Derek Joined the Floral industry at the ripe age of 16 where he began learning floral design in vocational school and working for a local florist. Since then, he as continued to study the trade through institutes such as Michigan State University, the Michigan Floral Association (MFA) and the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).
In 2008, he launched his own business, Floral Underground, which has gone through many a metamorphosis to become the business that it is today.
Derek considers himself a "competition designer" spending many years polishing the practice of live floral design competition.
This love of competing has won him numerous awards both in and out of the industry, including the MFA's Chuck Bannow Award, MFA's Designer of the Year (twice), AIFD's Bobbi Cup (twice) second runner up on a national television floral design competition reality called: "The Arrangement", and is the winner of the 2016 Sylvia Cup Design Competition.