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An Evening with Two Icons

An Evening with Two Icons
Jim Johnson and Frankie Shelton
Weatherford Farms, Stafford Tx
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Allied Florists of Houston Presents

Frankie Shelton AAF AIFD PFCI

To say the presentation last evening was inspiring is a understatement. The Legacy Program does not adequately state the depth of the experiences, knowledge and history of Jim Johnson and Frankie Shelton. I am not a Texas native, so I had no prior knowledge of Jim Johnson or Frankie Shelton. I am very honored to have met them last evening and hear their vast experience in the floral industry.

Jim Johnson was the first to speak. Jim worked as a florist in Indiana for 14 years, then made the move to Texas A&M in 1975 where he taught floral design courses and served as advisor to AIFD's student design club. Jim has taught classes and given keynote design presentations all over the U.S and abroad, and has achieved many more wonderful accomplishments. He is the Director of the Benz School of Floral Design and the Benz Gallery of Floral Art. His first speaking point came from the first book of Mr. Buddy Benz about Flowers:Traditional/Geometric Design, where he explored the studies of floral art within the American culture. The way In which Mr. Buddy Benz taught was an innovative style between  art and floral design. Jim next point came from Mr. Benz's second book Flowers:Free Form-Interpretive Design, an introduction to his theory of using form and color of flowers to create personal expressions of floral art. His last point was based on the third book that Buddy wrote. Flowers: Abstract Form which explained his third theory  of design in which floral art is a visual experience. It was my pleasure to be in attendance last evening and it has inspired me to learn more about Mr. Buddy Benz and Jim Johnson.

Last but definitely not least is the presentation by Frankie Shelton. It was wonderful to see how many of Frankie Shelton's former students were in attendance last evening. Frankie Shelton is an internationally known designer, teacher and commentator. She is the past president of the national American Institute of Floral Designers. Frankie owned and operated a retail floral business for 18 years . She continues a busy career as Educational Director of the Shelton-White School of Floral Design and owner of Florenco. Last evening she spoke on Discovering Pathways to Success. With humor and her vast experience in the floral business she explained the importance of  knowing your customers and how first and foremost is the  importances of  customer service.

  • How trends are increasingly important to watch and to get inspired by.
  • Teaching yourself and your staff how to sell and to keep up with training and new techniques is vital to your business,.
  • How that you should never prejudge your customers.
  • To always set goals for yourself and your staff on a daily basis.

With inspired stories of her amazing life she moved everyone to learn and achieve more for themselves and their business in floral design. I for one learned a lot and was inspired to do more to set goals for myself in the floral business, and to inspire others to do so as well. I would like to say a huge thank you to Allied Florists of Houston, and Weatherford Farms for providing the facility in which the show was located and to L&G Wholesaler for the floral supplies used.


By Leslie Schlotman

For more photos of the event click here