Monthly Archives: October 2017

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 106

Question:

I’m constantly seeing the “success” of other designers on social media…magazine features, thousands of followers, appearances at industry social events, etc.  The problem is I’m fairly shy and don’t necessarily want the same kind of success, but I still want my clients to see me as “successful”.  How have you defined success for your business?

bridal bouquet of white dahlias, white roses, white nigella, and snowberries designed by Floresie and photpgraphed by Say Cheeeeeese Photographie

Floresie | Say Cheeeeeese Photographie

Answers:

Well, I am super shy too! 🙂 I have a true hard time showing about my personal life and doing all the exposure that marketing supposedly requires nowadays through social media. But, I guess it is fine. Most of my customers find me through Instagram, even though I have never done a live or shown anything about my personal life on it. Just think about it as being an extension of your portfolio and share images of your most beautiful designs with the right hash tags.

Finally, it is you and only you who defines what success is for you – it can be income, it can be publications, it can be working less and having more time for your family, it can be having the most satisfied clients… or the largest collection of vases 😉 Decide what is most important to you, and keep that clear in your mind when the time comes to make decisions so you can have a clear and consistent behavior toward your success.

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

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My idea of success comes from inside… a feeling of knowing that you are actively pursuing your dreams, giving each project your best efforts, creating happy customers, and continuing to push yourself slightly outside of your comfort zone, moving in a forward motion. If you are shy and not comfortable putting yourself out there in a showy way, maybe you could collect positive feedback from customers to project an image of “success”? I am more of an introvert myself and have really had to push myself to do certain things that I thought would contribute to my “success”. It can be difficult to do, but sometimes you might surprise yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Emily Avenson (Fleuropean)

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Through the years I have also kept a lower profile and passed on many industry social events for similar reasons to what you describe. It’s easy to feel left out or like you are not keeping up, but success isn’t measured by social media presence even though it often feels like it! I prefer to grow my business success by always doing my best work for every client and forming relationships on the job rather than out socially. In the end I find my best clients are referrals from past clients or colleagues who I have worked with who know that I will go above and beyond for their event. The biggest form of success to me is to be recommended by a colleague or former bride!

Beth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)

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Define success for YOURSELF! I can’t stress this enough. If you try to be successful in someone else’s eyes but it isn’t a good fit for you, you’ll end up feeling frustrated and possibly a little fraudulent and definitely not happy or authentic. I threaten almost every day to ditch social media because I think it is ruining our mental health on so many levels. I’ve struggled myself with wondering if I’m as “successful” as other designers if I spend too much time down the rabbit hole known as Instagram.

What I’ve come to decide over time is that there are a few keystone goals I have for my own business that, when met, mean I am successful. 1) My business must be profitable and free of debt. 2) My business should pay me a comfortable salary that pays all my mortgage/bills, accommodates saving for retirement and the emergency fund, and lets me have a little extra for traveling in the winter. 3) My business must be structured so that I feel as though I have life balance, am able to pursue other interests/hobbies, and nurture the personal relationships that are so important to me.

When I started my business, I was going full speed towards what I call “shiny success”… more events, more money, more press, more glory. Then I hit a wall and burnt out. At the same time, my mom died suddenly and I started to feel how short life really is… and honestly how little “shiny success” actually means in the grand scheme of things. Since then I have been restructuring my business to be successful by my own terms, and I’m pleased with how I’ve been able to meet my goals. Really take time to define what you consider to be “success” and then make your road map from there.

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

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Success is having bookings that generate the amount of income you need to sustain yourself. Do not be fooled by social media. It is a wonderful tool for letting others know about you and your business but nothing is stronger than word of mouth and past clients referring you. Do what makes you comfortable!!!

Holly Chapple (Holly Chapple Flowers)

Retail Flower Displays

Trying to diversify your portfolio and challenge yourself in a new direction? Ever considered creating retail flower displays for department stores or local clothing boutiques?

Pronovias shop window with bridal gown and large urn of white and lavender delphinium designed by Botanic Art and photographed by Ashley Ludaescher

Pronovias shop window with bridal gown and large urn of white and lavender delphinium designed by Botanic Art and photographed by Ashley Ludaescher

Retail window floral display of lavender and white flowers designed by Botanica Art framing pink and coral evening gowns photographed by Ashley Ludaescher

Retail window floral display of pink and white flowers designed by Botanica Art framing dress forms with blue dresses photographed by Ashley Ludaescher

Retail flower dispay of pink and white sweetpeas in a mercury glass vase designed by Botanic Art dispayed next to hats and shoes and photographed byAshley Ludaescher Photography

Retail window floral display of lavender and white flowers designed by Botanica Art framing a bridal gown photographed by Ashley Ludaescher

