Paper florist Karen Hsu creates beautiful pom pom style bouquets, sculptures, and installations primarily using sustainable and biodegradable materials. Karen first came up with the idea of Pom Pom Factory when she was working at a boutique in London. It was here that she began to be recognised by bloggers, stylists, and photographers who marvelled over her unique window displays. Now located in Shoreditch, she runs a bustling team of floral artists, designers, and production superstars. We spoke to the London-based maker to hear about her route into the business, what her day-to-day looks like and her top tip for living more sustainably.
What led you to start your business?
I have always been attracted to the possibilities of what you can create with paper since my mother showed me the art of origami when I was young. After graduation, I started working at an independent boutique, Mercantile London, at the Spitalfields Market and it was there that I started to experiment with different paper displays. I eventually had to quit my work to focus on creating paper flower installations when the orders got bigger and more frequent.
What steps have you taken to be more sustainable as a business?
It is important to us to reuse our paper flowers and dried foliages as much as possible. Our paper flowers are made from fine Italian crepe paper which gives the flowers structure and sturdiness, that's why they can stay in shape for many years. There are elements from our bigger displays we created 5-6 years ago that have been reused to create new displays. We also keep all off-cuts and turn them into mailing fillers and we are working on something exciting with them at the moment.
How would you describe your day-to-day?
I start my day with either a workout or meditation, then I will head to my studio via Crispin to get my morning coffee. Then it's email time and making an action plan for the day. And it's my favourite part of the day which is paper flower making. I will usually leave the studio at around 6pm and always check if there are any Too Good To Go bags available in my area. They are a great way to help limit food waste. I will then head home, cook dinner, watch a film or take a bath before bed.
What does home mean to you?
To me, home is from within, where I feel peaceful and safe spiritually and mentally.
What’s your top tip for living more sustainably?
Buy less and if you need to buy anything think about how much use you can get out of it.
Name a forever item of clothing or accessory that you couldn't live without?
A good pair of jeans.