FloraCraft Inducts Wall of Fame Class of 2021

FloraCraft® announced longtime employees Linda DeVries and Bill Forrester have been inducted into the company’s Class of 2021 Wall of Fame.

The FloraCraft Wall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing and honoring individuals who have contributed to the success of the corporation. DeVries and Forrester are the fifth class to be inducted since the company established the tribute in 2017.

DeVries retired in 2014 as FloraCraft’s Director of Human Relations. Her 32-year career began in 1981 as an administrative assistant for sales and customer service. Her exceptional people skills drew her to the human relations department where she eventually served as manager and director for more than two decades. DeVries played a key role in cultivating a people-first culture at FloraCraft by prioritizing a pleasant and safe working environment for plant and office team members.

Forrester retired in 1986 after 33 years serving in the mill room. He began his career as general labor, before working his way up in the organization to become the second shift supervisor of foliage mill room operations, which made all the floral special cut shapes, wreaths and emblems. Forrester’s hard work, dedication and leadership was critical during this time as the company began establishing itself as a leader in the floral foam industry. His legacy at the company lives on as his son, Mark, continues the same joyful spirit of his father as a member of the FloraCraft team.

“Linda and Bill were both tremendous leaders in their departments and helped us become who we are today,” said President and CEO Eric Erwin. “They were part of important eras in the company’s history and contributed greatly to our growth internally and externally. I am so appreciative of their decades of service to our organization.”

Past Inductees

Vic Burwell, 2017

Gary Smith, 2018

Alfonso Padron, 2018

Tim Clapper, 2019

Danny Johnson, 2019

Judy Tomski, 2020

Jack Smith, 2020

Read more about previous Wall of Fame classes

FloraCraft Wall of Fame Honorees Class of 2020

FloraCraft Inducts Third Class Into Wall of Fame

FloraCraft Honors Longtime Employees

The post FloraCraft Inducts Wall of Fame Class of 2021 appeared first on FloraCraft.


FloraCraft Supports Local Arts Center Silent Auction

FloraCraft®, the world’s leading manufacturer of foam floral and craft products, continued to support the local Ludington community by donating to the Ludington Area Center for the Arts’ second-annual Festival of Wreaths silent auction, which took place Nov. 26 through Dec. 8.

The silent auction included holiday wreaths made by local artists and crafters using foam and straw wreath forms donated by FloraCraft. Buyers had their choice of 25 wreaths to bid on, with all proceeds benefiting the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, or LACA.

Bidding began on Nov. 26 and wreaths were displayed in the center’s main gallery in conjunction with the LACA’s Art of Giving Holiday Artist Market, which allows local artists to show and sell their work. Bidding closed on Dec. 8, raising more than $850.

“It was great to see the exceptional pieces our community members crafted with our products to help spread some cheer this holiday season,” said CEO Eric Erwin. “FloraCraft was honored to support these creative minds and our partners at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

“In addition to supporting artists and creators everywhere with our products, part of FloraCraft’s mission is to give back to the community. This silent auction was a perfect opportunity for our team to continue supporting the arts in Ludington.”

The LACA is a community arts organization and facility that cultivates regional musical, visual, performance, dance, culinary and literary arts. The center hosts exhibitions, performances and educational programs in its 250-seat performance hall, banquet hall, gallery, exhibition spaces, art studios and classrooms.

To view some of the wreaths created, click below.

[See image gallery at www.floracraft.com]

The post FloraCraft Supports Local Arts Center Silent Auction appeared first on FloraCraft.


FloraCraft Nominated for Beyond Plastics Award

For its innovation surrounding FōM, FloraCraft recently was nominated for a Beyond Plastics Award, which celebrates excellence in eco-responsible product and packaging design and initiatives for less single-use plastic across the world.

Beyond Plastics is a politically and commercially independent global online platform for environmentalists, packaging designers, engineers and companies to present and exchange eco-responsible ideas, concepts and solutions to replace plastic packages and single-use products.

In September 2020, FloraCraft officially launched FōM, the first craft and floral foam product made with post-consumer plastic. The new product saves hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills by using recycled garment hangers and other recycled polystyrene sourced from retailers across the country.

