Meet the Team

Meet the Team

With closed doors, our team has stepped out of the spot light, but not off the gas.  We’re busier than ever getting our new store ready to launch and we couldn’t do it all without our amazing team. 

They’ve been behind the scenes since quarantine, but valued nonetheless, so we thought it was high time to give a proper introduction to all the lovely ladies who power the Only Prettier Design Team. 

Give a warm welcome to Kelly Wallace, Interior Decorator and E-Designer for Only Prettier.

Kelly lives and breathes interiors and can transform any space into one that’s beautiful, functional, warm and inviting. 

She has a 1 year old son, loves to travel, be outdoors, and of course page through design magazines. 

Her favorite dessert is sea salt dark chocolate – hint, hint 🙂

In her free time…. Wait, she’s got a 1 year old – just kidding.

Say a big HELLO to one of our amazing team members, Michelle Parlon. You’ll see Michelle’s smiling face once we reopen the doors of our little boutique shop in Norfolk. She’s the most welcoming and joyful person you’ll ever meet and we can’t wait to introduce her to you in person!  

In her free time, you can catch Michelle doing yoga,  having her morning coffee on the patio, reading, gardening and spending time with her 3 kiddos. 

She loves chocolate, pizza, and homemade cookies … must be its the yoga and her 3 active children keeping her so fit. 

Say Hello to Natalie, Creative Director at Only Prettier Design. She is such an inspiration and creative force at Only Prettier. 

She loves all things Christmas, a good junk sale, wine on the deck,  dinners out, peanut butter on a spoon, a new pair of shoes, and squishy babies (she was an infant teacher for 20 years!). 

She has three kids- one adult and two teenagers, who are witty and sassy just like their momma. 

In her free time you’ll find Natalie drinking her iced coffee out of a blue mason jar, engrossed in a building project with her husband, or enjoying a weekend at the beach.  

Other things that you may not know about Natalie is that she authored and illustrated the published children’s book, Last Night I Left Earth for Awhile, a sweet bedtime story for littles… Stop by our shop (reopening soon!) to get your copy.

We love these gals and the individuals strengths and gifts that they bring to the OPD team!

Follow our IG stories for more fun facts about the OPD gals.

Until next time,

Meet Dianne

Meet Dianne

 

 

It’s Dianne’s turn! Get to know the determined heart & soul that’s behind the Only Prettier Design Team.

Dianne is a co-owner of OPD along with Heather. She’s an old soul, thoughtful and the hardest worker you’ll ever meet. 

As a co-owner she juggles a thousand tasks a day including wedding floral proposals, arranging jaw-dropping bridal bouquets, running staff meetings and managing all the details that go in to running a small business, and merchandising our little boutique in Norfolk,  . . . just to name a few.

She has a way of making everyone she meets feel right at home, an internal drive that never stops, and a God-given ability to make all things beautiful. 

Keep reading to hear Dianne’s answers to our staffs’ interview questions. Again…. All unfiltered and unedited. 

Tell us a little about your kids.

I have four boys, all under the age of 4 – Jake, Cole, Rhett and Bryce. My house is full of monster trucks, baseballs, dinosaurs, footballs, race cars, snapbacks, and guitars. My kids are outside from dusk until dawn when the weather is nice, and can curl up and watch the day away when Fireman Sam is on. 

I go through 7 boxes of cereal a week – yes 7 – and two of them don’t eat cereal yet, and 28 bananas – again two of them don’t eat the banana yet. 

I’ve realized in the past few months, when its time for pick up games of 3 on 3 – I have to play, and I made myself the designated hitter for backyard wiffle ball. These boys are the sweetest, toughest, and most determined little souls. They test my patience when they need to turn their ears up, and then melt my heart when they run to give me a hug. 

Have you always had a thing for flowers?

Nope. Not at all…. When I was getting married, I had one request – no roses. I was adamant that there were none. My husband knew early on, if they are traditional flowers, I wouldn’t love them. I love texture, detail, uniqueness, and imperfection in flowers. I always remind myself as I arrange – let the flower be. We try so hard sometimes to make it do what we want, but when we just let it flow, that’s when we see the true beauty in the flower. When I began working on OPD, I made a commitment to stay true to the vision I had and to deliver on making things prettier through all things floral.

 

What do you consider to be your superpowers? 

I used to say that I had a photographic memory – then I had four kids and lost it. HA!! I would say that I am a master multitasker. I manage many things daily, and some days I even wonder myself how I keep it all straight. I ask myself, what can I take off my plate and the answer is always nothing – because my plate makes me who I am. Lastly, determined. I am as determined as they come. If someone says that I can’t do something, you bet that I am going to prove you wrong. It might take me a little while, but I will not quit! Ha!

What is your favorite product? 

Anything Beautycounter.

My Simplified Planner – I can’t live without it.

Sojourner Leather Co earrings from the store. Literally wear them everyday.

And my new blowdryer.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you bring? 

Is this a trick? Totally my family if they aren’t with me.

Chapstick, sunscreen, water haha. I have no idea.

Would you rather go a day without food or without the internet? 

Umm, if you know me, you know I can’t go a day without food. I will go days without the internet and do not try and touch my food!

What are a few things that most people don’t know about you?

I actually went to college for Sports Medicine. I love NASCAR. I refuse to fly over an ocean. I hate to travel unless its to Charleston, SC. My wedding was in a magazine. I have no clue!

Who is your Role Model?

Who my kids think I am…. I try to be that everyday

Would you rather skydive or swim with sharks? 

UMMM neither … never in a million years … not even for a million dollars. I’ll wait on the ground with your cocktail and on the dock with a drink in hand.

What’s your favorite flower? 

Hellebore and Honeysuckle

Are you an early bird or night owl?

Both – but lately I am neither (I really have to get back on track) I guess if I had to choose I’d say I’m an early bird.  

What’s been the most exciting moment for Only Prettier Design?

Oh gosh! This is hard. Opening party at our first store.

The day that I saw OPD up on the P7 board at Gillette Stadium.

The day that we drove Nessy home.

Do you have a favorite Mantra?

I have a few:

GIVE ME STRENGTH WHEN I AM STANDING AND FAITH WHEN I FALL

It’s a Kip Moore song and its tattooed on my foot .. I basically live by

this and remind myself of it daily. – Faith when I fall is on my foot.

–  And   – 

JESUS I TRUST YOU

My mom circled this in her Jesus Calling book. I found it when we moved her into hospice and it kept popping up day after day. It was a message that I was meant to find and has taken me through each day since we lost her. This is also a tattoo I have. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Heather

Meet Heather

We’re taking these next couple of weeks to lift the curtain and introduce you to the lovely ladies who power the Only Prettier Design Team. 

 It only seems fitting to start with ourselves, Dianne & Heather. . . co-owners, dreamers and doers.  

We have a deep love for making all things Prettier and everyday we wake up feeling blessed that we get to do what we love while working with each other! 

 We each have 4 kids, run 1 shop (that’s growing!), own 2 Flower Bars, and generally thrive amidst chaos.  

To make things interesting (and a bit more personal), we asked our staff to interview us so you could get to know us a bit better. 

So here we go…. All unfiltered and unedited. 

Heather is a co-owner of Only Prettier Design [OPD] along with Dianne. She’s a dreamer, a doer, and can multitask like no other. 

As a co-owner she’s pulled in a gazillion directions from arranging flowers for weddings & events, ordering merchandise for our little Norfolk boutique, and keeping up with social posts . . . just to name a few.

She has fierce tenacity, determination, and courage…. And also has a natural knack for making ALL things prettier.

Tell us a little about your kids.
I have 3 sweet girls 8,10, 13 and 1 rambunctious little guy who just turned 5!   

Have you always had a thing for flowers?Not exactly- I’ve just had a thing for unique textures and designs and flowers are just an extension of design expression! 

What do you consider to be your superpowers?  Multitasking- there are always a million to-do’s buzzing around in my brain! 

What is your favorite product? Spark from Advocare…I truly can’t live life without it!   It gives me all the energy I need to get through my busy days and helps me stay up during my night shifts at the hospital! 

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you bring? Mascara- I know it sounds crazy…but my lashes are seriously transparent and I just don’t feel comfortable without it 🤷‍♀️ 

Would you rather go a day without food or without the internet? Internet…I could honestly stand to go a day without food and the internet would help keep me distracted!

What are a few things that most people don’t know about you?
I grew up in waterskiing in Michigan and have always loved to travel!  I don’t get scared or cry easily.   I’ve been a pediatric nurse for almost 2O years!

Who is your Role Model?
My mom for sure!  All of my drive and courage comes from her.  

Would you rather skydive or swim with sharks?  Swim with sharks for sure!  Let’s go tomorrow 🙂

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? 
I don’t know if it’s crazy, but I waterski a slalom course, snowboards the Alps, and have eaten termites in the Amazon. I’m super adventurous and competitive. The crazier the better!

What’s your favorite flower? 
Poppy!

Are you an early bird or night owl? 
Night owl…always have been!  

What’s been the most exciting moment for Only Prettier Design?
It’s so hard to just pick one!   There have been so many signs that have shown us that this is exactly where we’re supposed to be!  This expansion has probably been the MOST exciting… our vision is now becoming a reality! 

