Designer Spotlight: Patience Pickner AIFD, PFCI, SDCF


 Patience Pickner AIFD, PFCI, SDCF lives in Chamberlain SD a huge metropolis of 2500 awesome residents. She purchased a failing flower shop in 1998, and quickly turned it around by specializing in customer service, and also by  adding in lots of unique  home d├ęcor.   In 2013 she purchased the adjacent building and opened a sister store The Other Side of the Fence, which has unusual and eclectic furniture and home accessories.
  Patience has been active with South Dakota Floral Assn~ serving on the board for many years, currently as president. She is also a past president for the Minndakota unit of Teleflora.  Patience has been awarded the South Dakota Floral Associations Designer of the Year 3 times. She was  also honored to be chosen as Business Person of the year in 2010.
  She is a past  finalists of the Mayesh Design Star, and was  asked to join the Fitz design team in 2014.  She is Co-founder of Florgasm, a design team that spreads their love and passion of floral art across the country, through their website, stage programs and hands on classes.

Prom Flowers Designer Spotlight - Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF

 
How did you get into the floral industry  (what were you doing prior)? Was there a defining point along the way that shaped you as a designer? 
 I was approached by my sister who had worked on and off in floral shops to go in with her to buy a local shop that was struggling.  We were partners for about a year, and then I bought out her share. Prior to that I was working at a boarding school for at risk native American youth. There definitely was a defining point, when I was asked by a well known silk company to do their Christmas design show for them, and then later told that they had changed their minds when they realized I was not AIFD.  I decided then and there to make sure that I never missed out on an opportunity again due to lack of education/credentials.

 What has been the best advice you’ve been given? 
 "Just keep doing what you do so well."  At one point my little town was so over saturated with florists, and I asked a good friend of mine, who is also a business owner for advice on several occasions....should I lower my prices, change my look, remodel my store.....etc.  Just keep doing what you do, she would say,  people love your style and customer service. Don't worry about the competition, do you"  I listened, and all 3 competing shops are no longer in business.  Its good advice, Do You. 

 What advice would you give to someone looking at the floral industry as a career choice? 
 I love this industry!! Adore it!! I wouldn't want to do anything else!! I would tell them to go for it, to take absolutely every opportunity that they can get to further their education and design abilities! It bothers me a little when people say that you cannot make money in this industry.... you can!!! 


 Tell us about your design process. Do you visualize a concept first, or does the concept come together as
You work on it.?

 Totally comes together as I am working.... I have a rough Idea, but really, it sounds weird, but the flowers kinda tell me how to design.


How do you recharge creatively?  What is your  ‘go-to’ place or source of inspiration outside the floral world? 
I love art, all types.  From Art and craft fairs to sculptures, art exhibits, etc.  Also nature... there is beauty all around us.... I am inspired a lot from the beautiful outdoors.  I am a very organic designer... love all the gifts of beauty you can get from a walk, bits of moss, drift wood, feathers, cool bark...etc. 
How has your work evolved since you began in the industry? Well.... hopefully it has gotten better!!  As I said, I am an organic designer, which can translate into messy..... I think my designs have gotten cleaner, more defined, romantic and lush.

What new corsage trends do you see emerging  in your area, and which ones are on the way out ?    
 Headbands, necklaces, rings,  body jewelry other than the norm is really taking hold.   Gold is replacing silver. Look for burlap, bling, lace and feathers to remain strong in body flowers, but also look for leather accents to make their debut.  The bling will get more romantic and "antiqued".  Animal prints seem to be losing steam.  Softer, more romantic colors are also becoming very popular. 


Floral Crown designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight

Floral Crown designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight

Floral Crown designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight


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?  
 Wow, good question. I guess in my area (pretty rural, with the nearest wholesaler hours away) the biggest misconception seems to be that they can wait until the day before, or even the day of the event to order. I can always make something beautiful for even the latest of the last minute shoppers, although it may not be their first choice, but I am always surprised at the number of last minute couples.  

How about a common misconception  florists have about these new customers?  
That we assume to  know what they like.   Listen to your customers.  Just because XYZ is the "in" look.... prom girls/brides, they are very informed, they know what they like, and they like choices, and individuality! 

Favorite flower  variety or new product you’re obsessed with right now? 
Talking body flower work,  I love mini cymbidiums, and I am totally  in love with ranuculus, and zinnia, especially in floral headbands. 

 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?)  
Me, and I would ROCK a gorgeous floral boa!!! 

Floral Crown designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight

Floral Ring designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF-  Prom Flowers-Designer Spotlight


Floral Ring designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF-  Prom Flowers-Designer Spotlight
Floral couture fashion by Patience Pickner - PromFlowers Designer Spotlight AIFD PFCI SDCF


Final Thoughts for our readers?
 Florists- Enjoy prom season. Its,all about organization,  listening to your customers,  offering awesome options and having fun! Don't forget to charge for your artistry!! Find inspiration on social media, at educational and hands on classes, on Pintrest, and my fave at www.creationsbyfitzdesign.com.

designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight

designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight

designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight


designed by Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF- PromFlowers designer spotlight



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






Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI SDCF
The Picket Fence
127 S Main St
Chamberlain SD 57325
The Other Side Of The Fence
125 S Main St



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