Because I am normal, (whatever normal is) I have insecurities, fears, and doubts like anyone. The naughty voices inside my head have been allowed to get very loud. In the last week I have had quite a few humbling experiences.  Gifts I have shared with others have been mistreated, and I have seen so many of my ideas and even words used by others in this trade. I have to remember everyone is doing their best to climb to the top. Some people will choose to step on others as they climb up, and their climb will most certainly be faster. I however am taking the route that is a tad bit slower. On my path, I am authentic, original and innovative. I will get where I am going much slower then others, but that is okay. I choose to be good, honest, and kind along they way. My climb to the top is based on years of experience and good business ethics, as well as a whole lot of time in the trenches. My climb to the top will also be slower because I am choosing to take others with me. This may be the slowest route but its the path for me. Janie Medley of the Brides Cafe once told me “What God has in store for you, is for you alone, and no one can take that from you.” I try my best to remember that in times like this. I can choose to make a scene and attempt to defend my creative ideas, or my role on a project or I can just count my blessings. I woke up today with a clear plan. I am going to focus on this studio, our successes and I am keeping my eye on the prizes that were destined for me. What others do or attempt to do, is not my concern. I woke with a clear plan that today I would focus on my endless blessings. I am leaving for Russia on Monday, I have launched two conferences this week, I designed in one of the most prestigious places this week, I mothered, I was a friend, and I have so many more dreams about to come true. I am going to lead by example.  And this is how God works, while I was cleaning up my computer to get ready for my trip to Russia I found this letter written last February …

A Letter Of Thanks

I am on the plane returning home from Portland to VA. and I felt this overwhelming need to write a letter of thanks.

I am feeling so incredibly blessed right now and I wanted to document this feeling. Perhaps I will be able to come back to this and draw strength. I of course am not a Doctor or a lawyer. I don’t get the opportunity to save lives or even greatly impact peoples lives. I am a florist, which really is not that big of a deal. In truth it can often feel very belittling or insignificant. I hate when I feel like that, or even think like that, but in all honestly its often how I feel. Thankfully right now I am feeling incredibly talented, successful, and even needed. I feel grateful!! It’s really nice to be listening to the positive voices in my head. My gratitude right now is coming from this, first I have a career that I love, it has given me and Evan an opportunity to be home with our children, it gives us a roof over our heads, and food on the table. Daily, I get to make a difference in other peoples lives. I do this by providing florals to brides and their families. That is in all truth an honor. I have been a part of countless peoples lives. My work is documented and treasured for years to come in the wedding albums of my clients. I have continuously helped to make many brides wedding days special, memorable, and even magical. To my knowledge I have never let one of my brides or clients down. I am a good memory and that is pretty cool!!! Next I am being offered the opportunity to mentor, teach, and train others in my chosen career. This is a huge honor and its high praise. Impacting my industry is a very good thing, nope its not open heart surgery but I am definitely handling matters of the heart. I am inspiring other designers to keep designing, moms to keep mommying, brides to keep dreaming. My day to day work has a new added value and importance, when I consider all of these accomplishments. I fully believe that whatever our career choice is, we all have the opportunity to change lives, inspire others, and support others.

I want to first thank Evan and the kids because they often get the short end of the stick. I hope they all know how much I love them, and I am grateful they let me continue to design and chase this passion which quite frankly often feels like an addiction. My desire to learn new design styles, find unique elements, and meet new industry friends is an insatiable thirst, one that I hopefully will never be able to quench.

Amy from Botanical Brouhaha, finding you has been one of the greatest highlights in my career. I am so touched, moved, changed, and I am a better person for knowing you. You have introduced me to countless pieces of art, and designers, that I now adore and can call friends. You have helped me to gauge and understand so much of my business and even who I am personally.

