You can go your own way…

You can go your own way…

“The Power of Positivity”…we’ve all heard it… and frankly, it’s overused – right?!

We’re big dreamers over here at OPD.  We’re also pretty stubborn.  Tell us “no” or that we can’t do something …and we’ll find a way to prove you wrong. 

“Dream it, and you’ll achieve it”…ok! Sure! … There’s actually a lot more that goes on in between the dream it and the achieve it.  We believe that the dreaming is the most important first step!

We know…even “Dream it” sounds a bit cliche…but this is where big ideas are born.  This is how you get to where you are going…where you are meant to be!  Imagine what you want your life to look like, how you want to spend each day.  What does that look like? How does that make you feel?  

Now, how do you make that happen?

We are do-ers.  We create action steps to create a path to our next goal or destination.  We look for signs along the way to make sure we’re still headed in the right direction.  Our faith in these signs gives us the confidence that we’re in the right spot and we’re going the right way.  We know there will be potholes, flat tires, traffic jams…who knows, maybe even a mudslide!  But if we are on the road that we’re supposed to be on, then the destination will be worth the detours.

How do you know if you’re on the right path?  

Do you meditate?  Do you look for signs?  Do you manifest?   

Maybe it’s just a hope and a prayer? 

We have closely evaluated what is most important in our lives and how we define success.  Success can look a lot different for everyone…but for us…it’s time freedom.  We want to spend quality time with our kids…truly BE there and unplug and give our full attention.  That part is HARD you guys!!!  We have to be super disciplined about setting boundaries and holding each other accountable.  

My dad always said, “teamwork makes the dream work” and WE KNOW IT DOES.  

We believe that our success lies in the strength of our team.  Our team is growing quickly and we’d like to introduce you to a few new faces. 

Make sure to pop in and give them a super warm welcome.  We’re so excited to have them on the OPD team!

One word. One Focus. That’s It.

One word. One Focus. That’s It.

One word. One Focus.

How can you identify a word that can help you define your next 12 months? How can you possibly trust that a word that you didn’t even pick is going to be your inspiration for the next year? We don’t do resolutions … we do words! And, for 2020 – we had two. Create and Balance.

When 2020 kicked off, we didn’t think much of these words, other than typing them out and putting them on a vision board. Now with 2020 wrapping up, these words define the past 12 months! Talk about create! The hours and hours of dreaming and doing, painting and building all went into creating the space that we have imagined for years. While balance is still a work in progress, we both made pretty significant changes with our careers during the exact same month – unplanned.

How do you repeat that?! Well, easy – pick a new word!

We talked about this with our team at our holiday meeting, and chose this as our icebreaker. Natalie picked a handful of words that were written on pieces of paper and we all had to draw one out of a hat. One by one, she walked around and our team picked their  words for 2021. There were tears, there were laughs, and maybe a few google searches for definitions. We talked about each word that was chosen, without knowing the whole list of words provided. Talk about trusting in fate and what word you would get!

How these words show up really are uncertain! Some have everyday meaning, some show up in the oddest ways, and others – well you don’t think about them until you sit down and reflect. So – write down a bunch of words that are on your mind. Think about the things you want to accomplish, do differently, or finally make a focus. Close your eyes and pick — let the days ahead show you what this words meaning will have on your 2021!

Happy New Year from OPD!

PS: some of our words are courageous, mindful, observant, authentic, and gracious …. we can’t wait to hear yours!

I said Yes, I chose me

I said Yes, I chose me

“August came…8am on a Monday came..and out I went on my front steps to make that call I have waited my entire career for.”

Where do I start? With the excitement and joy? Nervousness and uncertainty? Relief and calmness? Seriously, the waves of emotions that I have felt for months and for sure, the past thirty days. Did I make the right decision? Have I lost my mind? What in the heck am I doing? All quite logical questions in the midst of a pandemic, right? But, then I ground myself – and remind myself – don’t be like the rest of them darling. I have always been known to go rogue and if there is one word to describe me, it’s determined, especially if someone says something cannot be done. I guess in these times, that’s an assumption. Life is not easy right now. But I didn’t let that get in the way, and I didn’t let it derail me. I said yes to me, my family and my life. 

This dream of mine you see, has been years in the making. I remember running the sales floor back in Presque Isle, Maine, dreaming of the days that it would be for me. I remember planning my wedding, and fighting with my mom along the way when she kept bugging me that I should do this for a living. I remember trying to sell the idea of dogs and flowers together and why just maybe that made sense. I remember convincing Heather that this was the best idea for us and opening a store would be our story – every bit of it. And now, I type this in the office of our recently expanded shop, a place that now is like nothing I ever dreamed was possible. 

To sum this up, it feels good – but it was not easy. It took working 21 days straight while being pregnant with twins. It took sleepless nights to get ready for a wedding weekend. It took a village to help us along the way, whether it was watching one of our 8 kids, showing up with a bottle of wine to help us celebrate or vent, or to be there every milestone and celebration we have had along the way. 

The decision was easy. I wanted to be home with my kids. I just had to be patient, plan for it, and not waiver on what was most important to me – my family. I wanted to be the one they looked for at preschool pick up. I knew if I wanted that to become true, I needed to be my own boss. I crafted the plan, held myself accountable to the timeline, and my closest people were there every step of the way helping to make sure I really could make this dream a reality.

August came, 8am on a Monday came, and out I went on my front steps to make that call I have waited my entire career for. Here is my corporate leadership role resignation. I am trusting me. I am giving all of myself to my family and my business. I am scared as hell, but I am trusting in God to guide me through and trusting in myself that I got this. He’s gotten me this far, and I have never been happier. 

My advice – dream it, plan it, don’t waiver, and JUMP! It’s worth it. 

 

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!