Mizzou floral design student organization hosts artist-in-residence

Laura Parker spoke with students and florists about how flowers can impact lives during her presentation at the University of Missouri on Nov. 7.

The Mizzou Student American Institute of Floral Design hosted artist-in-residence Laura Parker. The event, which was held in the agriculture building on campus, was open to the public and to florists from all over the state.

Parker was working as a florist when she decided to go back to school to earn a business degree. She now owns a business located in Michigan called Fresh Start Floral Consulting. Her business is dedicated to helping other florists grow their businesses, and it also aims to educate the public about the floral industry. The company helps with pricing, business plans and anything else a small business owner might need help with.

“We’ve had a lot of artist in residence come in and talk to us, but Laura has been different because she’s taught us more of the business side of things,” said Sabrina Morris, an MU floral design student.

Morris explained that many students plan to open their own flower shops. Parker said she tries to benefit the students during her time here and give them good business advice.

During her presentation, Parker discussed how floriculture can impact human psychology and how flowers have a positive impact on a person’s mood. She went over different themes of arrangements and displayed the work she and the students completed over the course of the week.

“My main message was to try to make the connection between how flowers impact consumers’ lives with a floral designer’s perspective,” Parker said.

Parker opened the floor up for questions after her presentation and discussed trends in the industry and how to start up a business. The Mizzou SAIFD officers helped her by carrying the arrangements around for the crowd to see.

Parker spent a total of five days at Mizzou with the floral design students. She spent most of her time in the classroom teaching students about different designs and listening to their future plans in the industry. The students helped her with her designs early in the week, which Parker later presented to the public.

“The students here have been awesome and really open to new ideas,” Parker said.

In the days following her presentation, Parker continued to work with students in the classroom.

After Parker’s presentation, students and florists were invited to Shakespeare’s Pizza for a networking opportunity with Laura.