Thursday, January 30, 2014

"ISES" A Place To Start

How and where to begin as a Florist are questions often asked to me.  I regularly give a classroom lecture to these questions, but if you want to skip the lecture, go to an ISES (International Special Events Society) event.  I recommend and encourage individuals seeking to become Florists or Special Event Professionals to attend a local chapter event.  You can attend an event without being a member.  I attend events at both the Napa - Sonoma and Northern California Chapters.  The "Designer Showcase" is an Educational Program that is always a good introduction to ISES.  This month I attended the Northern California Chapter's Designer Showcase at "Bimbos" in San Francisco.

One of the many valuable things about attending an ISES event is experiencing the ambiance of popular venues in the Northern California area.  Knowledge is power and the more venues your familiar with the better for your business.  "Bimbo's" was originally owned and started by Agostino Giontoli in 1931 on Market Street in San Francisco.  Currently, this iconic retro supper club with an art deco influence is located in the North Beach District on Columbus Avenue .  It was famous for glamorous showgirls, cabaret shows and a fine three - course  meal.  The legacy continues by Giontoli's grandsons.  Visit  for more information on this historic night club.

ISES encourages a collaborative exchange of ideas whether it is by a panel discussion of event designers, inspirational displays by florists, rental companies, special effects experts or sampling many delights of local caterers menus. Networking can start at these events which leads to industry relationships and an excellent opportunity to build your business.

Networking and meeting other special event professionals face to face is crucial to the success of your business.  More than ever industry professionals and clients are looking for that personal touch to build trust and relationships. The stunning table display above was showcased by Napa Valley Linens. It was nice to chat with Diana Cardenas their representative for the event. Their showroom is located in Emeryville and be sure to check out their website to find the latest trends in fabric, design and color.  Linen websites are a great source of inspiration for designers.  It's another way to see how flowers are incorporated into tablescapes.  Also, building a relationship with linen specialists is a great way to showcase your designs on their website and vice versa.   They just might pick one of the events you collaborated on to feature in their website.


Every guest table at Bimbo's can be spot lighted.  This is an asset to floral designers.  Appropriate lighting is important for your flower arrangements. The lovely floral design above by Ornamento was our favorite guest table arrangement of the night.  The container was abundant of silver grey dusty miller with accenting miniature garland lights woven through the design.  This mono botanical arrangement made a simple bold statement which was very effective in the dining area.  Ornamento is one of San Francisco's premier floral and event design studios owned by the creative genius Orna.  Visit their retail store in the Fairmont Hotel or at

Blue Heron Catering showcased the vignette above with the tabletop items by Classic Party Rentals. The floral décor is showing influence of Radiant Orchid (Pantone's 2014 color of the year). These colors work well with the eggplant linen and accenting gold chargers, china, glass and flatware.  For more information on both companies visit their websites:  and
Innovated and exciting cake artistry is often showcased at these events.  The above cake was designed by The Whole Cake a boutique located in Oakland, CA.  Once again we see how linens can inspire and influence your designs. Visit for more information about this companies cake artistry.
The brilliance of balloon artistry is showcased above.  The possibilities are endless with Bijoux Balloons. This fun and fabulous display was enjoyed at the event.  Loved the sculpted mushrooms, and the passion/energy Robin Bosma brought to the room.  She was the representative and certified balloon artist.  Visit for more information.

 ISES is an opportunity to build relationships and strengthen those that have developed over the years. It's also a way to keep current in the industry.  If your not sure where to start, try an ISES event.  You just might click with someone who is also beginning which can lead to support and collaboration.  There are many mentors to help you along the way. These events allow you to look out side your profession for inspiration.  There is so much knowledge and artistry in all special event fields.
Above I'm sitting with two industry professionals that find ISES a fantastic networking outlet. Nixon Tran was a City College of San Francisco Student and now is the Operations Manager at Michael Daigian Design.  Michael Daigian owner of MDD generously shares his wealth of knowledge and graciously has assisted Nixon, myself and many more florists and special event professionals with the development of their careers/businesses.  Visit Michael's website www.michaeldaigian to experience why he is another one of San Francisco's premier floral design companies.  Hope to see you at an ISES event.  Visit for more information and their next event in your area.

                                              Cheers!!  Jenny Tabarracci AIFD