Frankford design business wins best in show at Flower Show

Schaffer Designs, based at Globe Dye Works in Frankford, used 10,000 flowers from all around the world to create an exhibit that dangled from the ceiling of the Pennsylvania Convention Center at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show.

La Strade Delle Cinque Terra, designed by Schaffer Design in Frankford, won best in show at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show. Image submitted by Bill Schaffer

This year’s show-winning exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show may have showcased the beauty of Cinque Terra in Italy, but it started in Northeast Philadelphia and grew to be a globe-spanning effort.

Schaffer Designs, based at Globe Dye Works in Frankford, created La Strade Delle Cinque Terra, a multi-level exhibit entirely suspended from the ceiling at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at last week’s flower show. The exhibit was awarded best in show for this year’s Riviera Holiday-themed showcase.

The set consisted of multiple colorful layers with heights spanning from eight to 28 feet, meant to reflect the layered structures of Cinque Terra in northern Italy. From start to finish, the exhibit used 10,000 flowers (about 4,000 of which were cycled gradually in to keep the appearance fresh).

Bill Schaffer and Kristine Kratt are the owners of Schaffer Designs and the creative directors behind the project, while Holmesburg resident Robert Quartucci contributed as the creative design associate.

The exhibit showcased 10,000 flowers over the course of the show from countries all across the world. Image submitted by Bill Schaffer.

Many of the flowers were grown locally using the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Garden for the Greater Good program, but flowers were donated from all over the world.

“My wife and I are very fortunate to travel the world teaching, and we came in contact with so many great farms throughout the world,” Schaffer said.

Flowers were donated from the Naniwa Flower Auction in Japan, Passion Growers, The Elite Flower and Sunshine Bouquet Company in Colombia, various organizations in Holland and from Florida and California in the U.S., as well as flowers grown locally in Pennsylvania. The exhibit featured more than 70 kinds of flowers and colors.

Quartucci suggested basing the exhibit off of Cinque Terra after being inspired by the show’s theme and the buildings’ colors and geometric structures. Around 30 designers from all around the world traveled to Frankford to voluntarily work on the exhibit.

“I had tears in my eyes seeing the finished project,” Quartucci said.