Butterflies: A gift for all occasions
You've heard the slogan “Say it with flowers.”
Now you can say it with butterflies.
Joelene Meiners, a longtime butterfly breeder from Lawrence County, discovered a way to combine her colorful insects — which she ships around the country for release at funerals and fundraisers — with eco-friendly arrangements.
At her New Castle boutique, Butterfly Wish Bouquets, Meiners creates floral baskets with flowers such as carnations, garden bouquets in pots and floral arrangements inside glass lanterns. Her company delivers the arrangements in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, although Meiners has received many calls from people around the country hoping to buy a butterfly bouquet.
“We were looking for something where you would be able to give someone the gift of butterflies,” says Meiners, 29, of New Castle. “It's something that we only offer locally.”
Each bouquet includes at least three butterflies — either orange-and-black Monarchs or lighter-orange, black, brown and white Painted Ladies — which stay in the bouquet through a cagelike enclosure, netting or the lantern walls.
Bouquet recipients choose when to release the butterflies, which live up to two weeks. Little girls, especially, like to keep the butterflies in the bouquet as long as possible.
“It's captivating to just sit there and watch them flutter around the flower,” says Meiners, who has been raising butterflies for about a decade.
Meiners gave her company the name Butterfly Wish Bouquets as a symbol of a Native American legend: If you whisper a wish to a butterfly, the butterfly will take the wish to heaven.
Customers have ordered the bouquets for many occasions: birthdays, Easter, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and anniversaries.
“Each person that buys ... usually they tell you the whole story about what they're buying the bouquet for. It's really interesting to hear the stories everyone has.”
Tracy Evans of Sharpsburg, Mercer County, recently sent a butterfly bouquet to a friend who was having a bad week. Evans' daughter — Miley, 5 — received a butterfly bouquet for a dance recital last year, and both mother and daughter loved it.
“They're so pretty,” says Evans, 31. “We kept ours for two days and then let the butterflies go. It was real cute when they all flew away.”
Sue Jones, 60, of New Castle, has sent several butterfly bouquets, for funerals and a birthday. The bouquets have brought comfort and joy, especially in the midst of grief.
“For a funeral, there's so much down and out and death,” Jones says. “These butterflies — they're life. ... How wonderful, in all that gloom, (mourners) know there's still life, and life goes on.”
“It's different,” she says of the butterfly bouquet. “It is unique.”
Details: 724-462-0563 or www.butterflywishbouquets.com
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
- Video posted online captures Wilkinsburg child’s injuries
- Rayburn man, 74, dies in Manor Township crash
- Gilpin settles lawsuit with suspended police officers
- U.S. Steel shares jump on turnaround strategy
- New Kensington native competes for title of U.S. Army Europe’s best NCO
- Armstrong ‘bitten’ by antique tractor bug
- Police chase ends with shooting in Bell Township; suspect wounded
- Bayer plastics unit may be gone
- Pirates hit 3 HRs in rout of Red Sox
- West Deer awaits ruling from Pennsylvania Ethics Commission