Last October, the Detroit Flower House exhibition was presented by a mix of local and national florists led by Lisa Waud. By re-purposing an abandoned Detroit home, over 4,000 American grown flowers were installed in 48 hours, resulting in a unique installation that caught the world’s attention. Starting with the seedling of reuniting Detroit Flower House collaborators, Lisa grew her initial dinner party soiree idea into to a full on festival, Detroit Flower Week, that everyone in the community can enjoy. “In the projects that I do, my goal is to shine the spotlight on innovative floral design in Detroit and to showcase us as a city that moves floral design forward.” Lisa remarks. Waud has rocked the flower industry for over 15 years arranging, studying locally and abroad. She and her collaborators are enthused to bring a much larger scale event to the city for the first time.
From October 11-15th, Detroit Flower Week will put a new twist of design in the spotlight uniting the local and international community with presentations, workshops, retail, food experiences and more. Centered on the floral design industry, Detroit Flower Week is brought to you by the creator of Detroit Flower House and founder of Pot & Box floral design studio. Lisa and her gang of industry professionals have curated an ambitious flower festival that will serve as a space to exchange ideas and knowledge in the floral industry.
Detroit Flower Week is not just for the professionals- the week of activities has been curated to accommodate both the enthusiast and the non-florist attendee. “We work really hard to curate the programming to fit a range of audiences. Putting everyone at the same table is really important to me,” Lisa Waud explains. The festival is programmed for the public with food trucks, a botanical marketplace, yoga, coffee, meetups and more. Lisa Waud asserts that the festival entails a variety of relevant programming for the non florist, and invites flower fanatics of all skill and interest levels to attend. Highlighting some non-florist programming, Lisa promotes the following events for the budding designer:
- Flower House Book Release and Launch Party “Flower house photographer and author Heather Saunders presents her newly-released book on the flower house project with dancing to follow.”
- “Find Your Strength in Flowers” presentation, Ashley Woodson Bailey – Join floral photographer Ashley Woodson Bailey for an inspirational presentation.
- “A Conversation on the Diversity in the Floral Industry” workshop – Weigh in on ways that the floral design industry can become diversified.
- “To Smell a Rose” workshop – Learn to smell again! Refine your sense of smell with Monique Herzig of Alchemy Henna & Skincare
- Emily Katz Macramé workshops – try your hand at Modern macramé techniques.
- Edible Gardening with Leslie Bennett of Pine House Edible Gardens
- Lisa Waud Flowerhouse Detroit presentation – Come witness festival creator Lisa Waud as she discusses the Detroit Flower House project for the first time, with project collaborators in house.
Waud explains, “bringing everyone to the table is important” and that’s exactly what she plans to do. Detroit Flower Week will create “a communal dining experience like no other, [attendees] will be seated together amongst some of the most notable floral designers from around the world.” Located in historic and breathtaking Adam Strohm Hall, sustainable Event Coordination company Detroit Cultivated presents a dinner crafted by the hands of some of Detroit’s finest chefs. From atmosphere, to cuisine, “Floral Renaissance: A Revived Interest in the Classics” has all of the bases covered for this extra special meal.
The Detroit Flower Week Dinner experience will cater to all of the senses. Celebrating a theme of sustainability, the dining experience will showcase the slow food and slow flower movements which focus on sustainable and conscious farming practices. Overhead, an original floral installation will be erected, courtesy of world renowned designer Joseph Massie. Based in London, England, Joseph Massie is “widely regarded as one of Europe’s top botanical artists” and his installation is sure to astound the eyes. Decorated with numerous awards, Joseph Massie is the proprietor of both the UK School of Floristry and Joseph Massie Flowers design Studio at the young age of 27. Massie’s overhead creation will inspire the atmosphere of the dinner, giving a luxurious botanical feel for attendees.
Taste buds will be met with five courses full of spoils thanks to the A- team of collaborating Detroit chefs. As Detroit Flower Week explains, “Detroit Ento and chefs Kieron Hales (Zingerman’s Cornman Farms), Brad Greenhill (Katoi), Kate Williams (upcoming lady of the house), Nikita Sanches (Rock City Eatery), and Heather Anne (Sweet Heather Anne) will move us from course to course. “ Detroit-based band Double Winter will provide live music for the experience, adding an audible treat for the ears.
Lisa is excited to present such a unique experience for Flower Week Dinner ticket holders. Citing a quote from designer Bruce Mau’s An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, she recites, “Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces…” She truly believes that outside of sharpening skills with calculated programming, the real growth of the festival will occupy spaces where people are free to chat, network, mingle and share stories. She hopes that the dinner event will set a perfect environment for this growth to happen as event-goers come to a common place and break bread with one another.
The dedicated founder exclaimed, “I’m glad that Sandy from Red Hook will be there serving coffee all week, because I want to soak in every single second of this!” Eager to spend time with local, foreign, and new friends, Detroit Flower Week invites everyone to come be a part of the first ever festival!
// Words by Hailey Dukes. New kid on the block + sponge for all things Detroit. Student to this earth and the people, places, and things on it. Walking an unceasing journey to observe, feel, analyze, understand. Inspire me! Follow Hailey on IG @wolf___hailey // Twitter @heyygirllhai.