Another visit is in the books at Alexandra Farms, and the Spring 2023 tour proved to be an educational experience for all who attended.
In February, visitors from across the globe gathered to learn more about the processes and sustainability initiatives on the farms and met the hardworking team of employees.
Kaylyn Hewitt, lead designer at Bouqs, said the most inspiring aspect of the visit was meeting with the Alexandra Farms team and witnessing their dedication. "You can see the heart, soul, and passion the moment you enter the farm, and that is only magnified in the flowers they grow."
Reflecting on their tours from one site to another, multiple visitors noted the strong influence of women at Alexandra Farms. Across the board, women are leaders in the corporate offices and in the greenhouses and hardworking hands-on farmers among the growing varieties.
Elizabeth Miller, founder of The Petaler Floral & Events Co., said she was pleasantly surprised with the encouraging feminine presence throughout the company.
"As a female business owner, I was especially impressed with the role that women play in the farm's operation and, subsequently, the local community. Many times large-scale operations can claim to employ a high percentage of women, and while that is true, they do not typically make up the leadership of the company. This is not the case with Alexandra Farms."
It's a point of pride for Alexandra Farms: 2strong, passionate teams of dedicated people who produce sophisticated, quality garden roses to elicit joy in others."
Unanimously, the group of visitors agreed that the chance to meet with other like-minded professionals and design with Alexandra Farms garden roses was an enlightening high for the "once in a lifetime" experience. Attendees were given the opportunity to network with their group in break-out discussions and design using numerous varieties of garden roses and the newly-introduced dahlias.
"My absolute favorite part was probably the design time and the opportunity to design with any of the garden roses we wanted to for creating bouquets and centerpieces," said Janelle Gerestein, owner of Flowers by Janie. "I would have loved an extra day to spend creating an installation with the roses."
The chance to work with the many classic and new varieties offered the visitors not only a chance to gather inspiration for future designs but it provided essential feedback for the Alexandra Farms team to understand the effectiveness of each stem.
"I have to say the highlight of the trip was seeing all the new varieties of roses being tested," said Katie Noonan, owner of Noonan's Wine Country Designs. "I love that Alexandra Farms cares about keeping up with new trends but also asked us to give input on which ones we loved.
Discussions about trends and integrating new varieties with fresh perspectives invigorated the touring visitors and built a strong network of industry professionals to lean on one another for inspiration.
"The trip overall was fantastic, not just because of the obvious reason of being surrounded by gorgeous roses, but connecting with the people," Katie said.
In the end, the group was excited about the opportunity to share their newfound inspiration with Alexandra Farms garden roses. With renewed creativity, the visitors left Colombia with a desire to get back home and put all the fresh perspectives into new designs for their clients.
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