Member Profile: Dawn Clark & Mary Coombs

Image courtesy of Tami Melissa Photography

Image courtesy of Tami Melissa Photography

Member Names: Dawn Clark & Mary Coombs

Business: A Garden Party | Elmer, New Jersey

Area Serviced: Philadelphia, South/Central Jersey, Wilmington

Business Hours:  We are open 9am - 5pm Tuesday-Friday for daily arrangements. Wedding consultations are available 9am - 8pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only.

Social Media: Facebook | Mary's Instagram | Dawn's Instagram

Years in business: 9

Services Provided: Wedding & Event Flowers, Event Design, Daily Deliveries, Special Occasion Flowers (Birthday, Anniversary, etc.), Sympathy/Funeral Arrangements, Retail Showroom, Pipe & Drape, Prop Rental

How long have you been a Chapel Designer? Since July 2013 when we brought our 3rd head designer, Torey Dunham, along for a CD workshop.

Where did you become a Chapel Designer?  At Holly's home/studio in Leesburg, Virginia

How has your membership in The Chapel Designers Organization affected your business? Joining the Chapel Designers has opened us up to an entire support system for our business. We work in a rural town in New Jersey with no prior formal training - we always found ourselves learning things the hard way or feeling like our dreams would take forever to become reality. Now we get such amazing feedback from fellow Chapel Designers and we are no longer learning the hard way. We are working smarter, moving forward with our goals, and we don't feel alone anymore.

Image courtesy of Emily Wren Photography

Image courtesy of Emily Wren Photography

What do you enjoy most about being a Chapel Designer? We love the new friends we have made! Seeing what other designers are creating takes away some of the intimidation in the structure of arrangements. They encourage us to push our limits and knowing we are in the company of the best of the best has given us a huge boost in confidence. 

Holly has been hugely impactful as a mentor. Visiting her home in Virginia was like seeing our business plan come to life. The way that Holly's gardens reflect her business and aesthetic was exactly how we have wanted our own gardens to be. We want clients to pull up to our shop and physically see what our style is like - something that we can't always put into words. And Holly has definitely set the bar for us.

Image courtesy of Emily Wren Photography

Image courtesy of Emily Wren Photography

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your business? We would love to depend more on our property for product. Expanding our cutting gardens has been one of those "slowly but surely"projects. We are also working on growing into full Event Design - we're finding that we get a lot of satisfaction when we have a hand in the entire theme of decor beyond the flowers.

Our long term goals are a combination of local and widespread aspirations. We hope to someday be able to teach workshops - which may give us some more control on scheduling! We would also love to freelance as an excuse to travel and work at beautiful event venues around the country and the world.

Images courtesy of Marie Labbancz Photography

Images courtesy of Marie Labbancz Photography