Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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