Having been a florist for over 15 years now, I’ve realised that I really do learn something new with each wedding I do, both from the freelancers that I work with and from florist colleagues that I work alongside and help from time to time
But I’ve never really actually sat down and properly taken a course – shock horror! Well 2016 was the time for me to put this right and I started out at the top, I think, by attending the 2016 London Chapel Designers Conference hosted at Brixton East by the amazing Holly Heider Chapple and her team
Holly is a true whirlwind, a floral force of nature and a good old Southern Belle from Virginia USA who created the Chapel Designer movement back in 2010 as a way to bring together florists far and wide to share knowledge of what they had learned and what should be avoided perhaps, help each other to grow and improve and to ultimately create fabulous florals all over the USA … and now the world!
So on April 4 I went along to the second London Chapel Designers conference at Brixton East to meet around 30 florists, some of whom had travelled from the north of England, from Ireland and Europe and others from the States and even further afield. These amazing people gathered together, completely openly and warmly, wanting to make friends, learn and create new designs, exchange information and pass on hints and tips to improve all our businesses
And over the following three days, that is just what we did. We heard from florists like Nick Priestly at Mood Flowers in Glasgow, who shared insights into his particular business and how he had first travelled to the States to find Holly and become instrumental in bringing the Chapel Designers concept to the UK
Rona Wheeldon from Flowerona spoke to us in depth about Social Media and how we could use it to help our business grow and to make a brand for ourselves
We watched amazing demonstrations from Paula Pryke and Shane Connolly and heard first hand from them about how the florist industry had changed since they started and will continue to change as new blood and fresh talent comes into the market
We also had a fabulous hands on demo from the lovely Mairead and Athena at Rebel Rebel who guided all 30 of us in creating an almost 30 metre long rainbow of flowers see here in all its’ colourful glory!
On day 2, the whole 30 strong team then worked together to create these amazing elevated flower displays under which we then ate the most incredible – and well-deserved I have to say – dinner from Four Gables Group
We were lucky enough to work with the most stunning range of flowers sourced from wholesalers at New Covent Garden Market and donated from Meijer Roses amongst others – roses, tulips, hyacinths, sweet peas, ranunculi, stock, lilac, lisianthus, spirea and much more along with amazing seasonal foliages
I can’t wait to get back together with these lovely people and have really enjoyed this journey to meet new friends and colleagues x