September issue of the Allied Florist is in a brand new format.  

The Allied Florist

 Monthly Newsletter of the Allied Florists of Houston

Hitomi Gilliam is coming to Houston on September 14, 2017.  See details below and get your tickets before they are all gone.

Magazine Contents

Scroll down to read articles or use the links below.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Hitomi Program

2017-2018 Board Members

Quick Calendar

Gregor Lersch


Interview with Sheri Jentsch

TSFA Floral Expo

Lyn Lary McLean Honored

Message from the President

Be come a AFH Member

AFH is working in conjunction TSFA and AIFD.
Click contribute to go to the AIFD Foundation donation page.

Hitomi Gilliam coming on Sept 14, 2017.

2017- 2018 AFH Board of Directors

**Please note there is a correction from last month's magazine: Retail Director, Lana King's business name is corrected this month.

Alan Masters

President - Alan Masters AIFD CFD
Pasadena ISD

Alex Torres

1st Vice - Alex Torres AIFD CFD TMF        
FAO Designs

Kim Jones

2nd Vice- Kim Jones AIFD CFD TMFA
The Blooming Idea

Vivianna Valverde

Employee Director- Vivianna Valverde

Nicola Parker

Past President- Nicola Parker AIFD CFD TMFA
The Empty Vase

Retail - Ace Berry AAIFD CFD TMF
Fulshear Floral Design

Retail - Lana King TMF
**Blooms from the Heart

Retail - Robin Martinez TMFA AAF
Flowers of Kingwood

Briana Owens

Retail - Briana Owens
G Johnsons

Rob Spikol

Wholesale - Rob Spikol
Greenleaf Wholesale

Beth O'Reilly

Wholesale - Beth O'Reilly AIFD
Mayesh Wholesale

AFH Quick Calendar of Events

 Sept 6-9

 Society of American Florists 133rd Annual Convention- Palm Beach, FL
 Sept 10

 National Grandparents Day
 Sept 11

 National Patriots Day
 Sept 14

 AFH Presents Hitomi Gilliam  Buy Tickets Now
 Sept 17

 Pikes Peak of Texas presents "Gregor Lersch"  Call 713-681-2400 .
 Sept 18-20

 "Gregor Lersch Hands on Class" at Pikes Peak of Texas.  713-681-2400 
 Oct 11

 AFH General Meeting & Taylor Wholesale Christmas Open House
 Oct 13

 Ohara School of Ikebana Demonstration by Associate Professor Akishiro Nishi
 Nov 14

 AFH General Meeting & "Top Designer Competition" at Greenleaf Wholesale

 Gregor Lersch Program Details

G R E G O R    L E R S C H

 September 18th, 19th, 20th 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM 

Houston School of Flowers 4340-D Directors Row Houston, TX 77092 

Gregor Lersch, World Renowned Master Floral Artist, Author and Teacher inspires his students to see floral design from an artist's eye. He has traveled the world teaching and sharing the beauty of skilled floral artistry in over 32 countries. Gregor is recognized as one of the world's most important designers in the field of international floristry and has been awarded 7 High Profile Gold Medals, over 30 additional Gold Medals and 22 Silver Medals. He speaks 6 languages fluently and is the author of more than 30 floral design books. Gregor's concept of combining all styles, design trends and the personality of the artist will be very evident in this hands on 3 day European influenced floral design class. The class will be limited to only 25 students. The tuition of $825 is based on $275 per day but because of the intricacy and structure of this class, one day enrollments could not be offered since Gregor's teaching style could end one day with a demonstration and begin the following morning with his students completing their design. The experience of a 3 day intensive hands on design class with Gregor Lersch here in Houston is the closest possible to traveling to Germany to be in his classes. 

RSVP with a deposit of $100 which will be deducted from total tuition due by September 10th. If class is filled early, a waiting list of 5 students will be held in the event of cancellations. Additional information, contact Pat Hermes (713) 681-2400

REGISTRATION FORM: DEPOSIT $100 Payable to: Houston School of Flowers



Telephone: __________________________Email: ___________________________________ 

*CREDIT CARD for your deposit, please call HOUSTON SCHOOL OF FLOWERS with your credit card information: (713) 681-2400 

Houston School of Flowers 4340-D Directors Row Houston TX 77092 
Pikes Peak of Houston's Building


AFH Member Ken Senter AIFD for being named the President of AIFD South Central Region

Sheri Jentsch AIFD,CFD,TMFA

Winner of The Houston Cup 2014

and for her induction into AIFD 

We are so proud of you Sheri!

