His bride did not want to carry a heavy bouquet on their wedding day, so he made her paper flowers. Seven years later, he now runs ThePaperblooms, a company that makes paper flowers for all occasions.
Gerry Rosales never thought he’d make a living as a paper florist. He is a graphic artist who creates logos and designs for companies. It was his wife Leth who encouraged him to start a paper flower shop.
“After meeting with the florist for our wedding, my then fiancée told me that she would not carry a bouquet, no matter how beautiful or expensive it is, if it’s heavy,” Rosales said. He reasoned that, unfortunately, all bouquets are heavy.
That’s how he started doing online research. He found out that brides in the United States and Europe are using handcrafted flowers made of crepe paper and card stock. In Russia, paper bouquets are very common.
The San Pascual, Batangas-based groom presented the idea to his bride, and she liked it.
Rosales learned how to make paper flowers himself and he fell in love with the process.
“I found it thrilling the first time I tried my hand at it. I created the flowers for the whole entourage and the reception centerpieces, which I did from March to September. We got married in September 2013,” he said.
The following year, his wife asked him to make some more and post them on social media. That’s when ThePaperblooms started.
It took him another two years to build the brand. It helped that paper flowers were finally gaining ground locally. He had customers from as far as Singapore, New Zealand and Canada.
Rosales uses florist-grade crepe paper, but he said he can work with any paper. This includes colored tracing paper, parchment paper and cupcake liners. He can also upcycle magazine and book pages.
He learned the meticulous process of recreating flowers by deconstructing real ones and tracing each part on paper. That’s how he emulates the look of the fresh ones. His flowers look quite life-like.
The University of Batangas Commerce graduate lists the benefits of paper flowers over fresh ones.
Paper flowers, he pointed out, are lightweight. They will not wilt and they keep forever.
His creations can be turned into wall art by putting them inside shadow boxes or frames. This can be done with real blooms, too, he said, but the process can be an added expense.
Paper flowers are also safe for people with pollen allergies.
“I was able to help a bride in 2015 whose whole family is allergic to pollen,” he said. “She said they had never had an event with flowers, or they will all end up in the hospital. At a bridal fair, she noticed my work and immediately booked my flowers for her bouquet. I have other clients who have shared similar stories.”
Each petal, leaf and stem is handcrafted. This allows them to be customizable, too. Colors can be adjusted to whatever the bride desires. “Unicorn-colored” rose? No problem. Black peonies or tulips? You got it.
Unlike fresh blooms, there are no seasons to consider.
But are they cheaper than real ones? Rosales said it depends.
“Our regular hand-tied bouquet is between P3,250 and P4,800, depending on size and flower types. This is fairly the same cost as a fresh flower bridal bouquet using a mix of local and imported flowers,” he said. “The price may still vary, depending on where the bride gets the service.”
The lead time for orders is at least 30 days, and longer during peak season. That’s because he has to do all the work. He has no workers—just him, his hands and his scissors.
Unlike other entrepreneurs who keep their process a tightly guarded secret, Rosales creates YouTube videos teaching the curious how to make their paper flowers. He said that he intends to do it regularly because he’s happy to share his knowledge. INQ
Follow ThePaperblooms on @ThePaperBloom on Facebook, @_thepaperblooms_ on Instagram.