How many years have you been a floral designer?
I am starting my 21st year in business.
Many floral designers experience burn-out around the ten-twelve year mark, did you have a time in your career where you faced burn-out?
Yes, but I didn’t realize I was suffering from burn out until my world changed. It was like seeing the light. Because our studio has always been steadily growing and changing that helped a lot. Each year we reached new heights and subtle changes. In addition to that I was a home based business so each year the challenges of parenting or having infants in the home/studio kept me on my toes. Each new endeavor or challenge kept me coming back for more, after getting used to the children challenge we went to doing weddings every weekend. Then we adding staff to assist me, having a staff is a blessing and a curse and it’s certainly challenging, probably more so then the 7 kids I had. Then we got a cooler which allowed us to do multiple weddings in a weekend. Next came social media. Social media changed everything.
How did/do you work through burn-out and how did you move on to the next stage of your career?
When I became active in social media 4.5 years ago everything changed. First I started blogging, this gave me a platform to create for creations sake. Because of blogging we started to do style shoots and create unique designs and color combinations. Once the designs were featured on the blog they were often picked up by bigger blogs or magazines. This in turn caused brides to come to me, asking me to create something unique and “Hollyish.” I was no longer replicating other designers designs. Next I became active in Twitter. Twitter gave me a connection with other designers. From this I learned about opportunities to study, network and grow.
How do you stay inspired and keep fresh at 20+ years in the floral industry?
Today, I am truly more thirsty and driven then I have ever been. I see endless possibilities and opportunities. I am constantly inspired by the designers I meet in this country and all over the world. I take time to play in my shop each week and we try to style a shoot at least once a month. This is a big task, but it is really helping our studio to stay current, set trends, and it keeps us in the latest magazines. In my 20th season, I became a teacher, a mentor and I started planning events that helped other designers. Learning and sharing are at the key of who I am.
I really believe you have to love this career with your whole heart. You have to be creating or it becomes just a job and not a form of art. Duplicating the same design over and over again and never stopping to smell the roses would be horrendous. I seriously make myself stop and smell the roses. I look for new roses, new foliages, new herbs, new elements. I am always in search of something that is fresh new and inspiring. I love what I do, I would say I am addicted!!!
Holly Heider Chapple Flowers