Human Flower Project
Olympic Flowers ‘10: Just Choose June
To make its victory bouquets, Vancouver’s Olympics committee has chosen a florist with prison credentials.
June Strandberg, florist for the Vancouver Winter Olympics
Photo: Sharon Doucette, for Surry Now
Conscientious consumption—the demonstration of ethics via your nearest and dearest commodities—will take the international stage next year, in the grip of swooshing ski jumpers and jaw-rattled luge riders.
The organizing committee for Vancouver’s Winter Olympics 2010 has chosen Just Beginnings Flowers to make the 1500 bouquets for next winter’s Olympic champions.
Just Beginnings, HFP readers may recall, is a fascinating flower shop that combines social uplift with retailing. Owner June Strandberg trains recovering addicts and ex-prisoners in floral design, offering instruction in the basement of her shop in Surry’s Phoenix Centre. Strandberg has also taught floristry behind bars.
Marisa Babic, of Surry Now, writes, “Competition to land the [Olympic] contract was stiff. A total of 58 florists were in the running. Strandberg believes her credentials with the correctional program sealed the deal.”
Strandberg worked inside Burnaby Correctional Center for Women, a maximum security prison, for thirteen years, teaching inmates to work with flowers – an Olympian accomplishment itself.
Today, it’s not enough to be good at floral design; one must also be a “good” florist – whose products radiate an ethical glow.
We understand that Just Beginnings will collaborate on the athletes’ bouquets with Margitta’s Flowers, of Lonsdale Quay Market in North Vancouver. Strandberg and Margitta Schulz already have chosen “green mums and blue iris” – colors of the Vancouver Olympics— to be “supplied by growers in the Fraser Valley.”
“Locally grown” is of course another tenet of CC.
Note: For an updated story, including photograph of the 2010 Winter Olympics bouquet, check this link.