 Nicola Parker's Interview with Sheri Jentsch AIFD

Let's begin with a little Info on you aka Name, Business, Hobbies

Sheri Ann Jentsch.

Owner/Creative Director Blumen Meisters Flower Market


Riding my Harley Davidson

Floristry and Structural Floral Art

Painting and Drawing

Love to go to the Movies when I get a chance

Travel when I can (almost never)

How did you begin in the floral industry?

After college, my work transferred me to New York City. I was a litigator who managed the Claims and Litigation Division of an Environmental and Occupational Health Consulting Firm. After 10 years, I discovered that law was not my true passion. While I lived in New York, my sister had my nephew and niece. This was pre-internet days so I called to Texas and found Blumen Meisters Flower Shop. I loved the name as it was perfect for the German community I was raised in. I sent my sister flowers.

She raved about how unique and different they were. In 1999, I resigned my position and returned to my home of New Braunfels Texas. Shortly after my return, I went to Blumen Meisters to ask for a job. I explained that I would work for free just to learn the flower business. The owners told me that they had put Blumen Meisters up for sale 2 days before I walked in. I took that as a sign. I purchased Blumen Meisters in August of 1999 and officially took over in September. September 1 st will be my 19th year in business.

What made you decide to compete in the Houston Cup Competition?

Wow, that is a great question. Honestly, you (Nicola Parker) were my inspiration to be part of the Houston Cup. I had attended the Texas State Florist Convention in Fredericksburg in 2012 and saw you win the Texas Cup. You asked me the next year to compete in the Houston Cup. I believe I turned you down. I just didn't feel ready. You were persistent and called me in 2014. I said "Yes".

How did it feel when you won?

Well, that's a funny question. I specifically recall that I had already loaded up the pieces I created during the Competition. It was late and I had a long drive the next morning to get back to the shop. I was actually by the front door ready to leave when my name was called. I remember bending over in disbelief, almost blacking out, saying a curse word on a live mic and then still not believing it. It took a lot of convincing by a lot of folks for me to believe it. And then I cried. I was so proud. I took pictures of my Cup in bed with me and sent them to my parents.

How did it feel to go on and win the Texas cup?

It took a long time to get over the shock. My greatest feeling about it was being proud. I was so proud to represent Houston, a City I love so dearly, and then to represent The State of Texas. The thought is still overwhelming. There was so much amazing competition. It was hard to believe. I felt blessed to have won. I know you didn't ask this but my greatest regret would be that my business kept me from going on to compete in the various competitions that followed the Texas Cup.

You were inducted into AIFD this year, what gave you the courage to decide to test and go for it?

I truly wanted to be part of Texas 6 (AlthoughI Kiyomi Kuriahra from Dallas was 7 and Marilyn Schuenemann was 8 ) there were 6 from Houston when they tested in Denver. What an honor that would have been. What a crazy party that would have been. I was not able to get to Houston to the practice session that group was doing. The Texas 6 truly inspired me to get my practice on and go for it. The residual of that practice and studying the Principle and Elements of design finally gave me the courage to take the test.

What advice would you give to others that are thinking of competing but are just not feeling confident enough.

Practice, practice, practice. But the best advice I can give is to find a mentor to work with you. There are so many great designers on Facebook just wanting to help other designers get better. Dov E. helped me out tremendously. After I would send him a picture, he would actually take the time to draw revisions to my design that would help me clearly see the issues I was having and correct them. Use social media!!! It is an amazing tool. If you're feeling too shy to post... get over it. You will gain so much more by opening yourself up to the help of others versus being too scared of constructive criticism. Believe me, I am speaking from experience and I wasted a lot of years being too scared.

