This Friday I went to help my mom with The Weekend That Will Go Down in History. She had four weddings plus the largest wedding of her career. By a long shot. And I won’t say it all went swimmingly (you can’t control the weather), but darn near it, thanks to the help of many special people.

This weekend I saw a dedicated and patient staff giving literally everything they could to HHCF and it made me wonder, could I ever, just by being me, generate such hard work from other people? Could I lead a group to success?

I saw six Chapel Designers (business owners and floral designers of their own sort) gladly work for a boss that was not themselves. And that’s hard to make entrepreneurs do.  I thought, could I ever make my peers trust me and my vision this much? Enough that they will willingly work with me by my rules, my terms, with my methods without question and with as much trust??

I watched my dad bend over backwards to help my mom. I listened to my dad say “I love you” to my mom over the phone as he prepped for a 1 A.M. event breakdown at the Eastern Shore and I wondered, could I ever get my partner to believe in me so much that they would join my business and work so hard for my dream?

I saw my brother and sister come out and help and clean and watch kids and deliver flowers and breakdown events and I thought about myself, sacrificing my weekend and traveling hours from school to help my mom and I wondered, do I have a passion so great that I could get my kids to do the same for me? That I could get my kids to understand why I work on weekends or why I need their help, and then get them to do it?

And then I got it. This weekend I saw my mom cry, no, bawl, in public. And it wasn’t over stress or frustration. It was over the beauty of her creation. Her pride and her passion came in the form of tears. And then I saw her cry when she saw the bride, not because she was feeling overwhelmed by success, but overwhelmed by a genuine love for the girl. In fact, my mom cried because the bride deserved to be happy and my mom was happy to see that the bride was having the best day of her life. She was getting married. And then I saw my mom cry when the bride saw her elaborate, extravagant, over-the-top stunning reception and it was because she could see the bride loved it and she was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this special girl’s special day.

And now I know why, why I will do my best to help my mom and why countless others will do the same. There is not a more genuine, passionate, loving person out there. And she puts all of these emotions into every project and arrangement. She is amazing. Her ability to inspire and lead made me proud. Her ability to generate such art made me overwhelmed. Her trust and gratitude in and for all others, and me, made me grateful and made me deliver. Her goodness is what creates such devotion and such beauty.

So congratulations, Mom, on a job done great.

  • Lisa Bellacicco Says: (09.26.2013 | 10:54)

    I got chills reading your post Abby. Your mother is amazing. I almost cried when I got to meet her. I loved reading your perspective on her work and look forward to seeing more posts from you.

  • megan soh Says: (09.26.2013 | 10:55)

    This is my favorite. I am tearing up!

    Holly, you have been an inspiration to me and countless others. Even when your home/floral studio is crazy and bustling with children and flowers and buckets, you always deliver stunning work from the heart. Such a sweet + genuine post from Abby.

  • Alexandra Says: (09.26.2013 | 11:07)

    What an incredible post. Your mom is an amazing woman, I have yet to see anyone not moved to absolutely love her from the moment they meet her. I certainly hope my own daughter realizes why I work so much myself. Thank you for this point of view. I’m sure you wished she was with you on many weekends but I’m glad you know why she does it.

  • Kathy Reigel Says: (09.26.2013 | 11:12)

    Abby – your mom is a very special person and is so very talented. She did an absolutely amazing job on my daughter Megan’s wedding. You are fortunate to be part of such an wonderful and loving family.

  • Alicia Broehl Says: (09.26.2013 | 11:14)

    What a beautiful post Abby! I can feel the respect, love and adoration you have for your mother and her work just reading this. You are blessed to have a mother like Holly and she is blessed to have a wonderful daughter like you supporting her. Well done!

  • lis sommer Says: (09.26.2013 | 12:02)

    I am so proud to know your mom as well as to be associated with her professionally….Holly is that rare combination of natural charisma paired with extroidinary leadership skills. She has the ability to connect emotionally with the people she cares about so deeply that she inspires boundless loyalty….your piece is insightfull and is another example of her legacy

  • Lauren Walloch Says: (09.26.2013 | 01:47)

    Wow! Abby, this is quite a tribute to your mom. I know she is busting her buttons at how proud she is of YOU! I have just recently become a Chapel Designer and just recently met your mom for the first time-(August this year.) I was super-impressed and overwhelmed and inspired and amazed and left your home wondering what or “who” just happened to me. You’ve got a very unique family and life. Enjoy every minute. (…And keep writing. You do good work.)

  • Laurie Garza (Fleurie) Says: (09.26.2013 | 03:03)

    So great to see from a daughter’s perspective. I have two of my own, and I hope that they will see this part of me like you do for your Mom. She is all that and more. I am thankful to know her.

  • Denise Says: (09.26.2013 | 03:28)

    Just beautiful!! I hope my little girls grows up with the same generous, emphatic, sweet and loving nature as you!

  • Karson Butler Events Says: (09.26.2013 | 04:24)

    What a beautiful and eloquently written post! Love the entire HHCF team! Congrats on a huge weekend — can’t wait to see pics!