“This nomination was particularly special for us as the Beyond Plastics team is looking at truly innovative – and category-changing – products in the market,” said President and CEO Eric Erwin. “We are honored to have FōM included among other forward-thinking and creative organizations and creators.”

The post FloraCraft Nominated for Beyond Plastics Award appeared first on FloraCraft.


Federal Vaccine Mandate Riles Manufacturers Already Facing Workforce Challenges

President and CEO Eric Erwin spoke with MiBiz on our efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and how a proposed federal vaccine mandate could affect the workforce.

The post Federal Vaccine Mandate Riles Manufacturers Already Facing Workforce Challenges appeared first on FloraCraft.


Supply Shortages Offer Opportunities for Unique Floral Products

Supply and demand struggles for florists highlight the benefits of new, innovative products

By Dondi Richardson, senior designer

Floral and hardgoods shortages continue to impact the floral industry, prompting florists to further tap into their creative minds to work around the issue while continuing to create beautiful floral arrangements.

Like floral arrangements, the cause of the floral supply shortage has multiple layers. Fresh flowers have been difficult to come by and well-loved products, like wet foam, have been difficult to find. Despite these supply shortages, the return of events has increased the demand for floral designs.

To get around this supply and demand struggle, florists have gone back to basics using an “old school” technique: water picks and XPS foam (commonly referred to as styrofoam).

flowers in water picks

It may seem outdated to insert flowers into foam with water picks, but some florists struggling to maintain an adequate stock of wet foam have successfully reverted to this retro technique. Fresh flowers can be used with XPS foam, by placing water picks directly into the foam, creating a useful alternative for floral arrangements.

Using a lightweight, yet sturdy XPS foam, like FloraCraft’s FloraFōM®, makes it easy when cutting and fitting foam into any container while safely holding stems or water picks in place­. This method, in particular, is perfect when combining fresh flowers and permanent botanicals, like so many designers do these days.

Users can rest easy, knowing FloraFōM is made right here in the United States and is the only XPS floral foam made with post-consumer recycled plastic. The product saves hard-to-recycle plastics that often end up in landfills by using recycled plastic garment hangers from retailers. In addition to its versatility as a wet foam alternative, we’re continuing to find consumers want to use this product because it has been responsibly made, created with environmentally conscious materials and doesn’t pollute the water supply.

It would be nice to look into the proverbial crystal ball and foresee when the floral and hardgoods supply shortage will end. The reality is, uncertainty is the only constant at the moment. Even when supply and demand eventually even out, FloraFōM will continue to offer florists a quality alternative that is responsibly made and environmentally conscious. Until then, we continue to be inspired by florists everywhere who are tapping into their imagination to share beautiful, innovative designs.

The post Supply Shortages Offer Opportunities for Unique Floral Products appeared first on FloraCraft.


FloraCraft® Appoints Two New Members to Board of Directors

FloraCraft® has announced Adrienne Stevens and Beau Warren have joined its board of directors.

In their new roles, Stevens and Warren will help provide strategic oversight and leadership for the long-term success of the business.

“Adrienne and Beau are, first and foremost, great people who fit our company’s culture and identity,” President and CEO Eric Erwin said. “Additionally, they bring tremendous strength to our board with their proven leadership skills and business acumen. I am thrilled to welcome them to the FloraCraft family and firmly believe they can help our organization continue to grow and be the employer of choice in Mason County.”

Stevens joins FloraCraft’s board with 20 years of executive experience in the manufacturing and distribution sectors in West Michigan. She currently consults and coaches other CEOs and executives for Accelerate C-Suite Coaching.

“It is a true honor to join the FloraCraft family,” Stevens said. “I admire the tremendous people, culture, market and business model the organization is known for. I’m excited to be part of this winning team, and I look forward to serving with Beau and the other board of directors to continue the company’s legacy as an industry-leading brand.”

The Michigan native has extensive global experience and has served as president of Fortune 200’s L3 Technologies Avionics Systems, Notions Marketing Corporation and Plasan. She is the first female member of FloraCraft’s Board of Directors.

As a 17-year member of the YPO, Stevens currently serves as Mid-America U.S.. chair for diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, she has served on the boards of the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University, Van Andel Global Trade Center and General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Stevens earned a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University and completed her executive Master of Business Administration Education from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. She resides in Birmingham, Michigan.

