In the first installment of our "Meet the Designer" series, we sit down with Derek Woodruff, owner of Floral Underground, a fresh flower delivery service that provides step-by-step DIY videos to help consumers create professional looking arrangements at home.
At 17 years old, Derek became the youngest Michigan Certified Florist. Since then, he has earned multiple accreditations including AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers), PFCI (Professional Floral Communicators International), and CFD (Certified Floral Designer) with AIFD. Besides running his own business, teaching at floral workshops across the country and working at Darling Botanical Co., a boutique terrarium and plant store, Derek provides design inspiration and plant care expertise for 46 & Spruce.
46 & Spruce: What led you to become a floral designer?
My path to a floral design career was actually quite random. While in high school, I excelled in my drafting classes, and had planned to attend vocational school to learn Computer Aided Drafting. During my time in my drafting classes, we had to submit occasional occupational research reports. One of my reports was on the field of Botany and I became interested in plant sciences. Since the vocational school offered a plant sciences class, I decided to change to this course. Once I started attending the course, the class actually consisted of Floral Design and Landscape Architecture. Since Landscape Architecture sounded like a lot of heavy lifting, I decided to study Floral Design. And the rest is history.
46 & Spruce: What is the best part of your job?
The part that I enjoy the most about my job is educating. It is so rewarding to show and teach individuals how to design with flowers. Whether the learner is a consumer or a floral designer, and regardless of the platform - stage presentation, hands-on workshop or on video – I love it all.
46& Spruce: What is your favorite flower or plant and why?
My favorite flower is the carnation. It’s a classic! Specifically orange carnations. Carnations are one of the more inexpensive flowers, they look great when designed in mass, have great fragrance, last forever, can be abstracted in design, and they never make the water in a vase dirty.
46 & Spruce: Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
I draw inspiration for design from a numbers of places: architecture, nature, art, but more than anything, I gain inspiration from other designers - Interior Designers, Landscapers/Gardeners, Set Designers, and other Floral Designers!
46 & Spruce: Besides following you on the 46 & Spruce Home and Garden Blog, what are some other great resources for our readers?
Saipua.com is a great website for inspiring, artistic floral designs.
Growing With Plants is a favorite blog/website of mine.
5ftinf.com is a beautiful site of inspirational imagery, lifestyle photography focused on flowers.
A good resource in paper form, for designing little worlds like terrariums, and a favorite of mine is "Tiny World Terrariums" by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow.