Florabundance Inspirational Design Days

On January 28th, I was 1 of 38 guests welcomed to the beautiful Dos Peublos Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 1st Annual Inspirational Design Days sponsored by Florabundance.  The speakers were Holly Heider Chapple (www.thefullbouquetblog.com), Ian Prosser, AIFD (www.botanicaflorist.com); Alicia Schwede and Chuck Graham (www.flirtyfleurs.com), Tricia Fountaine (www.triciafountaine.com).

My journey began on Sunday, January 27th.  I flew into LAX, rented a car and started my drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara.

It was quite an experience negotiating through Los Angeles traffic.  I felt like a tight ball of nerves with a death grip on the steering wheel.  Once I was done playing Speed Racer, I exited the highway at the Santa Monica Mountains.  It was just like being in Big Bend.  Amazing.  When I finally reached the Pacific Ocean, I couldn’t believe the beauty.  What I saw was just like in every picture that I’ve ever seen of this area.  Rugged mountain cliffs sliding on to graveled medians connected to paved highway and just on the other side, cliffs that drop off into deep blue seas, waves crashing against them.  I didn’t believe it existed until that very moment.

The sides of the Pacific Coast Highway were packed with cars..  stacked on top of each other.  All wanting to get to the pristine beaches.  I didn’t blame them.

I stopped in Carpinteria for my first night.  Carpinteria is a quaint little city right outside of Santa Barbara that reminded me so much of Port Aransas.  I stopped at a beach side café  and had my first beer.  Life didn’t get any better than that at that moment.

The next day I headed off to Santa Barbara, and landed at the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel…  it was to be my home base for the next few days.

It was a pretty amazing place.  It was hard to leave when my visit came to an end.

It was finally time for the purpose of  my trip…  The 1st Annual Inspirational Design Days.

Day one greeted us with a tour of Florabundance’s Carpinteria based location. After a tour of their location the participants boarded a trolley and headed out to Dos Pueblos Ranch.
This is what greeted us upon arrival:

Dos Pueblos Ranch Santa Barbara
Dos Pueblos Ranch Santa Barbara

Amazing interior of the Dos Pueblos Ranch barn, filled with rows and rows of gorgeous floral product by Florabundance.
 me and Alicia Schwede

me and Chuck Graham

Ian Prosser…  I’ve never met a more gracious man…

 
me and Holly Heider Chapple…  AWESOME…
  Ok…  this last one, not so great a picture but I put it in here because I want to memorialize meeting these industry leaders that I have tremendous respect for and have learned so much from through the years.   You may notice that I’m wearing the same clothes in all of these pictures…  I swear that I had a change of clothes between all the days of the conference.  Long story……

It amazed me how all of these professionals were so gracious and so willing to pass on information about business so that we could learn and grow.  It was overwhelming and I was so fortunate to be a part of this magical time.

Some of our creations!!!

Flower covered arch for a wedding

The Elegant Ceremony Team showing off their creation – WOW, ladies!!
Rustic flower chuppah

The Rustic Chuppah Team – gorgeous use of color, ladies!!
Holly lead the ladies in a session on how to create a tablescape for a farm style long table. All of us got to enjoy the creation later that night when we all gathered at the table for a fantastic dinner.
farm table floral design
farm table floral design
Joost Bongaerts

Joost thanking everyone for participating in the first Florabundance Inspirational Design Days.
Some of this post and some of the photos are by Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs.  Finally, I want to mention all of the participants and sponsors that made this event a huge success.  This list was compiled by Alicia Schwede.
Presenters:
Holly Heider Chapple, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers LTD
Ian Prosser AIFD, PFCI, Botanica Events
Alicia Schwede & Chuck Graham, Flirty Fleurs
Kelly Oshiro, SB Chic
Sponsors:
Absolutely Fabulous…Glamour on the Go!
Makeup – Adrienne Esposito
Partial sponsors:
Anthony Ybarra, Guitar Music (Tuesday evening beach reception)
Music by The Aurora Ensemble (Wednesday evening)