Hi, beautiful friends and welcome to Paper Flowers 101 & How to Teach a Workshop. I hope you followed along with my Paper Flowers 101 Series if you haven’t make sure to browse through the blog to catch up.
Today, I like to introduce the oh so talented Susan Beech from A Petal Unfolds.
Sue, is a UK based paper florist and man are her peonies to die for. But, please take a look for yourself, enjoy!
I’m Susan Beech and I make paper flowers under the name A Petal Unfolds. I live in Brighton in the UK and I’ve been making flowers since 2013 when I took an online class with the blogger House That Lars Built.
Her flowers were so inspiring and I loved the class so much. Then I bought an old book off eBay that taught me more flowers and I went from there developing my own designs and techniques.
Previously I took a Fine Art degree where I spent a lot of time focusing on photography, which is something I still love to spend a lot of time on with my flowers.
Paper flowers have been my full-time job for just over a year now and I’ve worked on various projects with brands such as Etsy and The White Company.
I often work in London, which is where I also teach monthly workshops. My most recent project has been an installation of paper hydrangeas as part of London Design Festival. It was the biggest piece I’ve made so far with over 1700 individual tiny hydrangea flowers.
What resources do you use to find new flower inspirations? (books, websites, IG accounts…)
If I’m looking for something new to make than visiting a local florist tends to be a good start for me because you never know what you will find.
Looking at images on Instagram is also one of the best places for me to find inspiring things; I’m always screenshotting flowers that I want to remember.
On Instagram, I cannot get enough of the @floretflower feed- it overflows with flowers in such a wide array of colours, I cannot help but be inspired and want to make everything from paper.
I also love the feed of @5ftinf because she brings something really unique to Instagram with her beautiful compositions.
And I find @designsponge to be a great follow for all kinds of inspiration from across the design world.
How does a typical workday at A Petal Unfolds look like?
Typically I get up around 6.30- 7am and as I work from home I tend to get to my desk straight away. Every day really is different for me depending on what is happening at the time and whether I have any deadlines to meet.
I could have Etsy orders to make and send out or I could be working on a commission or preparing for a workshop. I might need to reply to emails, take photos for my social media or my Etsy shop and when I can I spend time making new flowers and products.
For lunch, I try to get out of my flat and maybe take a walk along the beach if I have time to get some fresh air as we are just a few minutes walk away. I usually work through to around 8- 9pm unless I have a big project on the go and I need to work later.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Or What are your goals?
At the moment the next step for me is to get a studio, ideally with room for me to take on extra staff when I need to. That would be amazing because working from home can be so restrictive and it would give me a better routine.
I would then have the space to take on bigger projects and grow A Petal Unfolds.
How exciting to read all about Sue’s adventure into the paper floral business. It was my honor to have her on the Paper Flowers 101 Series.
And to give you an idea of how to start teaching workshops, I asked 4-5 paper florists how they prepare for workshops and what to look for when teaching. These tips should help you along and make the first workshop a little easier.
Paper Flowers 101 & How to Teach a Workshop
- Provide all the supplies, glue (make sure you purchase the fast tacky glue by Aleene’s) the wait time for the glue is a little bit frustrating for some students.
- Provide scissors and all the papers and wires to make the flowers.
- Have water and small snacks to nibble on.
- Be flexible and always aware of the different level each student is capable of. Some students are quick and able to pick up fast on the techniques and some students are slower and you might have to explain and demonstrate the different steps multiple of times.
- Also, I recommend having each stage of the flower components set aside and able to pull out to explain at different times in the evening for vary student levels.
- Have ready several different types of verbal explanations for the different type of students.
- Bring extra material or kits for the students to buy.
- Have business cards ready for handout
- A signup form where students can leave their email for updates on new classes or events.
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