Do you have a favorite Mantra?
My dad always says…”many hands make light work”.  Truth!

The first without my momma

The first without my momma

This year is definitely a little different for me. It’ll be my first Mother’s Day without my momma.

I remember sitting in my car last year on Mother’s Day when I received an email that shared a song, Blank Stares by Jay Allen. I immediately asked my husband to play it, and tears began streaming down my face. This song put every single thought that I’ve had for years into words.

Oh how do I get you back

If I could only seal the cracks you’re slipping through

Wish I didn’t feel so helpless when it comes to helping you

Hold on

So I keep holding on

To every little memory made of you and me

Every little glimpse of who you used to be

I know you’re still in there

Deep down somewhere I swear I still see you

Between the blank stares

Jesus must have known that I needed that song. I needed something or someone to put all my thoughts out there.

It was almost 10 years ago that I sat quietly and heard about the terrible disease that was taking my momma away. I was angry, sad, scared, and down right, a flipping mess. My mom had been fighting Alzheimer’s and then in July of 2019, two months before delivering my twins, it just became too much for her. She was tired, and it pushed her to the edge. She lost her battle with dementia on July 28th, 2019 and if I told you the story about 6:48, you wouldn’t believe me so we’ll save that for another day.

 

This is a picture of my mom and I at NASCAR. She’s the biggest Earnhardt fan you’ll ever meet and never missed watching a Sunday race.

I’ve almost had all my firsts without her – my birthday, her birthday, thanksgiving, christmas, new years, valentine’s day, easter, and now … the last one – Mother’s Day.

This year, it will hurt. It will remind me of what I have lost and what I will never have again. The person that I’ve had the closest relationship with in my life is gone.

I could let my day be consumed by these thoughts and feelings. But I know the way that I can celebrate her on Mama’s Day is to live like her, and good lord, there are no tears.

You get up, you hug your babies, you make memories, and you remind yourself, that you will never walk alone.

I look forward to Mama’s Day every year – and each year it has become better and better. Five years ago, I celebrated my first mother’s day while I was pregnant with my oldest. He has taught me everything that I know about being a mama. I remember asking the discharge nurse in the hospital if he was buckled in right. Yes, total first mom nerves. Each day since, I’ve learned more about myself than I have in my entire life. I have days where I show up my best self for my kids, and then I have other days where I just can’t get it right. One thing never changes though – how my kids look at me.

I was recently asked who my role model is – and seriously this question is hard. I sat there searching for someone else. And then it came to me…  when it comes to who a role model is, it’s me!  It’s who my kids think I am. I truly wake up each day trying to be the person my kids think I am. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am, and even on my worst of days, they just see their momma. They don’t see the laundry or dishes, or tears. They just see me.

I was honest y’all – this is what I will be thinking about on Mother’s Day. Love and hugs to all you moms out there! You are killing it, even on the hard days. To those who have their moms, treasure this time – make some memories. To those who have lost their mom, my heart is with you – cry a little, and then go and do something for you!

For me – it’s a dance party in the kitchen kind of day – grabbing my kids and jammin out to a little Kip Moore is exactly what this mama needs!

5 Ways of Coping with Quarantine

5 Ways of Coping with Quarantine

Many of you have seen our IG stories documenting our new Store Renovation and may be questioning our sanity. While we’ve certainly been tempted to pause and have had many days of doubt, we’re rallying around 5 P’s to get us through these crazy times. 

 

Stay Positive: We’ve closed our shop. Our wedding, workshops, and event calendars are in shambles as brides are forced to move their weddings to later dates to be determined. It feels like a pivotal moment for us where we could throw in the towel and give up on our dreams… or persevere! We’re obviously chasing the latter. While we can’t control our circumstances, we do have control over our response. So we’re refusing to complain and cave to fear. We’re seeing the potential, focusing on the positive, and continuing to push forward.

 

Be Productive: Rather than drowning ourselves in the sea of netflix, we’re viewing these days as a gift of time and using it as an opportunity to prepare and plan, so that on the other side of this pandemic we’re all the stronger. 

So Yes, although it seems crazy to be spending money on renovations while we don’t have any money coming in, we know that in time it will and we want to have our shop ready when you’re ready. 

 

Have Patience: We’re all trying to find our new normal. We don’t have it completely figured out just yet, but we’re slowly and patiently finding ways to balance building a business while also engaging with and teaching our kids who are now home full time. This requires us all having a LOT of patience with one another.

