SCOUTING AROUND: Business blooms for former teacher
Jamie Holmes was never really an artsy or crafty person. Today, she supports her family with her beautifully crafted paper flowers that have decorated weddings, nurseries and events all over the world.
Making the flowers started as something just for fun in 2014. She was a teacher at the time, working at both Murphy and Ranger elementary schools. Holmes learned how to make paper flowers by watching YouTube videos, then got better and better, until one day she decided to open an Etsy shop to sell her creations and posting images of her work on Instagram.
“It just took off from there,” she said.
In summer 2015, she was contacted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create 30 crepe paper red roses to hang from the ceiling and accompany an exhibit. She worked three weeks, non-stop, to create the roses.
The project ended up jump starting her business, A Paper Event. Her work has been used for baby showers, weddings, business backdrops and by production companies for events. She said a lot of people request her flowers decorate nurseries. She has stopped teaching because of the success of the business.
“I just think it’s insane we were able to create a business of paper flowers,” Holmes said. “I just feel good about it. It’s just incredible.”
She still operates the business from a studio at her home, but it has grown enough that she now has four machines to cut petals that she used to cut by hand. She has gotten her husband, Zach, and son, Dylan Hall, involved in making the flowers. The average flower has 20 8-by-11-inch petals shaped and glued together.
Holmes said they go through several reams of paper each week, all delivered to her house. Then they mail the finished creations to clients.
“I feel bad for the mail lady,” she said.
School auctions for STEM
Each year, Martins Creek Middle School takes its students on a special field trip to give them experiences outside of the area. One way the teachers help the students raise funds for this trip is with the annual Poor Man’s Supper and Auction fundraiser, which was held Saturday night at the school.
The cafeteria was full with people ready to bid on donated items including pieces of art, salon services, entertainment gift certificates and even motor oil.
“We really appreciate the businesses that donate because without their donations, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Amy Morin, one of the teachers running the event.
Teacher Rodney Sellers commanded the crowd with his auctioneering skills, as students served food and presented the items for bid. Meanwhile, Rhonda Phillips and Morin kept track of the auction’s winning bids.
For this year’s trip, 40 students and 16 chaperones are going to Charlotte in February for a STEM-themed trip. Morin said the trip each year has an educational component, and since it is the “year of the engineer” they focused on places with an element of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering & Math.
On their trip, they plan to visit the aquarium, planetarium, children’s theater, an escape room, a ropes course, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Lazy 5 Ranch and Laser Quest. The cost of the trip is $450 per person.
Ranger Carnival coming this weekend
Ranger Elementary/Middle School is welcoming families to its annual Fall Carnival from 6-9 p.m. Saturday on the campus off U.S. 64 West.
“It’s a great time for families,” said Brandy Raper, PTA secretary and teacher representative, adding the carnival provides a safe place for children to play.
The event features a haunted house, games, cake walk and bingo. There also will be raffles for prizes including a spa basket donated from Serenity in the Mountains Spa and two rocking chairs donated by Lowe’s.
Admission is $1, and tickets are 25 cents each or five for $1. Money raised at the event will go toward funding a variety of projects at the school.
Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, email@example.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.