AIFD is a non-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of professionalism and the art of floral design.
The AIFD mark was what drew Jones to research the organization three years ago.
“I got into the Web site and studied up on it, and decided that’s what I wanted to do,” Jones said.
The process of becoming a member, however, wasn’t easy. Jones had to go through a series of evaluations. After expressing interest in the program, Jones took a pre-evaluation term exercise that tested her knowledge of floral terminology.
Following the open-book test, candidates for membership were required to attend a national symposium event where they were evaluated on their floral design abilities.
“It’s a very trying test and a lot of people don’t get it on their first time around,” Jones said. “It’s really hard. Only 113 applied the year I passed, and only 64 got it.”
During the test, candidates are allotted four hours to design five floral arrangements. Candidates are not briefed on specifics of the test until a short orientation at the symposium.
“You’re given a surprise package of flowers—you don’t know the colors or anything about them,” Jones said. “You’re only allowed to bring with you bare minimum tools so it’s really basic and you have no idea what else you’re going to get.”
Jones was required to design specific arrangements from five categories: Funeral tribute, arrangement, wedding, designer’s choice and flowers to wear. She designed a casket spray, a hospital room arrangement for a teenager, a bridesmaid bouquet, a designer’s choice in contemporary Oriental design and a boutonniere.
After completing the requirements, a panel of evaluators viewed each artist’s pieces.
“They evaluate your work, not as a competition against the other florists there, but as the principles of floral design go: line, balance, harmony, colors and things that make an arrangement beautiful to the eye,” Jones said.
Jones’ hard work paid off, and she passed her evaluation during summer 2006. She was inducted a year later.
She said she enjoyed being able to learn new techniques and to bring them back home to try for herself.
While she plans to continue servicing the local community through Creations by Carmon, rural Hillsboro, Jones also has dreams to expand through doors that are opening to her.
“I’d like to get into instruction teaching floral design, do some larger party work and also get into the artistic avenue of things,” she said. “I really enjoy doing pieces of art, not just floral design.”