There's a new business in town run by two sisters called Petals & Paper, located at 14 South Main Street near the intersection of Main Street and Afton Avenue. Opening day was Sept. 1. Originally from California, the two sisters who own the shop now reside in Yardley.
Joon Kim, 27, moved to the east coast to be closer to her sister, Jessica. Both women received several degrees. Joon got her bachelors degree from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where she majored in psychology. She also received a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She is the company’s CFO (chief financial officer).
Jessica, 30, has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from UCLA Irvine where she also received her master’s degree in education. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania and taught at Columbia University Teachers College. She is the CEO (chief executive officer) of Petals & Paper.
Both young women had a desire to work in business together. Jessica wanted to use her creative abilities.
“We design modern floral arrangements,” said Joon. “We do custom invitations. We have tea products. We have seven different flavors from green tea to white tea.”
On the flower side of the business, which is the main thrust, the duo specializes in events such as weddings, birthdays and funerals.
What’s unique about their floral arrangements is they use a lot of bright bold colors. They use different types of wildflowers as well as anything from sunflowers, rose and mums.
“My sister always had the idea that she wanted to go into business to use her creative side,” Joon said. “Coming from an art background, we thought it would be a good idea to combine our ideas.”
Janie Werner walked in the flower boutique after having her nails done nearby. “I’m thrilled that you’re here,” she told Joon and Jessica. She purchased a card.
“They combine a flower together with a little bit of humor,” Jessica said about the cards. “We also included a coupon for the next time you come in.”
Jessica said there’s something to be said about Main Street America. “The neatest part of being here is you never know who comes in,” she said. “Everyone knows the area really well.
“This one woman, Tony, she just told us the history of Yardley and how she used to go to Trenton when she was young,” Jessica said. “She was just a beautiful woman. She moved to Princeton. She said she needs someone to decorate her apartment with live plants. We said, ‘we would love to do that!’”
Jessica taught at Columbia University. “I enjoyed teaching but the commute was a little tough,” Jessica said. “We had recently moved to Yardley. I was commuting two hours a day. I was really missing being creative. I wanted to find an outlet, not just on the weekends and in the summer.”
While Joon and Jessica each landed jobs in their fields, they always had what Jessica calls “entrepreneurial spirits."
"I think we’ve always talked about a business,” Jessica said. “We never went to school together. She has a different background and I have mine.”
A lot of their friends were planning weddings. “We noticed a lot of choices weren’t available to brides and grooms in regards to flower décor, to custom invitations,” Jessica said. “Everything was either really expensive or very cookie cutter.”
Jessica noted that very little of one's own personality or taste can go into wedding planning. “Joon and I thought there is a niche -- a market out there that we could fill while also helping all of these brides.”
Joon began to think about how she wanted to plan her own wedding. While Joon was doing research, she and her sister couldn’t find a lot of places that could do very beautiful contemporary floral designs as well as custom invitations that were within their taste and budget.
“That’s how we started brainstorming about the idea.” Jessica said. “That’s how we came up with the name, Petals & Paper. Petals represent the floral aspect of what we do and paper symbolizes all the different paper products that we provide or have available to our clients.”
With the current economy, the sisters ask what is comfortable for their clients financially.
Jessica said their service to their customers is personalized. “We make ourselves available off hours.
“The reason why we really wanted to find a space in Yardley is because we live in Yardley and we wanted to work in Yardley,” she said. “Rarely are people able to live and work in the same community and we just thought that was a wonderful idea.
“Our neighbors are our customers and vice versa,” Jessica said. “So far, it’s been very neighborly. Everyone says, ’Hi!’ and waves. We get to know our customers’ names.”