Its 7:13 a.m., and I am home after my trip to NYC with the Chapel Designers. I have packed school lunches, the wholesaler arrived just seconds ago with flowers, and so life begins again. In my heart, I am overwhelmed with a richness and fullness from this trip. I am so honored and encouraged that so many designers from across the country took this chance to “meet me in NYC.” I have the spirit, the energy, and the desire to continue on because of all of the designers I met. On several occasions I was called the “flower mama”; if this is the next phase of my life, I will take it. There were so many moments about this trip that were surreal, and in these particular moments, I would experience an overwhelming feeling of gratitude I have never experienced before in my career. Here are the things that I will cherish forever. Greeting the designers for the first time at the door of Matthew Robbins, realizing that so many had come because they trusted and believed in me and in themselves (faith works!!). Loving on each designer and meeting them for the first time or seeing my old friends filled me up from my nose to my toes. Looking around the beautiful design studio of Matthew Robbins and seeing what can be born from the designing of flowers was so inspiring. Matthew’s kindness is so memorable because there is a warmth in his studio that cannot be fabricated; it comes from the real people working in this space, as Matthew and his staff are indeed very gentle and kind.

Seeing Evan in the crowd everywhere I went was a new and exciting experience; his belief in me, in us, and the Chapel designers was awesome, and his presence made me realize that we really are a team now.

On Monday morning when I walked quietly into the conference room, I stood there all alone and I nearly wept. I remembered so clearly asking to see the conference room of the hotel last year just before we left the hotel to go home. I dared in that moment to believe that we would return and fill that conference room (faith works!!).

Spending the day with the savvy and very spunky Tara Guerard simply took me back to 3 years ago when I first heard her speak. I am so proud of how far I have come in 3 years. Thank you Wedding 360 for hosting me in San Francisco, you most certainly started a desire in me to learn and to teach.

The excitement and gratitude I feel when I see my friend David Beahm is always a surreal experience. I know I can trust him and I am always thankful for him. His candid and very honest lecture that he gave the designers was poetic and powerful. I believe in David and all that he stands for. Listen to your gut!!!

Spending time with my friends and the flowers was a true joy!! Finally meeting my cute sales representative Niv was really fun!!

Walking through the doors of Martha Stewart’s offices is a joy, a honor and a pleasure that will always make me feel giddy. Meeting Shira the Real Weddings editor for Martha Stewart was also a true pleasure, and I nearly died in the props closet. There were so many beautiful china patterns, vintage containers, cake stands, and yummy things I am longing for now. Our afternoon lecture when I stood in front of all my Chapel Designers will always be special to me, but in truth I was so tired at this point, I can barely remember a thing I said. I loved seeing Isha and Jenn share from their hearts, and hearing Daevid speak started new sparks for my business as well. Spending time on the rooftop of the hotel or in restaurants, loving each young and oh-so-sweet new little designer, or marveling at those designers that found the desire to begin careers with flowers later in life. I found many role models on this trip. Strolling the flower market and seeing what I so whole-heartedly love makes me so certain that I do what is inherently my passion. Being recognized in the flower market by a customer as Holly Chapple of The Full Bouquet Blog also absolutely thrilled the heck out of me; it shouldn’t, but it did!! Time with Ariella Chezar was intoxicating; being taught for the first time ever in my career and understanding that I have a true passion, and a thirst for more of this career was also enriching. I honestly stood there with beautiful flowers in my hand watching the most lovely lady design, and I felt high and completely relaxed. It was a fulfilling experience no drugs or alcohol could ever create. The beauty and simplicity of the Flower School of NY made me long for a little shop, but knowing that is not in my future I enjoyed my time there and I made a commitment and a promise to myself to return to the school to study again. Our lovely lunch at La Grenouille made me feel like a lady–not a mommy, or a worker bee, but a lady. In this amazing restaurant, where fresh flowers play an important and necessary role in the experience, I was blown away by perfect china, perfect service, perfect and totally fresh foods and flowers. My heart soared here!!! I have so many other moments and experiences that I will share as I continue to post about our trip but for now it’s back to work. We have two weddings this weekend, a bridal show, and a photo shoot.  This will be my year of education, my year to learn, my year to learn how to be a teacher!!! I have many more pictures and several more posts to write but this was one heck of a start!!

It’s now 4:06 in the afternoon and I can finally post this entry. My morning got terribly interrupted and before I knew it I was meeting with clients, suffered some heartache, and all of the pretty flowers I chose by hand yesterday at market were shipped to another designer in the Hamptons. We go from loving it, to OMGding it in minutes around here. I can only “walk in faith” or believe that “faith works” because I have the Chapel designers!!!