Alicia and Chuck, (of Flirty Fleurs) we have had a ton of fun together. The good things that we have accomplished together and the amazing opportunities we have had were unimaginable to us just a few short years ago. We have been in some amazing places together, one of which shall remain nameless.
I will never forget cutting jasmine vine with you both. We were a hysterical site pulling gorgeous strands of pink blossoms from the fence of a private estate. Alicia will forever be imbedded in my mind with jasmine vine wrapped around her neck.  Because of your blog my dream of seeing Holland and designing in Europe became a reality. Because of you I found Laura from Faith Flowers. My European Flower tour would have never happened if I had not seen Laura’s trip on Flirty Fleurs. Laura you gave me the trip and a gift of a life time. You also gave me the chance to teach at your flower school in Atlanta. In Atlanta I became certain of my desire to teach. In Atlanta not only did I teach, I gathered new friends. Friends that are sticking.

To Francoise, Oh boy, I don’t even know what to say about you. All I know is something big is happening and you and I were meant to be together. I owe Amy (from Botanical Brouhaha) for making me connect with you. I will cherish the time I had with you and the impact that you had on me will most certainly be limitless. A million doors and windows opened when I met you. Not only will you take me to new heights as a designer, because of you I will be a better teacher, and because of you, other career ideas are being processed and considered. My mind has done nothing but race since I met you and my heart continues to long to be with you.

Lastly (but most importantly) of the many things I am grateful for is the group I started called, The Chapel Designers. Every day, all day long, I am so thankful for each of you. You all had faith in me, faith in our chosen career path, and together we created something spectacular. For those of us who are designers in this group, we will never have to stand alone in fear and uncertainty in our flower shops. We will never have to wonder what to do next. We can instantly reach out to another member and find the missing element or mechanic we need, we can instantly hear a strong and supportive voice.This gathering of floral designers is most certainly one of the finest things I have done in my career. Together we are becoming better designers, we are setting trend and industry standards. I see a great future on the horizon for us. Nope we won’t be saving lives but we will be making an impact in our field. We are making a difference every day!!

This letter was written 8 months ago. Since then, I hosted an event in NYC for 73 designers, designed two of our largest events ever in the history of this studio, I taught here at my home studio, once with Francoise Weeks and once with Alicia Schwede and I hosted several workshops on my own, I worked on countless photo shoots all of which are now published or being published, we successfully and beautifully designed weddings throughout the year, Chapel Designers is growing by leaps and bounds, I am leaving for Russia to teach, and I now have a workshop planned in Australia. I am in awe!!!

  • Mary Coombs Says: (11.02.2013 | 10:56)

    “…nope its not open heart surgery but I am definitely handling matters of the heart.” Your heart is so open and loving of others, which can be scary, but oh so thrilling and rewarding at the same time. Being a part of CDs has been life changing for me, I wish I could put it into words as gracefully as you have! Safe travels to you all, see you soon!

  • Botanical brouhaha Says: (11.02.2013 | 11:57)

    I am so proud of you and so fortunate to call you friend. Janie is right…God has you right where He wants you at this moment. Keep your eyes on the bigger picture. You’re encouraging so many! Luke 6:38

  • Cori Says: (11.02.2013 | 06:09)

    Keep your chin up and keep moving forward with your dreams. Congrats on all of your many accomplishments and continue on your journey with confidence:)

  • Donna Roberts Says: (11.02.2013 | 07:45)

    I have been so amazing and an inspiration. I can’t express appreciation enough for the world you have introduced me to.
    I am doing things in my life that I thought may never happen being that I am pushing 50.
    You are arole model for so many and I have feel blessed to have met you and been able to have a few opportunities to experience your world. Just keep doing what you do and there is no way another could be you or do what you do. They may try but it will never be authentic……keep up the great work and inspiration. Donna

  • zorina handley Says: (11.04.2013 | 06:40)

    You are amazing, an inspiration.
    What you have written only people with passion feel. I totally know that feeling probably not on your scale and like you I am on the slow track to the top but I will get there.
    Keep up the great work holly xx

  • XavierKnotts Says: (11.24.2013 | 08:10)

    My family members every time say that I am wasting my time here at net, except I know I am getting know-how daily by reading thes pleasant articles or reviews.

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