Originally from Blackfoot, Idaho, Katie Robison shares her love for flowers with students at BYU-Idaho as a professor in the applied plant science department.
Robison started working at BYU-I in Fall 2019, and started her floral design career while attending the University as a student. While trying to choose a major, she enrolled in the beginning flower arranging class, exposing herself to floral design for the first time.
According to Robison, it was in that class where she first fell in love with flowers and has never looked back since.
Robison got her bachelor’s degree in horticulture with an emphasis in floral design. Since then, she has worked in several floral shops throughout Utah and Idaho.
During her time at BYU-I, she interned at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. After graduating and serving a mission, she went back to work at the Temple Square Hospitality Corporation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She later worked for ten years in the non-profit side of the Church. This position involved designing floral arrangements for General Conference and creating weekly flower arrangements for the First Presidency. Robison also created arrangements for many public affairs department events.
Robison has always loved teaching and about four years ago, Robison started her own business teaching floral design. While attending BYU-I, Robison got her first job as the flower arranging class teacher’s assistant.
“That has probably been one of my favorite jobs in all my career,” Robison said.
Robison later pursued a master’s degree in education. When the opportunity became available, she applied for and got hired at BYU-Idaho doing what she loves.
“As part of the floral world, you get to be a part of the most emotional and meaningful moments in people’s lives,” Robison said. “Think about birth, high school proms, weddings, anniversaries and also death.”
According to Jeannette Haviland-Jones, a professor of psychology and director of the Human Emotions Laboratory at Rutgers University, there are different studies that show that flowers are a powerful positive emotion inducer. For example, flowers given to people of 55 years and older impacted their mood and memory positively. This author explains how flowers not only have an immediate effect on someone, but it can also have an impact for a longer time.
Robison designed the flower arrangements for her cousin’s funeral just last week. She chose the flowers, created the design and brought that vision to life based on the inspiration his life brought to her.
“When his dad came to the corner and saw the casket piece,” said Robinson. “He just started crying.”
Robison expressed how those flowers were a moment of healing for him and his family.
“It has always been an honor for me to be a part of a final gift or tribute to somebody who lived a wonderful life,” Robison said.
Having formerly worked for the Church on Temple Square, Robison also arranged the flowers for President Thomas S. Monson’s funeral.
She remembered thinking, “For this man who has served his whole life, and has done so much for the entire world, I have the opportunity to give him one last gift.”
Robison believes the art of creating brings happiness.
In his talk “Happiness, Your Heritage” from the Nov. 2008 General Conference, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty.”
According to Robison, creating with flowers does not only bring joy to the person who makes it, but also to the person who the flowers are given to.