What advice would you give others who are thinking of testing for AIFD

It is not as bad as you think. Seriously, it is not as bad as you think. After going through the process, the hardest part is getting over the excruciating hours before testing. Once you get in the testing room, all your years of practice and knowledge kick in. It happens organically. Innately, you should know if you're ready to test. You know if you've put in the work to prepare for a test on this level. Truly. Again with social media, I can'9t say it enough... get on Facebook. Find the PFDE Testing Group. You don't have to post anything right away. Just look and read some of the advice given there. It is invaluable. Post a practice piece and get instantaneous feedback. It is a tool a lot of people don't talk about. I can't praise it enough.

Do you believe that programs and education are important to your staff and yourself as the owner?

YES!! Fundamentally, programs and education are at the root of any great floral designer. It is a never ending process. There are always new techniques, design, manipulation of the Principles and Elements of design and without continuing education you just don't grow as a designer or a person. Even if you take one thing away from a program or an educational class it was worth the investment.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Sheri, We at Allied Florist of Houston are so proud of you and we are honored to be a part of your Journey.

Much love and success to you in your future!

  Texas Expo Article by Robin Martinez & Alan Masters


What a wonderful theme for this year's TSFA Floral Expo.

Our day began with a colorful hands on class with Jacob McCall AAF AIFD CFD FSMD. He showed us how color affects design. Loved working with all of the beautiful flowers!

Next we were excited to attend the hands on class with John Hosek, AIFD CFD PFCI CAFD MCF, All Dolled Up! What to Wear! We learned how to create an aluminum necklace, ring and wristlet. I especially liked using the river of diamonds and can't wait to use this information with the upcoming Homecoming season.

The product gallery was full, as well, with our members and friends. Taylor Wholesale/Miles of Smiles, Mayesh Houston, Johnsons Wholesale and Southern Floral Company all had beautiful displays. Rio roses, Espirit Miami and The Elite Flower all had gorgeous varieties to view, Smithers Oasis, Priest International and Vast America as well as the wire services were all there. Ace Berry did an awesome job on the AFH table and represented us well. Alan Masters and Sheryl Jentsch did product demos at 3 different times during gallery viewing times.

This year's design program line up was amazing to say the least. John Hosek, Jacob McCall, Ian Prosser, Charlie Gropetti, Jenny Thomason and Leopold Gomez really outdid themselves with helping us to "Flourish" in our design styles. All the while there were simultaneous business classes if attendees chose to take that line of programs. Vonda LaFever spoke for Team Floral on sales techniques and statistics about sales. There was certainly something for everyone.

One of the highlights was a dinner program with Matt Wood and Jim Marvin who presented a Christmas permanent botanical program based on the arrangements that have been seen in the White House for several of the past presidents. The pair really took Christmas to the next level with color, color and more color.

What a blast dinner was that night.

  Lynn Lary McLean Honored

  Ikebana Class Information




Floral demonstration by visiting professor from Japan is open to the public

HOUSTON, TX - The North American Ohara Teachers Association (NAOTA) and the Houston Ohara Chapter presents an Ohara School of Ikebana Demonstration by Associate Professor Akishiro Nishi (sensei) on Friday, October 13, 2017, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Japanese entertainment and a Sayonara Banquet, in the Magnolia Ballroom at the Westin Hotel Memorial City, 945 Gessner Road, Houston, TX 77024, will follow the demonstration, from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. The event is open to the public. Admission is $100 per person and includes a ticket to the demonstration and banquet. Limited tickets for the demonstration only are available for $40 per person. Advanced reservations are required by sending a check payable to: Ohara School of Ikebana Houston Chapter, c/o Reiko Smith, Treasurer, 12539 Cloverwalk Lane, Houston, TX 77098. For general inquiries, email

Ikebana, one of the traditional arts of Japan, has been practiced for more than 600 years. It developed from the Buddhist ritual of offering flowers to the spirits of the deceased. By the middle of the 15th century, with the emergence of the first classical styles, Ikebana achieved the status of an art form independent of its religious origins, though it continued to retain strong symbolic and philosophical overtones. The first teachers and students were priests and members of the nobility, but as time passed, many schools arose, styles changed, and Ikebana came to be practiced at all levels of Japanese society.

