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Holly Chapple (United States)

Holly Chapple about the current COVID-19 situation

By: THURSD. | 22-04-2020 | 4 min read
News
holly-chapple-united-states-header
How is Holly Chapple Coping wIth the Current Corona Outbreak?
An interview with Holly Chapple.
Holly Chapple Covid-19 Quote
Where is your shop located? In which region/city/neighborhood?
My flower shop is located in my home, which has come in really handy of lately. We are located in Northern VA. about an hour outside of Washington DC. We also own a flower farm in the same village that is two miles up the road. I go there to work in the fields and to harvest stems.
Can you describe your customers in general? What do they buy generally in your shop?
My studio is primarily focused on wedding and event design, so we produce large weddings in the DC area. I am also a wedding and event design educator, which means we host workshops and conferences with designers at our farm and around the world. We also teach online courses. So our customers are either searching for wedding flowers or education about becoming a wedding and event designer.
Holly Chapple - Bouquet - on Thursd Highlighted
This is one of our farm fresh bouquets with stems from Hope Flower Farm and Harmony Harvest Farm, another local grower.
Have you been open or closed since the (partial) lockdown in your country?
Our weddings/events/ and educational conferences have all been canceled. The farm work must continue so we are planting and harvesting in spite of the fact that we do not have any place for the flowers to go. We did open a Come N Get Bouquet option. Customers come and get flower designs at our farm.
How do you get information these days about the floral industry?
Most of my news comes via social media, newsletters or networking with other designers.
What barriers do you face at the moment of running a successful business?
I feel that our company will need to make significant changes and prepare for the likelihood that large gatherings may not happen for an extended period of time. I also believe the scope of weddings and events in our country will change for a very long time, if not forever. I am also fully aware that the supply chain is broken and sourcing flowers will not be as easy, successful or obtainable as it once was.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
We are preparing our farm so that we may offer it as a wedding venue for small weddings. We are also increasing the amount of flowers we grow to help with the shortage of stems I am certain is coming. We are also trying to encourage people to have flowers in their homes at all times. We are also offering beginner floral design education for homemakers. I believe arranging has a therapeutic effect and I want to make sure it is accessible to more people.
Which inspiring new initiatives have you seen in the industry - or are started by you - since COVID-19?
We have been encouraging hashtag ONEBLOOM or HOPEBLOOMS. We want people to focus on having at least one bloom in their homes. It is obvious to me that flowers have a magical power. If we can get the consumer to feel that power and fall in love with one bloom, it will be like a seed that is planted and grows. We have also started an online community called the Greenhouse where beginners and flower enthusiasts can gather together to get information about design and flowers.
How important is it for you to lift each other up in these times and what does that mean for you and the bond with your colleague-professionals and business relations?
I have always tried to help other designers. I make a point to be responsive and kind to my colleagues when they reach out to me for help. I believe in a network of designers with like minded business owners. My network is Chapel Designers. For this group we have increased communications, supported each other in regards to information regarding COVID-19 and relief options. We have also increased video conferencing and we are trying to add in additional virtual components since we can't meet in person.
What do you think is the biggest issue in your segment of our sector (being a florist, grower, trader or breeder) at the moment, from your perspective?
Regardless of your part in this industry, everything has completely changed. We will need to reinvent our companies, policies and offerings. We will absolutely need to have a virtual space to connect with the consumer and we will need to think of new experiences in regards to flowers.
What is the story behind your business and how will COVID-19 affect your future storyline?
This will effect my storyline in that a lot of important events I I look forward to each year will not happen. There is a lot of loss and a sense of security has been taken away forever. However our studio will not fail. I intend to work hard, innovate new ways to succeed and move our company forward. I do believe in spite of the fact that event work will have its challenges, I do think more than ever people are appreciating the significance of flowers.
Holly Chapple. Editorial: You can read another article with Holly Chapple about how Holly 'reshapes the flower movement' here.

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