Petal & Bird specialise in designing bespoke paper flower bouquets for lasting memories for your wedding, or indeed any other special occasion.
Whilst we love fresh flowers, their beauty is quick to fade, so many of our brides are now looking at other options that will allow them to enjoy their wedding flowers for much longer. Hence the upsurge in interest in paper flowers.
At Petal & Bird, each flower is individually handmade to match and enhance your wedding colours and theme, be it formal roses or something with an altogether more country garden feel.
We also love the fact that handmade paper flowers travel so well. So if you have a destination wedding planned, they can be carefully packed in your suitcase and should look just as fabulous when you unpack them, whether it’s a bridal bouquet, flower crown or buttonholes. This is one less thing to stress about, and of course, they won’t wilt in hot sunshine.
And don’t forget, bespoke paper flower bouquets make gorgeous thank you gifts and keepsakes for bridesmaids, and they are a beautiful way to say ‘thank you’ the mothers of the couple and anyone else who has contributed to making your day super special. Over to Clare now to tell us more about her business.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
I live in Chichester in the lovely West Sussex creating unique handcrafted finishing touches. I have a background in Textiles having completed my degree at Winchester School of Art back in 2005. I worked as an Art and Textiles teacher teaching secondary school children for 11 years before I decided to start my own business specialising in bespoke paper flowers for lasting memories.
Each flower is individually handmade to suit colour themes and styles. Each petal and leaf is cut, shaped and formed by hand using high quality crepe papers to bring them to life. Every flower is unique and are perfect for a lasting gift, special occasion or celebration and a unique alternative to real flowers that are a lasting memory to treasure.
What motivated you to start your business?
It all started when I decided I wanted to create the flowers for my own wedding in August 2016. I really wanted to hold onto as many memories as I could from our special day and this was a great way to remember it forever as they now fill mine and my family and friends homes.
I loved the process of bringing life to each flower that I decided to open it up to everyone so they could have lasting memories of their special days, events and occasions. I just love that I get to see my wedding bouquet every day still looking as fresh as when it came down the aisle with me.
Since then I have been creating bespoke paper flower arrangements for birthday gifts, weddings, anniversaries, Mother’s day and Valentine’s day gifts.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
I start my day with a walk across my garden to my little studio where the flower making happens! Creating bespoke pieces for Bride’s to be and working on collections that are for sale through my Etsy and Folksy shops.
Testing out new flower shapes and styles, challenging myself with different ideas and putting quotes together fueled by hot chocolate in the winter!
Stopping to photograph my processes and creations to share with my followers on Instagram and Facebook. Final arrangements are then carefully packaged and posted or hand delivered depending on the order.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
All bespoke customers are invited to my studio to see the flowers in real life for a free consultation to see colours and discuss flower types and arrangement options. I love creating custom orders working with the Bride and Groom to discuss colour combinations or collections to suit their theme and style.
My paper flowers can be created into arrangements such as bouquets, buttonholes, flower girl accessories, hair pieces and flower crowns as well as separately for a florist to arrange. I love hearing about couples wedding plans and seeing how we can work together to add a unique touch to their special day.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
I would always start with a little look on a companies social media, get a feel for what they do and read up on previous clients reviews. Go with your gut feeling!
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
I’m a little biased as my own wedding was such a fantastic day and seeing all the handmade unique elements come together on the day was just great and the fact that I still have them to treasure is so special.
I was recently involved in a friends wedding where I was asked to create paper rose buttonholes that were combined with real foliage of eucalyptus, olive and rosemary, which smelt amazing. I created the roses to match the Bride’s real flower bouquet and they looked so great on the day, adding a special touch to the important men in the couple lives.
I also created a flower crown that made its way safely over to a destination wedding in Jamaica. The Bride wanted a unique hair piece for herself and her bridesmaids that added a splash of colour to the beach wedding setting. During our consultation we worked together to pick colours and flower shapes that would compliment her bridesmaids and her own wedding dress.
It is always so lovely to see the wedding photographs of my paper flowers in action in such a beautiful settings and to get positive feedback from wedding guests and the Bride and Groom.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
My paper flowers are not just for weddings. I was recently commissioned to create a cake topper for a birthday cake that was a recreation a Bride’s real flower bouquet. The client emailed me a collection of photographs of their wedding bouquet for me to work from, creating a unique piece that not only was used to celebrate her 30th Birthday but also a memory of her real wedding bouquet that sadly didn’t last.
This bouquet recreation option is also great for celebrating a one year ‘paper’ wedding anniversary. This Christmas I was commissioned to create a collection of white paper poinsettias which were then used to decorate a home adding a special festive touch. Giving the gift of lasting flowers for Mother’s Day, single stem red roses for Valentine’s Day as well as birthdays; paper flowers can suit all occasions.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months I will be continuing to create collections for my Etsy and Folksy shops as well as working on bespoke commissions for up and coming weddings. I am hoping to attend some wedding fairs this year to show my work to a wider audience and hopefully approach local shops, cafes and restaurants.
Another plan for this year is to offer workshops to show others how to create their own paper flowers, as i have been approached by quite a few people who would love to learn, even for a Hen Do activity which is really exciting.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I am constantly inspired by real flowers, especially those in my Mum’s garden which is beautifully filled with tree peonies and camellias. Every time I visit something new has popped up! I love visiting Bishop’s Palace Garden in Chichester where I live, seeing the amazing flower beds that constantly change throughout the seasons. I am motivated by Bride and Groom’s wedding ideas and through discussions with them bringing their ideas to life.
All images courtesy of Petal & Bird