We asked the recently announced EMC Students who will be representing EMC this fall at Fleuramour to describe, in one sentence – What was their reaction when they first found out that they had made the EMC select 8 for Fleuramour?



In their own words…


“My first reaction, CANNOT BE … I’M DREAMING!!!, I ran and told my partner, please read it and tell me if it was true OR NOT” – Claudia Viviana Abbrescia (EMC Mexico)

“I can’t believe it, this is so great! (happy dance) There must have only been eight people who applied!” – Rebecca Carter (EMC North America)

“I literally jumped up and down as high as I could, hopping around the house yelling, ‘I made it, I made it, I made it’!!!” – Sidney Heffner (EMC North America)

“I was very excited, proud and honored to be selected to represent EMC as part of the EMC team at Fleuramour 2016.” – Agna Maertens (EMC Holland)

“I felt so happy to soon have the opportunity to see all the inspiring people I met, thanks to EMC, and so honored to have a chance to play a little part in the fantastic event that Fleuramour is.” – Nadine Michelle (EMC Holland)

“This is fantastic!” – Else Palmaers (EMC Holland)

“I was very surprised and overjoyed to see that I am on the list of designers selected for Fleuramour.” – Anca Ungureanu (EMC Holland)

“I get to decorate a castle?!?! Coolest thing EVER!” – Jenny Thomasson (EMC North America)






Claudia was born in Valencia, Venezuela of Italian parentage. She makes her home now in Mexico, with 2 beautiful children.

She has worked as an independent holistic therapist for 10 years, but has been studying floral design for the past 3 years. She has for the last 2 years, worked part-time with a group of wedding coordinators.

Top achievement to date?

To belong to the Team Fleuramour (best gift the Gods have given me on this journey)

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

‘Cannot’, ‘should not’, ‘I do not know’ and ‘do not have’ are negative conditions which do not serve to achieve a dream. I believe in following one’s passion, never stop dreaming and working hard for that dream. In my childhood, my mother made for me a floral head wreath and floral necklace to wear – she said I looked like a Hawaiian. I fell in love with flowers and discovered the artist that was hidden inside of me…

Claudia will interpret ‘WATER’ at Fleuramour 2016


Rebecca is from Meredith, New Hampshire (USA). She has been a floral designer for 21 years. Her business, Studio Vincca is located in Dover, New Hampshire.

Top 3 achievements to date:

– Inducted into American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in 2011
– Opening my own studio in 2012
– Being selected to participate in Fleuramour 2016

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

There was never any question about whether or not I would apply to participate at Fleuramour – it was a matter of ‘if it is meant to be, everything will work itself out as it needs to in order for me to go.’ I was equally afraid that I would get selected or that I would not! In the end, it turns out that ‘it is meant to be’. I want everyone to know how incredibly honored and grateful I am for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t wait to officially meet my EMC family!!

Rebecca will interpret ‘AIR’ at Fleuramour 2016.


Sidney Heffner is originally from Columbia, South Carolina (USA). He has been a floral artist for 20+ years. He presently works for Wholesale Flowers and Supplies in San Diego, California.

Top 3 achievements to date:

– The first competition I ever entered, a Halloween floral competition – I won first place. That was exciting! (This is when I said to myself, maybe this means I should learn more about arranging flowers)
– Being a part of arranging florals for Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe’s wedding in Charleston, South Carolina.
-Winning 3rd place in Flowers& Magazine competition.

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

The one thing that comes to mind that I would like everyone to know about me – if it has to be something, lol, is that I love to create! It’s one thing that I HAVEW to do, otherwise I feel incomplete.

Sidney will interpret ‘FIRE’ at Fleuramour 2016


Agna is from Beernem (near Bruges), in Belgium. She has been designing flowers for 1 ½ yearf and has her own business – the name of the company is l’Amour des Fleurs. Agna was a Biology, Physics and Chemistry teacher. She is so happy now to work with flowers!!!

