Mallory Fulmore creates watercolour greeting cards to spread messages of joy and positivity
Over the last year and a half, COVID-19 has presented a multitude of challenges, frustrations and disappointments. However, Mallory Fulmore used her time off work during the first lockdown to dive into and explore her love for art.
Capturing nature’s beauty
Mallory works as a dental hygienist and the office closed for two and half months at the beginning of the pandemic last year. During this time, she and her husband were housesitting for a friend who has a large garden. Mallory couldn’t help but enjoy the beauty of the colourful spring flowers.
“I spent lots of time in the garden and I rediscovered my love of painting. I had always painted and am really artsy, but I rekindled that (passion) again,” Mallory says. “I spent a lot of days on their patio painting and that was when all the blooms were out in March and April.”
Mallory then began making cards with these carefully crafted pictures, including “I miss you” cards for her “family because that was when we (couldn’t) see anyone and we only left the house to get groceries,” she says.
Mallory uses watercolours for her cards “because it is a medium that you can’t control too much. You’ve just got to let it go and let it guide you, which was both frustrating and freeing at first. But now it’s simply therapeutic for me,” she says.
After a couple social media posts that showcased Mallory’s beautiful and original cards, she started to receive a lot of requests from people for more art and greeting cards.
The power of positivity
With the uptick in demand for her products, Mallory decided to turn her hobby into a business venture. She drew inspiration for a business name from the blooms she first started painting last year. And Bloom Prints was born!
“My husband owns a carpentry company, so my only business experience is running that, which is very different than a creative business,” Mallory says. Running an art company “is like a map that no one has travelled it seems like. There are so many different ways to go about it.” But Mallory is successfully navigating her path through entrepreneurship and continues to grow her following.
The first card that really gained traction was one that reads, “I can’t wait to hug you.”
“It got to the point where I was painting multiples of the same cards and I thought that if this many people want them, I should look into print shops,” Mallory says.
While it was challenging to find an operating print shop during the pandemic, she found a local business owner in Victoria who could help. This step helped Mallory scale up her business and she began increasing product marketing and building her product line.
Mallory has been blown away by the support from the local community since she launched her business.
“As soon as I put out something pretty vulnerable, like art, … I find that the amount of people who go out of their way to support and cheer me on is totally unexpected,” she says.
“I think that is one of the main reasons I have been successful. People will reach out randomly and remind me of how important it is to do what I do and do what makes me feel good. There has been a really genuine response of support and excitement from everyone.”
Spreading the Vancouver Island love
Now that the greeting card business is up and running, Mallory is expanding her skillset through art and calligraphy courses, in addition to maintaining her full-time job.
“I have since started working again, but I find myself thinking about cards during the day,” she laughs. Mallory looks forward to creating new designs and trying new things as her business evolves.
“At first, it was a lot of nature because I was spending a lot of time outside,” Mallory says. Now, the cards are more based from the messaging she wants to portray to the people she’s sending them to, such as a family member or friend.
Mallory’s favourite card is one that reads, “You make every day feel like Sunday.” The cover has two waffles with whipped cream and blueberries on top. “It’s meaningful for me because it’s about my husband. I made that one for him,” she says.
Overall, Mallory enjoys being able to spread love, positivity and well wishes to her customers and their friends and family while living close to her loved ones.
Having been born and raised on the Island, “I feel really grounded, rooted and at home here. I feel so homey and comfortable here,” Mallory says. “I like being outdoors and I get to see the beach and my family every single day.”
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