Gretchen Rogers has won her second People’s Choice Award in the Koehler and Dramm Designer of the Year Competition. The competition is sponsored by the wholesale florists that supply Moose Lake Florists, where Rogers is an employee.
The competition was held on January 29 in the Twin Cities, with 17-20 florists competing.
This is the third year that Rogers has competed.
“The sales representative encouraged me to do it,” said Rogers, who has been creating floral arrangements, first at the business owned in Carlton by Lana Newman, and now at Moose Lake Florists, that Newman now owns.
“I told her that I can’t do it, and she said, ‘Yes, you can,’” Rogers added. “She pushed me to do it.”
The arrangement that Rogers had entered the first year was disqualified. It had been damaged while being transported.
“I was still scored,” said Rogers. “It was still a great learning experience. After that, I transported the arrangements myself.”
Rogers won the People’s Choice Award both last year and this year, an award chosen by all of the other florists competing at the show.
“I’ve told my friends that it’s a big deal to compete against your peers and then have your peers choose your design when they vote.
“If you get into the top six, you go on to the next stage. I won that both last year and this year.”
That competition has been set for March 2 at the Home and Garden Show in St. Paul.
Rogers entered a competition held on the State Fairgrounds last summer, the Minnesota State Floral Competition.
“I ended up with a ribbon,” she said. “I missed the top six but I was in the top third. Being in the top 10 in the state is still good, the wholesale representative said.”
Rogers was having difficulty coming up with a design for the “Your Heritage” theme for this year’s competition.
“And then, Kelly, my co-worker, suggested a hat, and that triggered an idea,” she said. “I was very surprised and very pleased that I had won the People’s Choice Award. I went in with the attitude that I can do this because I had done it before. Some of the flowers wilted but I didn’t lose points.”
Rogers has had no formal training other than classes that she has attended.
“It’s a God-given gift,” she explained. “I’m proud to say that's what he’s done for me. I’ve always had the knack for artistic arrangements. I’ve done designs for friends’ weddings and such.”