  • Sam Greenfield Says: (09.26.2013 | 04:31)

    Good job Abby, that was so sweet 🙂

  • David Beahm Says: (09.26.2013 | 05:38)

    Now THAT’s a beautiful posting. Holly, I hope you understand how profoundly true it is. Congratulations!

  • mishca Says: (09.26.2013 | 07:44)

    what a beautiful piece of writing your mum is lucky to have such a wonderful family xxx

  • Donna Hutchinson Says: (09.26.2013 | 09:01)

    wow , Holly. Every one knows you are an amazing floral artist with passion and fearlessness but clearly your most astounding accomplishment is raising a perceptive , sensitive , kind and extremely bright human being . You’re quite an inspiration , girl.

  • Susan McLeary Says: (09.26.2013 | 09:35)

    Beautiful, Abby! No doubt you will also grow up to inspire people with your generosity and genuine spirit. As a Mom and studio owner with young kids, I was encouraged by the way I witnessed your family pulling together to support your Mom last week. Congratulations to you all, on your positivity, tenacity, and much deserved successes!

  • Emilie Hilsenrath Says: (09.26.2013 | 10:07)

    What an amazing post – love this so much for so many reasons. Congrats!

  • Stacy k Says: (09.26.2013 | 11:04)

    This is beautiful. Well written, perfect descriptive picture, and such a beautiful family!!! Made me sob while reading the entire thing. True inspiration!!!

  • Jaclyne - Heavenly Blooms Says: (09.27.2013 | 02:05)

    Oh sweet Holly, this post made me cry… You are one fierce lady and I’ve loved watching you grow over the last few years. You are such a blessing to so many and I hope you realize how special you are… Read and truly hear the words your beautiful daughter wrote and how epic this life really is. Sending so much love from afar my friend….xoxoxo

  • Holly Rutt Says: (09.27.2013 | 09:14)

    Abby what a beautifully written tribute! As if your Mom wasn’t overwhelmed with joy before I’m sure when she read this her heart nearly exploded from too much love and pride trying to get out at once… You are a talented writer to boot! Thank you for sharing your perspective its life giving to read!

  • Valerie - Sapphire Events Says: (09.27.2013 | 11:53)

    Holly, the beauty of Abby’s words in this post is a direct reflection of exactly what she is articulating – your love and passion for all that you do (and life itself!) creates so much good in this world and it is all around you! And how wonderfully written! Great job both Holly and Abby! XOXO

  • Sue Prutting Says: (09.27.2013 | 04:19)

    Abby, you are a talented photographer, amazing writer and have an enormous heart. You will be everything wonderful your Mom is, and even more. xo

  • Debbie Munoz Says: (09.27.2013 | 07:52)

    Abby, It’s beautiful you’re able to share those wonderful moments with your Mom helping her create such precious memories for brides. I feel like I could here Martina McBride’s song, “In My Daughter’s Eyes” while I was reading your piece about her and my own eyes filled with tears. I know your Mother has been a terrific inspiration to other young florists, including my own daughter Rachel. Although I never met your Mom personally, she has a special place in my heart for the way she generously shares the knowledge and joy of her art with others. Thanks for sharing your heart-warming thoughts about her.

  • Josh Gooden Says: (09.27.2013 | 11:20)

    What an incredible post. Your words are a direct reflection of what I saw as I documented a little bit of that week with you. There is so much passion and love for the entire process and final creation, but most importantly to see your mom’s reaction to the bride as she saw what your mom & her incredibly talented team worked so hard to create was an unforgettable moment. Thank you all for inviting me into your unique world for a week and I hope the film can communicate a little bit of how amazing you all are.

  • Genevieve Says: (09.28.2013 | 07:33)

    And this is why I love the chapples so much..

  • Amy Tucker Says: (09.28.2013 | 10:12)

    Love. This.

  • Tricia Jones Says: (09.30.2013 | 10:59)

    You always wonder, do they notice how hard I work? how hard dad works? Do they care? Is it important, do they see the passion you have for what you do? The talents you share, the ability to empower others to see your vision, to create beauty beyond belief? I remember when you spoke to all of us at last years Florabundance Desing days. You said, if you think I’m a good mom and home all the time and there all the time your wrong! And you gave Evan all the credit for being the glue and the mom and the dad. Giving up his job, believing in the future of HCD. Well he gets credit but you are making a difference and you are being a good mom and you are teaching your children what it is to work hard, to love your family and to be a productive and well respected profesional business woman! Your girl noticed, your other children noticed. What a sweet and loving tribute to both of you! and to your amazing talented team of HCF and staff! Hats off Holly and Evan.

  • Jessica Jones Says: (09.30.2013 | 03:38)

    Beautiful! Holly is both beautiful inside and out… and she made a beautiful daughter inside and out! Tears today reading this!

  • ClementChristia Says: (10.26.2013 | 12:20)

    I’m extremely pleased to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to look at new information in your blog.

  • christy Says: (10.28.2013 | 05:17)

    I’m all tears. And, a full heart! You are a bright light in this weary old world. And, mean like super vibrant and gorgeous. Abby, too – Such a sweet, genuine, heartfelt post. xo!

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