Frankfort florist a top designer

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Just give her 20 minutes.

That's all it took for Frankfort native Kyra Fossett to out-design some of the state's top florists, earning her the runner-up title in a recent "Floral Designer of the Year" competition.

The event, a part of the Kentucky Florist Association annual convention, was held Jan. 17-19 at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville. Some 30 florists from around the state competed for Designer of the Year, a two-day "design off" which tests florists in three categories before narrowing the field to four.

At least one floral industry veteran said the race to be the state's top designer is fiercer than some might imagine.

"I was Designer of the Year in 1989 or 1990, and it took me a good five years to get to the finals," said Mike Gaddie, a florist with Lloyd's in Louisville and president of the Kentucky Florists Association.

"It's pretty intense," Gaddie added. "Especially, when you consider the competing designers come from all over Kentucky."

Jason Smith, of London, took top honors in the competition, Gaddie said, with two other florists from Somerset and Georgetown finishing out the top four. Competitors are judged based on color selection, originality and the overall mechanics of their designs.

Fossett, who owns A Touch of Grace, said this year's competition featured an under-the-sea theme, with each category centering on a different aquatic scenario. The categories were: a tropical wedding, which included a bouquet, boutonniere and corsage; a Valentine's Day arrangement for a mermaid; and a sympathy arrangement for a fisherman.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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