HTX Wonderful Weddings 2015
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Wedding flowers that last forever: Ukraine transplant's unique approach wows blushing brides & reality TV stars

Wedding flowers that last forever: Ukraine transplant's unique ways

8 Selfies at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
Samantha Grow and Hector Dyer among many couples taking selfies in front of the wall of flowers.  Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 Khrystyna Balushka at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
Paper Flower Artistry creator Khrystyna Balushka. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 Floral bracelets at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
Paper Flower Artistry creations include floral bracelets. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
20 Divisi Strings at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
Balushka decorates the backdrop for Divisi Strings at the Bridal Extravaganza. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
14 Edible Designs by Jessie creation at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
The Paper Flower Artistry piece was custom made for Edible Designs by Jessie. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
12 More jewelry at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
The floral bracelets come in several styles. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
223 Cindy Cheng modeling David Peck and Zadok Jewelers at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Paper Flower Artistry provided the fashion show backdrop for this charity fashion show. Photo courtesy of Quy Tran Photography
1 Necklaces at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
The artist designs necklaces from her paper flowers. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
11 Display at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
More accessories by Paper Flower Artistry. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 Selfies at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
6 Khrystyna Balushka at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
2 Floral bracelets at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
20 Divisi Strings at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
14 Edible Designs by Jessie creation at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
12 More jewelry at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
223 Cindy Cheng modeling David Peck and Zadok Jewelers at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
1 Necklaces at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015
11 Display at the Paper Flower Artistry January 2015

Surrounded by walls and shelves of magnificent paper flowers at the Bridal Extravaganza, paper designer Khrystyna Balushka hardly has a moment to answer a few questions. The soon-to-be brides are all over her unique approach to wedding decor, asking questions and taking selfies in front her elaborate displays.

Balushka creates massive backdrops of paper flowers for wedding photos, designs floral arches for wedding ceremonies and even designs bridal bouquets that will, in essence, last forever. She also creates delicate bracelets and contemporary necklaces from her flowers. The brides-to-be have questions about pricing and design and most of them want their photo taken with the 30-year-old from the Ukraine.

Since establishing Paper Floral Artistry only three years ago, Balushka has seen her business literally blossom into a full-time career that typically means 18 hour days and more than her share of paper cuts. "Look at my hands," she muses. "They are not pretty. I cannot have beautiful hands with this work."

Balushka estimates the 30 percent of her work is bridal while the majority of her commissions come from retail. Just around the corner from her Bridal Extravaganza booth, Divisi Strings performs against a backdrop graced with her florals. Across from her booth, Balushka points to flowers she created for an Edible Designs display.

 Balushka has seen her business literally blossom into a full-time career that typically means 18 hour days and more than her share of paper cuts. 

With degrees in economics and business, she headed to the U.S. to study fashion design but was sidetracked when one of her professors asked her to create a floral backdrop for a fashion shoot."Overnight, I taught myself . . . I started my career just like that," she says.

Balushka basically has four kinds of flowers, the camellia being the most popular and the peony the most labor intensive requiring about 2.5 hours. She creates her flowers in a warehouse office with several assistants though she says, as a self-admitted perfectionist, "I still make everything myself. My assistants help with crinkling."

Her work has become popular nationwide with her flowers displayed in the New York Public Library, on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and in The Knot.

While her work appears in retailers around the city including David Peck USA, her current big contract is with the gourmet candy company Sugarfina. She is creating flower designs for the company's flagship in New York as well as its other stores around the country.

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