Botanic Art | Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Bright floral display by Early Hours Ltd in a retail clothing store photographed by Binky Nixon Photography

Bright floral display by Early Hours Ltd in a retail clothing store photographed by Binky Nixon Photography

Bright floral display by Early Hours Ltd in a retail clothing store photographed by Binky Nixon Photography

Bright floral display by Early Hours Ltd in a retail clothing store photographed by Binky Nixon Photography

Early Hours Ltd | Binky Nixon Photography

Retail floral display of red flowers and moss on Jimmy Choo Collection shoe display at Bergdorf Goodman

Flowers by Yasmine | Bergdorf Goodman | Jimmy Choo Collection

Retail floral display of paperwhites in a wood box by Flowers by Yasmine in a white shop

Flowers by Yasmine

Retail display of botanic purse by Francoise Weeks at a purse store

Francoise Weeks

Retail floral display of multiple black containers of orange flowers and foliages designed by Natural Art Flowers by Rebecca Grace for a clothing retail store

Natural Art Flowers by Rebecca Grace

Floral Arches

Copper pipe arch covered in flowers for a wedding ceremony designed by Wedding and Events Floral Design and photographed by Jo Bradbury Wedding Photographer

Copper pipe arch covered in flowers for a wedding ceremony designed by Wedding and Events Floral Design and photographed by Jo Bradbury Wedding Photographer

Wedding & Events Floral Design | Jo Bradbury Wedding Photographer

Bride and grom standing in front of foliage covered arch used as ceremony backdrop designed by Stems from Love Arizona and photographed by This Rad Love Photo

Stems From Love | This Rad Love Photography

Romantic floral arch covered in spring flowers used as wedding ceremony backdrop in open field designed by Jennifer Pinder Floral Styling and photographed by Jessica Davies Fine Art Photography

Jennifer Pinder Floral Styling | Jessica Davies Fine Art Photography

Arch covered with white flowers and fall foliage designed by Foever Cole Events and Soil and Stem

Forever Cole Events with Soil & Stem

Arch covered with foliage designed at a retreat hosted by Amber Reverie Floral and Event Design

Carpe Diem Design | Kate Osborne Photography | #enpleinairfloralretreat by Amber Reverie Floral and Event Design

Floral arch of pink heather designed by Abelia Floral Design

Abelia Floral Studio

Peach and cream floral wedding arch with tropical foliage designed by Jo Flowers and photographed by Matt Parry Photography

Jo Flowers | Matt Parry Photography

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 105

Question:

Looking for wisdom as I enter the floral industry. I’m an enthusiastic newbie! Wondering if the BB Panel could tell me: What is the single most helpful piece of advice you’ve received during your career and where did it come from? How did it impact your business?

compote bowl of apricot and blush dahlias with fall foliage designed by Botanical Brouhaha Expert Panel Member Emily Avenson of Fleuropean in Belgium

Fleuropean

Answers:

The single most wonderful piece of advice that I have received thus far during my floral career came from my friend Betany (Chloris Floral). She strongly recommended that I get my act together and put my work on Instagram. I did, and it has totally changed my professional world. While I haven’t let it dominate my life, I can’t deny the affect that social media (Instagram in particular for me) has had on my business. Instagram has become my sole platform for promoting my workshops and services, and it really works wonderfully.

Emily Avenson (Fleuropean)

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Congratulations on starting your floral venture!! I think the best piece of advice I was ever given was by a designer I admired. She suggested creating a clear vision of what type of floral business I wanted to create and stay true to it. I am constantly evolving in my business by learning new trends, techniques and business strategies, but my overall vision and business goal always stays on point to what I originally intended, which is to be an exclusive floral studio catering to the high-end client. It’s a piece of advice that sticks even more now that social media outlets make it so easy to post everything. I have to remind myself that I am creating a brand and to stay on point to who and what that brand is. Now, I have some advice for you– at the end of every year create a year-end analysis of your business and list what you achieved, what you want to achieve (both short term and long term goals) and different ways to get there. I’ve been doing this since I started my business 11 years ago and it’s a fun and rewarding way to look back through the years and see how far you’ve grown!

Beth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)

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I’m not sure who gave me the advice, or if I just learned it over the course of time, but learning to say “no” is one of the best things you can do. Not every job is the right fit for you. Learn to distinguish what’s a good fit and what’s not and then have the guts to say “no” to the ones that aren’t right. You will save your creative energy for the right projects that way and build a portfolio that’s a good representation of the kind of work you want to do. It’s so easy to get burnt out in this business and I think too many of us glorify “being busy”, especially in the social media age where we are constantly feeling the demand to “keep up with the Jones'”. Don’t give in to that anxiety. Learning to say “no” was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my business.

