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Meet Hayley Charbonneau of Bear Flowers Preserved in Smyrna

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Charbonneau.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Hayley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story starts a little over 13 years ago when I was inspired by a character in a book who picked, pressed, and framed flowers as decor. I started attempting this myself shortly after finishing the book and became addicted to it pretty much immediately. I was putting framed flower art all over my tiny apartment and creating a little world for myself within all the flowers. My boyfriend (now fiancé) ended up building me a flower press to enable this little passion of mine. Fast forward a couple of years later to when my tattoo artist gave me the chance to sell my flower art and changed my life forever. My passion turned into a small side hustle for three years, which recently just turned into a small business. I started with simple pressed flowers in frames and now I’m making elaborate dried bridal bouquets for styled wedding shoots. I’m creating my own flower art and also making custom frames for some pretty awesome clients. I’m preserving bridal bouquets and have recently partnered with a couple of venues to offer my services as well. It’s been a lot of hard work and it hasn’t been easy, but this little hobby ignited a fire within me and I’m so grateful to be where I am now.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve been pretty lucky so far and haven’t had too many issues arise. I have worked with an array of clients and creative professionals over the years and always managed to have great experiences. I think a huge part of that success is from the 6+ years I spent working in the corporate world and knowing how important it is to have good communication and customer service. The irony now is that the COVID-19 outbreak essentially happened at the launch of my new business, but I’m refusing to let it define me and my future. I’m going to continue to keep growing, adapting, and pushing myself to overcome this.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Bear Flowers Preserved – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m a floral designer that makes unique, one-of-a-kind, flower art. I press and preserve handpicked flowers that I find out in nature, so I specialize in dried flowers mainly. My work ranges from pressed florals in frames, to glass terrariums filled with dried florals, wasp’s nests, broken bird eggs, snake skin, moth wings, or dragonflies, to creating completely custom dried bridal bouquets, and also preserving them. What sets me apart is that I never make the same thing twice; each piece will always be different from the next! I also safely preserve all the flowers and insects so they maintain their color and strength for years down the road.

I think most people know me for bridal bouquet preservation and for the tiny lightbulb terrariums I make, but my dried bridal bouquets are starting to get some attention which makes me incredibly happy. Within the last couple of years, I’ve really found my aesthetic and groove and am humbled by how much love my dried flowers have received.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I just launched my website that allows customers to order my frames or services online, and will also help in showcasing my art on more platforms than just social media. I’ve got a really exciting upcoming opportunity where I’ll be leading a small workshop on how to make a dried flower vase too, so I’m excited to see where that takes me! Seeing how much Bear Flowers Preserved has grown over the years has been humbling, and to call myself a business owner at the fresh age of 31 is honestly still surreal to me. It’s taken a lot of dedication and hard work to get here, so I’m not stopping now. I’m excited to be a part of more styled shoots where I’ll be able to experiment with more floral designs, different types models and concepts, and hopefully some installations. I’ve partnered with some amazingly talented photographers and venues which I’m very grateful for, and I hope to keep growing those networks and sharing my art with the community.

Pricing:

  • Bridal Bouquet Preservation (starting at) $160
  • Custom Dried Flower Bouquet (starting at) $180
  • Custom Frame Project (starting at) $75

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Taitt Vosatka Photography, Samantha Harrell Photo, Y Studio Photography, Oak & Pine Photography

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