Debra Prinzing

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SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Floral Microlending with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers (Episode 163)

October 15th, 2014

This episode is dedicated to a sweet little girl named Shylah who’s dealing with some scary medical challenges. Please say a quiet prayer or send your sentiments into the universe for her healing, for her parents and brothers, and for the physicians who are caring for her.

I also want to share a special announcement:

We’ve reached our 400th member to join the online directory.

Here's a peek at The FloraCultural Society's storefront on College Ave. in Oakland - our 400th Member of

Here’s a peek at The FloraCultural Society’s storefront on College Ave. in Oakland – our 400th Member of

Thanks to Anna Campbell of  The FloraCultural Society in Oakland, for listing her urban flower farm, design studio and charming retail shop with our site. I was introduced to Anna by Stephanie Hughes, who I met at a Little Flower School workshop last spring – she’s now a director with The FloraCultural Society.

Expect to hear more from this creative team. I recently visited them in Oakland and have already scheduled a future Slow Flowers podcast episode about Anna’s creative business model, which will run later in the fall.

More than a year ago I hosted Baltimore-based floral designer Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers, aka Lo-Co-Flo, as a guest of this podcast. I’ve been wanting to have Ellen back on the show due in large part to the innovative work she and her team are doing to support American flower farmers, while also promoting their mission to Local Color Flowers’ customers and the media.

Ellen and her husband Eric Moller, along with a savvy design and production team, specialize in weddings & events. They also lead hands-on workshops and classes and are vocal advocates for American grown flowers. I can’t tell you how impressed I am – continually – with all they are doing. And how often I hear from others in the Slow Flowers movement who wish to model their floral businesses on what Ellen and Eric are doing.

The Local Color Flowers design team - Ellen Frost is in the center.

The Local Color Flowers design team – Ellen Frost is in the center.

A few months back I heard from another florist friend that the duo had begun to invest in “flower futures” with some of their small grower-suppliers. The more I learned about LoCoFlo’s  micro-lending program, the more intrigued I was to hear from Ellen myself.

American Grown Floral Visionary, Ellen Frost.

American Grown Floral Visionary, Ellen Frost.

So when I had a chance to meet up with Ellen in August, at a very special field-to-vase dinner that Jennie Love hosted at Love ‘N Fresh Flower Farm in Philadelphia, I grabbed the recorder and asked Ellen for an update.

You will be inspired and her innovative thinking. If you are a florist who is in search of very special and/or hard-to-locate botanicals for your design work, this interview may prompt you to similarly invest in a flower farmer near you.

And if you’re a flower farmer, why not approach your florist-customers and invite them to brainstorm with you about what to grow for next season? Who knows? Maybe that will lead to a collaborative partnership of your own — one in which florists pre-purchase next year’s crops, giving the farmer up-front capital to buy bulbs, seeds and starts — all with the knowledge that those flowers will go for a fair price in the marketplace?

Emerging flower farmers recently attended the "Flower Power Hour," hosted by Local Color Flowers.

Emerging flower farmers recently attended the “Flower Power Hour,” hosted by Local Color Flowers.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at

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5 Responses to “SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Floral Microlending with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers (Episode 163)”

  1. Ellen Frost Says:

    thanks so much debra for featuring Local Color Flowers on the podcast today. We’re grateful for the opportunity to get the conversation started about how farmers and florists can work together to ensure a healthy future for locally grown flowers in our communities.

  2. Sarah Richardson Says:

    Looking forward to the Wreath Recipe book. Snowberry fits in anywhere and pumpkin on a stick is so much fun!
    LOVE your podcast, it’s so inspiring and informative. Thank you!

  3. Debra Prinzing » Post » 2015 Floral Insights and Industry Forecast (Episode 174) Says:

    […] Enter the florist who wants to pre-order (and offer important guarantees), which offers an unique partnership that is paying off for everyone. Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers in Baltimore is a leader in micro-lending, and I anticipate that other florists will join her efforts to ensure a more beautiful, local, fresh and abundant supply of the flowers they desire. If you missed the conversation, here’s a link to my October interview with Ellen. […]

  4. Episode 477: Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers and Lisa Ziegler of The Gardener's Workshop - Debra Prinzing Says:

    […] Color Flowers on Slow Flowers PodcastEpisode 163 (October 15, […]

  5. alice m rojas Says:

    I like the idea of having a meeting with the farmers to help them grow the right flowers that the florists need. I am a small time flower grower. i appreciate these podcasts and sites to go to for information.

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