Announcement! – Chapel Designers Conferences

Hello there Dear Flower Friends!

Have you heard that the dates for the next two Chapel Designers Conferences have been announced?!?!

Santa Barbara, California – January 20, 21 & 22, 2014
The Chapel Designers has combined forces with Florabundance Inspirational Design Days for the 2014 conference! As many of you may recall, last year was a HUGE hit!
On the schedule for this conference are workshops taught by Nancy Liu Chin, Holly Chapple, and Francoise Weeks. Of course, Holly & Joost will have a few surprises, you know they both like to show everyone a great time!!
You can read all the details and sign up HERE for the California conference!

Santa Barbara Flower Workshops

Santa Barbara – 2013 Florabundance Inspirational Design Days

New York City, New York – March 9, 10, 11 & 12, 2014
Hard to believe this is already the 4th annual NYC Chapel Designer Conference! Each year the conference grows as more and more designers seek the chance to join this amazing group of floral designers!
The official announcement of speakers has not been released yet by Holly. However, trust me, I’ve heard a few of the designers & speakers that are coming together for this conference and I’m blown away! Blown away once again! If you know Holly, you’ll know she ‘brings it’! Have faith, this conference will be worth every penny invested.
You can read all the details and sign up HERE for the NYC conference!

Chapel Designer Flower Group

Chapel Designers – NYC 2013

For those of you who are thinking – what does it mean to be a Chapel Designer anyway? Well, I’ve asked two of my flower friends to share their thoughts on what it means to them to be a Chapel Designer, this is what they have to say:

Becoming a Chapel Designer has been an inspiration for myself and my business. Our business has been refocused and invigorated, we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for us and know that the other Chapel Designers are there to help us along the way. The amount of priceless advice I have received since becoming a Chapel designer is invaluable. The investment we made has already been returned and we can’t wait for NYC!
from Dawn, A Garden Party

Alicia Schwede and Chapel Designers

Chapel Designers studying in a special workshop – Virginia 2013

It’s hard for me to put into words what it means to be a Chapel Designer. The friendships that I have gained this past year since I became a Chapel Designer are really priceless, not to mention the amazing support everyone gives one another 24×7. We support, encourage, and sympathize with one another daily. We’ve all been there (or will soon be there) and it’s such a relief to know that I’m not walking this journey alone.

I’m constantly learning from the Chapel Designers through our forum. I don’t think a week has gone by where I haven’t learned something whether it’s a new technique, a mechanic, or a better way to run my business.

Joining the Chapel Designers has been a game changer for me this past year. It has opened so many doors for me that I frankly never even knew existed. The Conference in NYC this past year was absolutely incredible. The speakers Holly brought in were so gracious and down to earth. I was thankful that they didn’t mind sharing the glamorous and not-so-glamorous parts to this industry. As great as they all were, the times I treasured and learned the most from were the round-table discussions where we were free to share and discuss our businesses openly, as a family of designers and business owners.

Holly Chapple is such a gracious and kind woman. She is also one of the most ethical people I have ever met. You can’t help but love her!!! I really can’t say enough about her or the Chapel Designers.
from Anna, Urban Petals

floral designer workshop in Virginia

Chapel Designer Workshop – Virginia 2013

Still need an extra little nudge to Jump In? Read this note from Holly.
I hope you’ll join us for one of these conferences in 2014, don’t you want to be friends with the designers seen in these photos?!

Chapel Designers Conference, Design Day

Ohhh… the design day of Chapel Designers Conference, such a fantastic day!!! We all climbed onboard a bus from our hotel to David Beahm’s workspace in the Bronx. Walking into his workspace was so fun, all the fun props to dream of designing with!
What a great day ahead awaited all of us; designing with Karen Tran and Holly + talks with David Beahm.

