Debra Prinzing

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Episode 583: Farm and Studio Visit with Farmer-Florist Daniele Strawn of JoLee Blooms & Design in Sonoma County, California

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Today you will hear my interview with Daniele Strawn of JoLee Blooms & Design. In addition to our Q&A conversation, you are in for a treat, because Daniele shared two video tours that you’ll see in the YouTube video above. The video episode begins with a field and studio tour, recorded by Emma Wood and Daniele; that’s followed by my interview with Daniele, and we wrap up with a design demonstration that she filmed in her studio. Together these segments will give you a full picture of JoLee Blooms.

Daniele Strawn and Emma Wood
Armloads of JoLee Blooms-grown focal flowers, with Daniele Strawn (left) and Emma Wood (right)

Daniele is a long-time Slow Flowers Member who is a past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast. We spent several days together in the spring of 2016 when Daniele organized a Slow Flowers in California’s North Bay area. Daniele was my guide to tour flower farms, visit design studios and learn more about the stories of the emerging community for local flowers.

JoLee Blooms bouquet
A signature seasonal arrangement by JoLee Blooms.

She had a few cameo appearances during the four-part series I recorded on that tour, but this episode is devoted entirely to Daniele’s story and JoLee Blooms.

Daniele and stock
Left: Daniele Strawn; right: a rainbow of field-grown stock, one of JoLee Blooms & Design’s favorite crops

I’m so excited to share my conversation with Daniele, as we discuss some of the infrastructure issues and operational decisions she’s making for JoLee Blooms, now wrapping up its sixth season. Daniele has been growing and designing in Sonoma County California even longer than that, so she has much wisdom to impart with her straight-talk.

JoLee Blooms floral arrangement
The autumn arrangement, designed on camera for our Slow Flowers Show

About Daniele:

Here’s more about Daniele Strawn, adapted from her website’s “About” page:

“With all my love, commitment, and joy, I am so proud to bring you JoLee Blooms & Design – a boutique flower farm and sustainable floral design studio located in the sunny hills of West Sonoma County.

“From my first memories playing in the evergreens & waterfalls of the Olympic Peninsula, to weeklong backpacking adventures along California’s golden coast – I have always had a deep appreciation for the great outdoors and the many splendors of our natural world.

“With an eclectic background in Event & Project Coordination, Interior Design & Architecture, Business Administration and Outdoor & Elementary Education, plus a lifelong love of gardening that started in my grandfathers’ gardens, I began honing my farming & floristry skills in 2013 at a flower farm and floral studio in Petaluma, California.”

Daniele Strawn, JoLee Blooms & Design
Daniele and Jeremy
Left, Daniele Strawn; Right, Jeremy Strawn, of JoLee Blooms & Design

About JoLee Blooms & Designs

“Naming my business JoLee is my way of paying homage to both of my grandfathers, Joe (maternal) and Lee (paternal). Both men were raised on farms during the great depression, were avid gardeners in their later years and both taught me (and all of their grandkids who were willing and interested) what it means to have a green thumb and enjoy hard work outdoors.
It seemed fitting that their names combined sound so feminine and French (Jolie is the French word for “pretty one”) as I am the only one in my family, of French descent, to be pursuing a life in agriculture and I happen to be growing nature’s pretty ones – flowers!
And my passion and love for using the flowers we’ve grown here on our small farm and then turning them into unique floral creations for your special day is an added touch of femininity & beauty that I am proud to add to my family’s agricultural legacy.”

JoLee Blooms' growing fields
JoLee Blooms’ growing fields
Map of Bloomfield California
A simple street map of Bloomfield, California, with X’s to indicate the close proximity between Daniele and Jeremy’s home, the studio, and 2 growing areas.

Find and follow JoLee Blooms & Design:
Instagram and Pinterest

This Week’s News

Hannah Morgan

It’s November and we’re getting ready to host our NOVEMBER Slow Flowers Meet-Up, Friday, November 11th at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. We’ll welcome member and designer Hannah Morgan of Fortunate Orchard for our first in-studio Meet-Up when we explore Slow + Seasonal Wreaths – from Harvest to Holiday. Hannah will open up Fortunate Orchard’s brand new design studio in Seattle to share her wreathmaking tips and advice. She will cover: 

  • Recommended Supply List
  • Ingredients and Recipes (including wild-gathered and foraging best practices)
  • Mechanics and Methods
  • Care and Shipping Options
  • Selling Your Wreaths

You need to pre-register to join us and you can find the sign up link below or in the profile menu at our Instagram page @slowflowerssociety. See you there!

Hot off the Press: Slow Flowers Journal Fall 2022 Issue

Slow Flowers Journal

Speaking of gorgeous holiday wreaths, I hope you’ve seen the new FALL edition of the Slow Flowers Journal, published last week. “Harvest & Holidays” is a digital issue filled with 66-page of news, features, profiles, columns, and essays — and beautiful photography — to shine a light on the Slow Flowers Community. 

Published as a collaboration between BLOOM Imprint and Slow Flowers Society, this quarterly magazine is tailored to flower-farmers, floral designers, and gardening consumers who have embraced the floral lifestyle.  Our subscription is free to Slow Flowers Members. And we’re sharing this issue for free with Slow Flowers Podcast listeners, too — find the link to download below.

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 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

Thank you to Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details is here to improve profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at

Thank you to 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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

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

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

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:

Dippler; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

Episode 241: Sonoma Flower Mart Brings Slow Flowers to California’s Wine Country

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

California Sister's logo is reminiscent of vintage California fruit labels

California Sister’s logo is reminiscent of vintage California fruit labels

I had a fantastic visit with Kathy (left) and Nichole (right) at their new retail-wholesale space at The Barlow in Sebastopol, CA

I had a fantastic visit with Kathy (left) and Nichole (right) at their new retail-wholesale space at The Barlow in Sebastopol, CA

California Sister and Sonoma Flower Mart are members of the NB Flower Collective.

California Sister and Sonoma Flower Mart are members of the North Bay Flower Collective.

I’ve mentioned a few times recently that the members of North Bay Flower Collective invited me to spend two days in Sonoma County last month to tour flower farms, visit design studios and learn more about the stories of their community.

The origins of this visit date back a year when I met and interviewed two members of this new organization — Betany Coffland of Chloris Floral Design and Lennie Larkin of B-Side Farm — and featured our conversation here on the podcast.

Over the course of the next month or so, I have several new interviews to share. The guests and topics were selected and suggested by the North Bay Flower Collective’s core leadership group — and you’ll soon hear how they engage in collective decision-making and collaboration.

I have to give props to Daniele Strawn of Chica Bloom Farm and Nichole Skalski of California Sister Floral Design for acting as my travel planners and key contacts for the visit.

Daniele Strawn of Chica Bloom Farm and North Bay Flower Collective, one of my hosts along with Nichole Skalski.

Daniele Strawn of Chica Bloom Farm and North Bay Flower Collective, one of my hosts along with Nichole Skalski.

You’ll hear from Daniele at the top of this interview as we revisit how we connected and how this series came to fruition. Then we will transition to two back-to-back interviews with Nichole and her business partner Kathrin Green.

Nichole and Kathy recently joined forces as partners in California Sister Floral Design & Supply to develop and open their new venture: Sonoma Flower Mart. The companion businesses are co-located in a very cool retail-wholesale space in The Barlow, a development in Sebastopol, California, in the heart of Sonoma County.

A beautiful seasonal arrangement from California Sister Floral Design.

A beautiful seasonal arrangement from California Sister Floral Design.

Called “the new artisan amusement park” by Sunset magazine, The Barlow occupies former fruit packing houses and industrial buildings and now brings together the very best wine makers, food producers and artisans, creating a venue that offers a direct connection between the consumer and the makers of the local products they love. It’s a perfect fit for California Sister’s consumer-facing retail site and the Sonoma Flower Mart’s wholesale operation and you’ll see photos of the adjoining spaces in today’s show notes at

California Sister's all-local creation.

California Sister’s all-California-grown creation.

California Sister is a floral design company located in Sebastopol, that uses local Sonoma County and California grown flowers. The studio’s designs are crafted to reflect the wild beauty of the area that owners Nichole and Kathy call home. As they put it: “We have a passion for seasonality and work closely with our local farmers to insure our flowers are harvested at their peak.”

Offering full service wedding and event florals as well as any occasion floral delivery throughout Sonoma County, California Sister opens its new retail location at The Barlow in April of 2016  featuring plant & floral based offerings that celebrate the distinct Northern California lifestyle.

Partners in California Sister and Sonoma Flower Mart, Nichole Skalski and Kathy Green.

Partners in California Sister and Sonoma Flower Mart, Nichole Skalski and Kathy Green.

Here is more about Nichole Skalski: Nichole first noticed the effects of time by observing her mother’s lilacs cycling through stages of bud, bloom, and dormancy. She worships at the altar of flowers, and reveres their color, form, scent, and effect to bring joy and connection. A Sonoma County native, supporting and maintaining its agricultural diversity is a mission close to her heart. Also a core member of the North Bay  Flower Collective, Nichole is passionate about all things flower related. She can’t get enough of Chocolate Cosmos, is truly moved by roses, and in awe of delicate native orchids.

Here is more about Kathrin Green: Kathy began floral studies with floral designer Sarah Hayes in Worcester, England, and at the Judith Blacklock School of Floral Arts in London. A native Midwesterner, Kathy attended Luther College in Iowa and Nottingham University in England where she met her husband Richard. After raising their family in England they recently moved to California, where their three grown children also reside. Since arrival in Sebastopol Kathy has enjoyed working with local floral designers and flower growers of the North Bay Flower Collective. Offering locally grown flowers, Kathy is pleased to be a partner in the expansion of the Sonoma Flower Mart. Her favorite flower is Paeonia californica, the wild peony.

Another yummy design from Nichole and Kathy.

Another yummy design from Nichole and Kathy.

A California Sister Floral Design bridal bouquet.

A California Sister Floral Design bridal bouquet.

I recorded my conversations with Kathy and Nichole in two parts, beginning with a harrowing car ride between Arcata, California, and Sonoma, California, a 4-hour-plus trip that was thoroughly enjoyable for Kathy and me, and probably very stressful for Nichole, who was driving through torrential rain.

You will definitely hear the ambient noise of her car and the storm outside, but this conversation was priceless and is definitely worth hearing.

After Part One, we’ll transition to Part Two, which took place on the following day when I met the women at their new retail-wholesale place in Sebastopol.

You’ll get a sense of their ambitious project and I encourage you to check them out when you visit wine country.

Their goal is to connect the flower farmers of their region, state and the West with floral designers and their customers, serving as an important flower hub for Sonoma’s weddings, events and day-to-day floral community.

Here are links to the social places for each of these guests:

Daniele Strawn & Chica Bloom Farm

Follow Chica Bloom on Facebook

Follow Chica Bloom on Instagram

California Sister Floral Design on Facebook

California Sister Floral Design on Instagram

Sonoma Flower Mart on Facebook

Sonoma Flower Mart on Instagram

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 92,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

PodcastSponsorsMarch16Until 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 Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at