Debra Prinzing

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Episode 478 Portland Wedding Designer Joy Proctor on creating the Say Their Names Memorial + a Bonus Conversation with Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events

November 4th, 2020

Joy Proctor, Joy Proctor Design

I’m so honored today to welcome Portland wedding designer Joy Proctor, owner of Joy Proctor Design. Joy is internationally-recognized and named a top wedding designer by Harper’s Bazaar and Bride’s Magazine.

The first Say Their Names Memorial was installed in Portland, Oregon, where Joy is based
(c) Jessica G. Mangia Photography
Joy Proctor’s activism has sparked a grassroots effort to honor the lives lost to racial injustice (c) Jessica G. Mangia Photography

In June, Joy and a group of friends, artists, designers and craftspeople came together in a grassroots effort to create the first Say Their Names Memorial in Portland, Oregon.

The photographic and floral tribute used art to honor hundreds of Black men, women and young people whose lives were taken unjustly by systemic racism and racial injustice. It was first installed on June 19th, also known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

Joy Proctor at the Kirkland, Wash., Say Their Names Memorial
(c) Morgan Petroski Photography

The “Say Their Name Memorial” has grown into a nationwide initiative and it has been put up in over 25 locations nationwide since then. Joy’s aim is to use the memorial to facilitate conversation around systemic racism while honoring those whose lives have been taken by it.   

Say Their Names Memorial at Germany Park in Dallas, spearheaded by Bows & Arrows Flowers (c) N. Barrett Photography

I also want to acknowledge the amazing work and passion of Dallas creatives Alicia and Adam Rico, fellow wedding designer friends and colleagues of Joy’s, and Slow Flowers members who own Bows & Arrows Flowers. I first learned the Say Their Names Memorial project through their efforts in Dallas, Austin and other communities. 

Corporate Event Planner and Slow Flowers Operations, Membership and Events Manager Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events (c) Missy Palacol Photography

You’ll also meet a second guest, Karen Thornton of the Slow Flowers team, who was inspired to bring the Say Their Names Memorial to the Seattle Area. On October 20th, Karen and I finally met Joy, her sister Elise Proctor and their colleague Stacy Feder when they drove from Portland to Kirkland, outside Seattle, to spend a day lending their support to the local production.  

For this Podcast, I’ve invited Joy and Karen to speak about this project and share how they, as passionate and gifted wedding and corporate event professionals, respectively, are using beauty and art to raise awareness, change attitudes and protest injustice in their communities and beyond.  

A photo shoot for Flutter Magazine, designed by Joy Proctor (c) Jose Villa, with florals by Amy Osaba Events

Before we get started, here’s more about Joy Proctor:

Since starting in the wedding business in 2007, Joy’s reputation and projects have led to her current reputation as one of the most highly sought after creative directors in the world, known for producing original, inventive concepts. She has designed for many brands and publications in search of new, beautiful and innovative ideas. From concept to creation, Joy and her team produce visual campaigns, branded content and editorial features for elegant and discerning clientele. As a well regarded prop and photo stylist, Joy is known for the styling of details for photo and prestigious publications. 

Joy served as creative director and designer for “The Beauty of Rice,” an editorial photo shoot in Thailand (c) D’arcy Benincosa

With the aim of styling everything like it were a magazine feature, she takes photo design very seriously, creating a timeline, shot list and production plan to ensure the best shots. 

She provides props and backgrounds to perfectly capture the client’s design in its best light.  

Joy’s styling work appears on the cover of the first Style Me Pretty book, Style Me Pretty Weddings

She has designed and styled weddings and events in Madagascar, Italy, Provence, France, the resort town of telluride, the Cotswolds, Thailand and beyond.

Joy planned and designed the 2019 wedding of Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas (c) Corbin Gurkin

Find and follow Joy Proctor at these social places:

Joy Proctor Design on Instagram

Joy Proctor Design on Facebook

Joy Proctor Design on Pinterest

Thousands have witnessed the memorial tributes to lives lost to systemic racism across our country. What Joy’s story reveals is the power of a single idea, and the potential of community grassroots action.

