Best Practices for Sourcing Plants
You want to break into or grow your plant business, but you’re having trouble sourcing plant material. You’re not alone. SAF tackled this topic as part of The Great Big Plant Event this past March.
National Sales Executive
Heart of Florida Greenhouses
Austin Bryant leads national sales for Heart of Florida Greenhouses in Zolfo Springs, Florida. The business grows interior foliage, annuals and perennials and has been run by the Bryant family for 40 years. Bryant received his bachelor’s degree in environmental horticulture from the University of Florida and has 20 years of industry experience. His expertise includes interior foliage, floriculture, tissue culture and foliage marketing. Bryant has served on the state board for the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association and was president of the National Foliage Foundation (now the National Horticulture Foundation).
Fresh Cut Operations Manager/Plant Buyer
Dillon Floral Corporation
Sally Chapin has been involved in the Floral Industry for 27 years, working at Dillon Floral Corporation in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, as the Plant Kingdom/Fresh Cut Operations Manager. She has been in charge of Plant Purchasing for the last 20 years and the 7 years prior she was part of the Plant Sales Team. She directs and manages day to day operations of the Plant Department as well and the Fresh Cut Flower department.
Bloomtastic Flowers & Events
Heather Waits is president of Bloomtastic Florist Inc., in Upper Arlington, Ohio. An expert on marketing, networking, operations and customer service (particularly in relation to weddings), she has written articles for several industry publications, including Floral Management, Florists’ Review and The Wedding Business Magazine. She has presented sessions at two SAF conventions and served on the Floral Management Advisory Committee. The Knot and Wedding Wire have recognized her work and locals named her shop "Columbus’ best florist.”
Eileen Weber, AAF
Lake Forest Flowers
After growing up in her father’s flower shop, Eileen pursued a bachelor’s degree in horticultural production and marketing at Purdue University. It was her love of working with people and the impact of flowers that led Weber to officially join the family business. She has an MBA and serves as vice president of Lake Forest Flowers managing business operations, marketing and community engagement. She teaches floral design at a local art center, garden club programs, private parties and monthly adult and children’s workshops.