants and repeat business.

Rebekah Gross

Rebekah Gross

Plant Shed, NYC, New York

Rebekah Gross is the Creative Project & Account Manager for Plantshed New York Flowers. She has worked in music, fashion and botanical design throughout her career. She specializes in creative project management, conceptualization and installation of experiential biophilic and floral designs, and managing creative partnerships in the B2B sphere. She currently leads a team of horticulturists and designers to create livingscapes for both private consumers and large business structures.

Rebekah will Present the Following Demo Video:

So, You Want to Sell Plants?

Ease your nerves with advice on what to sell and how to sell it. Worried you’ll dig yourself into debt? Rebekah explains how to start your inventory with low-maintenance, low-risk plants and the importance of creative potting and packaging.

The students from Tiger Garden at University of Missouri

Amberlee Gandy

Amberlee Gandy

Eliane Botts

Eliane Botts

Gracie Alvarez

Gracie Alvarez

Amberlee Gandy is a member of the student leadership team at Tiger Garden as well as a teaching assistant in the floral design classroom at the University of Missouri. She will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education – Leadership and Communications and a certificate in Floral Design. She began working as a clerical assistant with the department during August 2018 and has been with the program ever since. She served as the 2020 president of Mizzou Ag Ed Society as well as a 2020 Agricultural Education Program Ambassador. Amberlee also found an interest in Mizzou’s Student Chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers where she served as the 2020 AIFD Liaison.

Eliane Botts is a Columbia, Missouri native and a senior German major at the University of Missouri with minors in Plant Science and Art. She is as a student leader at Tiger Garden. Eliane first started working at Tiger Garden the summer before her freshman year at the University of Missouri and continued to work there throughout her college experience. She has loved working at Tiger Garden for the real-life experience and connections that it enables her to make. She knows it is a unique opportunity to take part in a program that allows her to work alongside her peers to run a business together and always strives to improve Tiger Garden.

Gracie Alvarez is from Little Rock, Arkansas and is currently studying journalism and political science at the University of Missouri where she will graduate in May 2022. Gracie started working at Tiger Garden her freshman year. She helps manage Tiger Garden’s social media and website as well as working day-to-day in the shop. She loves working in floral design because it is an amazing creative outlet, and she loves learning more about different kinds of flowers and plants. She is also appreciative of the opportunity Tiger Garden gives her to learn more about everything it takes to run a retail business.

Amberlee, Eliane and Gracie will Present the Following Demo Videos:

No Space? No Problem! Small Shop Hacks from Dorm-Living Florists

No one knows how to maximize space better than college students! Check out the space-saving moves that have led to success for the Tiger Garden flower and plant shop. From vases and gifts to hanging plants, no product is hidden, and every display is ready for a potential sale.

Passion for Plants: Take a Virtual Tour of a Student-Run Shop

See what’s on the shelves and in the hearts of this young generation of plant lovers. With a wide range of backgrounds these student florists know how to keep up with plant trends and cater to their customer base- the Tiger Garden at the University of Missouri does it all!

Quick-Stop Shops: Make it Easy to Grab and Go!

When COVID-19 protocols required in-store customer limits, the students running Tiger Garden quickly adapted to create an experience that put safety and sales first. Take a lesson from these innovative marketers who use social media, merchandising moxie and creative configurations to make it easy for customers to find what they want and discover new products.

Spotlight Presentations

Rebekah Gross

Rebekah Gross

Plant Shed, NYC, New York

Rebekah Gross is the Creative Project & Account Manager for Plantshed New York Flowers. She has worked in music, fashion and botanical design throughout her career. She specializes in creative project management, conceptualization and installation of experiential biophilic and floral designs, and managing creative partnerships in the B2B sphere. She currently leads a team of horticulturists and designers to create livingscapes for both private consumers and large business structures.

Rebekah will Present the Following Demo Video:

Make B2B Plant Sales Your Business

Plant Shed pro, Rebekah Gross, shares how her company made plants as necessary as a WiFi connection for dozens of offices. You’ll learn to turn your plant expertise (knowing what can survive, thrive and look alive in all kinds of settings) into client-centric business models for a variety of different clients.

Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, CF

Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, CF

Floral Underground

Derek Woodruff joined the floral industry at age 16 where he began learning floral design in vocational school and working for a local florist. Since then, he has continued to study the trade through institutes such as Michigan State University, the Michigan Floral Association (MFA), and the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). In 2008 he launched his own business, Floral Underground. Woodruff enjoys presenting on stage, in hands-on workshops, and also online to audiences of floral designers and consumers alike. He has won numerous awards including the 2016 Sylvia Cup Design Competition.

Derek will Present the Following Demo Video:

Experiential Retail: Engage Your Customers by Installing a Plant Bar 

Along with 46 & Spruce, Derek the Bartender has assembled everything you need to create your own botanical bar.  He unveils the curated kit he developed specifically for retailers—making it easy and fun to enter the indoor plant market and attract customers. Learn how to set-up, host, and market your botanical bar in a variety of environments: in-store, virtually, or the always popular pop-up shop.


Derek Woodruff

Sandy Schroeck AIFD, PFCI, CFD


As the owner of Trend on Design, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Sandy Schroeck, AIFD, PFCI, CFD, lives by the mantra “educate, inspire, influence” Sandy is an award-winning designer, trend watcher and international educator with extensive experience in the floral industry. She is currently an education specialist for Floriology Now, a design director for Smithers Oasis and works with Len Busch Roses as customer education coordinator. She currently serves on the AIFD National Board as a director at large, and has led the AIFD national membership committee, symposium committees and is an AIFD certified evaluator. She is also certified by the Professional Floral Commentators International and a past winner of the prestigious North Central AIFD Bobbi Cup.

Sandy will Present the Following Demo Video:

Presenting Plants in a New Light: Give Plants New Life in Glass Vases and Terrariums

Discover the NASA-researched wellness benefits of toxin-purifying plants from an original plant influencer and take your skills to a new level by learning the benefits of potting in glass. Plus, Sandy showcases a number of ideas for presenting and selling indoor plants.

Danae Horst

Danae Horst

Folia Collective

Danae was an LA-based photographer and prop stylist when her obsession with plants, and desire to see people feel empowered to care for them, drove her to start Folia Collective, an indoor plant store with stylish goods for plants and plant lovers. Most mornings you’ll find her out zipping around wholesale plant nurseries searching for the best plants for the shop. Danae is also an author; her book, Houseplants For All, came out in August of 2020 which teaches readers how to fill any home with happy plants.

Danae will Present the Following Demo Video:

Building a Plant Empire: Teach customers to love and care for plants in-store and online

Danae will take you through her plant journey- from a small pop-up shop to an 18,000 square-foot plant powerhouse. Through plant-centric merchandising and expert product knowledge she’ll teach you how to cultivate the ideal in-store atmosphere and create an engaging online presence through expertly curated social media and a user-friendly website that makes it easy to shop and learn online.

Plantfluencer Chats

Alika Turner

Alika Turner (Jade)


Plant Care Consultant and Podcaster Alika Turner, also known as Jade, is more than a plant woman; she has a real appreciation for nature and the significant role it plays in our lives. In her business, Jade takes comfort in knowing that her influence not only helps in saving plants but also saving humans. She is an advocate for plant and garden therapy; you can learn more about her story on her popular podcast The Black Plant Chick Pod. Alika aspires to teach people the benefits of connecting with plants and the healing power they hold. From hosting workshops to creating plant guide videos for magazines like House Beautiful, you can find Alika sharing a wealth of knowledge across platforms of all sizes. Her motto is “love, peace, and propagate.

Alika will Present the Following Demo Video:

Instagram’s Black Plant Chic Digs Deep into Healing Power of Plants

With 1.4 million followers, Alika Turner explains how plant therapy changed her life and how sharing the health benefits of plants became her calling. Learn how to create an oasis of calm at home, in store and on social media. Plus, discover the many ways that plants can be positioned as a self-care tool with healing power that starts in your store.

