I was pleased to be interviewed by Voyage Magazine about my paper flower business.
This is an online magazine featuring creatives, artists, professionals, and local entrepreneurs, and their inspiring stories.
They interviewed me for their The Trailblazers series about my journey as an artist and the FancyBloom’s story.
As part of the interview, I also shared my advices for young women who are just starting their creative business.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Oksana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started with a photo of the paper flower wall on the Internet that I stumbled upon in 2016. Back then, large paper flowers were just gaining momentum in the United States.
And I instantly fell in love with them and started to make my first flowers.
I remember how I searched Google and YouTube trying to find masterclasses or online courses about large paper flowers, but there was very little information at that time.
And now, I am glad that this was so because I started to design my own flowers from the very beginning.
Today, I get the biggest buzz when I come up with a new flower, this process is just my favorite.
So after a few months, when I gained a little experience, I opened my Etsy store and started an Instagram account @fancybloom_. Then later, I began making giant standing paper peonies as well as other giant standing flowers. And this is how FancyBloom was started.
After a couple of years of successful work, I’ve reached an important milestone in my paper flower business when I had to make a decision about the future development and optimization, as there were more and more orders, that I could no longer fulfill on my own.
In general, if you make paper flowers, you have several options on how to build and grow your business:
-You can be a big decorator for various events, exhibitions, shows – then you will definitely need a team of people, as well as a large studio and a warehouse to store all this decor.
-Hire of flower walls and standing giant flowers is also very popular. You can make 2-3 paper flower walls and several giant flower stands and rent them out. And you’ll most likely also need helpers and a storage room.
-Another way is to focus on your Etsy store or grow your own online shop to sell and ship paper flower sets all over the country and even the world.
-If you have a passion for creating new flowers, new shapes, and something unique, you can sell your templates or tutorials online as well as host live workshops if you like to teach.
First, I was selling my flowers mainly through Instagram and Etsy. But over time, I started to notice that most of my Instagram audience was not my potential clients, but they were the same paper flower artists like me, who keep begging me to teach them to make my flowers.
On the other side, my clients more and more often were asking me to decorate large events and there was a high demand for rentals as well.
And I had to make a choice – either I start to hire people, rent the warehouse and work on huge projects by producing lots of flowers, or I’m ready to share my knowledge, techniques, and ideas with other people and gradually redirect the focus of my paper flower business towards online education.
It was not an easy decision for me, I felt like I was leaving money on the table, refusing big projects. But, eventually, I realized that in order for me to be a happy person, I need to be in a free, calm, and creative mode. I love to scrupulously design new flowers, templates, tutorials, and techniques, and this is what I enjoy the most.
About a year ago, I started to work on my first online course, Giant Peony from FancyBloom, which I’m hoping to launch very soon. I also finally launched my website www.fancybloom.net where you can find free video tutorials and useful resources.
I still take some flower orders, so I don’t have the opportunity to devote all my time to my online project, but I have a lot of plans. I want to share my knowledge, I want to make new tutorials and build the best paper flower community.
I will be so delighted if my story inspires someone to start their own craft or paper flower business.
It may not be easy at first, but if you sincerely love what you do, all your efforts will pay off in full and your beautiful business can be the most rewarding adventures in your life. Just try it!
Has it been a smooth road?
No, of course, it wasn’t a smooth path. It’s always not easy to starting something from scratch.
I was struggling to find my first customers, I was afraid to voice the price and generally didn’t know how to properly price my work. I didn’t know many things, and this is a very normal course of events. But all the knowledge and skills come with experience. My main advice to the young women who’re just starting their business – don’t be afraid to make mistakes and continue to act. Step-by-step and eventually you will succeed, I believe in you! And you have to believe in yourself.
Remember that half of the success of your business (if not more) is marketing, so train and educate yourself in this area. Don’t make a big bet on social media, you don’t own them. Build and grow your own website. Learn how to take beautiful photos and videos. Pay attention to Pinterest. Tell all your friends and relatives about what you are doing, be proud of your work and never discount it, otherwise, you will burn out very quickly.
We’d love to hear more about FancyBloom.
At FancyBloom, I make paper flowers from cardstock for hanging on the wall as a composition, as well as giant stand-alone flowers from crepe paper. I also teach how to make flowers.
I designed all my flowers myself, so my templates are always unique. I also try to make all my works look very modern and as realistic as possible so that they can fit into even the most glamorous interior or event.
To read the interview on Voyage Magazine website click here.