My Mom and I at the 58th Miami International Orchid Show in 2003
Hi! I’m Mei Ling Clemens. I started Mei’s Creation of West Michigan, LLC in June 2017 to pursue my lifelong passions for Photography and Orchids. I started learning photography as a teenager to help my mom photograph her Orchid Collection. My mom, an enthusiastic Orchid hobbyist, has always grown orchids. It’s one thing that I’ve always been around and naturally I too have become an Orchid Enthusiast. It’s been a great Mother-Daughter bonding activity as we attend various American Orchid Society (AOS) Orchid Shows and their Vendor sales areas to expand our collections through the years.
I really didn’t start growing orchids well until I moved to Michigan for my Engineering job. You see, I grew up in Merritt Island, Florida (near Cape Kennedy Space Center) and have a Masters Degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Florida. For the past 20 years, I’ve worked in the Aerospace Industry specializing in the Investment Casting process to make Nickel Based Superalloy Turbine Blades. Learn more about the process here. After moving all my belongings as well as my orchid collection from Florida to Michigan, I soon learned that growing orchids in the MidWest was seriously different from the South. I proceeded to kill my collection as I struggled to figure it all out. That’s went I turned to the American Orchid Society (AOS) and the local Charter to learn how to grow orchids here in Michigan. Here’s a great video of my Orchid Journey as featured by MLive and the Grand Rapids Press.
It has been a fun journey as I have been an active member of the Grand Valley Orchid Society (GVOS) in Grand Rapids, MI. I’ve served as President and Vice-President of the Chapter. I have even taught the Beginner’s class for the Society. The biggest honor is to serve as the Chairperson for the Grand Valley Orchid Show that is held annually at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. With that show, I also get the opportunity to use my photography skills as the AOS Show photographer. As a result, my photographs have been featured in various orchid publications, from the International Phalaenopsis Alliance’s Journal and AOS’s Orchids Magazine. My photos have also been used by Meijer Gardens to create our show posters when we’ve advertised the show throughout Michigan.
Grand Valley Orchid Society Show Posters that have featured Mei Ling’s Photography through the years.
Needless to say, the GVOS Orchid Show has provided some cool opportunities through the years. I have been interviewed on TV, radio and various newspapers to promote the show and orchids in general. My favorites have been chatting with Rick Vuyst on his Flowerland Radio Show and being interview by Rachael Ruiz for her eightWest TV show.
Through the years, my orchid growing has gotten better! While I have grown my orchids on windowsills and under grow lights in my basement, I currently grow my orchids in my greenhouse here in Muskegon. I was honored recently at the 2018 Greater Lansing Orchid Society Show by receiving my first Certificate of Cultural Merit from the American Orchid Society, i.e.CCM/AOS award. The award recognizes the grower, not the actual flower, on how well the plant is grown and bloomed. The plant also won the Best Cattleya Trophy, the Best Specimen Plant, & the Best of Show. What makes it even sweeter is that the orchid cross is the orchid flower that I used for my wedding boutique.
Mei Ling’s Greenhouse in the midst of Summertime in Michigan.
Mei Ling’s first Orchid Plant to receive a Certificate of Cultural Merit from the American Orchid Society at the 2018 Greater Lansing orchid Society Show.
So now a new chapter begins…. Mei’s Creations. I have left the Aerospace Industry behind me so that I can share my passion and God-given talents with YOU! It’s definitely a new chapter of life for me so come join me on this journey.