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Designer Spotlight: Jodi Duncan AIFD

I'm very excited to introduce Jodi Duncan as our first designer 'in the spotlight'
Jodi is an accomplished designer & florist. During her 27 years of experience she has been the 2013 Mayesh Design Star,  the Illinois State Designer of The Year (2008),
 a contributing designer/writer for Fusion Flowers Magazine, 
Principal Designer for Schaffer Designs, Philadelphia 
(you've heard of that little event The Philadelphia Flower Show?)
Not to mention an accredited member of AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers), and numerous other awards and recognition you can find on her Linkedin profile.
Currently she is helping her customers near and far celebrate their lives with flowers at her shop, Jodi Duncan Designs (contact information below)

How did you get into the floral industry? 
I started working in a shop at 15 and owned a shop at 19, so I have always been “in” I suppose.

 Was there a defining point along the way that shaped you as a designer?
 Only a million. To be a good designer you never stop growing and learning from those benchmark situations that arise.

 What has been the best advice you’ve been given?
 Pace yourself, you’ve got a long life ahead of you. -Chris Norwood 
Everything tells a story…what are you trying to say? Hitomi Gilliam 

 What advice would you give to someone looking at the floral industry as a career choice? 
 EDUCATION. Never stop learning. You can lose your financial status, your house, your car, your relationships, but you don’t lose your education. No one can take that from you. ALSO, you might be a big fish in a small pond, but expose yourself to design outside your pond, your circle of influence. If you are the best designer in the room, you are in the wrong room—stretch yourself. Continually expose yourself to educational design opportunities. 

 Tell us about your design process. Do you visualize a concept first, or does the concept come together as You work on it?
 It depends. Some things I sketch, some things come very organically. It can be a combination of textures or the juxtaposition of movement & form that inspire a design. Sometimes just by holding something in your hand, exploring happens. Sometimes its curiosity…”What if…?" 

 How do you recharge creatively? What is your ‘go-to’ place or source of inspiration outside the floral world? 
Camping. Time in nature with my family is a favorite. My spiritual life is very important—meditating, prayer, worship. And good old fashioned SLEEP. The liminal period between falling asleep and waking up is when I get some great ideas & solutions to problems. I live on an open prairie and I can see in every direction to the horizon. Its a great place to be contemplative, even just for 5 minutes breaks during a regular day. 

 How has your work evolved since you began in the industry?
Well, at one time I took pictures of my bows! I was so proud. Nobody starts out brilliant and fabulous. You have to grasp the principles and elements of design and then find your voice within them. I look at old pictures of my first arrangements. Some were scary. Some were good. The photos of the first wedding I did all by myself in 1990 looks great to this day, if I do say so myself!

What new corsage trends do you see emerging  in your area, and which ones are on the way out?
My gals are just now getting into the wire corsage bracelets that I do. I actually sell them all year round and use them for weddings as well. Big bows are going out. They want corsages that look more like a bracelet, like jewelry, and less like a casket spray. 

In the next few months many orders will be placed  for Homecoming, Winter Formals and  of course, Prom. Many times they are placed by customers who have never been inside a flower shop before, much less order a corsage or boutonniere. What do you think is a common  misconception  these customers have about their floral piece and/or their florist?
That we are expensive and overpriced and cantankerous and terribly dated. And sadly, some of us are all of those things. 

How about a common misconception  florists have about these new customers?
That they all want to steal our ideas and go DIY it themselves.

Favorite flower variety or new product you’re obsessed with right now?
I am in love with the Ubermatte spray from Design Master. 

If you were asked to provide a floral accessory to be worn  on the red carpet, what would it be? (and who would wear it?)
I would make a boutonniere for Sting. It would be lean & interesting  just like him and his music.

Designer Spotlight-Jodi Duncan AIFD- An interview with one of the leading creative forces in the floral industry.

Final thoughts for our readers?
Go make the world a better place because you are in it. Solve problems, don’t create them. Bring beauty everywhere you go, aesthetically & in spirit.

112 South Division
Norris City IL 62869

Find Jodi on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @JodiDuncan.

Many, many thanks to Jodi for taking time out of her busy schedule to participate in the 
Designer Spotlight series!  
If you have a question  for Jodi or just want to say 'Hi', please leave a comment below.