How We Bloom

How We Bloom

How We Bloom is an oasis of flower Ideas. Design. Sales. Marketing. Business. We know that every great success story starts with one simple idea. A challenge that requires change. Like the unfurling petals of a flower we grow by changing form. This growth opens us up to new ideas and opportunities. On How We Bloom, Sharon McGukin interviews guests who dare to do things differently. Brought to you by Smithers-Oasis, we share the stories of people who plant seeds, grow ideas and bloom to their full potential. We listen. Learn. Grow. And, that’s How We Bloom!


June 6, 2024 41 mins

"Solve problems to create new business," suggests Lenny Walker, VP of sales and operations at Kennicott Brothers Company. Like many business models, the floral industry is changing. Sharon McGukin and Lenny discuss viable ways to enhance your floral business by “Partnering with your Wholesaler.”

Consider their suggestions for communicating with one another, focusing on growing the business and industry together, and remind...

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A Texas Cowboy in Philly? You couldn’t miss this Oasis Ambassador.

On the last day of the 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show, a Texas Cowboy wandered along the flower-fragrant aisles without his horse. Dressed in his Texas cowboy hat, boots, and shirt - with a Texas flag and lone star on it, stood Abel Gonzalez Mencio, AIFD, PFCI, TMF of Casa Granada Floral in La Feria, Texas. He wore a banner that read ‘Texas Designer of the Year’ with ...

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March 20, 2024 41 mins

“Your foundation is the most critical part of anything you build,” says Canadian florist, Lea Romanowski CAFA, AIFD, CAFD. “If your foundation isn't good, if it isn't strong and true, it will affect the entire outcome of the design.” Lea has learned, through the years, the importance of excellent floral mechanics.  


Lea - owner of Designing on the Edge, has made an art of pushing the boundaries of design. Lea built t...

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Need a floral education program where creativity meets business?

Consider EMC- European Master Certification, a floral program developed to nurture the creative and business growth of designers worldwide.

Design visionary Tomas De Bruyne of Belgium, and business strategist Christi Lopez of Virginia, discuss with Sharon McGukin  upcoming EMC trend-setting opportunities. This blended learning concept - online course...

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January 3, 2024 34 mins

"Don't be afraid to step out and educate yourself," says Michael Smith AIFD, AAF, PFCI, FDI, FSMD." Education is the key to success." 

Michael  is a retail florist  in Mariana, Florida and winner of the 54th annual Sylvia Cup design competition. He offers sage  advice  to people who would like to have the opportunity  to win a Sylvia Cup or other floral competition.

Participation in competitions or ...

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September 25, 2023 45 mins

Jenny Thomason, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, EMC of Dallas, Texas represented USA in the 2023 Interflora World Cup in Manchester, England where she placed in the Top 10.  

How did she accomplish this feat?

“Your first step is to do something every single day." says Jenny. "Study with designers,  take workshops, go to symposium, go to conferences, buy books, subscribe to international magazines, practice. Completely absorb eve...

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“There's nothing that changes the energy of a room, like a bouquet of flowers,” says floral professional Jodi Duncan AIFD. In this flower chat with host, Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Jodi offers tips for making fresh flowers a part of your healthy, elevated lifestyle. Jodi also introduces us to her new healthy-focused site the Hungry Florist. Check out this new online gathering place for florists (or their friends) who love...

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Every wedding designer has experienced ‘that wedding.’ The one where perfect plans suddenly met with unexpected chaos. Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a few challenges, even for those who are at the top of their game. Regaining control requires focus, finesse, and flexibility. 

Ian Prosser AIFD, AAF, PFCI reminds us to stop, realize there is a solution, and move forward to find it. Even the most challenging weddings can ...

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March 1, 2023 43 mins

"Trends are a fun way to tell a new story" says renowned floral trend forecaster, Talmage McLaurin AIFD. "Trends are not revolutionary, they're evolutionary." Tiny shifts. A movement forward, rather than a disruption. Eye-catching trends capture consumer interest and drive impulse sales. Listen as Talmage shares six floral trends that will inspire us in 2023.

