Philadelphia Flower Show, take 5!

This was my 5th year working on the exhibit for Schaffer Designs. It all began when I met Bill & Kris in Palm Desert, after testing for AIFD accreditation. I met them in the hallway of the JW Marriott resort. They had just gone through to look at all the designs the candidates had made. They recognized my name from the testing, and stopped me in the hallway. “We love your work….you did a great job…come to Philly and work with us at the flower show”…..”I’d love to…I said….let me know the details”

That conversation took place in July, and I thought nothing else about it. Until I got a call in December. “Hey, its Bill Schaffer…are you coming for sure….I need to know….we have a waiting list…”

As I usually do with these decisions, I thew up a quick prayer “Hey Jesus, what do you think about me going to Philadelphia? These people are pretty cool and the project seems like it will be amazing” Those words no sooner were through my brain and out of my mouth when my daughter turned on the radio in her room (this was 2007…we still had radios…) Blasting over the airwaves was Elton John…..”PHIL-A-DELHIA FREEEEEEEEEEEDOM……I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU….YES I DO!”

For me, the rest is history.

The Philadelphia Flower Show was underwritten by Disney and Pixar this year, with the theme being “Celebrate the Movies”.  Here’s a secret: I kind of hated the theme this year. (too literal, too commercial) and I wondered what my friend Bill Schaffer would DO in the face of such a shiny endeavor.


Enter Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Of course. This IS Schaffer Designs we are talking about. The award winning husband and wife team who make boiling volcanos out of flowers, and interpret the dark dreary streets of London during the fearsome times of Jack the Ripper. Nightmare was the obvious choice. I should have known!


I have to admit, I had never seen it (GASP!) but I did watch it. Its a cautionary tale (The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. Do what you know. Focus. Don’t take your community for granted. Don’t make assumptions about other communities where you do not abide.)

If you have seen the pictures on facebook, you will see that they nailed it. Bill Schafffer & Kris Kratt are like mad scientists. They research, sketch & study. They plot and plan & ponder. From these creative genius come some amazing concepts and this year was no exception. Innovative, bold and fearless, with a heap of hard work for good measure.

It paid off. They got gold.



You would have to see it in real life to understand what kind of undertaking this was. The set was HUGE! HUGE! The designers (nearly 50 sets of hands) and the partners  list is formidable; Amy’s Orchids – ThailandGems Group, Inc.The Elite FlowerJet Fresh Flower DistributorsPassionRosesNaniwa Flower Auction co.,ltd.FernTrust, Inc.FloraCraft®OASIS Floral ProductsAccent Decor, Inc.Wish Unlimited, LLCEventions ProductionsDESIGN MASTER color tool, P&F, Sunburst Farms, DVFlora…..just to name a few!”

So half the time when Schaffer Designs shows up at The Flower Show, they get Best Of Show. When they don’t, they still get gold.

If you want more information about what it means to be a major exhibitor in Philadelphia, you should check out Kris & Bill’s book, “Taking Home The Flower Show”.

And if you want to help them win The People’s Choice award, vote early & often from all your devices.

For more pictures of Schaffer Designs exhibit, check out my facebook page with links to the brilliance of Kristine Kratt & Bill Schaffer.

And if you are really inspired, just GO to the flower show in Philadelphia! It seems that’s the only spring we are going to have around here….(HURRY UP SPRING!)





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