Fresh is not always better. In a world where anything organic or natural is trendy, Nicole Hernandez is proving that artificial can sometimes be just as good as the real thing. At least, as far as flowers are concerned. This East Plano resident and entrepreneur is the founder of Paper in Bloom, a business that sells stunning, one-of-a-kind flower bouquets made entirely from paper.
Nicole’s flowers are intricate and beautiful and guaranteed to last much longer than any natural bouquet. She creates every item in her paper flower shop herself. “Once I stumbled onto making paper flowers, I realized that I could easily create pieces to be shared with everyone. I’ve always loved flowers and plants, but I definitely don’t have a green thumb. I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned, – including a cactus – so paper is the perfect alternative for me.”
Her talent for flower making developed last year when she was looking for a florist for her wedding. The average amount spent on wedding flowers in 2016 was $2,534, according to wedding resource site The Knot. That can be more than the average cost of a wedding dress, cake, hair styling and makeup combined. Nicole was hoping for a lower cost alternative, so she decided to experiment. After a few weeks of trial and error, a floral masterpiece emerged.
“After my wedding, I loved making my own flowers so much that I kept creating arrangements,” she said. “I decided to start selling them so I could give other people alternatives to real flowers; there’s no upkeep and they last, presumably, forever. My favorite bouquet I’ve made is still my bridal bouquet. It’s always on display in our living room, and I love it just as much as the day I walked down the aisle with it.”
Nicole uses high quality crepe paper since “it has a beautiful texture and makes for great lifelike flowers,” she explained. But she also likes to experiment with any kind of paper that is thin and flexible, including patterned scrapbook paper, tissue paper and cardstock. She uses floral wire, floral tape and hot glue to complete the final piece. Her arrangements in vases are $15-$40 and her bridal bouquets start at $35.
A full arrangement takes several hours to complete, as Nicole cuts and shapes each petal and leaf, makes the flower centers and wraps the stems. “I draw inspiration from seasonal flowers and bouquets I see in person, online and in magazines,” she said. “I tend to stick with a core collection of my favorite flowers, like gardenias because they are simple and clean, and try to find new ways to display them.”
When she isn’t busy designing bouquets, Nicole and her husband can be found (figuratively) stopping to smell the roses in Plano. They love attending festivals and events downtown, eating locally, catching a movie or taking cooking classes at Central Market. Nicole can also be found at the Downtown Plano Art and Wine Walks selling her creations. At the end of the day, she enjoys exploring new things and letting her creativity shine.
“This business has never really been about making money,” Nicole said. “I just enjoy constantly creating new things and sharing a new art form with people. I hope every customer enjoys their flowers as much as I do.”
Nicole’s business is just starting to bloom, but paper has never looked prettier.