We sit down with international Wedding and Event Designer, floral educator and founder of @chapeldesigners and all round global ‘Flower Mama’, Holly Chapple. We dive into Holly’s floral background and experiences as well as ask about an intriguing comment she made comparing David Austin and Brad Pitt…. we can’t wait to learn more!
Welcome Holly to ‘Meet the Designer’ and thank you for agreeing to be in the spotlight.
Can we take you back to the very beginning – to understand how your career began?
It began working in my father’s garden center, helping with the family business. That’s where my love for flowers was born. When I was younger, I helped my grandmother garden. If you wanted to visit my grandmother, you needed to be helping her out in the garden! Our family has been in produce and flowers for multi-generations and I’m proud to continue that legacy.
Who has been your greatest influencer, mentor or teacher?
My mother and father taught my sisters and me how to be entrepreneurs, hard workers and go after our dreams. My father taught me how to make garlands, wreaths, kissing balls, and the basics of floristry.
Gregor Lercsh and Hitomi Gilliam are the designers that I most respect in floristry because of their incredible talent and their remarkable hearts.
How would you describe your style of floral design?
Our designs are loose, lush, airy, elegant, organic, and inspired by the garden. These are the reasons why I like the characteristics of the David Austin Garden Roses so much.
David Austin roses have been a constant in my wedding work for the last 11 years. I attribute much of my success to the use of these premium roses. The depth, tone, texture and fragrance of these roses elevated my wedding work and had clients flocking to my doors. Constance and Juliet have been a consistent success but I also truly adore Leonora. A beautiful perfectly executed event always features David Austin Wedding roses.
Which is the first David Austin variety you can remember using?
Juliet (Ausjameson). Those first designs I created with these roses were highly published and became a big part of our brand and style.
When and why do you tend to use David Austin cut roses?
I use David Austin Wedding & Event Roses whenever I can. They are my go-to rose. My weddings or events don’t feel as meaningful or purposeful without the David Austin Roses there. I believe in giving my clients the finest and David Austin Roses embody the very best I can provide.
What is your perception of a David Austin cut rose?
The David Austin Roses provide an opportunity to design with something luxurious fragrant, full, and lush. They become a signature element of every wedding or event.
We are intrigued to learn more about a quote you made mentioning Brad Pitt and David Austin in the same sentence?
I was interviewed for the Washington Post about garden roses, and I mentioned that some girls want to meet Brad Pitt, but my dream and goal was to meet David Austin! This dream was realized when teaching a Chapel Designers conference in London and my husband, Evan had arranged a surprise visit up to the Head Office and Nursery in April 2017.
Is there a floral trend you love right now?
I just love that brides and clients are seeking the unique luxury blooms created by David Austin – they are looking for something special. I believe this is the result of social media and allowing us to share our passion, enthusiasm and work.
What is a ‘must-have’ in your floristry kit?
My product line of floral design armatures the Holly Chapple Egg and Pillow, of course!
What’s your favourite Instagram account?
I get a lot of inspiration from Pantone and Leatrice Eiseman’s account.
What pinterest board are you building at the moment?
We periodically browse Pinterest for inspiration, but we create inspiration boards for our clients in Details Flowers which is our flower purchasing and contracting software.
And finally, our favourite question…. Which person in the world, historical or contemporary figure, would you love to do wedding or event flowers for?
My flower hero is Constance Spry (1886-1960). This in itself brings the story full circle as it was Constance who was instrumental in bringing back into fashion the old fashioned, antique roses. In 1961, David Austin Senior (1926-1998) named his first English Rose for the garden, Constance Spry, in her honour and whilst she didn’t see the David Austin cut rose collection come to fruition, I’m sure she would be using the likes of Juliet and Leonora (Auswagsy) in her arrangements today.
My other bucket list event I have already accomplished – I designed for Dolly Parton and used the David Austin Leonora rose.
Follow Holly’s wonderful floral designs and learn more @hollychapple or visit Holly’s website