One could say he knows the business well, working in about every aspect of it from driving the delivery van to creating notable designs in fresh and permanent arrangements.
“I started as a delivery driver for a florist in Chattanooga. I wanted to try to get into the floral industry and thought driving was a good way to get started,” Hall said.
It wasn’t long until Hall found himself shaping, creating and working with flowers with talented designers in the floral environment he longed for. He did so well, he was a full-time designer in eight months.
Most floral designers have a superstar veteran arranger who was influential to their career. For Hall it was Frank Malezzo. According to Hall, Malezzo noticed he had a natural ability, took him under his wing and gave him encouragement and inspiration to develop his own style of arranging.
“From the first arrangement there was no turning back. I knew there was nothing else I would ever want to do,” said Hall.
Hall has called Cleveland his home since he relocated the same time his mother moved to the area. As a full-time floral designer for Bradley Florist, he was honored to be named Floral Designer of the Year for Tennessee. He recently competed in the Southern Retail Florist Association (SRFA) competition with state winners from Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. SRFA was formed on the foundation of educating the industry, offering affordable floral educational venues for designers.
Because Hall and the other state winners were able to see the flowers before the competition began, he said he was able to “chill out” a little in preparation for the three-hour competition, which was different from the Tennessee competition when he found out what he had to work with the same time the competition began.
“We were able to look at them beforehand and clean them which gave me a good idea of what I was going to design,” Hall said.
When the clock began ticking and the 12 judges were on stand-by to officiate and moderate, Hall began designing a casket piece, table arrangement, body flower, cascading wristlet, bridal bouquet and surprise package, which was a tropical arrangement.
Elbow to elbow — in one big room — the competitors began designing while people were permitted to walk throughout and observe them.
“For the tropical arrangement, I took the vase, turned it upside down and put the oasis on top of it and did an arrangement called Hogarth Curve,” Hall said.
“I felt honored to represent Tennessee. I did my best and I wasn’t ashamed of anything I put out on the table.”
Scott Turner, Bradley Florist owner, said Hall represented his home state tremendously well.
“The scores were very close and he did some outstanding designs. The experience was great and he received some good ideas to bring back to Cleveland,” Turner said.
Although Hall is knowledgeable in all types of designs, even the popular high style and line designs, his favorite is the Hogarth Curve with a focal point in the center. His favorite three flowers to work with are calla lilies, anthuriums and birds of paradise.
A saying he once heard stays fresh in his mind: “If you stay green you grow, if you get ripe you rot.” Hall interprets that to mean keep it fresh — keep learning and keep growing.
“I plan to stay green,” he said.
Hearing customers say an arrangement of his turned their day around or made them smile is what keeps him cutting, cleaning and designing with flowers.
“It’s what I do and I do it because I love it,” he said.
Next year Hall will be entering the “MidAmerica” floral competition similar to the recent competition.