130 episodes

The Evolution of Paper Talk…

The Paper Talk community started in 2017 with the founding of a Facebook group that gave people who loved to make paper flowers a safe and nurturing place to ask questions and meet like-minded makers and artists from around the world.

As the paper flower community grew, our opportunities to share knowledge with each other did as well, first, by formally establishing The Paper Florists Collective; and then, with multi-day workshops in Seattle and Toronto where makers came from all over the globe; a weekly podcast featuring leaders and artists from within and outside of our community; and online education for paper flower entrepreneurs like our Paper to Profits Program and Paper X Talk lecture series.

Like any plant or garden, we are constantly growing and evolving and we’ve decided it is time to move on from The Paper Florists Collective. With the growth of our podcast, it feels like the natural progression to start using the name “Paper Talk” across our social media channels, and to funnel our online learning, Member Portal, and Paper Florist Member Directory into a sister-site, PaperFlowerEducation.com. So what was once The Paper Florists Collective is now Paper Talk. However, our mission remains the same: to share ideas and stories, to connect and engage with others, and grow as artists, crafters, makers, and entrepreneurs.

We hope we can continue to offer educational courses, lectures, and workshops in the United States, Canada and beyond! We can’t wait for that day.

Paper Talk Quynh Nguyen of Pink and Posey and Jessie Chui of Crafted to Bloom

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 26 Ratings

The Evolution of Paper Talk…

The Paper Talk community started in 2017 with the founding of a Facebook group that gave people who loved to make paper flowers a safe and nurturing place to ask questions and meet like-minded makers and artists from around the world.

As the paper flower community grew, our opportunities to share knowledge with each other did as well, first, by formally establishing The Paper Florists Collective; and then, with multi-day workshops in Seattle and Toronto where makers came from all over the globe; a weekly podcast featuring leaders and artists from within and outside of our community; and online education for paper flower entrepreneurs like our Paper to Profits Program and Paper X Talk lecture series.

Like any plant or garden, we are constantly growing and evolving and we’ve decided it is time to move on from The Paper Florists Collective. With the growth of our podcast, it feels like the natural progression to start using the name “Paper Talk” across our social media channels, and to funnel our online learning, Member Portal, and Paper Florist Member Directory into a sister-site, PaperFlowerEducation.com. So what was once The Paper Florists Collective is now Paper Talk. However, our mission remains the same: to share ideas and stories, to connect and engage with others, and grow as artists, crafters, makers, and entrepreneurs.

We hope we can continue to offer educational courses, lectures, and workshops in the United States, Canada and beyond! We can’t wait for that day.

    Episode 130 - Over Coffee: Why It Can Be Good to Shift Direction

    Episode 130 - Over Coffee: Why It Can Be Good to Shift Direction

    We wrap up our season about finding your why as a paper florist. Learn why it can be beneficial to shift your artistic and business direction as you hone in on what matters to you.
    Making changes is difficult, but necessary. Shifting direction can help you uncover your why and get closer to what will bring you true joy.

    In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we wrapped up Season 5 by talking about how our whys have shifted and how we made changes accordingly. You don’t have to keep doing the same thing out of obligation or because you think it will get better with time. Even small tweaks here and there can make a world of difference. If you never change, you’ll never discover something new that could get you closer to your why.

    If you’re still struggling to hone in on what exactly it is that draws you to paper flowers, spend some time with our Why Worksheet and listen to the episode for tips about making those difficult changes.

     

    Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
    ► How our whys have shifted over time and why that’s a good thing.► Even more about what you can do to find your why, if you haven’t yet.► How to focus your work to find joy and avoid burnout. ► Recommended listening and reading for finding your artistic vision.

     

    If you can’t listen right away, know that you’re not alone in struggling to figure this all out! You will get to your why, and these three tips will help. 

    Break Out of Imposter Syndrome
    You may look at other established paper florists and think they have it all figured out. We bet that’s not true. Even after spending a lot of time and energy to uncover what makes her happy, Quynh shared on the episode about how she’s still struggling to figure out which direction to go.

    “It’s so hard when…you go around in this eternal circle asking yourself, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ And imposter syndrome comes up because you’re circling back and forth. And I’ve been in that place before, and sometimes you just need to stop and you need to work really hard to get out of that cycle.” -Quynh Nguyen

    Most of us will feel imposter syndrome at some point. If you get caught up on “I shouldn’t be here; I don’t deserve this,” then you’ll never get to your why. 

    Stopping those thoughts is easier said than done, but you can listen to Episode 80 about Overcoming Imposter Syndrome for even more help.

