We all have them; multiple boxes and drawers dedicated to paper memories. From letters to program books, invitations to funeral cards, and of course, a vast collection of our children’s drawings. For the sentimental at heart, this can be daunting. We can’t bring ourselves to dispose of these treasures, yet the ways to share and display them are limited. That is, until Allegra Murray had a novel idea, which began, fittingly enough, with a novel.
Involved with several nonprofits in her community (including the Milton Public Library), Allegra helped organize the library’s Jane Austen Tea Event and volunteered to create roses from upcycled book pages as centerpieces. The flowers were so well received that the concept blossomed and grew from there. She began crafting and honing her unique skill with whatever paper she could acquire. From old maps abandoned in glove boxes to partially completed crossword puzzles, she would transform the paper into single stem roses. Discovering the beauty in this celebration of the printed word accentuated by 3-D floral designs, Allegra began exploring new ways to showcase them.
“I started making the flowers smaller and smaller”, says Allegra, “discovering that the smallest I could create was about half an inch in diameter – the perfect size for jewelry!” And so began The Petal Peddler’s Shop. Today, she crafts several different styles of earrings and necklaces utilizing all different types and textures of paper, from sheet music to hand-painted book pages, and more.
The beauty in each piece is that it’s uniquely symbolic of a personal story. One of Allegra’s favorites is an order she received from a client for a floral necklace to be designed out of an old crossword puzzle completed by her father. “Each client who contacts me has a very personal connection with the paper they select for their custom-made orders”, Allegra says. “Whether it’s a bride wishing to carry a bouquet of Shakespeare’s sonnets or a boutonnière made from a map of the groom’s hometown, The Shop offers a way to incorporate something very meaningful into an intricately hand crafted, one of kind keepsake”.
The full-sized roses continue to be The Petal Peddler’s Shop’s most popular item, offering a way to free stashed memorabilia from storage to be appreciated daily. In growing demand are the bouquets made from children’s drawings, which can be mailed to Allegra to become thoughtful teacher appreciation gifts.
As for the jewelry, it is, to put it simply, a chance to wear your story, making the possibility of romantic and sentimental gift ideas endless, (think wedding vows turned necklace as an anniversary gift). For literary lovers, it’s a way of transforming one form of art into another. As both an artist and a businesswoman, Allegra is always seeking new ways to evolve, expand and challenge herself. With the holidays rapidly approaching, The Petal Peddler’s Shop will be offering exquisite paper rose ornaments, gift bows and home decor, in addition to the regular offerings.
To learn more go to Facebook.com/thepetalpeddlersshop, and be sure to follow on Instagram @thepetalpeddlersshop
Direct inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.