Florabundance Blog

Holly & Joost

Welcome to Florabundance Inspirational Design Days 2014

{An Official Chapel Designer Event}

Last year Florabundance organized its first ever Inspirational Design Days event, which took place at Dos Pueblos Ranch. The event was a huge success and we are thrilled to announce the dates for our next designer conference taking place right here in Santa Barbara, California!

January 20, 21 & 22, 2014
Hilton Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara, CA

This year Joost, Owner of Florabundance, and Holly, Owner of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers and Founder of The Chapel Designers, will be combining their resources and experience to produce a fantastic West Coast Floral Designer event to kick off 2014 in style!

What’s on Tap!
The conference will unofficially start with a welcome “get together” on Sunday evening at The Fess Parker Resort’s hotel lobby bar – meet us there at 6pm, we cannot wait to Welcome you!

Monday we will convene in the hotel’s conference room, where the day will be filled with guest speakers and open discussion sessions. {Bring your questions; we’ll be discussing the business side of the industry}

Joost of Florabundance

Joost gives a tour of Florabundance to attendees of Florabundance Inspirational Design Days

Tuesday and Wednesday we will be designing gorgeous flowers {provided by Florabundance, of course!} at the lovely Sunstone Villa in Santa Ynez. Transportation to and from Sunstone Villa is included.

This year’s speakers and floral designer extraordinaires include:
Holly Chapple, the founder & leader of The Chapel Designers

Wedding Trend Setter & Lover of all things beautiful – Nancy Liu Chin
The UK’s hottest up & coming designer – Joseph Massie
The Queen of Woodlands Design – Francoise Weeks
Alicia Schwede will brief us on the latest in Social Media.

UK Floral Designer Joseph Massie

Joseph Massie Creative

We do highly recommend you stay at Fess Parker Resort, as the conference is at its best in the “after hours” when we gather together and continue networking, sharing and laughing!

Our “home base” is the Fess Parker Hilton located at 633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. We have reserved a block of rooms for our event at a discounted rate (available until December 31). We cannot guarantee room rates after this block has been secured. For reservations call (805) 564-4333 or Click Here.

For more information and to Register for the Event, please visit the Chapel Designer Website – Click Here

Francoise Weeks

elegant white wedding reception

Nancy Liu Chin


Persimmons are a beautiful deep orange fruit that is perfect for a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece. Here our persimmons branches are mixed with orange ranunculus, dusty miller, orange dahlias, and bittersweet to make the simple centerpiece.

Use a low shallow bowl, pile persimmons and tuck in dusty miller for a very quick version of this look.

Photos: Nancy Neil via SB Chic

Florabundance is featured in the new print magazine Flutter in a stunning farm to table feature that features an easy to recreate harvest centerpiece with wheat, millet, scabiosa, and astrantia all from Florabundance.

To recreate the look, use pillar candles and loose weave ribbon (these are from Michaels). Use some simple thread and wind it around the loose weave ribbon and tie it around the candle to attach the ribbon pillar candle. Then simply clip and tuck in product into the loose weave ribbon. And there’s a simple and easy DIY centerpiece perfect for a fall dinner or Thanksgiving. See the full feature here.

Photos: Cover: Michael Costa // 3 middle images Nancy Neil // DIY photo Kelly Oshiro 

Hellebore is a beautiful and delicate winter flower. Its comes in this speckle-y purple white color, white mixed with green, light pink and dark purple. When you’re arranging with Hellebore here are some helpful tips:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil

2. Once at a boil, let the water cool

3. Cut your hellebore stems to your desired length and then dip the tips of the stems in hot water.

4. Place your hellebore in vase and enjoy. The hot water helps the blooms to last longer.

Use it in a mixed arrangement or just on its own in a simple glass vase (this one is from Jamali Gardens).

