Eileen Johnson is the Founder of FlowerSchool New York. She started FlowerSchool New York in 2003 after having been the Director of Outreach for the Children’s Scholarship Fund, the largest privately funded program in the United States for students from grades K through 8. She had previously worked in publishing and has had experience working for magazines as varied as Cosmopolitan and Gourmet. In addition to magazine articles, her published books are “The Art of Floral Arranging: Learning from the Master Florists at FlowerSchool New York,” “Entertaining in the French Style” and “Tropical Flowers.”
Calvert Crary is the Executive Director of both FlowerSchool New York and FlowerSchool Los Angeles. Previously an award winning photographer, Calvert made the transition to floral entrepreneur, having opened and successfully run three flower shops in New York City. Calvert has trained and coached thousands of students on how to work in the floral industry by opening new businesses or reorganizing existing floral businesses into thriving careers.
Native New Yorker Barbara Mele’s floral aesthetic was inspired at a young age by her grandmother, a landscape architect and professor at Notre Dame University. Wild and playful, Barbara’s style is adaptable like nature itself. Her work has been developed working in retail shops in New York and Chicago, beginning in a European style bouquet shop, where a Dutch woman schooled her in the art of the hand-tied bouquet, an invaluable wedding design skill which she relishes sharing. In the summer of 2016 Barbara opened her first storefront in Tudor City, Gatherings Floral Design. When she finds some spare time she loves reading or playing games with her wonderful husband and three daughters.
** Barbara speaks fluent Spanish and leads our Spanish speaking classes **
Brittany Lenig graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in Art History and from Pratt Institute with her MPS in Arts Administration. With a passion for decorative arts, Brittany worked many years in the interior design business, which later led her to FlowerSchool New York. It is here that Brittany’s love of design intertwines with a passion for flowers as the Operations Director for the school. Brittany is a certified agent and director for the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision.
Jessi Owens has been a part in the floral industry since the age of 17, where she started working at a floral shop in her hometown of Ridgefield, CT. While attending Savannah College of Art and Design for a BFA in Fashion Marketing and Management, she started her career in wedding planning. Her passion for events grew from there, inspiring her to work in the Savannah wedding industry and become a Certified Wedding Planner through The Bridal Society. She is now the new Events Director at FlowerSchool and excited to use her love for florals and design to create new dynamic events with the world’s most celebrated designers!
Laura Seita is the owner of Fig & Squill Floral Design in Exeter, Rhode Island. Her parents, both avid gardeners, instilled her with a love of nature, design, and order from an early age. Sixteen years ago in Chicago while working at a boutique flower shop she found her passion for creating beautiful environments. Since then she has worked as a manager at Verbena Floral Design in Austin, Texas, a lead designer and manager at Belle Fleur in New York, and as head designer and manager for Lewis Miller Design in New York. She has also had the opportunity to work freelance for ‘Martha Stewart Weddings’ Magazine and Matthew Robbins Design in New York. She has contributed to the books, ‘Handmade Weddings,’ by Shana Faust and ‘Styling Nature,’ by Lewis Miller. Her floral work has been featured in the magazines, ‘Martha Stewart Weddings,’ ‘Rhode Island Monthly,’ and ‘Design New England.’ She has taught floral design at Rhode Island School of Design, and currently teaches floral design at FlowerSchool New York.