For Towson mom Floriona Alcani, business is blooming. She’s the owner of Floral Flair, a paper flower studio brightening up residential and commercial spaces with colorful, impossible-to-ignore blossoms. She is also mom to a three-year-old who inspired it all.

Growing up in Albania, Floriona was always creative (drawing, acting, singing, crafting, playing the piano) and both her parents were artists; even so, she never seriously considered pursuing a creative career. After her daughter was born, however, she started making paper flowers to decorate her nursery. She quickly fell in love with the process, finding it therapeutic in those anxious early days as a new mom.

She casually shared a few photos of her work on Instagram, and it wasn’t long before people started to reach out for their own paper flower decor. Thus Floral Flair Studio was born, a name which, besides being wonderfully alliterative with Floriona’s own, expresses her lifelong love for and fascination with all things related to flowers.

Floriona is a problem solver by nature, so has found that aspect of running a small business to come easily. Other aspects have been slightly more challenging, however, such as marketing. Not to mention the dreaded imposter syndrome, an overly self-critical eye, and creeping doubt – something a lot of creatives might be able to relate to. She makes a concerted effort to surround herself with the right people who can always pull her back to center.

When the pandemic struck, Floriona had to switch her focus from in-person workshops and creating backdrops for live events to educational content (her time-lapse videos are mesmerizing), hosting virtual workshops, and designing paper flower templates for download. While it wasn’t her original plan, the pivot was a fairly seamless one.

Floriona’s work brings color, joy, and a feeling of optimism to every room. She plans to continue growing in 2022, with a new website in the works as well as workshops and plenty of blooms.

Follow Floriona on Instagram.

Cool Tip: Looking for a fun gift that kids can make? Download a template from Floriona’s Etsy Shop and create giftable paper art!

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in our 2021 Charmed Holidays Guide. Photos by Laura Black.