The Chapel Designers & Florabundance Design Days 2014

Two weeks ago today 58 floral designers from around the world gathered for 3 flower filled and information packed days in Santa Barbara, California. We gathered to learn more about building and operating our businesses and to push our creative talents with a plethora of flowers at our fingertips.

Holly Chapple, the founder of Chapel Designers, gathered together an impressive list of presenters – the UK’s hottest young designer, Joseph Massie; the Queen of Woodlands design, Francoise Weeks; San Francisco’s much sought after designer, Nancy Liu Chin; and the four of them lead 2 days of splendid hands-on floral design workshops; on the business discussion day I led a discussion on Online Presences (including websites, blogs & social media) and Courtenay Lambert led a fantastic discussion about ordering & pricing.

The event took place at Sunstone Vineyards and Winery in Santa Ynez Valley, with lovely views of the valley – the perfect location to get our creative juices flowing! Holly instructed the participants on how to design a loosely styled hand-tied bridal bouquet. Francoise taught how to create awe-inspiring head pieces. Nancy designed four tablescapes to share a variety of styles with the designers, and then got everyone involved in designing with her. Joe designed an art installation with the purpose of building and emphasizing the unity between all the designers that participated in the workshop.

Of course, Joost and his team at Florabundance provided us with the most beautiful flowers. We had the pleasure of designing with gorgeous poppies, anemones, lisianthus and garden roses! Plus, textures galore – pieris japonica, Chocolate lace, and privet berries to name a few.

Thought I’d share some photos of the event and all the fun that was had! (I will be refraining from posting the final installations for now as those have been submitted for publication.)

SB airport

Arriving at Santa Barbara’s Airport

Joseph Massie, Holly Chapple and Francoise Weeks

Joe, Francoise and Holly

Joost, Nancy Liu Chin, Alicia Schwede, Katie Noonan

Joost, Nancy, Alicia (me) and Katie

Holly Chapple

Holly doing her thing!

Holly discussing bouquet making while Susan helps wire roses.

Holly discussing bouquet making while Susan helps wire roses.

floral designer conference

Holly discussing bouquets while Julia and Susan help wire flowers

The Chapel Designers in Santa Barbara

Evan Chapple

Evan takes his proper place

The Chapel Designer Conference

One of the lovely bouquets

The chapel Designers

Erin, Kimberly and Becky

Julia Miller Floral Designer

Julia added a flower flourish to her hat

Evan Chapple


Lisianthus by Florabundance

Best ever Lisianthus!!

Midori Ribbons

So many lovely ribbons provided by Midori Ribbons

Lisa of Blossoms Hawaii

Lisa tried to get a picture of me before I got one of her, I have a fast clicking finger missy!

Nancy Liu Chin

Nancy giving me the big *wink, wink*

Floral Designers

Nicole, Susan and Faye

Holly Rutt

Holly of Sweet Pea Floral Design

Susanne Hatwood of The Blue Carrot

Susanne of The Blue Carrot

Katie Noonan

Katie Noonan

Jessica Jones Floral Designer from Kentucky

Jessica Jones! Finally got to meet Jessica after years of emailing each other!!

Susan Kelly of Three Sisters Flowers

Susan of Three Sisters Flowers

Florabundance Design Days

Holly, Joost and Joseph

Holly Rutt

Holly of Sweet Pea Floral Design

Sheri Jentsch

Sheri of Blumen Meisters

Francoise Weeks Floral Designer

Francoise trying on her own design

Colorado Florists Amy and Ria

Amy & Ria working on their head pieces

Amy and Ria of Colorado

Amy & Ria – ‘The Colorado Girls!”

Holly Chapple in Santa Barbara

Holly sharing her hair piece design

Courtenay Lambert

Courtenay Lambert

Joost Bongaerts  and Francoise Weeks

Joost and Francoise

Flourish and The Posh Posey Sacramento

Shannon and Kristi

Laurie Garza and Jessica Jones

Laurie & Jessica

Flower Conference in Santa Barbara

The gang shows off their head pieces!

Joe Massie

Blending moss, of course!

Icelandic Poppies

Oh, the poppies, I couldn’t get enough!

Joost of Florabundance

The King Of Poppies! We all were impressed that Joost matched his poppies!

Poppies by Florabundance


Francoise weeks and poppies

possibly my favorite photo of Francoise .. ever! #WhatFloristsReallyDo

floral designers

Sheri, Katie and Becky

floral designer

Kristi of The Posh Posey fills water tubes with the help of a sports bottle, clever!

Blossom Alliance, Purple Bridal Bouquet

Lori of Blossom Alliance

The Chapel Designers, hot pink, peach, burgundy floral arrangement

One of the lovely floral creations

Alicia Schwede, Eatherly Schulz, Dana

Alicia (me), Eatherly and Dana

Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs and UK Designer Joe Massie

Joe & I

Alicia Schwede

self portrait, how I appeared throughout most of the conference – camera in hand!

Holly Chapple's bridal about of pink peonies, hellebores and garden roses

Holly’s bridal bouquet of peonies, garden roses and hellebores

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  1. Great pics. Looked like lots of fun and the flowers are beautiful, love the poppies.

  2. Thank you so much for the recap. It was all a blur, so much going on.

  3. Ah! I want to go back and relive the experience! Thanks to your photos, Alicia, it feels a little like that just happened.

  4. I can’t even express how fortunate & blessed I am to cross paths with so many amazing people……who share the same love & desire of beautiful flowers. Thank you all for your incredible hard work! I’m forever grateful !

  5. It’s fun to see so many friends in this post! Can’t wait to see you in NYC!

  6. Alicia- Thanks so much for sharing! So many great friends, good memories, and times we shared!

  7. So lovely to relive this event; and to see all the smiling faces of happy flowers folks. Thanks so much for capturing so many parts of this fabulous gathering.

  8. So fun to meet you Alicia! I loved your presentation and I love Flirty Fleurs as well as your designs!
    This was an amazing experience. I feel so lucky to have been part of it. Hope to meet again soon.

  9. It was great to see so many talented designers from around the country having fun designing with beautiful flowers learning from great presenters in a very special environment and finding new design inspirations.