 

Play: Although the days can seem long, we know deep down that they are pretty special and are the good ol’ days. We have a rare and unique opportunity to slow down, just a bit. To play. To create. To eat dinners together. And to get crazy with after dinner dance parties. We’re choosing to embrace these memorable days we have together.  Let’s not waste this opportunity!

 

Have Perspective: Whether you’ve been affected physically, financially, emotionally, or just socially, there’s no denying that this pandemic is overhauling everything and impacting us all at some level . We feel the gravity of what’s happening, and while we don’t like it, our perspective is that EVEN THIS was meant for a reason. 

We have never realized more than now our need for one another. And there has been no better time than now to rally with our community, neighbors, friends & family. We’re all in this together and we love seeing all the creative ways you’re finding to support one another.  

We’re giving a huge virtual hug to our clients for your love and continued support. We miss you and can’t wait to see you shopping at our little boutique or sitting down with our floral design team to plan your wedding or event.

 

Until then, sending you our love. 

 

I don’t know how you do it!

I don’t know how you do it!

OK! So now that we have put it out there that we are crazy mompreneurs going after our dream…how do we do it all?! We get asked this question about 10 times a week.  This is something we both struggle with here on the daily! Honestly, we never have a good answer. We usually just shrug our shoulders and say, “we have no idea! “ And that’s the honest truth… we literally have no idea how we get it all done. So let’s try to break it down.

  What does it really look like to run a new business, have 4 kids each…oh, and also still hold our original jobs? This is a big question to tackle.   It’s a huge balancing act… Every. Single. Day! Just like every mom, we are always questioning ourselves… are we doing enough? Not only for our business… but first and foremost, for our families? The juggling act never ends. There are groceries, and laundry, never ending cleaning, and driving all over God’s green earth to activities!  Then there are wedding inquiries, and inventory… social media, business plans and employees! We are needed ALL THE TIME…and honestly it can get exhausting. But here’s the thing… THIS is what we are passionate about. We are passionate about our kiddos just as much as we are about making our business ridiculously successful! So we embrace the hustle.  We are busy with a purpose and that makes all the difference.  

  Let’s take a quick second to really think about that…busy with a purpose.  For us, that means thinking through the things we say yes too. Is it worth our time?  How will this benefit us/ our families? Is it going to take us away from another commitment?  What is this opportunity going to teach us? Our time is our most precious commodity. It’s truly how we measure success!  And we know first hand that it’s not guaranteed. And so we cherish it!  

  We are hustling to create a life we love!   We know that we are teaching our kids some pretty important lessons along the way.  We aren’t letting fear and self-doubt creep in…because we know that it can be crippling.  We are teaching them that their passions and talents were given to them for a reason and that doing what gives you joy will lead to success.  

  So let’s get real for a minute… what does this look like practically speaking?  Well…it means setting aside your pride and asking for help. That might seem so simple, but it doesn’t always come naturally to us…that’s for sure!   We look at time more objectively and decide…”is this worth my time?” And if it’s not truly how we want to spend our time…we outsource! (Well…not so much the parenting part…although sometimes that sounds like a good idea!). We play to our strengths and don’t spend too much time on things that we know we just don’t enjoy… Like building a website, setting up e-commerce, SEO, Pinterest… just to name a few.  We get babysitters, we ask Gram if she can do the gymnastics pick up… we send the kids to Papa’s for a little bit after school. And guess what… the kids are happy to have all of these extra people in their life who love them just as much as we do!  

  So sometimes this looks like throwing some chicken nuggets in the microwave… or wearing dirty socks… or leaving the dishes until the next day.   In the grand scheme of things, this is OK! For us, this is so much easier said than done. We’re at our best when things are organized around us.  Neat and tidy makes us feel at peace…but we all know this can’t be reality all the time. So we have to give up a bit of control…let the little things go because we just don’t have room for everything.  Our shoulders may be broad…but we honestly just don’t like carrying heavy things 🙂 So this is something that we continue to work on and remind each other of daily. The truth is, our kids could care less if there are dishes in the sink or crumbs on the floor…what they truly care about is that someone they love is there to get them off the bus and tuck them in at night.

  The bottom line here is- give yourself some grace!   The kids WILL be ok if they miss their veggies or wear mismatched socks… and the business wIll be ok if we respond  to that inquiry tomorrow or delegate that project. Our kids already know that life isn’t perfect… but what we want them to mirror, is how we respond to it. Our reaction to the stress, and the hustle, and the grit is what’s most important. We are absolutely not doing it ALL, we are prioritizing what is most important to us while we create a life we love!

  We would love if you left us a comment with YOUR advice to staying sane!  We want to foster a community of support and encouragement here…because nobody is doing it right ALL THE TIME…just better the next time!