A long, long, time ago, I would design all alone and that felt like a very dark place. I remember creating wedding flowers in a private hell!!! I did not have any friends in the industry, there was no twitter, facebook, instagram, or Chapel Designers. Today young new designers have a way out of the dark flower room or hell. I wonder how many of the newbie designers could last just one day in their flower shop without social media, a sounding board, or immediate applause for their creation.  Just four short years ago I was all alone in my shop and I was there for over 16 years. I can’t even guess how many miserable lonely nights I stayed up like the mad hatter trying to complete an order or a wedding. Some nights I literally worked through the night feeling as if I was all alone. Little did I know that other designers were out there suffering from the same stresses and fears as me.  Those days were incredibly painful. As many designers know this job is not easy. There are countless hours, anxieties, and fears that go along with this job. Back in the olden days I suffered alone.  My world today is infinitely easier because my creations are celebrated, shared, and enjoyed, my hell is gone. Primarily because I have friends to commiserate with, and learn from, and cry with. I have just spent the most remarkable week with my flower friends. Our group is an unlikely clan, I am not quite sure how in the heck we all got together but I am certain it is because of social media and the need for us to get out of our dark, dark, flower hole. Who would have dreamed that you could meet some of your best friends on Twitter or Facebook. Who would have believed that blogging, and social media, would give me the inspiration to stick with this career, to reach a little higher, and to find others in my craft. I am serious, four years ago seems like a very dark, dark, place.  Because of social media I have an immediate sounding board or answers to the questions that used to haunt me like, Is this pretty? Where do I get this?  Why do I do this to myself? Will I ever get anywhere with this career? And my all time favorite was, I wonder if I should keep doing this!!! Now I know I am mildly and beautifully twisted like all the other floral designers out there. I like the light, I like my friends!!!

Many thanks to the designers that have come to stay with me this year. I am beyond thrilled to know that you have enjoyed my home, the food, the flowers, the kids, the chaos. My life and my art is incredibly more wonderful because of you.

Jennifer Ederer : Modern Day Floral

Daevid Reed : Daevids Of Norfolk

Isha Foss : Isha Foss Events

Trish Van De Merkt : Formerly Grapevine Floral.  (something new is around the bend)

Alicia Broehl : Alicia Jayne Florals

Alexandra Jusino : Exquisite Designs

Chuck Graham : Lead Designer and editor of Flirty Fleurs Blog

Alicia Schwede : Owner Bella Fiore and editor of Flirty Fleurs Blog

Carol Young: Celebrations Floral

Peggy Meyer : Celebrations Floral

Jeanette Kleitz : True Florette

Courteney Lambert: CL Florals

Morgan Walker : Petals and Hedges

Yep, all of the above Chapel Designers have come to see me this year and many of them have stayed right here at hotel Chapple. Apparently Evan and I have an additional talent of making people feel right at home. So I want to know, who is coming to see me next. Love my Chapel Designers.

Courtenay Lambert Florals

Carol Young from Celebrations Florals

Grace Chapple and Alicia Schwede

Peggy Meyer, Celebrations Florals

Alicia Schwede, my dad Albert Heider, Alexandra Jusino, Chuck Graham

Trish Van De Merkt, Chuck Graham, baby Grace, Holly Chapple, Alicia Scwede, Alexandra Jusino.

Peggy Meyer, Celebrations Florals, and Holly Chapple.

Morgan Walker, Holly Chapple, Alicia Broehl, Trish Van De Merkt

Holly Chapple
  • Carlene RD: Wedding Wellness Nutrition Says: (11.03.2012 | 02:42)

    Social media has been so amazing for all of us who don’t work in an ‘office’! You really have connected with some lovely ones!

  • Linda Montuori/Fine Florals by Linda Says: (11.04.2012 | 03:56)

    I love your last sentence! We ARE twisted in a good way. It takes a certain kind to do this job but when it gets in your blood, you can’t just get it out! I have met some wonderful designers here in Bel Air and it’s so great to network and help each other out. I am a social person so the loneliness I relate to. I love it when i have a group here helping me. We installed two weddings this weekend and had a blast.

  • Katie Pollard Says: (11.05.2012 | 04:26)

    This is so great! As a young designer, keeping up with the world of floral blogging has helped me feel so much less alone. I’ll be at your class in Atlanta tomorrow — Can’t wait to meet you!

  • Courtenay Lambert Says: (11.07.2012 | 12:51)

    I miss you Holly and all! You always seem to be able to put into words the feelings I’ve had about this job. And I’m so grateful to have met you and the entire group. xoxo

  • Valen Hunter Says: (11.07.2012 | 06:26)

    Holly, I am glad that you bring this up. It would be dark without things like instagram, facebook etc. Starting my flower business has proved to be a lonely road. I take pride in doing it myself though and I have a lot of respect for you for making it work too. Here is a twist though, the more I follow other people and stay connected with other florists, the more I find myself trying to catch up and be at their caliber or better. It feels like a contest. I find myself always comparing and it makes it really hard to stay true to myself. I guess I haven’t found any true flower friends yet (but I am working on it) and really need to find a balance and a little bit of confidence in my talent. I have cut off contact with a florist because I didn’t feel equal in the relationship. i.e. I know her in real life, follow her on instagram and cheer her on and never receive anything in return. I cut her off because it’s important for me to feel that feelings are reciprocated and not one sided. I hope that doesn’t seem harsh. Anywho- Holly, I really appreciated it when you commented on my blog a few months back and loved one of my designs. It made my week. It has def. given me a feeling that you would be a good flower friend to have. Thanks!!

    • Holly Chapple Says: (11.07.2012 | 10:47)

      Valen,

      Thank you for your comments and your honesty. You bring up another point that I have addressed before, when I compare myself to others I often feel like a flower failure. There is also nothing worse then reaching out to another designer and not receiving a reply. I do try and give people the benefit of the doubt though. Most of us flower people are awesome when it comes to design and not so hot with technology. When I do realize that I am dealing with a flower designer snob I quickly unfollow them as I don’t have time for those types of people in my life. I need flower friends, and I want to be a flower designer friend. Hang tough and don’t give up.

  • Jeanette Says: (11.08.2012 | 04:28)

    Thank you for shining a little light into my life Holly! I’m so happy to call you ‘friend’. xo

  • Laurie (Fleurie) Says: (11.10.2012 | 07:34)

    Being by oneself when you need an opinion or encouragement is, well, dark and lonely, you said it very well, I totally agree. Social media has certainly helped that “I’m all alone” feeling. I feel that is one of the only disadvantages to working in a home studio versus a retail store. It’s fun to bounce ideas off another person with whom you share a common goal- to make pretty flowers! Us florists are an ususual bunch- long hours, gruelling work, cold hands, sharp tools, you must be twisted to stick with it! Thanks for putting it into words!

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