Written by Holly’s son, Alex

When we were ready to launch our DIY Floral Starter Kit last month, I was thrilled. This was the first project since I joined my mom’s team that was my brainchild. With our friends at Syndicate Sales, we overcame barriers and created something new: a package of hard goods and design instruction. Now, anyone who had been wanting to try the pillow or my mom’s training (two products I believe in) could try both at a low cost. Yeehaw! I thought. Let’s do this!

But my mom asked me to slow down for a second. She had trepidation about how a DIY kit might make professional florists feel. Huh? My mom wants to help everyone. She really does. And her compassionate perspective allowed her to hit me with this wisdom:

If we teach flower enthusiasts how to design for their dinner table, with flowers from the grocery store or their garden, then maybe they won’t visit a florist when they need a flower arrangement. That could hurt florist businesses.

In my newness to the industry, I hadn’t thought of this.

Ultimately, she blessed launching the kit because she has believed for years that flower professionals and enthusiasts can come together and grow together simultaneously. She believes flowers have the power to do that. And that there are enough flowers to go around. That’s what her #LivingLifeWithFlowers hashtag is all about. But she asked me to consider her concern for everyone involved. So I took some time to…and eventually came up with this:

Let’s imagine two scenarios, centered around a father of two named Jacob who works an office job and enjoys having flowers in the house when he gets home. So he gets the DIY kit.

In scenario one, Jacob takes to floral designing immediately and buys five more starter kits. Soon, he’s creating centerpieces for his friends, and they jokingly recommend he open his own florist shop. The joke becomes a nightly dream, and then one day, Jacob quits his dreadful office job to flower arrange full time. He’s a raging success, and the other florist shops in town all go bankrupt.

In scenario two, learning how to design flowers encourages Jacob to do it more in his spare time. He visits garden centers and purchases new plants to grow in his backyard. He visits farmers markets and florists to buy cut flowers he can’t find in the grocery store. At Thanksgiving dinner, which he hosts for his extended family every year, he realizes he wants flowers throughout the house. He doesn’t have time to design multiple pieces, between working at the office job he loves and frying the turkey, so he orders them from a local retail florist. Even better, his passion for flowers infects his children, and they grow up with the bug. One becomes a flower grower; the other spends $10,000 on the flowers for her wedding.

What’s more likely? I’d wager scenario two. The average flower enthusiast will not have the time, skill, nor likely even the interest, in replacing their local florist. And what this scenario illustrates is that it’s too narrow to look at the flower pie and worry about who gets the bigger slice, pros or enthusiasts. Instead, we should realize that we can make the pie bigger. I don’t want to worry about this versus. My grandmother would have said, “Alex, you’re borrowing trouble.” The fight is imaginary. The reality is, the more people we educate about living life with flowers, the better. For the professionals, too.

And in the rare cases that scenario one occurs…it would be disingenuous for Holly Chapple Flowers to not support it. After all, my mom left her office job so she could make a career of playing with flowers. How could we in good conscience deny someone else that? (By the way, as far as I know, my mom becoming a florist didn’t bankrupt any other florists. Also, by the way, Jacob is a not-so-fictional representation of my amazing friend Jacob whom you should meet at Flowerstock this October. He’s going to be graphic recording.)

As I said before, my mom wants to help everyone. So that means we’re going to help both the flower professionals and flower enthusiasts, with super cool products and trainings tailored to their distinct needs. We want to do both, and we believe in doing both. For the love of flowers, let’s make that pie bigger!

And that’s why I’m excited to announce that because our DIY starter kit received such great feedback, we decided–in conjunction with our friends at Syndicate Sales–to extend its availability for the foreseeable future. I encourage you to check it out here if you hesitated before. It’s a fun gift for you or someone else.

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