    Talk to a Friend or Mentor
    Talking through your struggle is a vital part of this journey! That’s one reason why we started Paper Talk. We wanted to share what we’re going through with you because it’s beneficial for everyone to hear about these difficulties.

    We have also relied heavily on mentors to guide us as we make changes to our businesses. Their advice is invaluable. You really can’t fake experience, but a mentor can offer a bit of theirs to help you along.

    You might not be in a position to find or pay for a mentor, but you can find someone who can listen. Your partner or spouse or sibling might not fully understand the world of paper flowers. That’s okay! Sometimes simply saying things out loud can help you find clarity.

    Know Your Why Is Waiting
    You might not yet recognize your why, but it’s there. On the podcast, we talked about some of the guests we’ve had on over the years and how their focus has changed over time.

    “Three years ago [our podcast guests] would have had no idea they would go in this direction, and yet it is to some extent consistent with their core why. It’s just their why is manifesting itself in different ways.” -Jessie Chui 

    Some of those guests knew what their why was three years ago. Some didn’t, but it was still there. There is a reason you are drawn to paper flowers. You just need to narrow down what exactly it is so that you can pursue it. Listen to the episode to hear even more about how to uncover what it is about the various aspects of being a paper florist that brings y

    • 41 min
    Episode 129 - Building a Positive Reputation Through Networking with Rebecca Grant

    Episode 129 - Building a Positive Reputation Through Networking with Rebecca Grant

    Rebecca Grant shares how she built an incredibly successful and well-respected wedding planning business, in large part due to networking.
    Many of us rely on word of mouth to advertise our paper flower businesses. Clients are going to trust a friend’s or event planner’s advice over a random ad any day.

    But where do you start? How do you connect with people who can recommend your work?

    In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we talked with Rebecca Grant of New Creations Weddings. She is a very recognized and respected wedding planner in the Seattle area, but that wasn’t always the case. Like all of us, Rebecca had to start her business from scratch. 

    She shared fantastic advice for anyone building a creative business. Listen now to learn how to cultivate a positive reputation as you navigate difficult decisions, adverse situations, and that often feared yet crucial piece, networking. 

     

    Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
    ► Rebecca’s journey to becoming a well-respected wedding planner.► How to evaluate if you should take that next big leap with your business.► What to think about when investing money in your business.► How to network successfully, even if you’re an introvert!► Why and how Rebecca is partially pivoting to wedding venue ownership.

     

    If you can’t listen right away, here is a peek at our conversation. Rebecca shared four specific reasons to evaluate when thinking about quitting your day job and jumping fully into your creative business. The last one was, as Rebecca said, “Network, network, network, network, network, network.” 

    A great way to build up your paper flower business is to network with other people in the wedding industry. Here are three things you can do to better connect with other professionals at networking events:

    Network with Friends
    Start with who you know! On the podcast, Quynh recommended bringing a friend along to networking events. If you’re new to these types of events, or you’re on the introverted side, a friend can help you feel less awkward and alone. 

    It’s also much easier to gush about your friend’s accomplishments, and vice versa. Chat to your friends in the industry to see who would be willing to go with you. Make sure that you know all about their work and they know about yours. 

    “It’s great to have friends that push you and are constantly driven themselves. It’s just really fun to be a part of their energy and push you to the next level, too.” -Rebecca Grant

    Take Networking Notes
    As Rebecca shared on the episode, the wedding networking events that she attends frequently draw in well over fifty people. Even if you only meet half of them, that’s still a lot of new faces and details to remember. 

    The solution? Take notes! Add their contact info to your phone, and attach a photo of their business card and a quick note of who introduced you and what you talked about. Also include a photo of them so you don’t forget what they look like. You can look for a headshot on their social media or website, or you can ask to take a selfie—and don’t feel bad about that request! Rebecca told us that she loves promoting these networking events on social media, because it encourages other people to join in later. She would gladly take a photo with a small group and that gets tagged at the event on Instagram.

    When individual businesses are built up, the entire industry benefits. Those with more experience in the wedding industry or other creative fields know this, and they will more than likely be very happy to chat and take a photo with you.

    Follow Up 
    If you meet somebody and they make an impression on you, message them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You want to strengthen the connection you made so that later on you can reconnect more easily. 

    Your message can be as simple as this: “Hello! It was great meeting you at [the event]. I enjoyed connecting with you about [subject]. I’

    • 48 min
    Episode 128 - How to Know Your Work is Right for You with Susan Beech

    Episode 128 - How to Know Your Work is Right for You with Susan Beech

    Susan Beech shares how she knew that being a paper florist was the right career path for her. Plus, hear about the publishing journey of her new paper flower book. 
    Do you ever worry that you’re committing time and money to the wrong job? 

