Derek Woodruff has done a little bit of everything in the floral design industry. From creating designs for weddings and corporate events to participating in floral design competitions, running workshops, and even starting his floral subscription box, he has an impressive background. This September, he will be adding a Field to Vase Dinner at Summer Dreams Farm to his resume.
Derek has always had a love of horticulture for most of his life. As a child, he developed an interest in prehistoric plants and botany after watching Jurassic Park. At the age of 16, he took up floral design in a vocational school and later found a job at a flower shop. While many teenagers don’t always know what path their life will take, Derek was fortunate to find his passion early in life. Today he runs his own business, Floral Underground.
Although Floral Underground has constantly been evolving since its inception, Derek’s involvement with American Grown is one aspect that remains constant. He has always used either locally grown flowers or Certified American Grown floral in his business, no matter the season. He discovered American Grown after attending various conferences and eventually educated himself on the topic. He has since realized the importance of using fresh, locally grown flowers.
No matter what Derek is working on, it’s apparent he has a passion for intertwining hands-on consumer involvement with his craft. One of his specialties, the floral subscription box, allows subscribers to create their floral arrangements in a step-by-step process with instructions. His goal is to give consumers an educational experience and a feeling of accomplishment. At Summer Dreams Farm, Derek hopes to incorporate this educational aspect into the Field to Vase Dinner as well. Attendees can expect a workshop and demonstration using the flowers and decorative materials from the event, combined with the level of involvement that comes with floral subscription boxes. Thanks to the sponsorship of 46 & Spruce, every workshop attendee will take home a tool that will have them designing like a pro.
This may be Derek’s first time designing a Field to Vase Dinner, but he’s no stranger to the experience. He attended a dinner at Fern Trust a few years ago, and after that, he immediately knew he wanted to design one someday. Derek feels excited about the unique challenge a dinner like this will bring. He’s never done an event quite like this before, so he looks forward to diving into something new. “I love challenges,” he said. “As a former competition designer, I love experiences that push my creativity, elevate my skill set, and help me improve my time management skills and material selections. I’m always interested in bettering myself.”
Don’t miss out on Derek’s spectacular designs, workshop, and demonstration at Summer Dreams Farm on Sunday, September 18. Attendees will also have opportunities to take a VIP Farm Tour, taste the finest Michigan wines, and of course, dine on local cuisine surrounded by idyllic dahlia fields. Reserve your spot today.