Sheri Jentsch, owner of Blumen-Meisters Flower Market in New Braunfels, brought home first place from the 2014 Texas State Florists’ Association annual convention on July 18-20 in Austin.

Twenty designers from across the Lone Star State competed at the Renaissance Hotel. Jentsch qualified for the contest after taking first place in the Houston Cup in early April.

The contestants battled in three categories: wedding design, interpretive design and a surprise design situation. This year’s contest theme was “Spectrum of Design, Past Treasures and Future Vision.” Jentsch and the other participants received one bucket of flowers to create their three designs with — and everything had to be completed in just two hours.

Although Jentsch admits she initially felt a bit overwhelmed at all she had to do, her creative instincts quickly took over.

“I think the judges really liked my interpretive design piece,” she said. “It was a forward movement piece, and judges were able to look at themselves in a mirror that read, ‘You are the future.’ The theme was so subjective, and it was kind of scary at first. But, it all came together and turned out pretty awesome.

“I never expected to win, though. It’s so overwhelming and emotional because a lot of years of hard work have gotten me here. It was definitely not easy.”

Jentsch received a $750 check, the coveted Texas Cup and advanced to Sylvia Cup Competition on Aug. 16 in Florida. That competition is similar to Food Network’s “Iron Chef.” Contestants are also given two hours, the same amount of flowers and supplies as they received in the Texas Cup and a surprise design challenge.

The grand prize winner will get a $3,000 check.

The New Braunfels florist is already looking forward to the final competition. Two dozen of the nation’s best floral designers will be in attendance.

“I’ll be going against some major players from all around the nation,” she said. “It’s just crazy to me. But, it’s an honor to represent Texas and work with people who I have followed and admired for years. The talent will be outrageous, but it will be a great opportunity for me.”

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