    Even if you know that you love paper flowers, how can you be sure that you’re in the right specialty within our industry? 

    How can you avoid investing too much in a path that is ultimately a dead end?

    In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted with the lovely Susan Beech of A Petal Unfolds. She told us about her process of putting together and publishing her new book, and she shared her journey of discovering which artistic medium was the right fit for her. 

    We’re all about finding your why this season, and a huge part of that is being in the best job for you. Listen now to hear how paper flowers clicked for Susan and how you can evaluate which industry or speciality within paper floristry is right for you. 

     

    Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
    ► How Susan knew paper flower making was right for her.► Details about her book writing and publishing process.► How your unique background plays an important part in your career.► Where to find the best visual references when you can’t access fresh flowers.

     

    If you can’t listen right away, start with these three tips to get you thinking about whether you’re in the right place for your career. 

    Push the Boundaries
    In the exciting world of paper flowers, we’re pushing boundaries all the time. In the episode we chatted about the amazing growth that we’ve witnessed in our industry in a very short period of time. Discovering new uses of paper flowers happens because people like you try something!

    On a personal level, you will also benefit as you explore new areas of our craft. You won’t know if something works until you try it. You won’t know if you love something until you roll up your sleeves and do it. 

    To get to that excitement stage, try something new. It’s how we all discovered paper flowers initially. We weren’t born making them. We had to push the boundaries of what we knew first.  

    Practice New Skills
    As you navigate new areas of your career, pay attention to whether something is simply not for you or if it’s really just beginner’s nerves. Susan touched on this when she told us about how she began teaching.

    “When I first started teaching, I wouldn’t say I was a huge natural at teaching—standing up in front of people and teaching a class. But over the years I have had quite a lot of experience with teaching workshops, so I have built up my confidence quite a lot. I can run a class now without getting nervous.” -Susan Beech 

    Trying something new is uncomfortable. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not for you. While you don’t want to invest too much into a pursuit that’s not right for your business, do give yourself enough time to get comfortable with the skills needed for it. 

    Find ways that you can practice a new skill like teaching without putting too much time or money on the line. We’re creatives, so get creative!

    Give Time to Self-Reflection
    Once you try that new skill, you have to give yourself time to think about it. This is where the sometimes difficult work of untangling your feelings comes in. Will you like teaching if you get more comfortable with it? Or will it always feel like a drag? 

    In the episode, Susan told us about her experience trying new tactile mediums. You can hear more on the podcast, but in short, she could feel that paper flowers were special.

    “It felt different. I think it’s the excitement thing. I could see potential, and I could see opportunities, and it was exciting to make as a creator.” -Susan Beech

    If Susan hadn’t been paying attention to how she felt, she wouldn’t have worked this out. We’ve talked a lot about self-reflection this season because it’s such a critical

    • 43 min
    Episode 127 - Finding the Person You Want to Be with Eileen Lim

    Episode 127 - Finding the Person You Want to Be with Eileen Lim

    Learn from successful paper florist Eileen Lim about how she transformed from bitter to blooming with happiness by following her why.
    Do you feel excited to start your day? 

    Do you look forward to your work?

    Do you feel fulfilled? 

    If you answered no to any of those questions, you need to follow your why back to the person you want to be.   

    In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted with Eileen Lim of Miss Petal & Bloom. She was a delightful early guest on this podcast. We couldn’t wait to have her back again to talk about her new book and her why. She beautifully told us how she got back to her true self by making paper flowers and running her business. You’ll glean useful tips on how to become the best version of yourself, as well as a peek at the process behind photographing and writing a craft book.

     

    Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
    ► How to express your best self and your best qualities in your job.► What Eileen’s why is and how she found it.► How she found her aesthetic and showcases her style.► Details about what you can learn from Eileen’s upcoming book.► Why taking your own photos can be a strength and how to do it well.

     

    If you can’t listen right away, here are three things we discussed about how Eileen built her career so that she loves who she is as a person. Read her advice and hear even more on the episode.

    Take Time to Reflect
    We’ve mentioned it before this season, but finding your why takes time. You can’t sit down and figure it all out in an hour. 

    On the podcast, Eileen reiterated this piece of wisdom. She had to take the time to dive deep into paper flowers in order to find that she loved it. She had to try things out. She had to fail and succeed at different times. And very importantly, she had to reflect on what exactly she liked along her paper flower journey.

