Workshop with Holly Heider-Chapple and Hitomi Giliam in Vancouver, BC

It was such a joy to join Holly Chapple and Hitomi Gilliam for a workshop in Vancouver. I've wanted to learn from Holly for years. She's a mother of 7 and has built her business while raising them. As a mother of 2, I know that this is quite a feat! Holly and I actually spoke on the phone 5 or 6 years ago and she helped me through a difficult spot. She's in Virginia and I'm out in Seattle. It was amazing to talk with someone so seasoned and she gave it to me straight. Since then I've been trying to meet her in person but the timing never worked out. Finally, she came to our neck of the woods AND she was going to be teaching with another one of my favorite inspirational designers: Hitomi! 

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 It was an incredible 2 days learning new techniques and learning how to grow my business, be profitable and competitive. Hitomi is such an inspiring designer. I think every florist always wants to use more flowers. More flowers = more beautiful. Every. time. Less is more rings true in so many aspects of life, but when it comes to a floral arrangement...it's just not true. More is more. Lush, big, scrumptious, flowing = more stems. What makes Hitomi is such a skilled and inspiring designer is that she knows how to take fewer flowers and create a striking, eye catching, gorgeous design. This is a whole new level of skill! I can't even begin to tell you how hard that is. She is a true innovator and uses each flower thoughtfully and with care. She's starting a flower school in Vancouver and I am going to try and take as many courses as I can!

Day 1, 7:30am. - Meeting at the Park & Ride! I was thankful to ride up to Vancouver and spend the weekend with other florist friends. I'm a member (and new officer!) in the Greater Seattle Floral Association (or GSFA). We are a group of Seattle  florists who meet monthly to discuss anything and everything. I went up with Anne of Floressence, Christiane of Flora Nova, Gina of From the Ground Up Floral and Courtney from Designs by Courtney. It was a great group of women who are passionate about this industry!

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We made great time and crossed the border at 10 or so. We stopped for lunch at Cactus Cafe and oh my goodness, it was delicious! We split a bottle of Rose to get the weekend started! We were so excited to start designing with Holly and so some shopping in a new market we arrived an hour early! After we learned a bit about each instructor wee learned a brand new technique which will change the way I (and I think many in the industry) will do elevated designs. I work really hard to not use toxic floral foam whenever possible. The stuff is known to cause health problems and takes hundreds of years to decompose. As florists, we work exclusively with nature, why would we demand so much from it and then turn around and poison it? Using locally sourced, salmon safe flowers and foam free designs is super important to me - I'm always striving to be more eco friendly so I was very excited to learn a new mechanic to make that easier!!

 

Here we are with all of our finished designs! 

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After the design course we sat in and asked questions during the facebook live with Holly and Hitomi. It was fun being a fly on the wall and Holly even gave me a little shoutout! I was unnamed, but whatever. She knew, I knew, so I'm rolling with it! 

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By 7pm we were all SO hungry! We went to the most delicious Greek Restaurant and had a great time talking flowers, business, about the workshop and our families. Back at the Airbnb the conversation continued with more wine. :)

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The next morning we hit the ground running. We left our flowers for our gracious hosts, hit starbucks and were back at the wholesale house to learn more mechanics and talk business. This wasn't a hands on day and I think we were all feeling a fidgety! We didn't become florists because we're really good at sitting at a desk for long periods of time :).  But the information was oh. so. good. It was great to hear that I'm spot on in some areas of my business and I was inspired to improve in other areas. I felt recharged and ready to rock!

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We were back on the road by 4 and crossed the boarder to have dinner in Bellingham. It was a little nostalgic being at my alma matter 💕

Megan & Marcus // Swiftwater Cellars Wedding Cle Elum, WA

I met megan and her wonderful mother at Weddings in Woodinville when I was the florist at Woodhouse Wine Estates with Katie of Sprinkled in Seattle. They are some of the happiest, fun loving clients I've met and I had a great time designing for them! They loved what we did at Weddings in Woodinville and really wanted to use that aesthetic at Swiftwater Cellars. We kept it crisp, clean and elegant by using all white and green and all seasonal, local, and organically grown flowers. I never, ever tire of white and green! Seattle is so green, I think locals can take it for granted. When people come in from out of town it is striking and it's great to see Seattle worked into the floral designs :)

Megan loves ferns. No wonder since they're a pacific northwest staple! For the wedding ceremony she wanted large ferns as aisle accents and even bigger ones as ceremony arrangements. She originally wanted to get married in a church but when that didn't happen she wanted to bring in a cross to give it the same appeal. I made a small woodland arrangement to sit on the cross, I wanted it to look like it had been sitting in the woods and had begun to sprout a little fern.

