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AFE On the Road

The AFE team has been busy the past few weeks! From North Carolina, to California, our staff has been busy from coast to coast attending floral industry events, networking, and planning for the future! Staying connected with the industry allows us to see first-hand the impact of our programs and research, and allows us to hear directly from industry members about the challenges they’re facing so we can adapt our programs to help.  Read on to learn more about all of the AFE staff adventures so far in 2024! AFE Board Meeting and NC State Tour Twice a year, the AFE Board meets in person to engage in strategic discussions and review past, present, and upcoming initiatives, charting the course…

The Importance of Continued Education: Sharpe Family Grant Supports Retail Florists

Continued education is a vital part of any business, but it is especially vital in the vibrant and ever-changing world of flowers.  The Sharpe family knew how much of an impact pursuing education opportunities and attending industry events can have on a floral business. In 2019, Bob and Carol Sharpe established the Retail Florist’s Continued Education Grant to help businesses in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area pursue educational opportunities that help them stay up-to-date with the latest education, tools, tips, and trends to help their business grow.  “In an industry where businesses are handed down from generation to generation, continued education is vital for success,” said Bob. Bob and Carol wanted to help floral businesses succeed, so they worked…

Unveiling AFE’s New Website: Tailored for You

We are excited to unveil our newly redesigned website, featuring seamless navigation, enhanced program accessibility, and a modern, vibrant aesthetic! The new website reflects our unwavering commitment to providing easy-to-use, accessible resources and programs supporting research, internships, scholarships, and education for the floral industry. As the Endowment’s initiatives have grown over time, adapting to the industry's ever-changing needs, the website housing all of the resources has been reshaped as well. Industry members can find resources and programs specific to their business segment, including tailored-specific news, research findings, opportunities, and more. With a focus on accessibility, the redesigned platform ensures that visitors can easily access valuable resources and navigate the website effortlessly."We are thrilled to introduce the new website, which embodies our dedication to serving all segments of…

Spring Hiring Campaign Kicks Off to Tackle Labor Challenges

The AFE Career Center provides valuable online career tools, resources, and industry guides tailored to both individuals seeking opportunities in the floral industry and employers looking to expand their staff. The Center provides the most up-to-date job listings, real-time job alerts, networking opportunities, and free tools to help both candidates and employers during the job search. Since its launch in 2020 by AFE, engagement has more than doubled in both job views and active applications.  Calling All Job-Seekers! Explore an array of resources including resume tips, reviews, and a centralized job openings hub at afecareercenter.com. Be entered to win 1 of 3 $50 Amazon gift cards by uploading your resume by April 23rd! Uploading your resume means employers can reach out to you directly with inquiries…

How to Make Your Customers Swoon Over Your Blooms! Tips and Tricks for Valentine’s 2024

As we approach Valentine’s Day 2024, the collective flower, plant, and hard goods industries have a special opportunity to maximize flower sales right out of the gate during the first major holiday of the year! Thoughtful preparation, festive atmospheres, fresh products, and impeccable service will attract customers and optimize their entire shopping experience. So here we are – it’s December 2023, and the race has already started. Here are some important business strategies to help maximize sales during one of the most critical weeks of 2024: Sales Budgeting A simple SWAG (scientific wild a** guess) method of selecting a rote sales increase based on an annual figure doesn’t work. Budgets for a holiday — especially one of this magnitude —…

Educating and Empowering: AFE’s Commitment to Continued Education for the Floral Industry

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is pleased to announce that it is awarding $63,990 in Educational Grants to 19 organizations in 2023-24. This funding will help these organizations host conferences, teach students and educators about the floral industry, offer programs such as greenhouse training and florist certification classes, promote sustainability practices, and more. AFE’s Educational Grants represent an ongoing commitment to the future of the floral industry. By supporting education at all levels, AFE is helping to ensure that the industry has the latest skills, knowledge, programs, and technology it needs to succeed. 2023-24 Educational Grants Awarded to: America in Bloom – America in Bloom Educational Symposium  American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) – Bringing FFA to AIFD Symposium Orlando,…

Arizona Grant Opens Doors of Opportunity for Local Industry Members

Next year, two floral industry members from Arizona will have the chance to attend exciting national industry events to further their education, learn new techniques, and network with other industry members – thanks to AFE’s Arizona Retail Floral Education Travel Grant.  The Arizona Retail Floral Education Travel Grant was created to provide support for traditional retail florists in Arizona to pursue floral industry educational or design events outside of the state of Arizona. The grant is open to owners, managers, and employees of traditional retail florists with a brick-and-mortar storefront in Arizona.  The fund was established from the defunct FTD District 8K with additional initial funding provided by Ken and Lynn Young of Phoenix Flower Shops. The fund continues to grow with contributions…

Meinders Fund Helps Florists Grow their Skills & Elevate Their Businesses

This year, two Mississippi State University Extension students were able to attend the MSU Extension Professional Florist Certificate Program thanks to support from the Meinders Retail Florist Education Fund. The MSU program consists of four floral design levels with multiple courses per level. This year’s recipients, Saylor Wiley and Wanda Norton, participated in the Level III workshop with support from AFE’s Meinders Retail Florist Education Grant Fund. Established through generous contributions from longtime industry members and AFE supporters, Herman and LaDonna Meinders, the Meinders fund supports reduced or free registration fees to floral industry events or educational programs for retail florists by providing grants or scholarships to nonprofit floral industry organizations for this purpose. Other funding recipients this year include the American…

Benefits of Succession Planning For Your Business and How to Start

Are you like hundreds of other business owners who continually procrastinate when faced with developing a viable succession plan for your business? If so, check out the newest addition to the Recruitment Resource Library.“Many small businesses put aside the development of a succession plan until forced into quickly pulling one together. Or worse yet, they realize after the fact that they should have been more prepared,” says Suzie Kostick, freelance business coach, and consultant. “Many business owners use the excuse they thought their business was too small to need a succession plan or think it is too complicated to develop.” The new succession plan resources available now through the AFE Career Center were developed to help business owners address these…

Ensuring Tomorrow’s Leaders Have Access to Floral Education Today

The Phillip Family left a profound impact on floral design through the James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant, and today, their legacy is carried forward through the work of inspired floral design students at six institutions across the country.This grant directly supports floral design programs, ensuring a robust learning environment and making floral design programs more attractive to students. Bringing more students into floral design helps to both educate them on the wide range of career possibilities in our industry, and to cultivate a pool of skilled workers who can fill positions in retail flower shops or start their own businesses after graduation. AFE educational grants like these strive to educate, uplift and provide resources for the next generation…