The Value of Lessons

Design Green - the EMC Core Team building hosted by Smithers Oasis at their Ohio headquarters took place mid February, 2020. This is a yet to be told, important story that got caught up in the mist of uncertainty and shock that came with this pandemic. The immediate life changing events that followed worldwide made it fade away and the momentum seemed lost. Still, the true value of things lies in their ability to become timeless.

It is a story from a different time now, when a group of people, namely the members of the EMC Core Team, easily flew to Ohio from all different parts of the world, from Hawaii to Belgium. They spent a week as guests of their partners and sponsors of the EMC Program, Smithers Oasis, at their headquarters. As one can imagine, there was no social distancing or need to self isolate back then, so the experience for the team was full of meetings and scheduled visits to the production line and all the professional socializing such an event involved. Yet, this story became so much more than that, both due to and in spite of this pandemic situation through the valuable lessons we have learned from it.

Where focus goes, energy flows!


Valuable education, strong collaboration and meaningful information were the main attributes of this amazing experience for both the Core Team of EMC and the Smithers Oasis staff.

Sherene S. Tan, AIFD EMC testimonial: ”This visit is a collaboration with Smithers-Oasis to discuss about how we can help to obtain sustainability in our industry. We have meetings, brainstorming sessions as well as touring the manufacturing plant.” 

Keith Stanley, CFD, EMC testimonial: ”Our EMC Core team meeting at Oasis was a great opportunity to explore our relationship with one of our main corporate sponsors, and to hear more about what they do and how they do it. Smithers Oasis is more than floral foam, it is an essential supporter (and cheerleader) of everything we do as florists on a daily basis. I see a great opportunity for EMC and Smithers Oasis to collaborate together to expand both of our visions of sustainability and forward thinking in the floral community.”

As EMC family members know, we focus ourselves on "the WHY" but as well on “HOW” to learn? Being different, solving problems, thinking different, customizing challenges, finding our own self by developing our future signature style, thinking before acting, We were delighted to find the same strive for the better in our host, Smithers Oasis.

Have a vision: SUSTAINABILITY!

Learning is dependent on the state of mind, on how you feel and what your emotional state is. Taking action creatively was the motor of the meeting as teams of designers were working with new biodegradable products that Smithers Oasis is producing, offering feedback and valuable input.


Rebecca Carter, AIFD EMC testimonial: ”The openness of the corporate leaders to really listen to the Core Team's ideas about the future of the industry and introducing new products to support them inspiring and motivating. It was also very encouraging to hear about all the advances in mindful manufacturing practices worldwide and the development of new eco-friendly containers and design accents. I was really impressed and it was obvious that there is pride in the work, passion for the company and genuine concern about the environment.” 

Regine Motmans, EMC testimonial: ”The core team building also brought me a lot of wisdom in how people's minds work when you create two teams. It was incredible how they came up with brilliant concepts with the products Smithers-Oasis provided us to work with. I learned a lot about myself once again, and I'm thankful for every word shared, every minute shared, every knowledge shared.”

Christi Lopez, AIFD EMC: ”We had the CORE Team brake up into two groups and they were given a task to utilise Smither-Oasis products around sustainability. What each group designed had as much individuality as it did connectivity. Tomas and I couldn't have been more proud to see how the teams worked together and presented their outcomes!


The time with Smithers-Oasis was remarkable and chock full of knowledge, insights and thought-provoking movement as we all work toward a better environment to work with and live with. Our hosts were remarkable and generous. The time that we spent learning more about their offerings, production and future growth gave me the satisfaction that Smithers-Oasis is working hard to be there on the front lines for florists worldwide. Sustainability is top-of-mind as they forge ahead to help our industry.”

Creativity is thinking up different or unique things, innovation is actually doing those things. Setting up a creative environment between two partners in the industry, working on different areas, though, invites to acting creatively and ultimately to achieving results.


EMC teaches that the quality of the questions give you the quality of the answers you look for. Connect the resources you have by seeing potential in the elements you work with. Focus on to solving the challenge and come up with a bright solution or design! Learn and teach yourself not what to do, but rather why and how you do. These are all EMC principles regarding how floral education should be now and in the future. It is a value we also found in the way Smithers Oasis do their business and develop their products, focusing on answering these two key questions. Recognising the same values in our peers was a key trigger for a quality dialogue. CEO of Smithers Oasis, Robin Kilbride, has set the bar high in this respect, starting from the very beginning of our partnership in promoting floral education.

Sue Tabbal-Yamaguchi, AIFD EMC: ”Being a long time dedicated customer I as excited to finally see where oasis was made and learn what the company was all about. Smithers Oasis were very open to answering questions and keeping the dialogue open.”


Dalia Bartolotti, EMC testimonial: ”Oasis' live by their Values and Mission. It is evident in how they conduct business, treat their employees and welcome guests. They proudly shared with us that they were working on developing an eco-friendly floral foam for more than 10 years, long before the 'no foam' movement. Oasis continues to be the industry leader in sustainability,.”

The collaboration between EMC and OASIS has proven, through this experience, to be more than a promotional contract, but a true partnership in the goal of lifting the entire floral industry to a new level of awareness, education and quality it provides.


 Tomas de Bruyne, CEO of European Master Certification

”We’ve all heard the expression two heads are better than one to give a fresh outlook on challenges or ideas to provide innovative thinking and boost productivity in a way that helps to reach a common vision.

This ‘think green’ collaboration brought people with different backgrounds, skills, expertise, and perspectives together to brainstorm ideas, overcome obstacles, and utilize creative problem solving for the betterment. The intention was to maximize the full potential of finding new ways, approaches and even insights on sustainability.

In this summit, the real value came from both companies insight and expertise; creativity at its best. The process of having original ideas that have value to the market was our goal. We came up with a start of ideas and approaches how to continue in the future but last and not least, creating a conscious mindset of making a difference starting by ourselves witch eventually will reflect on our industry.”

Starting September 2020, EMC Foundation Class will become available online! More details and information will be released in due time. Right now the team is working on implementing this project and making European Master Certification a model of how floral education should be thought and an inspiration of why education is so relevant in floristry.

EMC Foundation Class Romania 2020 is still open for registration.

Click HERE for more information!

EMC Advanced Class 2020 is now officially rescheduled for November.

Only on invitation! We welcome you to the final part of your EMC Core journey if you have successfully completed EMC Foundation and Self Practicum.

Click HERE to register!



50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.