The top priority for Megan was the WOW factor when the guests walked into the reception space. She wanted the flowers and candles to take her guests breath away! I was fortunate enough to be there when the guests walked in and I'm so glad we achieved that! The reception was in the wine cellar which has no windows, so bringing in a lot of candles was a must! Using a lot of various types of candles gave it such elegant drama. The main focal piece was the farm table which was centered in the room. We went all out on this beauty. A cedar garland was on the table and candles and white and green flowers drenched the table. Taper candles add just the right touch to any tablescape and this was no exception. Oh! What a gorgeous event! This has to be one of my absolute favorites!! 

Jacob Land Studios is a brilliant photographer and did a great job capturing everything!

It was wonderful to get out of Seattle and into the country to flower this amazing wedding!! Congrats Marcus and Megan!!

Alicia + Thomas // Woodmark Hotel Wedding, Kirkland WA

It was fun being the florist for this couples engagement AND wedding day! Thomas is super smart and hired Sweet Pea Events Planning for Dudes package to plan his engagement to Alicia. I was thrilled when she contacted me to handle the flowers for her wedding as well! Kerry Jeanne Photography captured everything beautifully - as always! 

The flowers: Alicia LOVES peonies. They were the main flower for her May engagement and she really wanted them for her November wedding. I worked hard to be sure she got them and they came in looking absolutely perfect. Out of season peonies can be risky, but these babies were worth it! Garden roses, ranunculus, spray roses, and eucalyptus also played a staring role. Coral, peach, blush and creams with a healthy amount of delicate greenery made the tent at the woodmark sing! This color palette pairs beautifully with navy, which is what her lovely bridesmaids wore. What an elegant, classy wedding with a very elegant and classy couple! Congrats Alicia & Thomas! 

Talented vendor team!

Photography: Kerry Jeanne Photography

Venue: Woodmark Hotel

Planning: Sweet Pea Events

Videographer: First and Foremost Productions

DJ: Kris McCoskery

Cake: NancyKay Confections

Rental Tables: Vintage Ambiance

Hair and Makeup: Salon Maison

Chalkboards: Chalk Boss

Transportation: British Motor Coach

Garden style Gala at Inglewood Golf Club // Kenmore, WA

A majority of my work is weddings, but sometimes I get to flower other events too! I was honored to create something special for the fundraising gala for my daughters school. This was a garden themed event and I was SO excited to give back and support the school that does so much for it's students. It was held at the beautiful Inglewood Golf Club in Kenmore. It's a gorgeous venue for weddings and the staff is great to work with! The school didn't have a photographer for the event so I hired Lauren of Lauren Ryan Photography to come out and snap a few photos to share with you all. I was thankful she was available to come out, as this event has some of my favorite pieces yet! Mostly the huge greenery mantle piece (it would be great for a wedding backdrop!) and the greenery chandeliers! 

The flowers were all white, cream, and green and were garden style - my favorite! The copper added more natural warmth than a shiny gold or silver which would be too cool - the copper was perfect in the space. 

My favorite part of this event was the greenery on the chandeliers and decking out the HUGE mantle in the ballroom. When I walked into the space I knew I had to do something on those chandeliers. The room has gorgeous soaring ceilings, a beautiful intricate beams, and so much classic glamour I had to play it up and move the garden up! I wanted to draw attention to that drama while not making it feel vacuous. Adding greenery was the perfect touch and made such a large dramatic room feel nice and cozy. And this mantle - be still my heart - is a beast and ridiculously gorgeous. I love doing all designs, but there is something about the mantle that is something special to me. This was SO FUN. I wanted to do something dramatic and it needed to be to scale, so it needed to be a substantial installation. Smilax vines graced the sides and gave it a garden-esque vibe. It looked like it had been growing there for years and that's what we were going for! 

What a beautiful event!! I loved the way it turned out and I am so thankful Lauren was able to come up while I was setting up! Thanks Lauren! 

 

Seaside Northwest Wedding Editorial // Golden Gardens - Seattle, WA

It was wonderful working alongside Beth Joy Photography in this beautiful wedding editorial for Utterly Engaged It turned out beautifully with all white and green flowers. Spirea, clematis, bleeding hearts, and other seasonal flowers made this bouquet one of my favorites. The clematis and bleeding hearts grow in my garden which made this project very special. Springtime in Seattle might be the best time to be a florist! Golden Gardens in Seattle was the perfect location! 

Gown Monirose Bespoke Bridal | Calligraphy & Invitation Silver Fox Calligraphy | Bridal Accessories All About Romance | Ribbons Adorn Company | Hair and Makeup Artist Sarah Ren Makeup Artistry and Hair | Model Chloe Rain Roberts