“I am excited and humbled to step into this new role at a first-class organization like FloraCraft,” Warren said. “I am grateful to the company’s leadership team for this opportunity and am eager to work with my fellow board members. I have no doubts we will continue to spearhead innovation and serve FloraCraft’s customers, team members and the Ludington community.”

The Torrington, Wyoming, native and former U.S. Marine captain brings experience with growing category-leading consumer goods businesses, executing brand strategies, developing eCommerce channels and leading digital marketing campaigns.

Warren is a board member for the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association and previously served on the board of Youth Challenge. Additionally, he has coached youth sports in his community since 2015.

Warren earned a Bachelor of Science  degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Saint Charles, Illinois.

The post FloraCraft® Appoints Two New Members to Board of Directors appeared first on FloraCraft.


Beautiful Blooms for Summer

As the dog days of summer approach – and gatherings become safer – many are planning soirées to see their loved ones, family and friends. Utilizing the popularity of DIY videos and influence of social media personalities, we recently partnered with the talented Sarah Campbell of Intrigue Designs to highlight exciting and unique floral projects for your wedding, shower or other summer events.

Sarah uses our new FloraFōM®, made with post-consumer plastic – the first XPS foam to do so – to add some extra green to these projects.

Did you know, we have a website dedicated to hundreds of craft and floral projects? Find your inspiration here.

Giant Bouquet

If you love a big, beautiful bouquet, this project is for you. You’ll need a snip tool, floral tape, foam cutters and a vase.

Using our FloraFōM, cut a 6.5-inch by 4-inch piece for the bouquet’s base. Trim the foliage to your desired length and insert them into the foam – fold the bottom of the stems to help keep them secure

Giant Centerpiece

This show-stopping centerpiece will be sure to grab your guests’ attention and has an option for a bonus piece at the base for extra flare. You’ll need a 9- to 12-inch tray, knife, floral tape and floral putty.

Cut a series of FloraFōM blocks to fit into the vase, securing them with floral tape and putty. Arrange the foliage of your choice. Add more to the piece by using a FloraFōM ring to create a second arrangement at the bottom of the vase.

Floral Installation

These towering floral installations are more than 8 feet tall and easiest to assemble with at least two people. You need some pipe and drape equipment, zip ties, an electric drill, wooden dowels, u-pins, a snip tool, knife and ladder.

Watch the full videos and explore more projects by visiting our YouTube channel.

The post Beautiful Blooms for Summer appeared first on FloraCraft.


FloraCraft® Receives Second National Award for FōM

FloraCraft’s® breakthrough new product, FōM® with PolyRenew®, has won a silver Stevie® Award for the achievement in product innovation category from the American Business Awards organization.

Winning projects demonstrated achievements related to innovation in product design, redesign, manufacturing processes, operations or branding. More than 250 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s winners. Judges noted FōM exhibited tremendous innovation to the craft and floral foam market and the environment and were inspired by a family-owned business dedicated to a constant improvement process and the enrichment of its customers and team members.

A record 3,800+ nominations were submitted this year from organizations of all sizes and in nearly every industry. FloraCraft will be recognized at a virtual awards ceremony on June 30.

“It is a remarkable honor to receive this accolade from the American Business Awards,” President and CEO Eric Erwin said. “I’m thrilled our team’s years of hard work and dedication continue to be recognized.

“FōM further solidifies FloraCraft as an organization with a deep commitment to sustainability, innovation and customer satisfaction. This is just the beginning for us as we rethink how we innovate our products and processes. We’re hoping this will be a catalyst to reach new sustainability goals in future.”

In September 2020, FloraCraft officially launched FōM, the first craft and floral foam product made with post-consumer plastic. The new product saves hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills by using recycled garment hangers and other recycled polystyrene sourced from retailers across the country.

FōM was a result of more than a decade of research and development with a significant multi-year capital investment, including the company becoming vertically integrated. FloraCraft now designs, engineers and produces its own extruded polystyrene, or XPS, from its Ludington, Michigan headquarters, allowing it to maintain greater control over the quality of its products. During the process, the company added more than 40 new jobs at its Ludington facility.

FōM enables the company to offer a “greener” product to its consumers, who expressed a desire to use products that have been responsibly made. By using recycled materials, the company can still make the same amount of product it normally does, but takes out the equivalent of nearly 1,000 miles of plastic, or the distance between New York and St. Louis, per year. By producing its own XPS in-house, FloraCraft also reduces nearly 400,000 miles of truck traffic each year from its former supplier to its headquarters.

According to consumers, the product is still the lightweight material crafters and florists love, only smoother and less brittle than the company’s legacy foam, making painting and cutting easier while producing less dust.

After more than 40 years of using STYROFOAM™, the company wanted to find a better, more sustainable way to produce its craft and floral foams. FloraCraft turned to Texas-based Americas Styrenics, or AmSty, a leading producer of polystyrene and styrene monomer, to develop the “recipe” for the new XPS product. After nearly two years of development, FloraCraft and AmSty engineers were able to create a new class of XPS by utilizing AmSty’s “polyusable polymer,” called PolyRenew, made from recycled plastic garment hangers from retailers.

The post FloraCraft® Receives Second National Award for FōM appeared first on FloraCraft.


FloraCraft Hosts COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Team Members and Families

As COVID-19 vaccines become more available in Michigan, FloraCraft® made it easy for its team to access the life-saving vaccine.

The company hosted a vaccine clinic April 28 at its Ludington facility in partnership with the Mason County Health Department. FloraCraft is also offering a $50 incentive to any employee who receives the COVID-19 vaccination, either at the clinic or on their own.

“We firmly believe in the importance of everyone getting the vaccine in order to eradicate COVID-19 from our community – and beyond,” President and CEO Eric Erwin said. “Hosting this clinic for our employees and their families allows us to remove barriers for our team and signals our commitment to doing our part as we all attempt to return to normal.”

At the start of the pandemic, FloraCraft took immediate steps to “flatten the curve.” This included shutting down production during the “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” order and instituting strict physical distancing, face covering and health measures when employees returned to work. These actions, combined with FloraCraft’s corporate culture, have resulted in very few COVID-19 cases among employees.

“The reason we’ve been so successful is because of our unmatched ability to work together while caring for one another,” Erwin said. “The challenges of this pandemic have made us stronger than ever, and now it’s time to take our successes to the next level by getting vaccinated.”

The company plans to host another clinic in the near future.

The post FloraCraft Hosts COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Team Members and Families appeared first on FloraCraft.


Coming home: FloraCraft brings talent back to Ludington

Many raised in small towns ache for the day they can “get out.” However, as urban life begins to take its toll, it’s not uncommon for those same people to yearn for the charms of their childhood hometowns.

FloraCraft is taking advantage of this by recruiting talent back to Ludington. We actively look for professionals wanting to return to the area as an opportunity to recruit top talent and find those already invested in the community.

“I’m constantly amazed at the talent, compassion, empathy and teamwork of our people,” said President and CEO Eric Erwin. “Having worked in bigger cities, you don’t always see that. They know the culture and want to see the community grow. Having this pipeline of local talent returning home just adds more value to our team. It truly is our homegrown talent who has been crucial to our success over the years.

“We’ve created a culture with a heavy focus on taking care of our team members that is getting noticed more when hiring, especially from the Ludington natives. From ‘The Gift’ to investing more in employee growth and leadership development, we’ve shown we want to retain and grow employees from within as much as we can. People want to be a part of that.”

This “return to Ludington” trend first began decades ago with owner and Chairman Lee Schoenherr.

Schoenherr, a Ludington native, worked for his uncle as a teenager in the 1940s at what was then known as The Foliage Company of America. After finishing high school, Schoenherr enlisted in the Army before going to work at a variety of positions on the east coast. Eventually, the call of Ludington beckoned, and he ended up buying the company in 1974. Little did he know, many of the company’s future employees would take a similar path back to their hometown.

Take John Nielsen, for example, who grew up watching the sunset nearly every day at Ludington State Park with his family. John spent more than 20 years working in finance in the Grand Rapids and Detroit areas, before coming back to his hometown in 2020 as FloraCraft’s CFO — allowing him to once again visit the park at sunset and relive those warm childhood memories.

