Meet the Contestants Competing for $50K on 'Clipped'
These talented competitors are ready to show off their skills in a transformational way. Gardening fans: Get ready to sharpen your trimmers. This bold, colorful, extraordinary show is guaranteed to inspire.
Seven talented artists and horticulturalists compete for $50,000 and the title of Top Topiarist on the first season of Clipped. These talented contestants bring vast knowledge and a unique, innovative vision to each challenge. Clipped delivers high-stakes design in a fast-paced environment, and each episode features breathtaking works of living art. Get to know the designers, and follow them on Instagram to see more behind-the-scenes coverage when the season premieres on May 12.
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Occupation: Topiary Designer/Botanical Mosaic Artist
Born the youngest of seven children in rural Minnesota, topiary designer Meghan Petricka says she is passionate, strong-willed and in it to win it. Meghan studied graphic design and typography in college and credits her grandmother for inspiring her love of plants and gardening. She was born deaf in one ear, but considers it a superpower, as it made her a stronger visual artist.
Meghan and her husband are a topiary-welding duo and aim to be the Chip and Joanna Gaines of the plant world. Their work has been on display at various theme parks, resorts, hotels, restaurants and museums worldwide.
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Mike “Gibby Siz” Gibson
Location: Youngstown, OH
Occupation: Topiary Expert
Mike Gibson, who started trimming bushes at age seven floral and topiary artist dad, believes topiary design is in his blood. He credits the craft with keeping him focused and productive in his rough neighborhood and was later mentored by Pearl Fryar, the legendary topiary artist. His friends call him “Gibby Scissorhands,” because he is ambidextrous, and known to cut hedges with lightning speed.
Mike, who is a new dad, is the owner of a topiary design company. He says he loves to spend his free time working with neighborhood kids, beautifying and “greening” their local parks with topiary.
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Edwin (Ed) “Cowboy” Pequignot
Location: Kent, CT
Ed Pequignot grew up on a family farm in Kent, Connecticut. After an injury cost him his baseball scholarship, he returned home and studied under a traditional English topiary master, who inspired him to launch a high-end garden business of his own. Ed says he earned the nickname “Cowboy” for his trademark western style, a nod to his grandfather who was a farmer and helped raise him.
Ed, who is a member of Master Gardeners Association, Master Gardeners Guild of America and Europe, has had his work featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. Now two years sober, Ed says he wants to win this competition to prove to himself, his wife and his 6-year-old daughter that he’s moved on to a big, bright future.
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Location: New York, NY
Juan Villanueva is from a small ranch town in Texas where he learned to garden by watching his grandmother and helping his mother, a florist. Juan says he chose a career in topiary over the Air Force Academy and has never looked back. After leaving art school in Chicago, he moved to New York with his wife to fulfill his dreams of becoming a floral designer. He now owns his own events and gardening services company and claims to be “New York’s Best Kept Secret” in the topiary world.
Juan is an expert in floral design, winning best in show at the Fleurs de Villes competition in New York where he created a dress made of fresh flowers inspired by Cyndi Lauper.
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Designer/Topiary Artist/Horticulturist
Jade Rojas is the founder and owner of a floral and botanical design company based in Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised in Kew Gardens, Queens, Jade, who grew up in a multi-generational Puerto Rican family, says idyllic summer picnics at the Statue of Liberty and afternoons running through the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her grandparents as a child inspire her design skills and topiary artistry.
She started her career as a freelance florist, working for many of New York’s top event companies. Through her work she aims to compel others to cherish our natural world.
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Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Creative Director/Designer
Ryan Zoeller says he has been design-obsessed since he began saving his allowance money at age 11 to buy Wallpaper magazine. Ryan obtained his BFA in interior design from the Massachusetts College of Art while simultaneously serving in the Army Reserves. A self-described visionary force within the special events industry, Ryan creates lush and stylish environments for distinguished clientele, including celebrities, US presidents, royalty and sports figures. In his current role as creative director of a luxury events company, Ryan uses his vast knowledge of floral and botanicals to create curated moments for all company productions.
When not overseeing the most complex of event installations, Ryan enjoys his favorite pastimes of collecting everything nautical, being a foodie and watching James Bond films.
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Marie Danielle Vil-Young
Location: Franklin Park, NJ
Occupation: Wedding and Event Planner/Floral Designer
Marie Danielle Vil-Young defied her family’s expectations in 2008 when she quit her job as a scientist to open her own events business and follow her true passion for event planning and design. Her work has been featured by Forbes, NBC and CBS, and she was named one of the top event planners in the world by Harper’s Bazaar. She approaches her topiary design as both a science and an art, striving for a high-end European feel inspired by her travels and upbringing in Haiti.
Marie hopes her hard work will inspire her daughter to be a strong, successful woman.
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