I am currently on the train headed to St. Petersburg. I have one more workshop to teach. The last few days are a bit of a blur. I am in all honesty an emotional mess. I am full of so many emotions, emotions I can barely explain. I can’t believe what has happened here in Moscow. I feared that my students would want a more luxurious designer. A more glittery type of American kind of designer. As it turns out, this flower mama is exactly what these designers wanted. My openness and honesty is unique in the states, but here my attitude is completely new. To give whole heatedly and to share true emotions and feelings like I do, was probably the greatest lesson I could have shared with these women. Sharing knowledge and sources and showing emotion is not normal here. By the end of the week I had everyone in love and everyone crying. My greatest gift may not be floral design, it may be my ability to love, support, and nurture or to encourage. I was shocked to find out that several of the students have been reading my blog for years. Much to my surprise my blog truly encouraged several of these designers to start their floral design businesses. Somehow all the way across the world I was mentoring these designers.What a blessing!!!

On my second day of teaching we divided the designers up into groups. Together as a team we created one beautiful long table. This table was incredibly fun to create and also very unique for Russia. Olga said that seeing this type of table design was her dream. Creating a table of this stature in Moscow certainly had it’s challenges. Rentals are not readily available here, thankfully they were able to find Chivari chairs which was a very special treat. All china, silver, and glassware had to be purchased for the table.  The linens were custom made by Sveta of the Flower Bazar. Earlier in the week  Evan and I went with Olga, Yuriy and Marina, on a wild adventure to find the fabric we used. Seeing this table come to life was truly incredible. It took weeks of planning and scheming to bring a design that began in Lucketts Virginia to Moscow. Thank goodness for skype, and the six trips to the wholesalers we made, as well as our crazy fabric buying expedition.

Our beautiful table was born!!

This student volunteered to wear Olga’s wedding dress and become our model.

After out table design was complete we spent the afternoon in open discussion led by Evan. He shared how we supported our studio and the different services he provides to our clients. The girls loved hearing Evans side of the business. This day was hugely successful. At around 7pm the students left the art studio and we did the clean up until late into the night. The saying “Moscow never sleeps” is so true, after working all day and cleaning up from the workshop, my new young friends took me to see the Moscow underground.

Each stop features different mosaics or architecture. I think there are 250 stops along the way and each one is unique.

At 11:00 at night we arrived at dinner hosted by Angela and Oleg. This feast was truly memorable.

At the end of the night Oleg gave us his car and driver. We were taken back to our hotel in style. This day lasted until 2:30 in the morning. Every moment of the day was enjoyed and cherished. I will always be grateful for this meal and this true example of Russian hospitality.

Our final day of class began at the wholesalers. We spent time discussing flowers, why I choose what I choose and how to work with your wholesaler.

We also went to the decor section and I showed them how I use standard florist industry supplies. This part of the day was really helpful.

After another wonderful meal we began a round table discussion.This is where I start to seriously fall apart. My heart begins racing because I know it’s almost time to say goodbye to my new friends. I literally became so overrun with emotion that I just start sobbing, and sobbing. One of the girls baked me a traditional Russian bread, others shared the most beautiful stories or dreams with me, there were presents, and then certificates.

Each designer was presented a certificate and as I kissed them each goodbye they whispered in my ear spacibo, spacibo, spacibo, which was thank you, thank you, thank you, but what I heard, what I thought they were saying, was possible, possible, possible. In truth the most important thing I taught these young woman was that anything was possible and they were thankful.  I am in Russia headed to St. Petersburg, anything is possible, and I am thankful!!!

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