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Love Local Gathering

The Gathering 98040: Connect. Learn. Flourish.

Longtime island friends, India Harmsen, Amber Gribble, and Amanda Colburn, came together at a time of longing for more - more togetherness, more experiences, more time for themselves. Their goal was simple: help women expand their knowledge, try new skills, and explore new passions all while having quality time with someone they may know or making new friends along the way. As such, The Gathering 98040 was born. 

The Gathering offers a wide variety of classes and workshops. Each curated event is intimate in size and personalized to make women feel recognized and welcome. Experiences feature thoughtfully prepared nibbles and sips while experts guide attendees through hands-on instruction. “We are thrilled to be able to curate opportunities for all women to grow and are excited to broaden our experiences right alongside our guests,” stated co-founder Amanda Colburn.

The classes and workshops through The Gathering provide a supportive space for women to connect with others from all walks of life and encourage women to come as they are. At the conclusion of each event, guests walk away with new knowledge on a topic, insider tips, and information to pursue it further if they so choose. Notes are provided to guests after the event so they can be present and enjoy their time during the workshop but still have information to refer back to as needed after its conclusion. Since its inception, The Gathering has hosted workshops on a wide range of topics, including mixology, boat driving, container gardening, pastry making, fitness and meal prep, grilling, preparing seafood, embroidery, watercolor, and charcuterie to name a few.

In late September, The Gathering hosted a workshop in partnership with Mercer Island Florist. Attendees created custom low and lush arrangements under the expert guidance of floral designer Jenna Weischedel.

Guests began the evening with time to mingle and explore the floral shop while they sipped on prosecco and hibiscus flower cocktails. Once the learning portion of the evening began, they found their way to stations already prepared with their supplies and enjoyed individual charcuterie boxes while Weischedel reviewed the principles and elements of design and explained how they apply to floral arranging. She emphasized the importance of balance, symmetry, and rhythm when creating an arrangement.

Attendees then made selections from a wide variety of fresh flowers and greenery to create their own bespoke arrangements. Some guests opted for a refined Fall color scheme while others worked in monochromatic hues including white, green and blue. Weischedel provided guidance and tips throughout the process, while encouraging attendees to experiment and express their own creativity.

The results were stunning. Each arrangement was unique and reflected the individual style of its designer. Floral arranging is a creative way to add beauty to your home or office. Studies have shown that just the presence of flowers in your proximity reduces stress and promotes calm feelings.

If you want to learn more about creating your own floral arrangements at home, check out the Blog page on The Gathering’s website (thegathering98040.com) for detailed tips and tricks as well as suggested products. 

Tips for Floral Design at Home by Jenna Weischedel of Mercer Island Florist:

Cold water helps to prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria and fungus cause your flowers to rot more quickly.

Give your stems a fresh cut before placing them in your vase. 

Follow instructions for the proper ratio of food to water. A general rule of thumb is one scoop of flower food for one gallon of water.

Leave the leaves on your flower stems until you’re ready to create your arrangement. Removing leaves releases ethylene gas which shortens the lifespan of your flowers.

The same gas comes off of fresh fruit like bananas and apples. Keep your flower arrangements away from your fruit too!

Pull off any dead flowers or leaves to prevent other nearby flowers from wilting sooner.

"Use COLD water in your vases to keep flowers fresh for longer."

"Change water every 4-5 days." - Jenna Weischedel

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