Thursday, May 31st was a day that I will not soon forget. I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of being at The Estate in Rosemont, Illinois (which is the venue that we created a few years back!) with the MDE team and our colleagues from Turnkey Hospitality to partake in a workshop presented by The Kesh Experience, and my friend, immense talent Akeshi Akinseye.

 

 

At a Kesh Experience workshop, participants learn the fundamentals of floral and event design, layering, tabletop essentials, branding and marketing your business, sourcing and have the opportunity to get hands-on experience creating a real event. Attendees are given the tools and guidance to create lush and over the top arrangements, bouquets, creative floral designs and more. The workshop seeks to inspire the confidence to create, design, and discover your own personal style. In addition, Akeshi teaches the mechanics behind how we build our lush centerpieces, bouquets and floral arrangements. So admittedly, this was something that I have been DYING to do since I have known Akeshi. First, because I am obsessed with her floral, and second because I love to learn new things about the industry that I am in. I feel that it makes me a better planner, and a more well rounded person.

 

 

I also love a good team building exercise and feel that creating instances in which colleagues and co workers have to communicate differently ultimately assists in cultivating really good inner team communication and cohesiveness. So, after speaking with my friend, we decided to create a morning round table discussion, followed by an afternoon of floral design.

 

 

And, lucky for me, the workshop was happening on a day that my husband, photographer Collin Pierson was available to be on site and take photos! Additionally, because I had an event that evening, I was able to enlist the help of my dear friends Aga Kasciewicz and Juan Jose Herrera for makeup and hair so that I could look the part!! (Do not even get me started about the makeup that we used – hello JLO for Inglot, I am OBSESSED!!!!)

Anywho, I digress. We began the day with a discussion on the importance of branding, the art that is the suggestive sell, and why structure is so important not only in this industry but in life. I loved hearing Akeshi share personal anecdotes and professional lessons that she has learned along the way. One that I especially loved was how she schedules in once a week at least one hour to make time for follow up calls,  marketing strategies, handwritten notes to vendors and outreach to clients, just to say “hello, how are you…” So simple, and so smart!

 

After the round table and then a Q & A, we went into the floral section of the day. The moment I had been waiting for!!! Akeshi was able to teach me how to make a bouquet. And it was amazing!! Truth be told, I never – ever thought I would be able to do something like this, and then there she was, guiding me through the steps with ease and all of the sudden I had this gorgeous grouping of floral in my hands. The work is pretty arduous and labor intensive. I stepped into the role of student and learned to appreciate the art of floral construction. I am SO amazed at what my talented friends and fellow colleagues create, and now – I really understand the amount of time it takes to create these beauties and how to explain that to couples. I also now understand the immense satisfaction that comes with having a hand in creating beautiful floral. I am grateful to always learn and so happy to have accomplished something new yesterday. So, in so many words, “LOOK everyone!!! I made THAT!”

Thank you Akeshi, for all that you do the make the industry brighter and more beautiful, and for always being a source of support and learning for me! And congratulations to my team on creating some serious gorgeousness!

Thank you to the following partners for contributing to an awesome day:

Calligraphy by CT

Windy City Linens

Collin Pierson Photography

The Kesh Experience

Tablescapes rentals

The Estate

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