I have creative friends who are off in the world creating beautiful things. (note: I am not the creative friend, I don’t even know how to doodle correctly!) A high school friend of mine, Kim, went to FIT in New York City for college to study advertising design. When we got brunch during breaks we would talk about her portfolio and the projects she was currently working on as I would just sit there in awe and amazement. . After college, I took a boring desk job and my day consisted of making photocopies and routine desk tasks. However, Kim would tell stories of working on advertising campaigns and being in the office until midnight working on deadlines. I have always admired my friend for her creativity and passion when it comes to advertising. She thinks of the smallest details and adds bows to presents. In high school we had to wear uniforms and with the right accessories, she was able to put her own spin on the same skirt and shirt we all wore. Today she is creating some competition for Martha Stewart because it seems like she is always in the kitchen baking, crafting or taking photos of her adorable bunny!
As an advocate for helping other Girl Bosses out in the world, I reached out to Kim to be a guest blogger on Blonde Rosie while I am away on vacation. Her most recent project is creating paper flowers, which are beyond beautiful. Further proof that with some paper and a hot glue gun, this girl can do anything! I am so happy to promote Kim’s Paperennials and encourage all of you to check out her work! Mother’s Day is right around the corner, so get your orders in ASAP to give your mom a unique gift that will last forever! What I love most about Kim and her Paperennials, is that she was able to take a hobby and turn it into a small business all on her own. At first, she just did it for fun and made Paperennials for her friends and family, but through her dedication and passion this has turned into an Etsy!
My mother hates flowers. Maybe hate is a strong word, but she doesn’t like receiving them as a gift or gesture because they are expensive and only last for maybe a week, if she’s lucky. So that is why last Mother’s Day I decided to teach myself a new skill and give my mom something different: flowers made from card stock paper. This wasn’t some art class, tissue paper craft. I looked at many paper flower tutorials on Pinterest, studied real floral centerpieces, and spent hours in the craft store deciding which shade of paper to go with; and so began the cutting and gluing. Although it took me a few tries and a couple hot glue burns to fully get the flowers right, in the end these flowers are durable, look real and last forever (or at least longer than real flowers do.)
I call them Paperennials, stemming (no pun intended) from the material used in combination with the word perennial — meaning a plant that comes back for multiple years. The process for these paper flowers can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours per flower! But it is the final outcome that makes the work rewarding.
When my mother saw the basket of flowers made from textured paper, both plain and patterned, her face lit up with joy. She not only loved the realistic appeal but also the personal touch and effort that was behind each petal.
I took a picture of my creation and posted it to Instagram. The immediate response I received was overwhelming. People were not only telling me how beautiful and realistic the flowers looked but I was starting to get requests! Friends and family wanted flowers for their desks at work, as kitchen centerpieces and so on. It wasn’t until I made thirteen vases of pink hydrangeas for a friend’s wedding that I decided to open an Etsy store and share my creations with the world. (PS those centerpieces took me around two and a half months to create, but it was the guests of the wedding that really persuaded me to start selling these flowers on Etsy.)
I am currently working on an order for another wedding plus the individual orders for my Etsy customers. When I first made the basket for my mother, it started with teaching myself how to make two types of flowers. I have since expanded my flower portfolio to about ten different types of flowers, plants and arrangements, with the hopes of growing further. What started as a Mother’s Day craft has turned into a passion project that not only brings in a little extra money each month, but also brightens people’s day. It’s amazing what can be done with a little glue, craft store paper, motivation and appreciation.
To view my Etsy store, please visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/Paperennials?ref=hdr_shop_menu
*Large orders and specific colors available upon request.