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Letters 09-22-2014

Lame Duck Move

Twenty three states are controlled by Republican state legislatures and governors including Michigan. It is reported that Michigan Republicans are planning a sneak attack during the lame duck session to change the way electoral votes are allocated in presidential elections...

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Mute The Political Ads

Mark Sunday, September 14th as the opening of the flood gates, with TV political attack advertising. Fasten your seat belts until November 4th...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Arrangement Traverse City...
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The Arrangement Traverse City floral designer competes on TV series

By Erin Crowell - October 11th, 2010
Like other reality career competition series (think Project Runway for fashion and Top Chef for epicurean creations), The Arrangement brings 10 floral designers together from around the country to compete for the title of the “best.” The title also includes a grand prize of $25,000 and a new Smart Car Passion Coupe.
Woodruff, who owns Floral Underground Floral in Traverse City, was one of those competitors. While only the first episode has aired (the second episode airs Monday night, Oct. 11), the series has already proven to be a nail-biter for Woodruff.

WEEDING OUT THE COMPETITION
With filming wrapped up (it was filmed in L.A.), Woodruff is now home and has to keep mum — due to contract agreements — about how he fared on the series. However, the first episode showed he was able to survive the first round of challenges.
Barely.
“They really do push you,” Woodruff said, “and we were pushed to the max with over the top challenges.”
For their first “seedlings challenge,” the designers were divided into teams of two and asked to assemble a table-top arrangement—using limited materials—for a sushi buffet that was to be displayed on a naked model.
Afterward, the competitors were divided into two teams of five and had to cover two life-size wire manikins with completely natural materials that would be displayed at the Americana at Brand, a shopping center in Glendale, California.
Woodruff’s team lost, and after careful deliberation, the judges “weeded out”
the bottom two competitors – Woodruff being one.
In a final challenge to hold his spot, Woodruff had to assemble a floral arrangement in three minutes. Woodruff secured his spot by using a combination of bear grass woven through a floral bouquet of green hydrangea and orange ranunculus – his signature color.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I’m all about the color orange,” Woodruff said.

ABSTRACT AND URBAN
At home in Traverse City, Woodruff’s bright orange jeep sits outside his modern studio. Inside, clients can discuss wedding floral options on his IKEA furniture – a fierce orange couch that sits in the studio’s upper level.
“I have a very abstract and urban style,” said Woodruff. “I like to use unusual flowers and in unusual ways – random color combinations submerged in water, things like that.”
It’s a style that earned Woodruff a spot on the TV show in the first place.
“A casting producer messaged me on Facebook. At the time I thought, ‘this has got to be a scam,’” said Woodruff. “They had contacted the institute I went to and asked them if they knew of someone young, with unique characteristics of style who would do well on the show. So they told them about me.”
Woodruff earned his AIFD or Accredited in Floral Design through the American Institute of Floral Design – a PhD, if you will, in the floral industry. It’s one of many acronyms attached to Woodruff’s name: AIFD, CFD, CF – certifications that only he possesses in the Traverse City floral design community.
He currently holds an associates degree in horticulture, starting his schooling at Lansing Community College and Michigan State University before finishing at Northwestern Michigan College and MSU North.

FLORAL FOCUS
Originally from Jackson, Woodruff earned Certified Michigan Florist (CF) at age 17, just two years after he developed an interest in the plant sciences. When Woodruff discovered the only other option was landscaping, he narrowed his focus to floral design.
“Landscaping involves too much physical work,” he laughed.
Age always seems to come up for Woodruff. He was the youngest competitor on The Arrangement and spent the first half of his career proving his skills, mostly when he worked his first job at Hibbard’s Flowers, also in Traverse City.
“My first wedding I booked, the clients giggled as I walked up to them and they asked how old I was,” said Woodruff. “After our consultation they said they felt completely comfortable with my design style and that they didn’t worry a bit.”
Worrying is something he does less, himself.
“I was kind of a wreck when I came home,” Woodruff said after finishing the TV show. “But from the stress of it, nothing at weddings and events I’m working on now can stress me out. Last year I was second-guessing myself on designs. Now, I’ve got this new found confidence.”

Floral Underground is located at 1129 Woodmere Ave. Suite C in the Tru Fit Trouser Building. Call 231-715-6550 or visit thefloralunderground.com. Catch Derek Woodruff on Logo TV’s ‘The Arrangement,’ airing Mondays at 11 p.m. EST. Full episodes are available to watch 24 hours after they air at logotv.com.
 
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