Say Their Names Memorial web site

Say Their Names Memorial on Instagram

Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events at the Kirkland, Wash., Say Their Names Memorial
(c) Morgan Petroski Photography

Next up, I want to share a short interview with my dear friend and colleague Karen Thornton, owner of Seattle-based Avenue 22 Events. Karen has served as Slow Flowers’ event manager since 2018 and in 2020, she assumed our operations and membership.

Hundreds of beautiful black-and-white portraits honored with individual floral tributes (c) Morgan Petroski Photography in Kirkland, Washington

You’ll hear more about the Kirkland, Washington, Say Their Names Memorial, which continues on display through November. You are invited to view the Memorial where portraits and flowers are on display at six places of worship across the community of Kirkland:

Memorial Locations
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 10021 NE 124th St, Kirkland, WA 98034
Kirkland Congregational United Church of Christ, 106 5th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
Lake Washington Christian Church, 343 15th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
Lake Washington United Methodist Church, 7525 132nd Ave. NE, Kirkland, WA 98033
Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, 308 4th Ave. S, Kirkland, WA 98033
Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 105 State St., Kirkland, WA 98033

In her consulting business, Karen brings a distinctive and comprehensive skill set to event planning and management. Her background in experience design and business consulting and her ability to execute on detailed logistics help ensure satisfying, meaningful events. Karen deeply understands how to develop engaging programs and invests the effort to ensure that all the event details are in place. From visioning and honing objectives to budget management and marketing to selecting the venue and securing vendors, Karen confidently, competently does it all.

Find and follow Avenue 22 Events:

Avenue 22 Events on Instagram

Here is a list of resources and supporters for the Kirkland Say Their Names Memorial. Thank you!


Morgan Petroski Photography @morgpetphoto 

Graphic Design and Sign Printing

Blue Ink @blueinkcreates   

Printing (Portraits)

Woodinville Print             

Flowers Provided and Procured by:

Slow Flowers @myslowflowers

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market @seattlewholesalegrowersmarket

Floressence @floressencellc

Lora Bloom


Bad Weather Farm @badweatherurbanfarm

Hazel Designscapes @hazeldesignscapes

Rentals (tables, tents)

Grand Event Rentals @grandeventrentals  

Catering + Sweets (for volunteers day-of)


Lady Yum @ladyyum   

Thanks so so much for being present with me for these two important conversations. It means so much that Slow Flowers as a community provides these diverse channels for advocacy, education, outreach and activism.

And the conversation will continue, of course, as we move into 2021.

It’s your final chance to enter the generous course giveaway offered by last week’s guest Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers. Ellen is giving a complimentary registration to her new online workshop — Growing Your Business with Local Flower Sourcing to one listener of the Slow Flowers Podcast. The six-week course begins January 4, 2021 and the course value is $495. What a generous giveaway! To enter, make a comment in the show notes at for episode 477 (and be sure to listen to my conversation with Ellen while there)  — and tell us one of your favorite ways to source locally-grown flowers. All comments posted by midnight Pacific on Sunday, November 8th will be entered into a random drawing for Ellen’s course. And for everyone, click on this link to sign up for notifications when registration opens Nov. 16-20. I’m excited for the winner already!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 655,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by, the free, nationwide online directory to florists, shops, and studios who design with American-grown flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at

The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at

Music Credits:

Basketliner; Bridgewalker; Donnalee; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field

One Response to “Episode 478 Portland Wedding Designer Joy Proctor on creating the Say Their Names Memorial + a Bonus Conversation with Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events”

  1. Episode 478 Portland Wedding Designer Joy Proctor on creating the Say Their Names Memorial + a Bonus Conversation with Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events | 4CYCLE NEWS Says:

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