In light of the current events, we asked this week’s guest if he’d prefer to postpone our interview or still come on as planned. Without hesitation, Kristen Griffith VanderYacht asked if we could keep our date and have the conversation as a way to “continue to highlight the power of creativity as a pathway to healing during times of social unrest.” Join us as we sit down with Kristen to discuss his experience as the head judge on Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight, what that means for the black flower community, and how race places a role in our industry.
Here are the video, podcast replay, and show notes:
- Ok, so I want to say that I did reach out to you about doing this show as planned or moving the date because I honestly wasn’t sure what to do - we definitely couldn’t do this show without addressing current events. And I loved your response - you said, “I think it is important to continue to highlight the power of creativity as a pathway to healing during times of social unrest.“ Afterwards, I called you up because while I’m humbled & honored to provide a platform, I am honestly nervous because I have never done this before. I talk about flowers, design, business & marketing, but never issues on race. So how do you want to start this part of the conversation off?
- We see the words being used, like diversity and inclusivity, within the industry.
- A viewer sent in the question, as an example: What do you feel and think about how Pinterest is very white-centric and so are the newsfeeds of so many in the floral industry? How can we include more diversity and take part in breaking down the long time impacts of social injustice and systemic racism?
- What does that mean to you and what are some tangible ways that we can work towards being better in these areas?
- In your oprahmag.com interview, you spoke about representing Black excellence on the show but in your everyday life - Can you expand on that?
- During our phone conversation yesterday, you mentioned finding joy and looking for reasons to celebrate, which brings us to The Big Flower Fight and your critical role as a judge. Can you tell us how you were selected to be a judge on a Netflix show?
- As a judge, I’m sure Netflix wanted a person that can speak well and off of the cuff. How did you come up with what you would say during the judging stage?
- And this is such a shallow thing to ask, but I was obsessed with seeing what you would wear for each episode. I totally Insta-stalked you, so I know that you do wear sweaters & tshirts like the rest of us - what was the process of selecting your fab frocks??
- Disregarding who won the final fairy-tale challenge - who was your overall favorite design team?
- Do you plan on incorporating anything that you experienced on the show or anything that you may have learned from the contestants into your own work as a floral designer?
- Is Netflix planning season 2?
- Is there any last message that you want to say before we sign off?
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