“I had the luxury of seeing the sunset over Lake Michigan my entire childhood,” Nielsen says. “I didn’t realize the impact that had on me until I left. I’ve always found Ludington’s beauty so calming, which was a major reason I came back.”

Vice President of Extrusion Phil Gable previously worked in the U.S. Army Materiel Command, making stops in Texas, Arizona and Southeast Michigan before moving back in 2014 to take a leadership role with FloraCraft.

“I wanted my kids to have the same quality of life my wife and I had growing up,” Gable says. “I have an even greater appreciation for this close-knit community now, after living in other areas around the country.”

Then there’s Vice President of Supply Chain Annie O’Connor, who was set on going to college and never coming back after graduation. While home one summer, she took an internship with FloraCraft, which turned out to be the best decision of her career. Nearly 20 years later, she’s still with the company, and every position she’s held has been created just for her.

“Having Ludington natives on our team only makes us stronger as an organization,” O’Connor says, whose husband of nearly five years also works at the company. “We know the community, have a strong desire to immerse ourselves in it and want to see local businesses thrive.”

Interested in reading on? Eric Erwin spoke with MiBiz and the Grand Rapids Business Journal recently about the value in bringing Ludington natives back to our team.

The post Coming home: FloraCraft brings talent back to Ludington appeared first on FloraCraft.



2017 year end reviewAFE Bulletin March 2019AFE video contestAfrican NewsAgriflorAgriflor Flor Ecuador ShowsAIPHAirlinesairportAlaska Floral Newsbedding plantsBill Doran InterviewBlogbouquetbouquet ideasBreedersBreedingBrexit NewsCal FlowersCalifornia Floral Newscargocenterpiececenterpiece ideasChina Floral NewsCOLDColombian NewsCovid 19 NEWSCultivateCut FlowersdiseasedistributorDubai GardensDummen Orange NewsEcuador NewsEcuadorean newsEuropean Court of JusticeExclusive InterviewExhibitionExpoFlor Ecuador 2020Expoflores 2022F&C interviewFabulous 50Featured NewsFeatured News PageFloraCraftFloraculture International Magazinefloral centerpieceFloral craftsfloral installationsFlorexpo 2022 QuitoFloriexpo 2022floristFloristryFlowers of ColombiaFlowersandcents interviewFlowersandcents.com interviewFlowerTrialsFōMFTD NEWSFunFun n Sun 2019Fun N Sun 2022Generation XgeneticsGMOGood NewsGreat Lakes Floral Assoc.growerGrower of the YearGrowersGuatemalan NewsHackedHappy HolidaysHappy New YearHappy Valentine's DayHardgoodsHolidayshorticultureIDMIFE 2019 MiamiIFE 2021 MiamiIFE Chicago Convention newsIFPA 2022 Orlando FlaIFTF 2018 NetherlandsIFTF 2019IFTF 2021IFTF 2022ImpatiensimportImportant NewsImporterIn my opinionIndustry EventsInternational Floriculture ForumInterviewIntrigue DesignsIPM Essen GermanyJet Fresh FlowersKenya NewsKenya video review 2018Latest NewsLocal artLogisticsLudingtonMedellin Flower Festival.Media CoverageMeetingsMemorial Day FlowersMilennialsMindsMothers DayMothers Day PollMy OpinionNew York Flowre GroupNEWSpeoniesplantsPMA in the newsPMA NewsPOLLpot plantsPress ReleasePrince and PrinceProflora 2019Proflora 2023Proflora newsQuito NEWSrecycled plasticresearchRetailersRosaprimaRose ParadeRose testSad passingSAF 2021SAF 2022 Orlandosaf 2023SAF NewsSarah CampbellSeasonal HighlightsStrange timessummer eventssummer floralsummer weddingSun Valley FloralTechnologyTop100 2019TPIE 2020Trade FairTropical Plant ShowTrucking NewsUncategorizedUSAValentine's 2020Valentine's Day pollValentine's NewsValentines Dayweddingwedding bouquet ideasWFFSAWffsa 2022Wffsa Distribution Conference 2018What's Happening in FloralwholesaleWholesale Chain updateWholesaler PollWholesalersWomen's Day RoundtableWorld Floral ExpoWreathszHome Top SlidezzHome Banner Grid