    But it’s worth it! The hard work of self-reflection can lead you down the path that’s right for you. It will avoid costly detours and lead to a happier life.

    “I do like the person who I am when I’m making flowers and when I’m my own boss.” -Eileen Lim

    Ask for Feedback
    Eileen shared how she was so miserable at her first job out of college that her parents could notice a big change in her demeanor. She wasn’t her regular cheerful self. 

    Our loved ones can often see what we can’t. Ask what they’ve noticed. Do you seem more relaxed in certain situations? Do they notice something that really stresses you out? Listen to their feedback. 

    Do keep in mind that one person’s opinion isn’t necessarily what you should do. But if multiple people are noticing the same thing, that’s a good opportunity to sit down and think about how exactly you could incorporate their advice. 

    Simply talking it out with a friend can help you get closer to your why, even if they don’t offer any concrete feedback. Find someone you trust to talk about your paper flower journey with.

    Make a Change
    Once you’ve done the difficult work of self-reflection and eliciting feedback from loved ones, you need to take action. 

    Taking that leap into the unknown can be scary! You might not be ready to jump into the deep end, but you should make changes where you can. 

    You’re going to make mistakes. That’s okay. We all do. You can learn from them and do better in the future. 

    “Even though it’s challenging and even though I make mistakes, at least I can say that I stay true to myself and I’m happy with who I am.” -Eileen Lim 

    Also, here's the PDF format for THE WHY WORKSHEET that you can download for free.

    **********

    About Eileen Lim: 

    Eileen Lim is the paper artist behind her whimsical online moniker ‘Miss Petal & Bloom.’ Based in Singapore, she is a full-time, self-taught crepe paper artist and has crafted blooms for brands such as Gucci, Bvlgari Parfums, Jo Malone, The Body Shop, Keds, Coach, Olivia Burton, and many more. She loves to teach

    • 33 min
    Episode 126 - Over Coffee: How We Use and Experiment with Crepe Paper

    Episode 126 - Over Coffee: How We Use and Experiment with Crepe Paper

    Jessie and Quynh discuss the various weights of crepe paper, including their strengths and limitations. We share lots of tips for how we use them and how to experiment with crepe. 
    The world of crepe paper has grown so much in recent years. 

    Paper florists are being seen and celebrated outside our industry, and supplies are becoming ever more accessible. That includes changes to which crepe paper is available.

    In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted all about the foundation of our craft: paper! We discussed where the newish 90 gsm Italian crepe fits in, how to improve colorfastness, and lots of tips for how to use all of the weights. Listen now to get back to the heart of what we do and what we love about crepe paper. 

     

    Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
    ► Some big places outside our industry that have featured paper flowers recently.► How we use each weight of crepe paper and practical tips for each.► Where to start with coloring crepe paper and preserving color.► Why experimentation is so vital to paper flower making.

    If you can’t listen right away, here are three reasons why you should start experimenting.

    Learn through Experience
    Experience is the best teacher. We and other teachers can guide you in the right direction, but trying it yourself is going to give you the most encompassing and useful knowledge. 

    “It’s so satisfying once everything falls in place and you’re like, ‘That paper’s good for this. I know the properties of that paper. I know the qualities. I know what it can do, what it can’t do. What are its limitations, what are its strengths.’ And I think that requires you to get your hands on it and work with it and also fail.” -Jessie Chui

    Get your hands on the different weights of paper. Experiment! Make mistakes! You’ll learn something valuable with each project that will make your future work even stronger. 

    You can hear what we’ve learned through experience with crepe on the episode.

    Discover Something New
    Breakthroughs in how we use crepe will never happen if we don’t experiment! Paper artists are constantly innovating because they try new things. Our industry would be static if we didn’t. There’s no creativity or joy in doing the same thing over and over again without any innovation.

    “That’s the fun part about paper flowers. Just like in nature, none of my paper flowers are exactly the same.” -Quynh Nguyen

    We all benefit from this as we share our discoveries with one another, as well. You don’t have to do all of the experimenting on your own. When we all take on some of the experimentation, our entire industry benefits. 

    Do keep in mind that you don’t have to share everything you learn. As Jessie said on the podcast, she doesn’t want to share how she makes her pansies. They are so important to her signature look, that she wants to keep what she’s discovered about making them to herself. That’s completely fine! Do consider where you can share and don’t keep everything to yourself.

    Fill Your Unique Needs
    No two paper florists are the same. All of us will prefer different papers, flowers, glue, techniques, and on and on. That’s how it should be. We aren’t a factory trying to make all of our paper flowers come out the same. 

