Milford paper flower shop encourages love of craftsmanship with locals
When Milford native Anastasia Jackson made her first paper flower nearly five years ago, she had no idea it would later become a business.
“I was just trying to find things to do while being sedentary,” said Jackson, who was recovering from a hip injury at the time in late 2017. “It was encouraging because I had a lot of free time. ‘stop.”
A YouTube search for home crafts with household items led her to a paper flower tutorial. Once she made it her first, she posted a picture of it on Facebook.
Soon after, her first order for a personalized paper flower came from Texas, she said.
Jackson’s paper flower requests resumed and eventually turned into Cookie’s paper petals.
Just before the pandemic hit, Jackson decided to take her floral foray a step further and opened a physical store in Milford on Front Street.
“I was going through so many things at once; my world has collapsed. That’s what made me pursue the showcase in 2020,” she said. “No matter what happened, I was going to thrive.”
Cookie’s Paper Petals serves as an ode to Jackson’s grandmother, who nicknamed her “Cookie”. Her grandmother passed away in 2017 while her business was starting up. She thought using her nickname brought more attention and allowed for an inspirational story she could share with people, she said.
Today, her paper flowers have reached every state in the country — and even beyond, including places like Trinidad and Tobago and the Ivory Coast.
Jackson’s Facebook page is filled with behind-the-scenes looks at her paper flower orders, updates on upcoming events, weekly live streams, and craft-related discussions.
Jackson recently hosted a livestream where she prepared an order for California that was to be used as a background decoration for a client’s home office.
“The paintings are amazing, but the paper flowers are like, ‘Oh wow, what is that?'” she says.
Just like a regular flower arrangement, paper flowers have a multitude of uses, including centerpieces or corsages, wall hangings or bouquets. Made with paper, tape, yarn, and glue instead of live flowers, these decorations are easier to maintain, long-lasting, and more economical.
Jackson also created backdrops for baby showers that were later used for children’s rooms, flower bouquets for a bridal shower that ended up serving as centerpieces, and various special designs requested by clients.
At its storefront, people can buy paper flowers, sign up for paper flower making classes, or attend various events.
The company held a Valentine’s Day event where four different vendors were present, allowing people to stop and pick up various craft kits throughout the day, such as a Valentine’s Day t-shirt. Valentine’s Day, and easily complete them to take home and enjoy.
“We live in such a fast-paced world where everyone wants to grab and go,” she said. “That’s the cool thing about make-and-take.”
Take-out events are open during store hours and allow customers to enter at their convenience and participate in crafting exercises.
Another make and take will take place at the storefront on March 5 as an early celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with related crafts. One of the featured instructors will be a local vendor who makes custom doormats.
Not only does Jackson provide her with space for one-of-a-kind events if clients wish to host gatherings such as bachelor parties or bridal showers there, but she also visits clients who request a paper flower-making class. live for their celebrations.
Above Cookie’s Paper Petals is a studio that Jackson has turned into a “creative space.” For a $45 annual subscription, people who don’t have their own DIY space can use the studio to get creative and make new friends.
Jackson also created a Facebook group, called East Coast Crafters, where people can share their latest creations, get feedback from others, and foster friendships with other craft enthusiasts.
Starting this year, the shop will have a flower of the month that can be spotted fun around the storefront and released in tandem with a cookie launch. January was the month of the rose and February that of the dahlia.
Jackson also plans to make paper flowers that raise awareness of current events, including the fight against breast cancer and World Autism Awareness Day.
“There are a lot of new things that are going to happen in the next two months,” she said. “I just thought it was going to be something I did at home, and now I have this showcase, which is amazing.”