Debra Prinzing

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Episode 661: Spring Tune-Up for Florists, Shops, and Studios with Althea Wiles of Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio

Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

You love floral design, but running a business is so not your thing! Longtime Slow Flowers member Althea Wiles has been there, too. She knows how many of us started out because we love flowers, but then realized there’s so much more to the business than just making pretty things! Althea joined us recently at the Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up to share her Spring Tune-Up tips for your floral business and we’re bringing the conversation with you today.

Althea Wiles, Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio
Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio and founder Althea Wiles

Today’s guest, Althea Wiles, is the creative force behind Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio and J. Althea Creative, based in Springdale, Arkansas. With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College, an Arkansas Master Florist Certification and 30 years of experience, she orchestrates 75-100 weddings and events annually, receiving industry accolades and shaping a lasting legacy. As the education director of J Althea Creative, she imparts her expertise to mentor budding florists, cementing her reputation as a visionary and influencer in the field. She annually contributes striking installations to the Art in Bloom exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, further solidifying her impact on the industry.

Rose of Sharon 2
Wedding flowers (left) and centerpiece (right)

When Althea and I were brainstorming about her presentation for the April Slow Flowers Member (virtual) Meet-Up, we decided to take some of the content of her coaching sessions and distill it down to one hour. She has discovered that many floral pro’s have an abundance of creative design skills, but are juggling time is spent on paperwork, office work, accounting, management, writing proposals and interacting with clients—pretty much everything except design.

Rose of Sharon 3
More floral design by Althea Wiles, Rose of Sharon Floral Design

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 750 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.

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in New Albany, 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

Our next thank you goes to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at

Thank you to Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at

Join Us!

Designing with Dried Flowers and Hannah Rose River Muller

Today, you heard from one of our members who shared her expertise at the April Slow Flowers Member Meet-Up. And now, I want to give you a head’s up about the next member meet-up, comping right up on Friday, May 17th – postponed by one week to accommodate for Mother’s Day.

The upcoming session is devoted to Designing with Dried Flowers and our expert member is Hannah Rose Rivers Muller of Full Belly Farm and her IG account, The Wreath Room. This is the topic of Hannah’s brand new book, out on June 4th – Designing with Dried Flowers. We’re so excited to feature Hannah as she talks about flower farming with her family in Northern California and developing her special approach to drying the flowers she grows. This will be a very special preview of the book, so bring your questions! We will have one copy of Designing with Dried Flowers to give away to one lucky attendee. Pre-registration is required and you can find the link to register in our show notes. I’ll see you on May 17th!

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I’m so glad you joined us 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. 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. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Turning on the Lights; Spindash
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field