Debra Prinzing

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Episode 597: All about the new Black Florists Fund and a conversation with its founders and first grant recipient

February 15th, 2023

I’m delighted to host today’s conversation with the creatives behind Black Florists Fund. Black Florists Fund is an endeavor embarked upon in partnership with Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) and a team of Black entrepreneur advisors.

Black Florists Fund logo

Through donations and sponsorships, Black Florist Fund (BFF) aims to provide worry-free capital grants and other crucial business resources to Black florists. These grants will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate a passion for the floral business community and a need for additional funding to help reach their goals and propel their business. Black Florists Fund hopes to provide valuable support to help stabilize and grow a number of black owned floral businesses each year.

It is with profound gratitude that I welcome three individuals in the floral community who are going to share more about what Black Florists Fund and how we can all get more involved.

You’ll hear from Elizabeth Cronin, founder and creative director of Asrai Garden; John Caleb Pendleton, creative director of Planks & Pistils, and Taylor Bates of Dusk Lily Floral Design, the first recipient of a Black Florists Fund grant. All three are based in Chicago and you’ll hear how their stories are woven together to support entrepreneurial Black florists and flower farmers through this new initiative.

Taylor Bates, Dusk Lily Floral Design
Taylor Bates, Dusk Lily Floral Design
Floral design by Taylor Bates
Floral design by Taylor Bates

Follow Dusk Lily Floral on Instagram

John Caleb Pendleton, Planks & Pistils
John Caleb Pendleton, Planks & Pistils
Floral design by John Caleb Pendleton
Floral design by John Caleb Pendleton

Follow Planks & Pistils on Instagram

Elizabeth Cronin of Asrai Gardens
Elizabeth Cronin of Asrai Gardens
Floral design by Elizabeth Cronin
Floral design by Elizabeth Cronin

Follow Asrai Garden on Instagram

Follow Elizabeth Cronin on Instagram

Follow Black Florists Fund on Instagam

Black Florists Fund Assets for your use:

Letter to Florist Partners

Script for soliciting donations from shoppers/customers at the register

Corporate Solicitations Letter

Social Media Artwork & Logos

Let’s support the 2023 round of fundraising and grant making.
Link to Donate to BFF

I hope you’re as inspired as I am to make a difference — in any way that works for you.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

Thank you to Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. 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.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time.

Music credits:

Algea Trio; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

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