Photos: Nancy Neil 


Download Event Flyer | Register For Event | Book Your Hotel Room | Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

Today we’re featuring a great DIY by Santa Barbara Chic. To recreate this simple fall wedding arbor you will need:


– 3 bunches of orange dahlias

– 2 bunches of red dahlias

– 1 bunch of black dahlias

– 1 bunch of black cosmos

– 1 bunch of black scabiosa

– 3 bunches of maple leaf

– 3 bunches of bittersweet

– 2 bunches of orange berries

– 2 bunch of striped red/yellow tulips


-Floral shears or pruner (especially for branches)

-Green floral wire

-Caged floral foam, large

To make the arrangement, started by wiring maple branches to the trellis to create a nice base shape. Then, using floral wire, attach your caged floral foam. Begin by layering in bittersweet and orange berry branches. Placed your 3 types of dahlias, poppies, tulips, and then place your smaller flowers, the scabiosa and cosmo, into the floral foam. And there is your classic fall wedding arbor!

Photos: Nancy Neil Concept: Kelly Oshiro of SB Chic Wholesale Flowers: Florabundance

Kelly Oshiro of Santa Barbara Chic is hosting an intimate flower workshop this coming Saturday, Nov 2nd hosted by Flutter Magazine.  Come enjoy the best seasonal flowers, food, and design.


When: Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Where: 110 West Mission Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Cost: $250


– 3 hours of guided instruction
– All the tools (apron, sheers, vases, etc…) that you get to keep!
– A gorgeous array of fall flowers to play with and take home!
– Lunch prepared by Le Petit Chef
– Seasonal refreshments + libations
– Gorgeous photos of your final arrangements by Joel Serrato
– Lots more goodies + surprises!

Limited to 10 students. Purchase tickets HERE.

I’m excited to share my love of flowers, teach some design principles, and help you get inspired for the upcoming holiday season, see you there!

Photo: Anna Costa

Tom Bowling 2013 > Pink-Tober

October 13th, 2013

As you well know, October is the ‘official’ month for Breast Cancer Awareness. Many races and other fund raisers have been established for the battle for women’s breast cancer. You too can do your part by doing some fund raising in your store by featuring pink flowers, vases, and accessories for the rest of the month. Perhaps you might want to consider donating a portion of every “Pinktober” arrangement or loose cut flower sale to your local cancer charity to support Breast Cancer Awareness.
The wide variety of pink flowers makes this project fun and easy to execute. Since pink is not such a high demand color for the October season, the availability is plentiful. You can go with any type of look to be able to showcase your individual design style.
Think about offering a combination of Pink Ginger, Pink Anthurium, Pink Mink Protea based with some pink carnations for a dramatic high style, contemporary design. What a great look for an office or commercial facility where lots of people can see your work. Be sure to include your business card for maximum exposure. Want a more residential presentation? Consider a combination of Roses, Carnations, & Alstroemeria accented with some pink Wax Flower styled in a pink vase or vintage Jardin jar. These work out well being more desk or table size appropriate. Stock, Spray Roses, Dahlias, Hydrangea, are some other excellent choices. You might even think of doing a promotion about October smelling Pink and do a combination of fragrant pink Oriental Lilies, Garden Roses and Freesia. Since these are all very fragrant flowers, you may want to consider limiting the flower to just one variety at a time or combining the high fragrance flowers with other flowers that do not have a strong fragrance such as Gerbera Daisies, Mini Callas, or Tulips.
Don’t forget to add some interesting foliage choices when you are considering the overall impact of your floral designs. Broad lead foliage’s such as Fatsia, Monstera and Aspidistra add beauty and interest because of their distinctive form. Line foliage such as Myrtle, Spiral Eucalyptus and Flax all add dramatic impact to establish or reinforce vertical lines. Foliage can also add textural interest too. Adding a judicious amount of Seeded Eucalyptus, Millet or Ming Fern can add just the right amount of accent to your floral styling.
Check the Florabundance web site or check with your Floral Consultant to find out what flowers and foliage’s are available for you to get on board and start yourself feeling a little more pinky.

