Paper Flowers 101 & How to Stay Inspired – Part 5

Hi, sweet friends and welcome to Paper Flowers 101 & How to Stay Inspired. 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 am so honored to introduce the lovely Margie Keates from The Lovely Ave.

She is one of the reasons I wanted to try out paper flowers. She inspires me in so many ways, every time I see an image of her paper flowers in my IG feed, I fall in love with paper flowers all over again!

So yea, today is special and I am freaking out just a little, YAY!


Hi Lovelies! My name is Margie Keates and I am the owner and founder of The Lovely Ave, a Paper Flower Shop in Salt Lake City Utah. My little business has been open for about year a half and I have been working on building it full time for about a year.

thelovelyave-weddingThis all started when I decided to make paper flowers for my own wedding in 2013. Back then I was using craft paper and I only knew how to make one flower type.

After my wedding was over I went back to only making flowers for my friends and family. One day I came across an incredible paper florist Instagram account (Jennifer Tran @_papetel_) and I was blown away with her blooms.

I began doing research on the paper she was using and I bought my first crepe paper roll in October 2014.

All of a sudden, I was obsessed with this new craft. I bought real flowers and took them apart. I studied photos and practiced almost every day. By the end of

By the end of 2014, I realized that I loved this craft more than my day job and I decided to open an Instagram.

Taking that first step and letting my art out there was my best decision. Three months later, with help from my number one fan and husband, I quit my day job and launched my website.

Three months later, with help from my number one fan and husband, I quit my day job and launched my website.

Photo credit: Alice Cannon via

My growth was fast but slow at the same time. I never thought I would own my own business and I immediately felt like a fish out of water.

We have an incredible community of Paper Florists, but every florist had their own path and I stressed out every day comparing myself and my little company to what other florists were creating.

It wasn’t until I read a quote from Theodore Roosevelt which said: “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” From that moment on, my perspective changed.

I chose to be inspired by these incredible Paper Florists, instead of comparing myself to them.

This change helped me to be a better artist and a better business woman.

My next big hurdle was to figure out my “WHY”. Running your own business is hard. But trying to build a business and not knowing why you’re doing it is impossible.

I knew that I wasn’t doing this for money or fame. I am working this hard because I know that my flowers have the ability to bring happiness, beauty, and light into someone’s world.

That knowledge has pushed me through 100 hour work weeks, pain, uncertainty, and doubt.

I know that the hardships will come but as long as I am confident in my “why”, I know this business will grow and keep bringing happiness to more people. That why is what makes it all worth it.

thelovelyave-centerpieceThe next step for this company is incredibly exciting and also very scary. It’s time to move into a bigger space and hire more paper florists!

This growth is so humbling but it comes with a different set of challenges. I can’t wait to see how The Lovely Ave works through and grows with those challenges.

I hope that this story of mine inspires you to create just for the purpose of bringing beauty and happiness into this world.

If what you create does this, please have faith, share it and even start your own business. You never know who it will benefit and how much you will grow. This world needs more people like you, do more than exist!

    How to Stay Inspired:

  • Always use high-quality materials. I am so in love with my paper that I receive from Carte Fini and from Lia Griffith.
  • Buy real flowers and use them as templates. This will help with petal shape and even pedal numbers but keep an open mind. Imitating nature can be hard and sometimes you just need to trust yourself and your eye and just create.
  • Use craft paints very lightly on the crepe paper to create a different tone or an ombre. Make sure that its a very light layer so that you don’t ruin the paper. I have found that this technique has helped with creating unique blooms and it also helps when you don’t have the paper in that specific paint color. I also Copic Alcohol based markers but that is a more expensive option.
  • Reach out and follow other Paper Florists! Remember to stay inspired and don’t compare. We are such a loving and inclusive community and we are very willing to help if you have any questions.
  • Find others in your area and work with them. A lot of my success can be attributed to the people I met through Instagram. Don’t be afraid to send that email and introduce yourself. Look for people who share your same goals and collaborate with them. When you open yourself up for collaboration, you not only grow as a person, but you learn so many new things!

Thank you so much for letting me talk my little heart out. I love what I do and I am so lucky that I get to share that with other like-minding artists.

I hope that I inspired you in a small way and I hope that my story helps you to try new things and bring more light and love into this world.

Margie Keates

The Lovely Ave Social Media: Facebook | Instagram | Shop

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