At HMR Designs we’ve always preferred to let our work speak for itself, it allows guests to take in views of their dream celebration without any interruptions or disturbances. Those breathtaking floral arrangements? Magic. That hand painted backdrop? Out of thin air. Or at least that’s the impression we intend to leave. Only our own are truly privy to the time spent on every detail of the day and we have a tremendous team working around the clock to get those finishing touches just right. And while it’s always our goal to remain quietly behind-the-scenes on-site, we thought it might be fun to take a moment and let you see the personalities who make it all happen off-site: The HMR Creatives.
To shine some light on the individuals who all have had a hand in those magnificent productions you see on our Instagram, we’re introducing a new, recurring series entitled “Meet the Creative.” And today we’re starting with HMR Designs’ General Manager, and former Floral Studio Manager, Rick Wroble. Rick joined the company in 2003 as a part of Heffernan Morgan and has been with us ever since. The new dog dad finds creative inspiration from all facets of art and never starts his day without a fresh cup of coffee. Read on to find out more about Rick and to hear his fun floral tip for botanic novices.
How did you end up at HMR Designs?
I thought that I wanted to be a floral designer 26 years ago. I very quickly started managing the first shop I was in and have been managing ever since. Once I got hired into my first event studio, the logical progression was to move into bigger and bigger ones culminating in my getting hired by Bill Heffernan at Heffernan Morgan fifteen years ago…
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work?
Make sure my coffee cup is full to the brim!
Where do you derive your creative inspiration from?
Any kind of art created from the mind and soul of a person feeds me and I want to experience it; dance, painting, Broadway musicals, graffiti, architecture, a good book, anything.
What’s the proudest moment of your career?
One event comes to mind as being a turning point for me early in my role as studio manager at Heffernan Morgan. We were doing the opening party for the newly renovated Soldier Field. I think it was 150 detailed centerpieces; the biggest production I had ever tackled as a manager. I was nervous. I literally stood in the middle of the studio two days ahead of production and visualized how each centerpiece would move through the space, from buckets of flowers to final transportation, where each person would stand etc. I imagined every single detail and wrote a flow chart. I set up the studio the night before and when the team arrived I laid out the plan. The production was flawless, the team was positive throughout the day, and we finished ahead of my planned timeline. That was my big lesson: be prepared, communicate well, and the team will respond in kind.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career?
Today! Being General Manager. I don’t shy away from a challenge. After 15 years as floral studio manager I was definitely in a comfort zone. But when I was asked about the GM position, I said yes without hesitating.
What’s your favorite flower?
Impossible choice. In fact as I type this, there is a cart next to me overflowing with the most beautiful peach colored roses for a wedding.
Can you offer readers any every-day floral advice?
Anything in your environment that can hold water can be a vase. Find something in your house that you don’t consider ‘a vase’ and fill it with flowers, just because!! Think outside the box, it’s more fun.
What’s your favorite thing about HMR?
Fantastic creativity. The events we put out into the world are always the best quality.
How do you spend your free time?
I recently adopted a puppy. So my personal life is getting rewritten daily. And that’s not a bad thing. I’m stepping out of my single bachelor comfort zone with this crazy little guy.
What’s your go-to way to relax?
I like a certain amount of solo, alone time to replenish the batteries. Relaxing now days is hanging out on the couch with my pup watching TV, in between the MANY walks we take.
If you could pick up and move anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Paris. I’ve only been there once for two weeks but I’d pick up and move there tomorrow if it worked out.
What’s the last band/performer you saw live?
U2!!!! For the 10th time maybe. Anyone who knows me knows that I have never missed a U2 concert since the 80’s. A couple weeks before that I saw Batsheva Dance, a fantastic avante garde Israeli dance company. I like to mix it up.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?
Walk my puppy!