  • Christie Says: (03.16.2012 | 08:29)

    I could not be happier that you all got this amazing experience! So happy and proud!

  • Morgan Says: (03.16.2012 | 09:32)

    You have such a lovely way with your words Holly! I had the most amazing time in NYC! Thank you for including me I was honored to be a part of the Chapel Design group. I look forward to continuing on this road with you all. Peace, petals and planting 🙂

  • brook mowrey Says: (03.16.2012 | 09:47)

    I am so inspired by your lovely and heartfelt blog post, Holly! I’ve enjoyed following your New York adventure through your posts, and so happy that your time there was exciting, fulfilling, and more than you had even hoped it could be. It’s so nice to hear words from someone so thankful for who and where they are!

  • Lisa Sommer Says: (03.16.2012 | 10:32)

    Thank you so much for your continued support and guidance…it meant the world to me to be included in this amazing group of designers….so inspirational!!!

  • lesley frascogna Says: (03.17.2012 | 12:56)

    Holly….. this trip meant the world to me. It was more than I ever expected it to be and it 100% exceeded my expectations! I miss my new flower friends and flower mama already. I’m already looking forward to next year! I am feeling more inspired than I have ever felt before. I truly thank you for your support and your hard work putting this special trip together.

  • Janice Says: (03.17.2012 | 04:03)

    Holly, I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me and the Chapel Designers. Your contributions are tremendous and this trip has inspired us in so many ways. Thank you all the speakers for encouraging us to dream and follow our instincts. Thanks for giving us to tools to pursue our dreams. Thanks for all the heartfelt honesty in sharing your success stories and what you learned from your mistakes. Knowing that I can trust and count on you amazing designer friends gives me extra confidence to continue on this journey. I hope to see you all next year. Thank you again my flower mama, love you!

  • janet Says: (03.17.2012 | 04:08)

    This was an incredible experience. Where else can 40 florists, event designers, and planners come together and learn so much from each other, and the best in the industry? I left feeling completely inspired, and I can’t wait to implement all of the tips that I gleaned from this trip. Best of all I have countless new friends to call and email whenever I need help. I can’t wait to see everyone again next year! Thank you Holly!

  • Daevid Reed Says: (03.17.2012 | 01:04)

    Let me start off by saying I have never attended an Event so overwhelmingly gratifying for me. I left NYC so full of knowledge, empowerment, humble and terrified. (Terrified of my next crossroad in business) EVERYONE was just like me and reinforced my level of business ethics, quality and deversity that makes us “artist!”
    I will take the time when I get home next week to fill out everything in detail. I agree we all need support, but I am very lucky because I have Isha, but for the others I connected with I felt lucky!
    Thank you so much for this incredible and the best and much needed “soul food for flower lovers, and business owners!”

  • Donna Kull Says: (03.18.2012 | 05:46)

    I did not participate in this wonderful event…because I could not take the days…HOWEVER, Holly and I met by fate. Turns out that she did a wedding for my friend’s roomates’ son in DC. In September, she took the centerpiece home…consisting of wonderful succulents and I absolutely had to know who did the flowers….I have been following Holly and her wonderful work since then! Where’s the fate? I met Holly and her husband at the flower market i NYC…then we (by coincidence) signed up for the same class by Ariella…what an honor to be in your presence. You are truly an inspiration to me. Thanks Holly for being so gracious…Donna

    • Holly Chapple Says: (03.19.2012 | 01:23)

      Don’t forget to email me, I really want to keep in touch with you!!! I hope to have pictures of us together at Ariella very soon.

  • Courtenay Lambert Says: (03.19.2012 | 08:00)

    Holly, I cannot thank you enough for organizing this trip. Attending this is by far the best thing I’ve done for my business in the last few years (and probably ever). I love that we are all truly a focus group of sorts, all of us doing the same thing, and all of us facing the same issues. I feel like I’ve made some very special friends as well as business colleagues. And Holly, you are truly an inspiration….I really loved hearing you speak of your challenges and how you’ve been able to overcome them. This is a business trip, a fun trip, and a breath of fresh air for all of our businesses. I will always make this trip an essential for my business. Thank you!

  • Flowers For Her Hair | True Florette Says: (09.06.2012 | 12:36)

    […] out what my colleagues from the Chapel Designers group are up to. More to […]

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