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January 18, 2023 44 mins

How do flower blooms - fresh from the fields in South America, become the beautiful bouquets we enjoy in North America each day? Paul Miller AIFD, PFCI of Sunshine Bouquet shares the story. Offering insight into the farm … people … and process of growing and importing approximately 1.5 billion flower stems annually. Paul explains how field cut blooms move daily from one continent to another for the pleasure of flower consumers.

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November 9, 2022 46 mins

How can florists turn chaos into cash this Valentine's Day? Chris Norwood AIFD, PFCI, AAF of Tipton & Hurst in Little Rock, Arkansas offers valuable time and money-saving tips for successful procurement, prep, design and delivery of Valentine flowers. As a bonus, Chris shares his story of making  online followers "Happy!"

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Dr. Jim DelPrince loves people and petals. This Mississippi State University floral professor taught students for 23 years. As a Mississippi Extension Service Specialist, he now teaches floral design to consumers. This hybrid online/onsite Master Floral Designer course draws attendees from multiple states. From small children to senior citizens, eager participants learn to create beauty by arranging botanicals. Interested? Click he...

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For your business to thrive “You’ve got to be found,” says Renato Sogueco, Vice-President of Digital Strategy and Education at BloomNet. Renato shares with us practical tips for a holistic approach to “Marketing in a Digital Age.”

 “This requires your business execute a well-planned digital strategy,” Renato explains. Constant change and development in the digital space may make you feel that you’re coming into it late. But, now is ...

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 P. Allen Smith, a fifth-generation nurseryman, has parlayed a passion for nature and a southern upbringing into his life’s mission. Becoming one of America’s most talented garden designers. This award-winning designer, Master Gardener, author, and celebrity lifestyle expert, is followed by a worldwide audience. Allen is known sharing for his tried-and-true methods and cutting-edge knowledge with small farm and garden communities. ...

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April 10, 2022 27 mins

Investing in yourself is essential for continued personal growth.  Learning new skills. Networking with peers. Building confidence. Feeding your passion for the work you do.  As the format of business continues to change, so do our educational opportunities. Which learning strategy works best for you?

In this podcast, Sharon McGukin and Jackie Lacey  explore the pros and cons of in-person,  virtual, and on-demand classes. 

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    Are you "Mastering the Art of Floral Paint" in this time of flower shortages, painted foliage trends and on-trend metallics? We see the different types of paint (aka color spray) products on shelves in wholesale supply departments.  Do you know how each is best used? 

    In this podcast, we explore the latest tips and techniques for using color spray with flowers by asking the master. Design Master. Education and Cr...

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    When it comes to floral design - don't just make it pretty, make it profitable. In 'Pricing for Profits," Joyce Mason-Monheim AIFD, AAF, PFCI, AzMF offers tips on building a strong foundation for your floral business by pricing professionally.

    There’s no ‘one size fits all’ rules for numbers, percentages, or price categories. This isn't ‘what to charge,' it’s how to ‘calculate’ what 'you need to charge’...

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    When advertising exec, Lia Fleming, discovered her budding passion for flowers – she dug in deep. Lia and her family began selling locally-grown flowers from their Flora Fields Farms in New Franklin, Ohio.  Lia shares expert advice for getting your flower farm dream to take root. Branding. Marketing.  Social media positioning. Connecting with the customer. Finding joy in the journey. Lia guides us on 'How We Bloom.'

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    September 23, 2021 51 mins

    "Spoiler Alert! There is no silver bullet for marketing," explains Laura Rich, Marketing Director for Smithers-Oasis North America. "It's a series of small consistent steps that connect you with your customer."  Laura offers practical, actionable tips that you can use to grow your floral business while ‘Marketing on a Shoestring.’

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    September 9, 2021 36 mins

    South African floral designer, Jill Manson, believes in the powerful energy of flowers and plants. “The ‘power of the plant’ can help us heal by offering comfort and calm,” she explains. Based in Johannesburg, Jill offers intuitive hands-on flower arranging classes called “Flower Healing”. Jill shares with her students a thoughtful blend of floral elements with spiritual elements and floral design with personal introspection. “Conn...

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