    That does mean that no one else can figure out what works best for you. You have to experiment with various crepe paper to see what you like and what will look best for your aesthetic. This takes time and practice, but the results are completely worth it. 

    As we discussed in the episode, you can become a more well-rounded paper florist by understanding all of the weights and how they best work for you. 

    Also, here's the PDF format for THE WHY WORKSHEET that you can download for free.

    Join our Facebook group where you can share, connect, and grow with us. Please also consider donating on our website to help us keep producing great content like this. Thank you

    • 55 min
    Episode 125 - Forging Your Own Path with Felt Florist Marlena Colazo

    Episode 125 - Forging Your Own Path with Felt Florist Marlena Colazo

    Marlena Colazo shares how she learned to create felt flowers when other artists weren’t open to sharing knowledge. Hear how she used personal experience and connected with other industries to grow.
    How do you learn when no one will talk to you? 

     How do you build up an industry when no one trusts one another?

     In our latest episode of Paper Talk, we chatted with Marlena Colazo of Blossoms by Marlena. We are always so struck by her confidence. She shared all about the challenges that have helped her forge that confidence, plus how she has built her knowledge and grown her business even when doors were shut in her face. 

     Even if you feel alone, you can make progress by looking in different places and trusting yourself to keep growing. Marlena went from novice to being featured by Bloom TV Network. She did this by following a unique path that only she could forge, and you can do the same.

     

    Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation:
    ► Marlena’s journey from engineer to felt flower artist.► How she learned skills when other artists wouldn’t share knowledge.► The ways she’s built up trust in her own industry.► How felt has been an important part of parenting her son with autism.► Which hot glue gun Marlena recommends (a must for felt!)

     

    If you can’t listen right away, here is a look at just a few of the things that Marlena has done to find her own path and help others on theirs.  

    Learn from and Share Your Experience
    One of the best teachers is experience! It’s always nice when you can learn from an expert, but sometimes that’s not feasible. Marlena tried asking other felt artists about things, and they frequently worried that she would copy their work. 

    So she learned on her own. She ripped flowers apart. She tried new kinds of felt. Through trial and error, she figured out what worked for her. 

    Along the way, she found her unique style. Having that distinct look means that she doesn’t worry about others copying her. You can hear in the episode how she now shares the knowledge that she wished she had back in the beginning.

    “I don’t mind sharing some of my providers, because I know I have my own style. Even if I give you the exact felt, you can buy it, but you can’t create what I do. I’m not afraid of you copying me, because even if you go with the color, it’s not going to be the same as me. Always, people will know which one is the copy.” -Marlena Colazo

    Respond to Criticism with Kindness 
    Putting your work out into the world means exposing your art to criticism. Sometimes you can learn from this. Oftentimes, it’s just plain mean. 

    When Marlena encounters mean comments, she responds. She thanks the person for sharing their opinion, and then she moves on. She keeps in mind that for every negative person, there are multiple people who do love and buy her work. 

    You can hear more about how she responds and some of the benefits of doing it this way by listening to the podcast.

    Learn from Other Industries
    Marlena has tried her hand at other artistic endeavors. She tried paper flower making, and she’s currently in a class creating edible flowers for decorating food. These undertakings are not always successful.

    “I never learned how to make paper flowers, because I was ripping the paper up. I was like, ‘No this is not for me. I need to go back to felt.’” -Marlena Colazo

    That doesn’t mean that Marlena didn’t learn anything, though! As we discussed in the podcast, we frequently use sewing and painting skills for creating our paper flowers. The same holds true for felt artistry or really any skill. You will be stronger if you draw experience from outside industries. That’s how innovation happens, and that’s how you can learn when doors in your own community aren’t opening.

    Listen to the episode to hear more specifics about how Marlena joined and learned from other groups, as well as how she started to build more trust in

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

R-Grant ,

Genuine help and support to women entrepreneurs

LOVED speaking with Jesse

The Inspiration Place ,

Great podcast!!

Love this show. I particularly liked the interview with Martha Lucia Tokos. As a professional artist, I recognize how important it is to make connections with your local community. I’m looking forward to more episodes!!

Emily Mc. ,

Perfect for the paper flower obsessed!

I adore this podcast, and yes, I’m obsessed with making paper flowers. I’m a hobbyist, but I love hearing all the business advice from Jessie and Quynh and their guests. It gives me confidence that I could turn my hobby into a business. If you love paper flowers, give this podcast a listen and join the Paper Talk Facebook group. You won’t be disappointed!

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