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Recap of NYC 2014 Chapel Designers Conference: Day Two

Mar 20, 2014

I’m writing the posts this week as a journal of sorts so I don’t forget the experiences, people and flowers I’ve encountered recently.  I hope you guys aren’t bored stiff! We’ll be back to our usual parade of stunning flowers next week. Thanks for allowing me this time to record and reflect on the last 2 weeks before we move forward.

Day Two was all about flowers and designing!  We boarded a bus and headed to David Beahm’s Studio Warehouse in the Bronx where we spent a full day designing and learning.

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Naomi de Manana, Senior Style Editor for Martha Stewart Weddings, wowed us as she designed this centerpiece while answering questions, sharing experiences and giving advice…all while being only days away from having a baby! She was delightful!


 David Beahm is known for his graciousness, kindness and generosity. He welcomed the Chapel Designers (75+ people) into his warehouse for the day. He shared design & mechanics tips, as well as advice on inventory & business. He also guided us through the process of creating a large scale installation. I’m always amazed at the humility of designers like David. He designed the flowers for the wedding of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas and continues to design for celebrity and Fortune 500 events. And he still takes time to share his expertise with other designers. I’m telling you, this is an incredible industry.



Holly Chapple spent part of the day creating 4 unique designs for The Knot Dream Wedding of Rebekah and Pete. America is voting on and will choose the floral design style for the wedding which will take place in April at the Biltmore Hotel. Holly and her dream team (as the Knot referred to them) of Chapel Designers will use American grown flowers provided by The California Cut Flower Commission for the wedding. Containers and vessels for the arrangements will be supplied by Syndicate Sales. At the end of the day, Holly was interviewed by the Knot and the completed designs were photographed. You can see the photos here. You can see the video here.


Francoise Weeks taught her signature Woodland design. I apologize for the poor photography, but I hope you get a feel for what was going on here. I was basically running around snapping pictures all day and forgot to actually stop moving before snapping! Francoise is a soft spoken artisan and I love to watch her teach. You can hear a pin drop. Designers are drawn to her attention to detail and mastery of her craft. I loved seeing these arrangements grace the hotel lobby later that evening and I watched many designers leaving town at the conclusion of the conference with their designs in hand.


One of my favorite parts of the day was lunch. Sounds like I’m in Junior High School! But seriously, we walked a block from David Beahm’s warehouse to Verde Flowers where owners Michael Gonzalez and Vanessa Polanco (who happen to be two of the nicest people) hosted us for lunch. We had a blast visiting, relaxing and browsing their hip shop. After lunch, Michael joined us and designed his own woodland arrangement.

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As I recount my time in NYC, I’m struck (again and again) by the incredible generosity and kindness of the people in this industry.



  1. floralartvt says:

    So enjoy looking at your photos from our wonderful week of inspiration!


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