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!
Growing up on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado Samantha was surrounded by nature from an early age. After graduating from the University of Southern California where she studied Classics, Samantha moved to New York City with her eyes on graduate school. However, when she was in bewtween jobs, she took a course at FlowerSchool New York and decided perhaps graduate school could wait. From there she interned at Opalia Flowers in Brooklyn where she was quickly hired and eventually promoted to Shop Manager. In 2013 Samantha retuned to her home in Colorado where she continued to hone her skills in floral design working at Fiori Flowers in Boulder as well the Production Manger, and later Floral Manager for The Perfect Petal, a large floral company in Denver. Samantha is currently lives in upstate New York and teaches Floristry Skills and Open Studio classes at FlowerSchool.
Juan M. Villanueva, owner of Villanueva Designs, is a second-generation florist from South Texas, who for the past 10 years, has successfully served Manhattan and surrounding areas, as the city’s best kept floral design secret.
Having studied fine arts at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Juan and his company bring an experienced artistic touch to all their projects. They specialize in private client, trade shows & corporate galas but are equally known for their indoor/outdoor urban gardens. On his journey, he has had the privilege of working with A-list celebrities, titans of industry, world-renowned interior designers, premier fashion houses & amazing humanitarian organizations.
The team at Villanueva Designs excels at learning and understand the individual needs of their clients and applying their expansive knowledge to help them in the most efficient ways possible. Juan says, “I have to admit that I do take pride in being the secret Manhattan florist, that people in the know call when they need that special floral & fauna touch for their own projects or clients.” If you share in Juan’s passion for flowers, plants and design you can keep up with Villanueva Designs and their current projects on Instagram @villanuevadesigns
Juan teaches select workshops for FlowerSchool New York.
Jamie Jamison lives in Youngstown, Ohio and Chautauqua, NY. Jamie is a natural light and still-life photographer with a passion for flowers, vintage finds and handmade treasures. As an Instagram Influencer, she connects with other floral enthusiasts and has inspired people throughout the world with her uplifting photos and her hashtag #petalsandprops has received over 264k tags! Jamie’s work extends beyond floral photography as she shares her marketing, communication, and photography experience with businesses. She is a social media content manager and provides Instagram coaching, photography and styling for businesses as well works as a brand partner with several national companies. Jamie is a communication Instructor at Youngstown State University and was awarded the 2019 Part-Time Teaching Excellence Award. She was a featured speaker at DOYO Live, YSU Brown Bag Series and the Youngstown Incubator Women Entrepreneur Program. Her work has appeared in Somerset Life, Bella Grace Magazine, Somerset Digital Studio, Somerset Memories, Artful Blogging, Somerset Studio Gallery, Somerset Apprentice, and the Torpedo Factory Target Gallery. Jamie teaches the Floral Photography and Content Marketing course at FlowerSchool.