Debra Prinzing

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Episode 340 Meet the man who wears The Flower Hat– Montana’s florist-farmer Julio Freitas

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
Julio Freitas_The Flower Hat

Meet Julio Freitas, The Flower Hat — a Bozeman, Montana-based florist-farmer putting his distinct style on the map.

Dahlias are one of Julio’s special ingredients for keeping it local in Montana.

Slow Flowers Summit logoNews Update: I recorded this introduction from Washington, D.C., where I spent a few days pre-planning the upcoming June 29th Slow Flowers Summit.

The visit made me even more excited to invite you to join me and our fabulous lineup of speakers at the Summit. Their presentations are tailored to address the progressive floral designer and sustainably-minded growers, shop owners and vendors in our industry.

We’ll gather for an inspiring day of ideas and future-thinking, all in pursuit of a new model to connect more people with the Slow Flowers’ mission.

I’m also grateful to the American Institute of Floral Designers for inviting me to co-locate the Slow Flowers Summit with their annual symposium this summer. AIFD has made it possible for me to bring the Summit to the East Coast by the generous use of a meeting space at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more about getting to the Summit, plus where to stay and what to do before and after our day-of-all-things-slow-flowers.

Before traveling to D.C., I spent three amazing days in Orlando, NOT at one of the more familiar Disney theme parks, but at the first Team Flower Conference.

I owe producers and hosts Kelly and Jesse Perry a debt of gratitude for inviting Slow Flowers to participate in the conference.

I so enjoyed reuniting with several of you, Slow Flowers farmer florists, retailers and designers  — loved our impromptu Slow Flowers Meet-Up with at least 15 in attendance.

At the Team Flower Conference, I participated in a few special activities, including co-presenting with my Florists’ Review colleagues Brenda Silva and Carolina Mojeda and joining the floral design judging team.

Slow Flowers at Team Flower Conference

What a dynamic group of Slow Flowers’ farmer-florists who gathered for a Meet-Up at the Team Flower Conference!

The Flower Hat — Julio Freitas’s memorable branding and logo.

I also recorded a few interviews with people whose personal stories I’ve been wanting to share with you.

The first one is today’s guest, Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat.

The Flower Hat is a luxury custom floral design shop located in Bozeman, Montana.

Established in 2016, The Flower Hat is a culmination of passion, love and talent from owner and head florist, Julio Freitas.

Here’s more about Julio, from The Flower Hat web site:

Julio moved to Billings, Montana, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in the summer of 2006 to start classes at Rocky Mountain College.

After completing his degree in Business Management, Julio spent several years working in the hospitality industry and moving his way up the chain of management.

Although he enjoyed his work there, he found himself yearning to explore a more creative side of himself. After some soul searching, in 2011 he started his career in floral design doing weekly floral arrangements for Harper and Madison, in Billings. He was greatly inspired by the works of Daniel Ost, Jeff Leatham, Jane Packer and many other European floral designers.

While the arrangements at Harper and Madison allowed him to spread his creative wings, Julio eventually realized he wanted to continue to expand his floral designs and he dove head-first into the world of wedding and event floral.

It wasn’t long before word of his passion for flowers spread, and soon he transitioned to floral design full-time. Although his business has evolved over the years under several names, The Flower Hat is his most genuine and inspired labor of love. Most recently, Julio has found his newest passion in flower farming and has grown and harvested hundreds of blooms from his small farm in Bozeman.

Julio’s armfuls of flowers is a joyous and infectious expression of local flowers.

A seasonal bouquet by Julio Freitas

A stunning installation using dried and foraged elements from The Flower Hat

A lovely bridal bouquet by Julio Freitas of The Flower Hat


Read about Julio in The Cut Flower Quarterly (Fall 2016)

Follow Julio & The Flower Hat on Instagram

Find The Flower Hat on Facebook

See The Flower Hat on Pinterest

Thanks so much for joining me today. Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 293,000 times – and I’m humbled that you’ve chosen to spend this time with me and the hundreds of amazing guests I’ve brought your way in the past four and a half years.

If you like what you hear, I invite you to do two things: First, post a listener review on iTunes. We have 48 five-star reviews – please add yours!

And second, consider a donation to the Podcast. Production and hosting costs add up and it costs more than $6,000 annually, not counting travel expenses, just to bring you one amazing episode per week. If you’re a flower farmer or floral designer, you can simply show your support by joining as a member.

If you’re a gardener and floral enthusiast, I’m grateful for the comments and donations you’ve already contributed – and those amounts are what allows me to drive hours to meet a future guest, and pay for the gas, hotel and meals to make a new episode possible. The link to donate is in the right column of our show notes page. Thanks for your support!

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new monthly Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review.

It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at

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. Find them at

More sponsor thanks goes to Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at

A big bouquet of thanks goes to Longfield Gardens . . . providing 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. Visit them at

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. Check them out at

And finally, thank you Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at

(c) Missy Palacol 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. A very special thank you to Andrew for his tireless and loyal support. He shows up and edits this podcast week in and week out — and it’s such a gift to work with him. Learn more about his work at

Music Credits:

Molly Molly; Sage the Hunter (Rhythmic)
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from: