Former White House florist will share stories and tips at Home Show

Former White House florist will share stories and tips at Home Show

Laura Dowling is a former White House florist under Barack Obama.

Former White House florist Laura Dowling is making her way to Duluth for the Arrowhead Home and Builders Show.

She’ll be arranging flowers and sharing some tips and tricks along with telling behind-the-scenes stories from her time working at the White House.

There have only been about six florists in White House history. Dowling had a career in another field and was working part-time as a florist out of her kitchen. Her husband encouraged her to apply for the White House job.

“Eventually, there were three finalists, and we were all invited to the White House to have a floral competition, a four-hour, timed competition to make different designs, and it was judged by the First Lady,” Dowling said. “So we were all interviewed individually, and it remains one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever had.”

The First Lady at the time was Michelle Obama. Dowling worked at the White House from 2009-2015.

“The whole idea that I came into the White House with was I wanted to carry out the original vision of what Jackie Kennedy, who founded the White House flower shop, had. Which was to create garden-style arrangements, very natural, and they remained kind of a contemporary look, even almost like 60 years later,” she said.

Michelle Obama also had a kitchen garden, which fit well with Dowling’s vision.

She was in charge of “White House rooms, the East Wing, the West Wing, the private residence, Camp David, the state dinners, the holidays. It was a big job.”

See her Home Show schedule here.

Besides traveling the country sharing her flower knowledge, Dowling is also working on a book that will be released this Christmas.

Laura Dowling