Page & Bloom are reinventing floristry with hand crafted paper flowers, sustainably designed from preloved books, maps and paper. They are handmade by women who are rebuilding their lives after domestic abuse.
For over two hundred years Ordnance Survey have mapped every square mile of the British Isles. Sat Nav’s and apps almost made these a relic of the past. Books too often find their way into landfill, as the glue that binds them makes them difficult to recycle alongside other household recycling. Page and Bloom have designed a way to protect these pre-loved materials whilst also having a meaningful impact on women’s lives.
Founded by Rosie Oglesby who has a background in campaigning for social justice, Page & Bloom was inspired by her work with women in the UK and overseas. ‘Domestic abuse affects so many women and has a devasting impact on lives and families. I wanted to do something more sustainable than a traditional charity approach, by giving women a stepping stone back into employment so they can support themselves. Even when women want to work, there can be significant practical and emotional barriers to starting a job in a traditional workplace’.
Rosie has partnered with Hestia, a refuge that provides a safe community for women and children who have been made homeless due to domestic abuse. After the women leave the refuge, they can be referred to Page & Bloom who offer free training and paid employment to make the beautiful decorations they help sell. Rosie comments that ‘there is a real challenge for women transitioning back into employment after such a traumatic period. We try really hard to design the job around women’s needs at this particular point in their life’.
One of the benefits of the structure created by Page & Bloom is the ability to be flexible to working patterns of the women and their childcare needs. ‘Our makers do some of the work from our site so we can offer training and support, particularly at the beginning, but they can also make the flowers from home at times that suit them, fitting around their other commitments.’
Page & Bloom have also been running free workshops for women still living in the shelters. which offer the residents a chance to be creative and focus on making something beautiful for a couple of hours. They are now ready to take on their first paid employee, who has recently moved out of a refuge with her children. Rosie has ambitious plans to grow the organisation and its impact.
‘Getting back into work can make a huge difference to a woman who is rebuilding her life after domestic abuse, in so many positive ways. Our ambition is to offer this opportunity to as many women as we can, giving them the break, they need to start creating new stories and better futures. We’re looking at new ways to grow the business so we can help more women, including a range of corporate office and event flowers, and offering flower making experience days- so watch this space!’
So this Valentine’s Day, why not get your loved one a single red rose or if you’re looking for something more extravagant try the red rose bouquet or the stunning map roses:
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