Several months ago this letter appeared on the Botanical Brouhaha Blog. It is a very special day when you hear your story through your child’s eyes. Please read the letter from my daughter Hannah.
Growing up, my friends’ parents were teachers and lawyers, nurses and stay-at-home parents. When classmates would ask me about my mother, reactions varied. In elementary school, telling kids your mother is a florist leads to the question, “does that mean she lays flooring?” In high school, telling your friends that your mother is a florist means them asking if she’s done flowers for any celebrities. Now, I am 22 years old. My mother has been a florist my entire life. Telling people my mother is a florist now usually leads to my friends saying they want her doing their wedding flowers.
My mother is devoted to her career, to her clients, and to her art. My siblings and I have always joked that we can’t go into a grocery store without my mom knowing at least one person there. This running joke isn’t just because my mother has been in Loudoun County her entire life, or that she’s met many people through her parents’ work in the agricultural industry, but because my mother builds a rapport with her clients unlike anyone I have ever seen.
I may be ridiculously biased, obviously… I’m Holly Chapple’s daughter. Writing about my mother may be silly for you to read, because I would look up to her and admire her regardless of what she decides to do. However; I have had a myriad of different jobs, I have worked in customer service, I have met new people and seen new things, but I have never found anyone who is as committed to their clients as my mother. More often than not, my mom ends up friends with her brides. Somehow my mom can run into a bride she hasn’t seen in years, and be able to remember the wedding date and the flower colors. My mom puts her heart and soul into every bridal bouquet she has made, into making every wedding she works absolutely flawless, and making sure each couple has the wedding they’ve dreamt of.
I don’t know why I’m writing this. My mom didn’t ask me to, I just felt that I needed to. I think it’s really important that The Full Bouquet becomes more regular in my mother’s career again. I think it is important that you know what goes into Holly Chapple Flowers. Every single day my mother does even more to improve her business and innovate the wedding industry. In creating the Chapel Designers, she made the first ever network for wedding florists—these men and women have come together as friends, have taught each other, learned together, and offered help to one another whenever possible. When my father joined the team, my mother and he worked together to improve the business and make the clients happier. With design, pipe and drape, and lighting, my parents made another move to better her business and give her customers the best possible weddings.
Something amazing has happened very recently. My mother does whatever possible to make the best life for my siblings and I, for her students, and for her brides. The most recent business move she has made to improve life for my siblings and I, to help her students, and to make her brides happy, was the purchase of Hope Flower Farm. This beautiful 25-acre property my parents have decided to declare their own has the space for all of the flowers, the storage for the inventory, the buildings for lessons, and houses for guests to stay in. HOPE isn’t just some dream that my parents had that they made happen. Hope was destiny. When friends and designers saw Hope, before my family officially owned it, all they could do was encourage my parents. When people truly and completely know the story of my parents, the story of my family, and the story of Holly Chapple Flowers, Hope just seemed like fate. It was a part of my family’s path to find Hope, and to have Hope.
My mother has worked for so many others, and she has worked for my siblings and I—and in my opinion there is no one more deserving of Hope. I am telling you this story strictly because I want to. My mother doesn’t know I’m typing this. She doesn’t know I feel this way. I wanted to write this tiny summary of my family’s history so you could understand only a fraction of my mother’s kindness and strength. My family and our business have thousands of different facets that explain the way we work. We have succeeded and we have struggled, we have failed and we have pushed harder. Every single tiny thing that happens to us leads us to try harder and be kinder. I think it would take me way longer than I could write to explain what my parents do for others. The beauty of my life today would be nothing without my mother and her work, my father and his. Hope is a big deal for my family, so was Chapel Designers, and Holly Chapple Flower’s beginnings were as well. The most important thing I want you to understand about this is that while Hope is my mother’s success—she does it for everyone else, and she shares her success with everyone who was gotten her there.