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

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I’ve been given a lot of good advice during my career, but I think the one that sticks with me the most came from David Beahm. He spoke to us, at a Chapel Designer conference in NYC, I believe 3 years ago, and within his brilliant talk, he encouraged us to “stay in our own lane.” That bit of advice was just what I needed to hear. It wasn’t a message intended to limit our dreams, but instead a message to be ourselves- our best selves, while allowing others to be their best selves in the next lane over. Instead of focusing on others’ victories, or perceiving others as “better” or getting things that we deserve, he encouraged us to quiet the deafening noise of comparison, and focus on our own progress. Jumping into this business now, with so much to see on social media, one can easily feel overwhelmed or deflated. My advice is to hone your craft fiercely, make the designs that you are craving to see, and focus your energy on pushing yourself forward within your own lane.

Susan Mcleary (Passionflower)

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Actually, I was very alone when I started and I don’t think I had any real mentor able to give me advice… at all. So that advice will just come from me, not sure I am wise enough to give advices yet… but anyway 😉 I started my floral design studio in autumn 2012. During the two first years I didn’t do anything really spectacular. I even thought I might give up (I guess we all think about that one day, right?). This is until I signed for a workshop given by a “star florist” in July 2015 and it completely shook my universe. It opened my eyes on so many aspects, even if that workshop was just a simple single day event and I had to drive across France with the left-overs of a wedding I did the day before and did not sleep much. Seriously, the only advice is to invest in you, not only in your business. Invest in your skills, whether they be design, management, budgeting, photography (photography is truly game changing for florists!) or marketing. That will pay, at least it did for me.

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

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I am fairly impulsive. When I have an idea, I jump. This has served me incredibly well as good sense and fear would keep me from doing half of what I do.

I have always been one to just jump, I do things in spite of the fear. I make myself go forward. This is something I have discussed on several occasions with my friend Francoise Weeks. Many years ago she said the below statement to me. I saved her words as she so eloquently put into words my beliefs.

“When the desire to succeed becomes greater than the fear to fail, I move forward” –Francoise Weeks

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

BB Podcast Episode 8: Holly Chapple

“I don’t let myself say that I’ve arrived…that I’m done learning.”

Holly Chapple | Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

Holly Chapple | Emily Gude Photography | Hope Flower Farm

Emily Gude Photography

Today we’re sitting down with Holly Chapple, owner of Holly Chapple Flowers in Leesburg, Virginia to discuss:

  • the man who taught her to design and modeled for her a strong work ethic
  • her thoughts on transitioning with age while staying relevant in the industry she loves
  • her blog, The Full Bouquet, which provides a peek into the day-to-day operation of her business and serves as a journal for her thoughts pertaining to the floral industry
  • the crucial role Evan (@marriedtoflowers) Chapple plays in the success of the HCF brand
  • why she would like to see the floral industry agree on some industry standards and what she plans to do to facilitate the process
  • the people who inspire her and push her to continue learning and evolving
  • the impact the ‘Hollyish’ chicken wire egg has had on her business and the feedback she’s received from other designers

Holly Chapple Flowers | Hope Flower Farm | Jodi & Kurt Photography

Chapel Designer Workshop at Hope Flower Farm | Jodi & Kurt Photography

Chapel Designer Workshop at Hope Flower Farm | Jodi & Kurt Photography | bottom right: Grace – the youngest Chapple

Links mentioned in Episode Eight:

Holly Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

Real Wedding: flowers by Holly Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

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Unique Opportunity: A Workshop with Evan Chapple

Building Structures & Armatures for the Floral Designer

November 6-7, 2017 at Hope Flower Farm

Click here for more information

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Flora & Fauna Fashion Show | Chapel Designer Conference NYC | Amanda Dumouchelle Photography

Flora & Fauna Fashion Show | Chapel Designer Conference NYC | Amanda Dumouchelle Photography

Flora & Fauna Fashion Show | Chapel Designer Conference NYC | Amanda Dumouchelle Photography

Flora & Fauna Fashion Show | Chapel Designer Conference NYC | Amanda Dumouchelle Photography

Flora & Fauna Fashion Show | Chapel Designer Conference NYC | Amanda Dumouchelle Photography

Flora & Fauna Fashion Show | Chapel Designer Conference NYC | Amanda Dumouchelle

Hope Flower Farm | Jodi & Kurt Photography

Hope Flower Farm | Jodi & Kurt Photography

Holly Chapple Links of Interest:

Holly’s Online Video: Creating ‘Hollyish’ Designs Using the Egg Mechanic

Holly Chapple Flowers:   Website | Instagram | Facebook

Hope Flower Farm:   Website | Instagram | Facebook

Chapel Designers:   Website | Instagram | Facebook