Karen Tran shared with us how she creates those amazing tablescapes she is so well known for, they truly are amazing. She started the main arrangements and then let the students join in on the design:

purple and green centerpiece

purple and green arrangement

purple and green tall centerpiece

purple and green flowers

purple and green flowers for wedding

Holly worked with all of us on creating bridal bouquets using the new Oasis Square European Bouquet Holder:
European Square bouquet holder OASIS

It was interesting to see all the different styles the designers came up with; some designed rounded bouquets, some went for the cascade bouquet style, and some turned it into a centerpiece. I opted to make a Crescent Shaped bridal bouquet. Never heard of a Crescent Shaped bridal bouquet? Search for them on google Images to see a lot of examples.
cascade type bridal bouquet

purple and green bouquet

We also spent time with David Beahm, picking his brain with questions about running successful businesses. David is always willing to listen and give good advice. He is such a caring person and we are so lucky to spend time with him everytime we go to NYC.
David started out his talk while sitting on top of the ladder, I liked it – could see and hear him well! He was actually explaining to us how to construct large displays and make them safe. (ie – no tipping over!)
David Beahm Event Designer

This is an arrangement that David designed for us, so pretty:
red yellow and green flower arrangement

David’s team constructed this cool display for us to admire:
flower branches sculpture

We were extremely lucky to be across the street from Verde Flowers. Michael and Vanessa invited the whole group over for lunch!! I’m a huge fan of their work, they have appeared as a Fabulous Florist here on Flirty Fleurs. Their design space is gorgeous!!
Thank you, Michael and Vanessa, for inviting us over to your shop for lunch!

verde flower shop bronx

pink and purple flower arrangement

Here are a few people photos from the day:
Two of my Denver BFFs (best flower friends); Robyn and Diana from Bare Root Flora, love these girls:
Bare Root Flora Denver

Courtenay Lambert from Kentucky, check out that pretty bouquet she designed:
Courtenay Lambert Florals

Love this photo of Joost and Francoise, the Europeans found each other!:
Joost Bongaerts and Francoise Weeks

Myself and Karen Tran with the bouquet I designed:
Alicia Schwede and Karen Tran

You can read more on Holly’s blog HERE
and on Posh Floral Designs blog HERE, HERE and HERE.

The Chapel Designers Conference, NYC

Last week at this time we were headed into day one of the Chapel Designers Conference taking place in New York City. In all we had three great days in NYC, filled with cool people, gorgeous flowers, amazing designers and lots of inspiration. I truly enjoyed meeting so many talented designers from across the country and around the world. The energy and magic that happens when 60 floral designers come together is impressive.

Chapel Designers Conference

On day one we heard from numerous speakers, including Abby Larson from Style Me Pretty and Naomi de Manana from Martha Stewart Weddings!

Holly with Naomi de Manana

Holly with Naomi de Manana

We also heard from many Chapel Designers speak including Amanda Frankenwicz from Alluring Blooms, Daevid Reed from Daevid’s of Norfolk, Francoise Weeks, Lesley Frascogna from TULIP, Jennifer and Dave Ederer with Modern Day Floral, and Laura Larocci from Faith Flowers.
Rachel Merkle from Miss Merkle Design and Anne Chertoff spoke to us about branding and social media.

Holly with Francoise

Holly with Francoise

Not too many pictures to share with you today, day one was all about listening to speakers and filling journals full of notes and inspiration.

Now if any of you are sitting on the sidelines, watching the Chapel Designers Conference for the past three years and thinking to yourself – should I sign up? should I join this group? will I be accepted? My advice to you is to jump in and sign up for 2014. The group of designers that attend this conference are kind, generous, warm and friendly. You will have fun, you will walk away inspired!
Contact Holly directly for more information about the conference next year. The dates have not been released, but I do know the list of interested attendees is growing quickly.

More blog reading about the conference:
The Full Bouquet Blog – Designers arrive in NYC
The Full Bouquet Blog – Day 1 Recap
Posh Floral Design – Cocktail Party
Posh Floral Design – Conference Day 1

Thought Du Jour

I am reading through my notes from the David Beahm workshop from this past March and read this note:

“This is not an expensive hobby. This is a business.”

Just a little reminder. 🙂

That’s our trip..

That’s our trip in a nut-shell, what do you think? Inspiring trip?! Who wants to sign up for next year? I’m pretty sure there will be a next year, a few emails and thoughts are already circulating. I already have a very long list of places I’d like to visit.

Here’s one last parting shot from NYC, one of the last things Cori and I saw while exploring the streets of NYC. Looked to us as if they had recycled Christmas trees to make the “fence” and to protect the budding tulips. We thought it was pretty darn cool:

I hope you all enjoyed the posts and I hope all the designers that went on a trip walked away feeling inspired. I know I was inspired by everyone I met. 🙂

Now it’s time to start thinking about my next two trips. The next trip starts this Thursday when I head to California, we are planning to drive up the coast to Washington! The second trip starts April 4 when I fly to Amsterdam & then Paris.
Anyone have suggestions for what I should see and do flower wise on either the CA to WA trip or the Amsterdam & Paris trip?

