Friday Funday – Inspired Design Hilton Head

Every year, there’s always lots of cool stuff that happens in the floral industry, and every year, one of our favorite events is always the Inspired Design Floral Retreat.

Brainstormed by two nationally-renowned florists, Patience Pickner, AIFD, spokeswoman for Kennicott Brothers Wholesale, and Ace Berry, AIFD, of the HBO Max series “Full Bloom,” who both have a passion for igniting creativity and floral intuition in both new and experienced designers alike, the Inspired Design Floral Retreat is an annual event that brings together designers from all walks of life across the U.S. for three days of flower-filled fun, including design sessions, hands-on challenges and plenty of collaboration, wrapped up with an exotic finale dinner and a day of photoshoots with professional modeling of their designs.

Attended by folks from small floral shop owners, to freelance designers, lead florists and even a student-teacher pair from an FFA program in Texas, the 2022 Inspired Design Floral Retreat took place in Hilton Head Island, S.C. on October 10-12. Day one brought introductions and a three team design challenge, while day two focused on bouquets and wedding designs, and day three finished off the event with sunrise, poolside and beachfront photoshoots, followed by the finale dinner.

Here at Albin’s, we have loved seeing the magic created at each of these events since they started in 2019, and this year was no exception. We are honored to serve as their exclusive greenery sponsor, and love their designs even more when some of “The Best Cut Foliage Around” is included within them!

While the retreat was in session earlier this month, we shared a lot of the action on our social stories, and in some recap posts — catch them here for day one, day two, day three and a final wrap-up — The final day of the retreat featured photoshoots with professional models and photographers, and we are excited to see the photos they took.

This year’s photo galleries aren’t ready just yet, unfortunately, but before we get into the hustle and bustle of our holiday season here at Albin’s, we wanted to showcase some of the excitement of this year’s retreat through the eyes of the organizers and this year’s attendees here on our blog.

Check it out below!

Day one of this year’s retreat brought a team design challenge, where the designers split into three teams to design three large installations for photos later on — one on a staircase, another in a bedroom, and the final team on a balcony, designing an archway.

Team staircase created a design filled with elegance for a grand entranceway, as showcased here by Andrew Stinson of WAS Design Works in South Carolina.

An elegant display of soft flowers and greenery, such as Dahlias and Eucalyptus, helped team staircase put together a very elegant display!

Team balcony (originally supposed to be team doorway, but was moved under cover due to inclement weather) created their stunning masterpiece with a stunning backdrop — the beautiful coastline!

A preview of the final shots to come, check it out in a photo by Kristie Cannon, one of the photographers at this year’s retreat, featuring team balcony’s archway from day one, and their model wearing a beautiful floral headpiece, from day two.

We love the mix of tropical and traditional flowers and greenery, such as Monstera leaves and Birds of Paradise, and Pittosporum and Roses.

Lastly from day one, was team bedroom, and their designs created with shades of blue!

The third team created several design pieces to adorn a four poster bed and adjoining nightstands, filled with soft flowers and natural-inspired greenery, showcased by *the* Patience Pickner herself on the main Inspired Design Instagram page.

 It’s an interesting mix of traditional flowers, such as Carnations and Baby’s Breath, and newer options, such as Smilax and Oxford Blues, but these designs also made for some unique photos, showcasing much ingenuity and beauty!

Day two of this year’s retreat was centered around bouquets and wedding-centric designs, and as with every bride, every bridal-style bouquet is unique — just like those created at this year’s retreat. 

Take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes action from bouquet day in the first of two posts above, shared by Courtney Champagne, advisor, and Heather McMillian, student, of The Tiger Lily, a student-run floral operation from an agricultural education program in Texas!

(This young lady and her advisor were given a special invitation to attend this year’s retreat by *the* Ace himself, after seeing their talents at a floral design competition he was a judge for!)

We love their bouquet, as it has lots of our favorite greenery inside, including Aspidistra leaves, Podocarpus and Seeded Eucalyptus, of course.

The second post features another finished bouquet by Patty Carlson of Party in a Vase in Arizona, featuring a similar palette to that used by team bedroom on day one, that goes amazing with the beautiful sundress and beach backdrop!

Another variety of wedding florals that are popular today are wearable florals, and the designers of this year’s retreat created some that were really beautiful, as always!

In the first post above, designer Brian Izatt of Silver Vine Floral Design in North Carolina puts the finishing touches on one of the many stunning headpieces from this year’s retreat, and how could you not love the “crown” created with all of those beautiful blooms and the Palmetto Fan on top?

Then, in the second post, designer Doug Bates, AIFD of Designs by Vogts in Michigan adjusts a bright and airy crown of orange blooms, with a touch of Seeded Eucalyptus greenery, atop the head of a model.

(Then, peep Doug himself wearing it later on in another post on his Instagram page!)

Last, but certainly not least, within our favorites from this year’s retreat, is a mix of photos from the fun, featuring some of the magic they created up close, shared with us by Tammy Krein of Ken’s Flower Shop in North Dakota.

We could never pick a favorite from the week — as each design was amazing in our eyes — but if we did, some of the ones shown here would definitely be towards the top of the list.


If this is just a *tiny* bit of the magic that happened this week, we can’t wait to see what’s to come with the photos of the finished product.

Plans for the 2023 retreat are underway, with the next location and dates to be announced in early 2023. Learn more at inspireddesign.info, and you can also join their Facebook group to stay up-to-date with Patience, Ace and all of the Inspired Design fun!