Paper Talk: Round Table, Let's Talk Shop

Photo credit: Kelly Lemon Photography

Photo credit: Kelly Lemon Photography

LISTEN TO PAPER TALK - EPISODE 7: Paper Talk Round Table: Let’s Talk Shop

Today we are chatting with three talented Paper Florists, Kelly Grace Gibbons, Susan Bonn, and Jessa Parker, about their businesses and honing their craft.


Read what Susan Bonn has to share about her paper florist journey

  1. Tell us a bit about your paper flower business
    I started making paper flowers about 4 years ago. It was a hobby for me while still working my corporate job. After my retirement last year, I moved to a full-time career as a paper florist, and I’m so glad I did!
    My flowers are all made to order. I make flowers for all occasions and gift-giving. I love to personally deliver my flowers to their new owner—the look on the face of the recipient is priceless!!!

  2. How would you describe your paper flowers and/or your aesthetic?
    I’m a pretty structured in my personal style, so my flowers reflect that aesthetic. I like to make my flowers look as realistic as possible. I use dissection of fresh cut florals as my inspiration.
    I’m working on making some less structured blooms, with more movement and fluidity in the structure—It’s a learning process.

  3. What do you find the most challenging and rewarding about having a paper flower business?
    Running your own business is hard!
    Making flowers is the fun part, for sure, but there are many daunting tasks associated with running your own business. It’s been challenging learning website design and maintenance, not to mention keeping up to date bookkeeping and business software.

  4. What advice would you give to new paper flower artists?
    Have fun! Pick up a pair of scissors and just start cutting. You’ll be surprised at what you can do. Learn from nature-Mother Nature is so willing to share her creations. Pick a flower from your garden and take it apart—you’ll see how Mother Nature put it together!
    Reach out to your fellow paper florists! There’s lots of helpful information to access. Many of us have classes that can be viewed on platforms such as Teachable.
    Don’t get to caught up in making it a business. Learn the basics. Make lots of mistakes. The business part will come later and you’ll be better prepared.

  5. What’s one tool you unexpectedly fell in love with and now use regularly? Coloring tool or medium, shaping tool, scissors, etc
    Omg—Life Changing Blending brushes from Picket Fence!These are a game changer for me I have several sets that I use to lay down pan pastels on paper.

Jessa Parker says:

  1. Tell us a bit about your paper flower business

    I’ve been making paper flowers since 2015. I started with my wedding where I made all of the boutonnières, bouquets, and decor using cardstock paper. From there, I took a year to build up a library of flower designs and to figure out where I wanted to fit in the paper flower community. I chose the wedding industry because I love making something that’s custom to each couple and something that they can display in their home as a token of their favorite day.

  2. How would you describe your paper flowers and/or your aesthetic?

    My aesthetic tends to lean toward clean and tight like the way fresh flowers look right before they open.

  3. What do you find the most challenging and rewarding about having a paper flower business?

    The most challenging aspect is how to correctly price my items. It took a while to gain the confidence to call what I do more than just crafting in my spare time. This is my art, my style, my designs, and my time away from family that I’m sharing with clients and the price of my work should reflect that. The most rewarding part about being a paper florist is, hands-down, the moment you present the items to the bride/groom. The excitement, appreciation, and awe in their face is unbeatable.

  4. What advice would you give to new paper flower artists?

    Start conversations within the paper florist community!! Ask questions, tell us about your work, share what inspires you and what your goals are for your flowers. Communication leads to friendships which leads to recommendations and opportunities.

  5. What’s one tool you unexpectedly fell in love with and now use regularly? Coloring tool or medium, shaping tool, scissors, etc

    My favorite tools are the Create It lollipop sticks for rolling along with Sculpey style & detail tools and a thick yoga mat for a cardstock version of cupping.

Kelly Grace shares her story:

  1. Tell us a bit about your paper flower business

My studio is located in Frenchtown, NJ.  I have a storefront with good visibility and I can sit a decent number of adults Comfortably.  I live with my family 15 minutes from my studio in Union Township.  It’s a beautiful area. I recently rebranded my business name to Paper Floral Co. My store sign still says Crafting Space with Kelly Grace. I have been making paper flowers for two years now!

I began making paper flowers during the summer of 2017, after I got married.  I was a little depressed, and was not feeling my best.  I wasn’t working at the time and I had just finished some pretty intense college classes right before my wedding.  I started with wood flowers, and moved on to book page flowers and I found some success with those.  I discovered a video of a someone making a crepe paper echinacea, I think it may have been Tina from ABC TV.  One video led to another and I discovered Lia Griffith and then Amity from Florabeane, and then the Paper Florist Facebook group.  I purchased supplies from Lia Griffith  to make some crepe paper flowers, and a couple of paper flower books off Amazon.  Livia Cetti’s camellia was my first tutorial.  I just began to continuously make and create.  I began to feel so much better, and I now truly believe there is merit to Creative Therapy in healing depression.  Recreating nature using paper was a great alternative medicine for me.  It’s not to say that medicine isn’t the better choice for others but for me, creating flowers was impactful.  Then grew the thought that this could be my job, and that was very much appealing to me.  So I took the basic steps to start a biz and continued to create.  Fast forward two years and here I am!  

2. How would you describe your paper flowers and/or your aesthetic?  

I’m still growing into my aesthetic and I love color of all shades and tones but I seem to consistently have a bold beauty thing going on.  

3. What advice would you give to new paper flower artists?  

Practice and practice and just create.  Unplug from social media if you can and just do you.  Your style will emerge and will be perfect. 

4. What’s your favorite tool and/or material to use?

Pretty basic, but Tacky glue and doublette are my highest volume materials.  But I sure do love my extra fine tipped glue gun too!  I like my bone folder and my pan pastels.  As paper florists, aren’t we all craft tool junkies?  

5. What’s one thing you want people to know about paper flowers or the paper florist industry? 

It’s a beautiful art and it’s a growing trend that is here to stay for a while!  Like floral design, it’s a multi faceted industry.  Value your time!  


You can learn more about each of these creative ladies on their social media platforms:

Susan Bonn, Susan Bonn Designs (website/Instagram)

Jessa Parker, 14keys_design (Instagram)

Kelly Grace Gibbons, Paper Floral Co. (Website/Instagram)