The varying forms of Ikebana share certain common features, regardless of the period or school. Any plant material - branches, leaves, grasses, moss and fruit, as well as flowers - may be used. Withered leaves, seedpods and buds are valued as highly as flowers in full bloom. While a work may be composed of only one, or of many different kinds of materials, the selection of each element demands an experienced eye, and the arrangement requires considerable technical skill in order to create a kind of beauty that cannot be found in nature.

What distinguishes Ikebana from simpler decorative approaches is its asymmetrical form and the use of "empty" space as an essential feature of the composition. A sense of harmony among the materials, the container and the setting is also crucial. These are characteristics of the Japanese aesthetic feeling that Ikebana shares with traditional paintings, gardens, architecture and design.

Unshin Ohara founded the Ohara School in the late 19th century, when Japan opened itself to the influence of Western culture. He created the Moribana style, which was the first style in the history of Ikebana to capture the essence of natural scenic beauty. This led to the Ohara School's introduction of the Landscape Arrangement, which incorporates strong literary and pictorial connotations.

The Ohara School of Ikebana celebrated its 122nd anniversary this year and has over 1 million students throughout the world. Its main offices are in Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe. There are 158 chapters in Japan and major chapters outside Japan, including Houston.

The North American Ohara Teachers Association (NAOTA) was founded in January 2001 to promote the Ohara School of Ikebana. The teachers share ideas, techniques and related information on Ikebana and Japanese art. NAOTA hosts an annual conference in various US cities, featuring either a visiting professor from Japan or a Grand Master from the US. Teachers attending the Houston conference are from the US, Canada, and South America. For more information, go to

Message from the President

Greetings Floral Family, 

It is that time of year again that we all wait for. The time when the kids all head back to school. As we kick off this new school year I am hoping all of you find an abundance of business at your doors. With homecoming approaching, it is time to get all your corsage and boutonniere supplies out and displayed and all those gigantic mums prepped and ready for personalization. 

For those of you who are not yet aware, I have made a career move. I am very excited to announce that I am now teaching floral design to 155 students at the Career and Technical High School in Pasadena. I am looking forward to influencing the lives of all these young men and women as the year progresses. 

If you haven't yet done so, now is a great time to register for Hitomi. We will be kicking our year off right with this excellent program. I hope to see you all there. Hitomi will be presenting new techniques and mechanics for wedding work. You don't want to miss this. She is hands down one of the best and most creative people of our time and is sure to really bring her A game. 

As always Keep Bloomin. Go out and make something beautiful today. 

Alan Masters AIFD, CFD

Become a Member of Allied Florists of Houston

To see all the benefits that membership provides go to the About Us page.

Dues can be paid online and fax your completed application to 281-360-1035 OR
Mail your check and completed application to:
Allied Florists of Houston
c/o: Taylor Wholesale
1601 W. 21st
Houston, TX 77008

Retail Membership Qualifications 
Retail shops actively engaged in the full time sale of flowers, plants, and related items and located within 100 miles of Houston qualify for this classification. 
The locations shall be clearly identified by an outside florist sign; shall have a separate sales area; a floral display refrigerator; and shall have a delivery vehicle.
At the time of application for membership, the retail shop shall have been engaged in the florist business for at least six months; have a commercial telephone listing; have a full time designer on duty at all times; and belong to at least one wire service.
~ Annual dues are $150 billed each July
~ Includes Voting Privileges
Download the Retail Membership Application.

Wholesale / Grower Membership Qualifications
Individuals, wholesalers or wholesale-grower firms who are actively engaged in the production and/or distribution of cut flowers and/or plants and/or related items and located within 100 miles of Houston qualify for this classification.
~Annual dues are $150 billed each July
~ Includes Voting Privileges
Download the Wholesale/Grower Membership Application.

Associate Membership Qualifications
Associate Members shall be firms or individuals engaged in wholesale or floral related businesses not qualifying for retail member classification.
~Annual dues are $150 billed each July
~ Includes Voting Privileges
Download the Associate Membership Application.

General Membership Qualifications
General Members shall be individuals employed within the floral industry or students or instructors of floriculture, landscape gardening, landscape architecture, or ornamental horticulture. 
~Annual dues are $50 billed each July
~ NO Voting Privileges.
Download the General Membership Application.

Find us on:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram Website