The world can always use more natural beauty, and that’s what Ashley Foster set out to do when she started Seek & Bloom, a company whose wares include stationery, wedding keepsakes, and original artwork, all with a universal theme — pressed flowers. A botanical lover by nature (ha), Ashley’s previous work in the graphic design, photography, and marketing trades have served her well in her stationery pursuits. When she’s not pressing or crafting with flowers to make intricate creations, she can be found teaching at her family’s gym in Annapolis Valley as a spin instructor. Her strong entrepreneurial spirit and love of encouraging others make her a great addition to the Paper Hearts Pen Pal family!
What’s your business’s origin story?
I started designing wedding invitations and stationery in 2012 when I was on maternity leave with my first son. It was always a dream of mine and I knew once I had a young child that I wanted the flexibility of working from home. After five years in the wedding industry and another addition to our family, I needed a change. I was working long hours with young kids and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled anymore. I’ve always loved flowers and stationery but never thought I would be merging the two until I came across some old pressed flowers my mom had saved. I loved how the texture felt like paper! Soon I started arranging and photographing them, and turned them into cards and wedding invitations. It pretty much snowballed from there!
What made you choose to work with stationery in a digital age?
I’m a bit old fashioned. I believe invitations should be personal and that cards should be given for no reason at all. Stationery can uplift someone's spirits, whether it’s for a special occasion or just because. I’m typically the sender much more than the receiver but it feels good to mail a little card or gift to someone just to let them know you’re thinking of them. I’ve even had a friend tell me that she’s kept every card I’ve given her and has even framed a few, and that makes all my hard work worthwhile.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you first got started?
I wish I had known how hard it would be. Being an entrepreneur means your brain never really gets a chance to shut off and the workload never ends. There are always new ideas to work on, opportunities to go after, and bookkeeping to be done (my least favourite part). It’s so rewarding and fulfilling but without creating a healthy work/life balance it’s easy to burn out and lose inspiration.
What made you want to be a Post Office Pen Pal?
I love any opportunity to collaborate and support fellow entrepreneurs in the creative industry. After working solo for over eight years I’ve learned the importance of finding like-minded women to work with. Over the years this mindset has created a great sense of community for me. Collaboration helps us all become stronger, and some of my best friendships have grown from a simple DM. I’m so excited about the opportunity to work together!
Want to view Ashley's work online?
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