Top 3 achievements to date:

– My first big arrangement for an exhibition in Antwerp. Fleurs des Dames (April 1-4, 2016)
– My first presentation of arrangements (2 x 7 arrangements) in Wintermoments in Bruges. I like to teach!
– I liked so much to help with the big construction of Tomas De Bruyne in Alden Biesen last year.

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

I started a new life because of the flowers. It’s giving me a lot of energy!! I’m so happy I’m following EMC! It’s giving me inspiration!!

Agna will interpret ‘EARTH’ at Fleuramour 2016


Nadine is originally from Saint-Denis, Reunion (French Island located in the Indian Ocean). She is currently based in Berlin, Germany where she is ready to launch her freelance business, Nadine Michelle Floral Styling. Her journey into the world of floral design started in September 2014.

Top 3 achievements to date:

– One of my last ‘experimental’ floral creations – the caramelized sugar based flower arrangement, or the infinite tunnel of flowers.
– One of my work was featured on the cover of the Spring 2016 issue of Fleur Creatif Magazine
– To be selected as part of the EMC team to participate at Fleuramour 2016

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

I like to experiment with new and unconventional ideas. My wish is to always bring an experiential dimension to my designs – to surprise and to generate positive emotions.

Nadine will interpret ‘WATER’ at Fleuramour 2016


Ilse is from Bilzen, Belgium. She has worked for the last 3 years as a floral designer part-time. Since April 1, 2016, she has become a full-time floral designer at Vanclee Bloemen & Planten. She runs the business together with Chiel Vanclee.

Top 3 achievements to date:

– Selected to represent EMC at Fleuramour 2016
– 3rd place – Barcelona World Flower Cup 2016
– 3rd place Bridal Work Competition at Fleuramour 2015

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

I worked as a trainer web designer for more than 10 years and went to art academy for 5 years to study graphic design. The step towards floral design is the next step in my development. The fonts and images have been replaced by botanicals – but the elements and principles of design still count.

Ilse will interpret ‘WATER’ at Fleuramour 2016


Jenny is from St.Louis, Missouri USA. She has been designing for 16 years and is self-employed. Her business name is STEMS stems4flowers.com

Top 3 achievements to date:

– Opening and successfully growing my own business, being able to support and bring my family onboard.
– Achieving the accreditation I have sought.
– Presenting on the main stage at an international floral symposium (AIFD)

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

I am an entrepreneur in this industry. True E.P. (Entrepreneur Passion) for what I was born to do. Wishing that I can always make something as beautiful as the flower already is – that is my goal.

Jenny will interpret ‘FIRE’ at Fleuramour 2016


Anca is from Bucharest, Romania. She is the founder of AN-CA EVENTS, she and her partner founded this company in 2006. She has been a floral designer for 10 years.

Top 3 achievements to date:

– Decorating the entrance ceiling with 450 orchid plants at Fleuramour with 3 other EMC girls (Ella Fodor, Ruth Owen and Nadine Michelle) in 2015.
– Made a wedding bouquet for annual exhib ition at Soestadijk Palace (Holland)
– Did first demonstration at Fleuramour 2015

Is there anything you would like everyone to know about you?

Thank you for this opportunity.

Anca will interpret ‘AIR’ at Fleuramour 2016

We are all looking forward to seeing Claudia, Rebecca, Sidney, Agna, Nadine, Ilse, Jenny and Anca’s showcase designs that they will create for EMC Room at Alden Biesen in September 2016. We would like to invite all EMC PART III students to attend this amazing flower show and enjoy an added attraction before or after your EMC session. It is also an opportunity for the Spanish-speaking students from the first session to meet the English-speaking students, to bring the whole EMC family together.

The EMC Team.

EMC Program

EMC is an internationally-acclaimed program jointly run by partners, Tomas De Bruyne and Hitomi Gilliam AIFD. This comprehensive European curriculum is taught by Tomas, and complemented and facilitated by Hitomi. EMC is a very practical-oriented, accelerated course focusing on all required fundamental skills and creativity required in the European flower business.

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