Visiting Ovando’s Uptown Boutique

We had the pleasure of visiting Ovando’s new uptown boutique located at 19 East 65th Street (between Madison and 5th Avenue). I first became aware of Ovando about 5 years ago while staying at The W in Times Square, I had noticed unique floral designs and one morning I saw a man with an Ovando shirt on tending to the arrangements. A day or so later I came across their shop at 337 Bleeker Street, walked in and couldn’t believe my eyes. What a beautiful shop! I’ve followed their website ever since and about a year ago began corresponding with Karine at Ovando, they took part in an interview which you can read here. I was quite pleased when we were invited to visit their boutique! Their design philosophy says it all, “Simple, not simplistic”. Check out their arrangements:
Gorgeous front window display:

For more inspiration be sure to visit their website.

Taping of the Martha Stewart show

Our Tuesday started off early with us lining up outside the Martha Stewart studios. All of us anticipating checking out the taping of her daily show.

When Holly asked if I’d like to join her for a trip to NYC I told her that I’d really like to see a taping of the Martha Stewart Show. She told me to hang tight and she’d call me back in a bit. Sure enough within a few hours she calls back, Alicia I have tickets for the show. I responded with – ok, I’m buying my plane ticket.
I was just so curious to see how a taping goes and I sure enjoyed seeing it all first hand. The studio they film in is gorgeous!!

Jenn & Casey in the audience

We viewed a taping with Joan & Melissa Rivers as guests plus a segment from an allergy doctor. We received so many cool gifts for being in the audience!

This is the coolest part of the visit. After the show the audience is allowed to ask Martha a few questions.

Liz from our group stands up and tells her who we are – 20 floral designers from across the country (& 1 Canadian).

Liz talking to Martha

Much to our surprise, Martha responds – you should take a tour of our corporate offices. Next thing we all know we are getting a personal tour of the offices!!! For confidentiality reasons I cannot post any photos on this blog of what we saw. I will tell you a bit though, the offices are huge! Light, crisp and airy. They have the test kitchens, photography studios and huge prop closet right there at their fingertips. Oh, how us floral designers wanted to be cut loose in that prop closet!

I started watching the Martha Stewart show many, many years ago. I’ve always been a fan of her magazines and books. Having the opportunity to watch a taping of her show and to tour her offices was a huge privilege and I’m quite thankful we had the opportunity to experience both.

David Beahm – Design Challenge

Part of our class with David was to design a table for a celebrity. We broke into teams of two designers and then drew a name from a hat. We kept our celebrity secret and went to work on our table design which we felt best represented that celebrity.

check out what everyone came up with:
(click on images to enlarge)

Cori & Alicia (me), Tom Cruise was our celebrity inspiration

Liz & Laura, Dr. Suess was the celebrity inspiration

Kristin & Yasmin, Martha Washington was the inspiration

Courtenay & Katie, Kate & William’s wedding was the inspiration

Isha & Trish, Whoopi Goldberg was the inspiration

Jenn & Robin, Frank Sinatra was the inspiration

Alex & Janice, Sean Connery was the inspiration

Alicia & Samantha, Shirley McClaine was the inspiration

Class with David Beahm

After a morning of visiting the NY Flower District we ventured over to David’s studio to start a full day of design classes. Here are a few photos of his space:

entering David Beahm's office

cool mirrors on the entry doors

A wall full of magazine covers

meeting space

Some of the flowers we'll design with

Vivianne the office cat

Flowers we used for the design class



Holly & David get down to business

We spent the day with David hearing a presentation on how he got into this business, looked at images of his beautiful work, a hands-on design class, lovely catered lunch and more. We did a design portion where we broke into groups of two designers and drew a name of a celebrity out of a hat and designed a look for that person. Then our classmates had to guess who we designed it for. I will post those images in a separate post.

Really a great day. Oh, and at the end of the day Ed Libby stopped by for a visit!

For more on David Beahm please visit his website.

M & J Trimming

One of my favorite shops to visit in NYC:
* M&J Trimming
* 1008 Sixth Ave.
* New York, NY 10018
* 1.800.9.MJTRIM
* M & J Trimming Website

Cori, Alex & I whittled away a few hours in this shop. Rows and rows of ribbons plus buttons and brooches. Dreamy.

Just a sample of the white lace section

more ribbon selection

A few of the pieces I took home