My career has been full of many blessings, and unexpected opportunities. The chance to meet and visit with people all over the world was certainly a gift I never anticipated receiving as a floral designer.  The people and friends I have met along the way are the legacy of this studio. As a home based floral designer with limited funds I never dreamed I would get to see this world. While traveling and seeing new places has been spectacular, it’s the relationships and friendships that always have my heart reeling.  The fact that flowers are the power that made this travel and these relationships happen is even more fascinating. Ever since the Chapel Designers and I started working together a lot of unexpected things have been happening. Because of this I want to start documenting the journey as the “The Path to Blooming”. People always say “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”.  Those words could not be any more true in my life. I am never quite exactly sure where I am going but the journey has been insanely beautiful.

I have started asking some of my flower friends to begin writing about their flower journey and the travel that has resulted due to flowers.  I am beginning this story with Anna Stouffer from Urban Petals. Anna is a dear friend. In all honesty she is a tad bit quiet or let’s say incredibly polite. She waits patiently for opportunities and then seizes them with a true gust for life and adventure. She is loyal, kind, honest, and in actuality very powerful. Anna is a go-getter!! She knows what she wants, she thinks about her goals and then she quietly sets off to get them. I am incredibly proud of this designer and her lovely path to blooming. Anna and I have been together so many times it’s hard to count, but I will never forget our time together at Hope Flower Farm and our big adventure to Ireland. That’s right, someone who was merely an internet acquaintance became my traveling partner to Ireland. In all honesty Ireland was a trip of a lifetime. I will tell you all about that trip in another story because the tale involves many people on a gorgeous blooming trail. This picture is of the two of us standing in wonder, disbelief and gratitude that we had experienced such an adventure.

This from Anna:


When I began my journey into floral design in 2012, I searched for educational resources to learn the trade. My floral design company, Urban Petals, had just been formed and I was eager to find training on modern floral design. However, I quickly discovered there was a shortage of educational opportunities in the industry. Floral design workshops were not yet available except to high-level, experienced designers.


I stumbled upon The Full Bouquet one evening and everything changed. As is so typical of Holly, she generously shared her knowledge and experience on the blog with her readers. Her transparency and openness about the industry was a breath of fresh air and I was hungry for the beautiful inspiration she provided. I scrolled all the way back to the beginning and read every single entry on the Full Bouquet. Since I was working another full-time job then, my evenings were filled with studying Holly’s use of color palettes, flower combinations, textural elements, as well as the varying styles represented in her portfolio. I googled every flower name and variety that she listed and referred back to many of her posts when seeking out beautiful product for my own clients. Holly’s work has always been stunning and it continues to be a source of inspiration. Essentially, Holly Chapple taught me how to design through The Full Bouquet.


The Full Bouquet was just the beginning of this “flower journey” as I now affectionately call it. In November of 2012, I took a one-day class at Faith Flowers in Atlanta, Georgia where Holly was teaching about wedding flowers. There were several other people in that class who I remain close with to this day including Eatherley Schultz of Floressence Flowers and Peggy Sherwood and her son, Hunter Sherwood, of Sherwood Events and Design. All of our paths continued to cross with stops in NYC for the Chapel Designers conferences in 2013, 2014, and 2015.


In April of 2014, Holly and the Chapel Designers were the featured floral designers for The Knot Dream Wedding, which was held at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Eatherley Schultz’s studio hosted all of the flowers and designing. I was able to take off a few days from work to help with the event. It was like nothing I had ever seen before!


My schedule changed significantly when I left my job in October 2016. A few weeks later, I attended Flowerstock 2016 at Hope Flower Farm. I drove up to Virginia a few days early and helped Holly and her team prep for the event. Alongside designers from Scotland, Ireland, England, and the US, we foraged, designed, ate, laughed, and had the most amazing time together. I returned to Virginia two more times last year to assist Holly with events including a Christmas Open House and a New Year’s Eve wedding in Washington, D.C..


Sometimes when you are least expecting it, the most wonderful things happen. In June of 2017, I traveled with Holly to Ireland where she designed a destination wedding. The friendships and professional relationships that have been formed because of my membership with the Chapel Designers is quite unreal. Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that I would be doing floral design much less traveling internationally to do it. It really, truly is a gift and one that I don’t take lightly.


Back in the US, Holly hosted a Chapel Designers conference in North Carolina in July 2017. I live in Greenville, South Carolina and traveled up to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to assist with this conference. It’s been fun to be on both sides of the Chapel Designer Conferences both as an attendee for many years and then as part of the support team. Every single conference has been rewarding with transparent, honest conversations, excellent training, hands-on designing, informative and helpful business coaching, and new, lasting friendships are always formed.


Flowerstock 2017 landed in the middle of my Fall wedding season and I almost didn’t attend; however, I am so thankful that I chose to go! Along with two of my staff, we drove up for the two-day event which featured Robbie Honey and Ariella Chezar. Both designers are powerhouses with beautiful aesthetics. It was a wonderful few days to mentally unwind a bit and spend time with designer friends in a beautiful setting!


And to think, it all started with The Full Bouquet. It’s a blog that became so much more for me.

  • Bea K. Says: (10.29.2017 | 04:27)

    “it all started with The Full Bouquet”
    Dear Holly,
    I can not express how delighted I was, finding out you’d decided to try bringing back your precious blog to life. I started reading you back in 2010. I was looking for some floral inspirations for my sister’s weding and there I found, faboulous blooms designed by a gorgoues lady, who was so kind to let us glipmse into her world. Since then, even though I am not profsional floral designer and flowers are just my hobby, I was reading the whole blog archive every once in a while. I really hope you will keep spoiling us with your sexy, exquisite, hollyish pieces of art. Big hugs! Bea

    • chappleadmin Says: (10.29.2017 | 07:41)

      Hi Bea,

      This comment means more to me then you will ever know. Instagram which is a super easy platform and a very crazy busy life caused me to walkaway from this place. I have been encouraged to bring the blog back. I will do my best. I would certainly feel more inspired to do so if I receive comments like this. THANK YOU

  • Sam Says: (10.30.2017 | 09:22)

    Oh! I love this! Anna is just such an amazing, kind person. When I came to the workshop in Chappel Hill, I was so nervous but when I saw Anna it was like having a friend there, even though we don’t know each other all that well. It’s funny how the flower world can be like that. Such wonderful folks.

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