Wrap it with Ribbons

One of the things I look forward to most on my annual trip to New York with the Chapel Designers is visiting the ribbon and trim shops in the Fashion District. What does a floral designer want with ribbon and trim? Accenting a beautifully hand-tied bouquet of flowers with a vintage French satin ribbon or delicate lace is just one more way to make your bouquets even more stunning. There are stripes, plaids, polka dots, ambre, lace, fringe and more. The possibilities are really endless, but it has a lot to do with the bride’s personal choice. You never want to take away from the bridal gown or over power the flowers. Don’t upstage your lovely blooms!!

My first stop took me to Hyman Hendler & Sons. A Russian immigrant, Hyman Hendler, began selling ribbon from a pushcart on the lower east side of Manhattan in 1900. For years, artisans and designers have been visiting the store on West 38th Street in the Fashion District. They specialize in vintage ribbons made by French, Italian and Swiss textile mills that are no longer operating.  Here are some images from my recent visit. I could have stayed in the shop all day coming up with ideas! Please check out the website to see more of the amazing inventory.

HH sign




My second stop was M&JTrim on 6th Ave and 38th Street. Talk about sensory overload! There are buttons and beads and ribbons and trim stretched from the floor to the ceiling in this place. There is an entire wall with hundreds of shades of hand-died silk and satin ribbon in every color imaginable. If you can’t make it to the store, check out the website.  I’ve ordered from the website on several
occasions and always been pleased. Here are some images from inside this colorful store.








The third and final stop on my ribbon shopping adventure took me to Tinsel Trading on West 37th Street. You can almost smell the history of this shop when you walk in. Its founder, Arch J. Bergoffen started Tinsel Trading Co. in 1933 as a producer of metal threads known as “tinsel” which were widely used in sewing military uniforms. The store has had many transformations over the years but it stands out as one of New York’s gems in the world of ribbon, trim, and embellishments. The full story is on the website and it’s worth the read!


threads ribbons spools ladder red flowers blue flowers

Who’s ready to go shopping?



A day at David Beahm Design

Every industry has its celebrities and the wedding and event floral design world is no different. We buy their books, we watch their reality TV shows and we dream of meeting them and hearing crazy stories of the events they have designed. Some of them reach an almost “diva” like status.  David Beahm is nothing like that.  I consider David to be among the best of the best in the wedding and event design world and he is one of the most down to earth people you will ever meet. He may be a big time New York designer but it is his southern roots and gentility that puts him at the top of the pack in my book!  David graciously opened his design warehouse to the Chapel Designers on Day 2 of our conference.  We were shuttled uptown by bus to the Bronx where he maintains a Candyland of vases and vessels and linens and lights.  It was awesome!  He shared stories and answered our questions and allowed us to make a mess of things designing in his warehouse.  David even designed a spectacular floral piece with cherry blossoms and callas.  Here are some images of our day at David’s warehouse.

david beahm truck David Beahm David branches

_MG_2389kaboodleIs this not the coolest toolbox ever?!!  It’s like a giant Caboodle for flower tools! A custom made piece for the David Beahm Design team.
karen tran

The beautiful and talented Karen Tran of Karen Tran Florals also joined us at David’s warehouse.  She walked us through designing one of her stunning tablescapes dripping with orchids, roses, sweet pea, hydrangeas and more. She even let some of the Chapel Designer’s get their hands dirty designing!
ErikThat’s Eric Fredricks of Bee’s Wedding and Event Floral Design in New Orleans in the background.
Courtenay LambertCourtenay of Courtenay Lambert Florals in Cincinatti, Ohio looking lovely next to the orchids!
DaevidDaevid Reed of Daevid’s in Norfolk, Virginia prepping vases for the table design
_MG_2403That Kentucky blue sweatshirt tells me it’s Hunter Sherwood of Sherwood Design & Events in Nicholasville, Kentucky


And what would a Chapel Designer conference be without a workshop with the bouquet queen herself, Holly Chapple!  Holly took us through a fun new tricks in making wrist corsages as well as making a bouquet using the Smithers Oasis bouquet holder.  This was really different for most of us as we typically do hand-tied bouquets for weddings.  I really enjoyed working with the oasis bouquet holder.  My bouquet ended up as more of cascading bouquet full of queen anne’s lace, purple clematis, super green roses, viburnum and muscari. It was really amazing to see how different the bouquets were among 80 designers.  That just proves that you can give us all the same flowers and tools but we’re all going to have our own unique design and end result.

IMG_2386Holly sharing corsage tips with Angie of Posh Florals in Dallas, Texas,  Ashley O’Shea of Holly Chapple Flowers and Ellen Snyder of Ellen Snyder Floral Design

coriCori Jansen of Moss Fine Floral working with her oasis bouquet holder

designing bouquetsThat’s me with my pretty bouquet!

A close-up of the gorgeous blooms courtesy of Florabundance, Alexandra Farms and Roseville Farms.


The 2013 Chapel Designer Group!

Karen Holly David

Many thanks to Karen, Holly and David for sharing their time with us!

I would also like to thank Michael Gonzalez and Vanessa Polanco of Verde Flowers for hosting our lunch while in the Bronx.  They are truly talented floral artists.  Please check out their amazing work!

verde flowers

Ribbons, Ribbons, Ribbons next week!




Chapel Designer Conference

I hope you all enjoyed last week’s progressive blog post on bouquets.  If you missed it please check it out here.  Now, let’s get back to my recent New York trip!

The Chapel Designers met for its 3rd Annual conference in mid March and we took the New York floral district by storm!  The group really blossomed this year to include over 40 new members.  It was really wonderful to get to know the new designers and learn from each others experiences.  So many of us face the same struggles whether its fighting to get top quality product for our designs, convincing ourselves and our clients that our time and talents are worth their precious dollars or just figuring out the right work/life balance.  It’s nice to know there are other people in similar situations or have been where you are and they help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Day 1:
Our first night included a lovely cocktail reception hosted by VaseSource and FleuraMetz at their New York City showroom.  They were so gracious to stay open late and host our group for private shopping.  I picked up a few unique containers for myself while I was there. Here are some of the goodies from their showroom.
IMG_2336IMG_2337 IMG_2339 IMG_2340 IMG_2341 IMG_2342IMG_2338

How beautiful and simple is this design of Aspidistra leaves and fern?  It was resting atop one of Vasesource’s glass containers in the showroom.

Day 2:
The second day of the conference was spent at the Helen Mills Event Space & Theater on West 26th Street.  We had an amazing line up of speakers to include Naomi deManana, Senior Style Editor for Martha Stewart Weddings, Anne Chertoff, media consultant to the wedding industry and Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty.  Each of these accomplished women gave incredible insight into the wedding and event industry.  Naomi spoke about her background in floral design and what it’s like working at Martha Stewart Weddings.  Anne Chertoff offered suggestions about using social media and blogging to help grow your business with her extensive knowledge of wedding media.  Abby Larson spoke about the incredible growth of the Style Me Pretty blog, how to get weddings and events published and the new Style Me Pretty Living blog.
Naomianne chertoffabbey larson

More to come including designing at David Beahm’s warehouse and shopping the floral district!