I recently ran across this article and would like to share it with all of us in retail. It helps reiterate some of the necessary skills that are often overlooked or even forgotten. Few things make a customer angry than to deal with a staff person that has poor phone skills. It is often viewed as a disrespect of a customer’s time. In this day when we are doing everything it takes to attack and keep our customer base intact, these few simple tips can make all the difference in a positive experience for your customers.
Phone answering skills are critical for florists. The telephone is still a primary point of contact for customers, and the way you answer your company’s phone will form your customer’s first impression of your business. Train your voice and vocabulary to be positive when phone answering, even on a “down” day. Keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly when answering the phone so your caller can understand you easily. The phone answering tips below will ensure that callers know they’re dealing with a winning business.
Don’t let the phone ring more than 3 times.
Believe it or not, the customer can see if you’re smiling, even over the phone.
Wouldn’t you like to know who you’re talking to.
Every order has a different mood associated with it, pay attention and be aware of the occasion the customer is ordering flowers for. For example, you would naturally speak with a different tone on a sympathy order than on a new baby or birthday order.
Control your language when speaking on the phone. Don’t use slang or jargon. Instead of saying,”Ok” or “No problem,” say “Certainly” or “Very well.” No fillers when you speak, such as “Uh huh” “Um,” or phrases such as “Like” or “You know,” train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone. Make a list for your employees of preferred phrases and inappropriate slang! It will HELP!
Never assume you know how to spell someone’s name, a street name, city etc. Always repeat the order, slowly, to ensure all spellings are correct, as well as the delivery date and time, card message, etc.
7. “May I place you on a brief hold” AND MEAN IT!
Always ask the caller if you may place them on a brief hold when answering the phone, and don’t LEAVE people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as “That line is still busy. Would you like to continue to hold or can I take your phone number and call you right back?”
Train everyone else who answers the phone to answer the same way, including other family members if you’re running a home-based business. Check on how your phones are being answered by calling in and seeing if they are answered in a professional manner.
Consider allowing your agents flexibility to solve a situation on the spot. Customers these days have a shorter fuse and want to speak to someone who can make a decision. The more you put them on hold, the more frustrated they get.
With these great tips in place, watch to see how your phone sales increase your bottom line! It is a skill that can truly set your business a part from your competition.

All through the year, we are blessed to have different seasons that have an influence on what is available and what is trending. Spring time brings us beautiful bulb gardens that have exposed roots and are often found inside glass cylinders so the viewer can appreciate the root, bulbs, foliage and flowers. Also in the spring season we enjoy vases and galvanized buckets of blooming branches. Nothing is more rewarding than to visually watch a bare branch come to life with beautiful blooms and foliage! It is a sight to behold and works well in both contract and residential interior décor.
Summer seasonality brings us a wonderful selection of cut garden flowers that are very popular for many occasions. Rebekah, Cone Flower, Zinnia, Cottage Yarrow, Globe Amaranth, Sunflowers and more are what many outdoor gardeners’ harvest for their own enjoyment. These garden flowers combined with Dusty Miller, Hosta Foliage and Ornamental Grasses give us a very upscale casual presentation. Pinterest pages are flooded with photos of casual floral stylings displayed in canning jars and vintage bottles being used from every day windowsill decorations to outdoor and elegant weddings. The whole shabby chic look of combining lace and burlap has taken the country by storm and it seems every other event is somehow connected to this theme in some way. While we as event designers and wedding specialists grow weary of the repetition, it has a deep rooted presence in the consumer’s eye so let’s ride the wave until the next new trend is with us.
Succulents have been back in the spotlight for the past year or so and are trending very strongly this summer season. Part is due to the interesting and varied shapes and colors they come in and the fact that they take very little care makes them very popular. We are seeing them used in sympathy designs, weddings and party décor. Recently a very popular wedding magazine featured bouquets of natural found objects and succulents combined for a very chic, upscale presentation. The theme was then carried over onto the guest tables and even appeared as decorations on the cake. Succulents come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes as well as colors. From deep lush dark green to the wonderful gray-green that blends so well with just about any flower, the impact is definitely there! Succulents can also be highlighted with a brush of Design Master Color Tool to enhance a natural presentation, or can be completely colored with Design Master for a punchier, edgy presentation. What was once thought of as a southwest look has crossed the bridge to mainstream and is appearing in all kind of home and business floral decorations.
It is important to show your clients what is popular and what is trending with flowers, plants and foliage’s they are familiar with. When they understand and recognize products and components from the floral source, they become more willing to embrace the materials and will use you as their source of knowledge and product. Perhaps you might want to consider doing a garden chat and hands on workshop in your store during these slower seasons to get your customers excited about what is hot this summer besides the weather!

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