by Eric A Thomas
Flowers are used to commemorate, send respect, honor and love in a tangible way for many different occasions throughout our lives. The gift of fresh flowers offers a special meaning that is unlike any other gift that could be given. One local entrepreneur hopes to help you preserve these special memories.
Samantha Blimling has taken a hobby of preserving flowers and created a business called Ever After. Launched about four months ago, Blimling works at transforming flowers that were from anything such as a celebration of life, anniversary, birthday, new baby event or a wedding – so that someone can hold onto them as a keepsake. “Really any flower that holds sentimental value can be turned into a personal keepsake that will last a lifetime,” she comments. “I also infuse ashes from a loved one or beloved pet into keepsakes that you can hold close to you to remember that important member of your family.”
Available are a variety of resin-casted items including picture frames, keychains, ornaments, bracelets, necklaces, coasters, bookmarks, car mirror hangers and much more. People come up with their own ideas and Blimling enjoys bringing their ideas to life. According to her, the two most requested items so far have been dried flower beaded bracelets and car mirror hangers.
Blimling has always enjoyed the delicacy and exquisiteness of flowers but disliked that the beauty and memories fade away as the flowers die. “I wanted a way to incorporate the actual petal of the flower into something that you could touch and hold forever,” she adds. “I wanted to invoke beauty, love and warmth every time you looked at it – something to last.” Countless hours were spent researching and practicing in order to establish the format on which she has embarked. The process includes drying out the flowers and incorporating them into resin so the customer can see the acuity of each petal in each keepsake.
Customers provide Blimling with the flowers they wish to preserve. These flowers can either be dried already or she will dry them at no charge for you. The process of drying the flowers can take up to a month. Once the flowers are dried, putting them into their final display format can take up to two weeks, depending on the order.
“Right now I am relying on word of mouth, but hope to explore other ways of featuring my work,” concludes Blimling. “I am completely dedicated in helping the customer preserve those special memories using flowers or ashes to turn them into beautiful tributes.” Currently, the public can view the keepsakes through the Ever After page on Facebook. Inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217-490-0467.
She and her husband Jared have two children, Gage and Adalyn. The couple have lived in the Murrayville/Jacksonville area for over 30 years. She says she appreciates the support of her family as she embarks on this new business venture.