Feb 29-Mar 3, 2024
Seminar Stage Headliners
J Schwanke, J Schwanke’s Life In Bloom, uBloom
J Schwanke is the host of J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom, a half-hour lifestyle show featuring everything flowers and the positive impact they make on daily life, broadcast nationwide. J is a fourth-generation florist, award-winning author, and speaker – whose passion for flowers is infectious.
“Research has shown the presence of flowers has an immediate impact on people’s health and happiness,” says J Schwanke. “It’s been my life-long mission to show people how easy it is to improve their daily lives, by including flowers. Viewers have responded so positively to the beauty and relaxation flowers provide – even from just taking a break and watching the show. I’m excited to show many simple ways to interact with flowers, which can improve our environment, mood, and even physical well-being.”
In each episode of J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom – seen on public television (PBS) and Create TV stations – J shows viewers how to arrange flowers with simple techniques that guarantee success. He also welcomes friends and guests for segments with crafts, cooking, cocktails, and flowers for entertaining. Location segments include visits to flower farms. Flowers intersect topics as varied as soap making, pets, and bonsai are included, as well as easy-to-make recipes with flowers as ingredients, such as a lavender cheesecake and garden gimlet cocktail.
J Schwanke was actually born at a flower convention and grew up in his family’s greenhouses. His website, uBloom.com, offers flower fans everywhere the opportunity to learn and experience the fun of flowers and flower arranging, 24/7! J has given flower demonstrations in all 50 states, Canada and England. Highlights include the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Art in Bloom, Bouquets to Art, San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, Flowers at Kensington Palace and hundreds of state, association, wholesale and public shows. J has also appeared several times on the PBS show “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home.” J is the author of Fun with Flowers, which received a Silver, Living Now Book Award. His most recent book, Bloom 365 – The Essential Guide to Arranging Flowers Every Day, was awarded the Gold IPPY (Home and Garden category) by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Bloom 365 features 365 tips, tricks, and techniques to make flower arranging easier.Don’t miss J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom airing on WGVU Saturdays at noon starting March 21st!
Leslie Hart-Davidson, HDD Studios
Leslie Hart-Davidson is a nationally recognized professional interior designer, author, and owner of HDD Studios in Michigan. Leslie holds a B.A. in interior design and has nearly two decades of industry experience, but credits her family for the desire to enter the world of design. The Hart family practiced real estate flipping while she was a child, so her calling for home improvement came early.
Leslie lives and breathes interior design not only in her successful design business, but also through her extensive writing career. She has written two home improvement books full of snark and great content: Remodeling Your House without Killing Your Spouse in 2014 and It’s Not Your Room, it’s You in 2016. Leslie’s most recent book is a combination kitchen design/memoir/cookbook titled Food is Love that will be showcased during the 2022 season’s seminars.
The design philosophy Leslie adopted when she started her business more than 20 years ago is straightforward: design is a democracy, not a dictatorship. This guiding principle helps audience members and clients better understand design language and the psychology behind how they live in their homes. Her innovative seminars include “Thing or Not a Thing: The Best and Worst of Today’s Design Trends,” and “Leveling Up from Live, Laugh, Love. When she’s not on stage or on camera, you can find Leslie posting witty lifestyle content to her Facebook page and whipping up delightful meals in her charming 140-year-old Michigan farmhouse.
Chef Jeff Brandon, Corporate Chef – Superior Foods
ABOUT CHEF JEFF:
Jeff began his cooking journey in 1990 in Mt. Pleasant Michigan working for the LaBelle Restaurant group while attending CMU as a music major. Finding himself “skipping class” to pick up shifts at the restaurant Jeff decided to change his major and his life . He and his wife Amy moved to Grand Rapids where he attended and graduated GRCC (now the Secchia Institute ) and graduated in 1994 with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. He spent the next 13 years “Chef-ing” at various Catering and Restaurant operations in the Grand Rapids area , including the Scheldes Restaurant Group , Executive Chef for the Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Railside Country Club. As his family started to grow Jeff made the switch to the Food Distribution side of the business and took a job with Superior Foods in 2007 as their Corporate Chef. Now Jeff is the Executive Chef of Smuggler’s at North Shore on Hess Lake in Newaygo.
Jeff and Amy live in Allendale and have 3 sons and a daughter in law.
2023 RECIPE: “Food Truck Style Foods at Home”
….. Building layers of flavors and combining elements of sweet and spicy are all the rage on food truck menus across the country. Get your creative juices flowing and learn with Chef Jeff how to create those magical sweet and spicy flavor combos in your kitchen. Whether it’s a Turkey slider with Sweet Pineapple BBQ on a Spicy Cornbread Muffin … or … a Cherry Habanero Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich with Peanut Butter Ganache you’ll see how easy it is to build those fun portable “Food Truck Style foods” in your own kitchen and “spice up” your every day menus.