- Gabriella Palmieri
A Blooming Business
Lauren Bardsley of LaurenBleaves has taken her appreciation and passion for nature's beauty and poured it into a blooming business. A true artist, Lauren presses flowers and transforms them into some of the most stunning and unique pieces of art. These aren't just your grandma's pressed flower frames. Lauren can transform flowers into anything from portraits of your beloved pet to the logo of your favorite sports team. What's more, is the meaning that many of these pieces hold. From pressed wedding bouquet flowers, to a collection of buds from a family trip, Lauren's art preserves treasured moments for her clients, giving them something beautiful to admire day-in and day-out.
featuring Lauren Bardsley, owner of LaurenBleaves
What's your craft?
Pressed flower & leaf artwork. Custom botanical artwork, and bridal bouquet preservation.
How did you get your start?
I've always had a love for the natural world. From a young age I developed a keen interest in and passion for plants, flowers, and in particular leaves. While in college I would go to the library with the good intention of studying, but instead often found myself being drawn outside to the maple trees, gathering their leaves to laminate and give away as book marks. This craft turned into a passion which eventually grew to include pressed flowers, which I also laminated as gifts for friends.
Post college and celebrating our first Christmas together in 2012, my now husband gifted me a laminating machine of my own, which I promptly broke by attempting to laminate a sunflower. Six years later, he re-purchased the laminator as a gift on our wedding day. Rekindling my passion with a desire to preserve our wedding flowers and the memories they held, I thought of the idea to press them, but this time display using frames and glass. The more I kept experimenting, the more my creativity blossomed. My love of conserving those magical experiences became interwoven with the passion for preserving the beauty of nature.
What has been the largest obstacle you've encountered so far?
Shipping and space. Most of my supplies come from overseas. In recent months, due to the global pandemic and trade tariffs, shipping and costs have taken a serious toll on time, efficiency and expenses. Space: it’s hard living in a 1 bedroom apartment and trying to start and grow a business! The business needs room for boxes, shipping supplies, frames, florals, and leaves! While I’d like to expand into larger pieces, I still have the capacity to grow on a smaller scale and am hoping to have a card stock line out in the near future!
What has been the 'best day ever' for you and your business so far?
The best day ever was my very first craft fair in Long Beach on Long Island. I had not sold any pieces outside a few friends and family and was extremely nervous as I didn’t know if people would be interested in my work. So I took a gamble, and I was completely blown away. I sold out almost all of my first 65 pieces. I was then fired up to continue on and expand by creating a website and appearing in more craft fairs.
What types of marketing have been key to your success?
Instagram for sure. Because my work is very visual, I feel Instagram is a good way of displaying everything. I am also linked with Facebook. I do feel word of mouth from customers have been how I obtain a lot of new customers. Craft fairs has been great for exposure. People love seeing hands on pieces up close and personal. Some of my work is also featured in Port Washington’s shop, Wit and Whim, and recently the Glen Head Pharmacy!
Who inspires you?
It may be a clichè, but nature is my inspiration. I love being surrounded by nature, and love feeling that my artwork is made solely from the earth. I believe it is important to protect and appreciate the planet now more than ever. I hope my gratitude and appreciation for the beauty in the simplicity of nature is reflected in my art.
Any words of wisdom to leave us with?
Starting and growing a business is a true learning experience. It’s diving into the unknown and learning things as you go. If something doesn’t work out, or you’re unsure of taking the next, or correct step, it’s okay to make a mistake, because you’ll learn from it.
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