Darryl Cheng

Darryl Cheng

House Plant Journal Blog

Darryl Chang is the creator of the incredibly popular blog and Instagram account, House Plant Journal. Darryl’s commitment to excellence, passion for plants and thirst for knowledge have turned him into one of the most trusted resources of the internet houseplant world. What was initially a hobby Tumblr page has turned into an Instagram account with over 500,000 followers, a foundational houseplant care book entitled ‘The New Plant Parent’ and plant time-lapse videos that have gone viral around the world.

Darryl will Present the Following Demo Video:

Nature, Nurture and Knowledge: Make plant care easy for yourself and your customers

Author and plant parent extraordinaire, Darryl Cheng breaks down the basics of plant care to provide you with knowledge to dive into the market. His top tip? Photosynthesis is your friend – learn the dynamics of space and light so you can educate customers without overwhelming them. He also digs into the biology of plants, explaining a wholistic approach to care along with practical tips like strategies and schedules for watering.

Live Events

Tuesday, March 9

2:00-3:00 PM ET


Eliza Blank

The Sill

Eliza Blank is the Founder & CEO at The Sill, a digitally native direct-to-consumer houseplant brand on a mission to modernize the garden center experience. Prior to launching The Sill, Eliza served as a Brand Strategist at Wolff Olins, one of the leading brand agencies in the world, and as a Brand Manager at Living Proof, a Polaris Partners backed beauty company that exited to Unilever. She has been featured in The New York Times, Domino Magazine, Refinery29, NPR, and Forbes, and in books including Living with Pattern, The Kinfolk Home, and My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired. Eliza holds a BS in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU. Her favorite plant is the Philodendron Cordatum because it grows quickly and is incredibly resilient.

Eliza will Present the Following Event:

How The Sill Disrupted and Reimagined the Indoor Plant Market

Before The Sill there were no consumer brands that provided easy access to plants and taught customers how to care for them. In 2012 Eliza Blank filled this gap, launching The Sill – an online plant retailer that makes plants accessible to everyone and demystifies the plant world for novice owners.

Eliza will take you through her journey with The Sill, explaining how the company has successfully disrupted the houseplant industry, perfected the online plant buying experience and continues to grow– fulfilling its mission to “make the experience of discovering the perfect potted plants as wonderful as the plants themselves”.

Learn more about The Sill

Tuesday, March 23

2:00-3:00 PM ET


Sourcing Panel

Best Practices for Sourcing Plants

You want to break into or grow your plant business, but you’re having trouble sourcing plant material. You’re not alone. Plant veterans from the retail, wholesale and grower segments gather to talk about the state of the supply chain today and best practices for creating or expanding your plant sales. The session will include Q&A and breakouts, so you leave with ideas you can put to use right away.

Tuesday, March 30

2:00-3:00 PM ET

Outside of recording package pricing:
Member: $9.99
Non-member: $14.99


Marcus Bridgewater


Marcus Bridgewater, commonly known as Garden Marcus, is a speaker, creator, and plant enthusiast. He began gardening when he bought his first house nearly seven years ago. After killing nine of his original 16 plants, he found himself determined to learn how to care for all living things. He now has around 500 plants at his Texas home. He developed his online presence by connecting his garden observations to greater life lessons, and has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, and the Los Angeles Times. When he is not in his garden, he is leading presentations, workshops, and seminars with Choice Forward.

Marcus will Present the Following Event:

The Power of Plants: Joy, Healing, Creating Connections and Fighting Isolation

Like each of you, Marcus holds a deep-rooted belief in the ultimate power of connecting with nature and that caring for live floriculture creates a purpose and provides healing that cannot be replicated by any other product. Marcus will explain how he has grown a community through sharing this message with the world.

In a year of unprecedented challenges for the floral industry, it can be hard to remember that your hard work and perseverance is creating moments of joy for so many people. Marcus will dive into this message and discuss how plants are playing a critical role in fighting social isolation and creating connections, as consumers continue to purchase at higher rates than ever before.

Register Now!

2019 © Society of American Florists

Safnow Login

SAF Members only. Please login to access this page.

Not a member? Click here to find out why you should join SAF today.

Email :

Password :

Lost your password?