This March will mark our 10th anniversary of the birth of Chapel Designers. I have reflected a lot over the last few weeks on the Chapel Designers story. Our organization was born out of a need within the profession of floristry. No organization or network was supporting or catering to the needs of wedding and event designers, and so our journey began.

As a working mompreneur of 7 kids, I spent most of my time tending to my children and designing wedding flowers. My life was pretty lonely and often quite scary. I had learned a lot in my 17 plus years as a floral designer, but I still had resounding questions about making my company bigger, better, and stronger. I was essentially alone in my flower shop talking to the walls. So via social media, I started to gather a close network of floral designers, and I suggested we meet in NYC via Twitter. At the time my plea was to an unseen group of followers, a tribe that was developing and I didn’t even know it. These followers were reading the daily happenings at our studio through my blog The Full Bouquet.

When I asked the fateful question of who would meet me in NYC, I got the surprise of my life as many birds began to twitter that they would meet me in NYC. Our first Chapel Designer conference was remarkable. In each other, we found the support and knowledge we were looking for. Now ten years later, our organization is global and supports designers from all over the world. We have had the good fortune to not only hold events in this country, but we also host an annual European Chapel Designers event.

Our collective supports wedding and event designers of all different business sizes and ages by hosting these educational events and by providing a closed forum for us to communicate and share information with each other. Members of our group are offered industry discounts on hard goods and services, discounts on educational opportunities for CD education and with other educators, plus a closed forum and direct access to Holly and the Chapel Designers group. The members have had the opportunity to learn and network with some of the industry’s biggest teachers or designers. Members of the Chapel Desginers are also posted on our CD website.

For the first few years, I ran the organization by myself with the help of my admin team. In 2015, Amy Mcgee came on as the key contact and advisor offering the Chapel Designers support and guidance. This relationship was a complete and total blessing for our tribe. We are so thankful for Amy’s many years of service and the great growth and change we saw during her time with Chapel Designers. We were honored to have Amy with us as the organization progressed and we are so thankful she saw something special in our family. On Jan 21st 2020, designer Elizabeth Rusnac will be stepping into Amy’s shoes. Liz was an original Chapel Designer and also the first person to dub me the Flower Mama. Liz was also intricate in building our Facebook forum, and she was the designer who fatefully stood up at the taping of the Martha Stewart show at our first NYC Chapel Designers conference and let Martha know that the Chapel Designers were in town and celebrating all things flowers. This resulted in an immediate trip to the corporate offices of Martha Stewart. Because Liz has a long-standing relationship with both me and Amy and the Chapel Designers clan, I believe this will be a beautiful transition.

As we head into this tenth anniversary I am certain the magic that brought all of us together will continue for many years to come and it will carry us through yet another magnificent milestone, our tenth anniversary–punctuated by a conference in New York City this March 22-25 or you can catch us in Ireland for our European Chapel Designers 2020 conference. We have been blessed and are so incredibly thankful for the many wholesalers, designers, and resources that have believed in our organization. We hope you join us.

Holly, Liz and Amy 2014 NYC Conference
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