Chapel Designers NYC 2015 | Day One

Day One of the 5th Annual NYC Conference began in the Helen Mills Event Space with an emotional welcome by Holly Chapple who recounted the years leading up to the conference. Evan Chapple was on hand to inject some humor and share insight on the realities of running a successful floral & event design business while balancing home, family  and personal responsibilities.  Holly's personal assistant-go to girl-master organizer, Sarah Orman, was on hand to keep the conference running smoothly and stepped briefly from the shadows (upper right) to  say hello to the crowd. 

The morning session got under way with Amy McGee (middle left) of Botanical Brouhaha sharing the stories behind the creation of her blog and her involvement with The Chapel Designers. Next, Michelle Loretta (upper right) of Sage Wedding Pros spent a couple of hours with the CDs helping them assess their businesses and think through mission statements and goals. Following a wonderful lunch from Blue Dog Kitchen, Amanda Evaul (lower middle) of The Bridal Theory spoke to the group. Amanda's coverage of the Chapel Designer NYC Conference through The Bridal Theory was an amazing gift and the CDs were grateful for her presence and involvement all week. Next to take the podium was Emily Ayer Thomas (upper left) of Southern Weddings who shared details of her involvement with the magazine as well as pertinent information about being published in Southern Weddings. Joy Thigpen (lower right) rounded out the early afternoon session with an eloquent presentation on the importance of appreciating and utilizing aesthetics in businesses involved in styling/floral design/event design. 

Following a short afternoon break, Naomi de Manana (upper left) of Martha Stewart Weddings delighted the Chapel Designers with her sense of humor and style as she masterfully created a multi-piece centerpiece using blooms she had chosen at the flower market. Next, Shellie Pomeroy (upper middle) of Silk & Willow shared the story behind the creation of  her hand-dyed silk ribbon company. She had many of her gorgeous ribbons on hand for the CDs to see. Debbie Demarse (upper left in image box below), creator of Eco Fresh Bouquet, shared her exciting new product next. She demonstrated  step-by-step instructions for using her floral hydration stem sponge-wraps and gave CDs helpful tips on how to utilize them in their day-to-day business operations. David Beahm (lower right w/ Holly) of David Beahm Design closed out the day with perfectly honest motivational thoughts for the Chapel Designers based on his years in the floral industry. David has been a steady source of support and encouragement to Holly and The Chapel Designers since the organization's conception and he is deeply loved and respected for his kindness.

Throughout the NYC Conference, Lauren Carnes of Lauren Carnes Photography (who provided all the images for this post) and Astrid Woltering of Astrid Photography (lower left) captured special moments and documented the conference experience with precision and infectious joy. As Day One drew to a close, the CDs grabbed cabs and made one last stop at the Squarespace offices for a private tutorial on managing their websites/blogs. Tired but exhilarated, the CDs grabbed some sleep while anticipating Day 2 which would bring the first chance to get their hands on some flowers!