Chic Spotlight: PaperBlooms N More

Chic Spotlight: PaperBlooms N More

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A local military wife was inspired to honor fallen heroes with a memorial bouquet made from paper flowers. Now, it’s blossomed into a business where you can order your own custom designs!

PaperBlooms N More was launched by Kel, who creates paper
PaperBlooms N More was launched by  Christine Kerley, who creates paper flowers and blooms. 

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about PaperBlooms N More!
Christine Kerley, Founder of PaperBlooms N More: PaperBlooms N More started with a simple request from a friend for a dozen paper roses. Being an artist for many years and making paper creations I said sure and thus it started. He shared a simple photo on Facebook in February 2012 and from there it blossomed into what it is today.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind your paper creation business?
Kerley: Simply put – I don’t have a green thumb, but I adore and love flowers and these ones stay alive forever. After creating the original blooms, my son was admitted into the hospital at Children’s here in Cincinnati. We were placed in isolation and it was mentioned that no flowers or live plants could be brought in, so I had my husband bring a bouquet of the flowers that I had at the house, the nurses loved them the patients adored them and suddenly I had another audience.

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Kerley creates memorial bouquets for families who have lost loved ones in battle.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind PaperBlooms?
Kerley: I am the owner of PaperBlooms N More. I was laid off from work in 2011, and in attempt to find a job. However, it wasn’t happening because I was either overqualified, too experienced, or had too many degrees. That’s when I decided that rather than try to find something that I wanted to do, I would create what I wanted to do and live in my passion, which is creating every day. Designing and creating blooms from scratch.

Cincy Chic: When did you launch PaperBlooms?
Kerley: PaperBlooms N More officially launched in March 2012. It was a slow but good start and 2013 and 2014 were my biggest international years of shipping. I sent bouquets to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, England, and South Africa. It has truly been a whirlwind of creations with over 200,000 blooms made to date.

Cincy Chic: Can you share more with us about the memorial bouquets you create?
Kerley: Currently, we offer memorial bouquets to fallen heroes families. They are bouquets containing 21 flowers total – 9 camouflage flowers of the member’s service, 6 yellow roses for the symbol of the yellow ribbon, and 6 American flag roses. Each bloom contains 21 petals and inside of every vase is a spent shell from a 21 gun salute of a fallen hero in Ohio.
The bouquets are sent free of charge to those who have lost a soldier. I also send them out to families when I hear of a fallen hero on the news. To date, I have shipped 1,193 bouquets with a request list of over 800 more to go. We do ask for a donation of $39 from members of the community and/or someone who calls to request one. The donation covers shipping and materials for the blooms.

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Cincy Chic: Did your time as a military wife inspire you to start making the memorial bouquets?
Kerley: I was born into a military family. My father served in the Air Force for 28 years and I met my husband in 1989 at a friend’s party (it was love at first sight). We were married on December 28, 1990, 3 days before he was set to deploy for Desert Storm. During his enlistment from September 11, 2001 to today, we have lost many friends to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The thoughts of those members that we lost are what drives the passion to make the bouquets. There are a few heroes that I look up to in the skies above us and thank them everyday for the freedom that we have.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for PaperBlooms N More?
Kerley: PaperBlooms N More is growing again. It seems we are adding new lines every week – from glassware to cake toppers. We are also expanding our blooms to include wall flowers, bouquets of ribbon, brooches, and DIY classes to teach others how to make their own flowers.

Cincy Chic: Do you offer any custom designs?
Kerley: We love to custom design and create that one-of-a-kind bouquet, cake topper, and so much more. If you’ve seen it on Pinterest, we can probably make it or even help you create it!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Kerley: You can always visit me at www.paperbloomsnmore.com, but it’s more fun to follow us on Facebook or on Instagram.