'It's like selling magic beans': Toronto kindergarten teacher starts flowering card company

For Nicole Teschl, it was a seed of an idea planted in March of 2020, just as the pandemic began.

"It started as a bit of a passion project," Teschl told CTV News Toronto. "I've always loved to draw and I am obsessed with wordplay, I love puns and I decided I want to do something with it."

Just over a year later, and it is now a blossoming business. Called Sow Sweet Greetings, it's a Toronto-based greeting card company, with the potential to grow—literally.

According to Teschl "when people get a card, a lot of people are not very sentimental. They'll see it, open it, and say 'oh, I love it'- and then 'what am I supposed to do with it?' You feel kind of guilty throwing out someone's words."

But with the cards she creates, you have an option other than saving or recycling, all thanks to the material that they're printed on.

"It's actually plantable paper, than you can put in soil, water with sunlight, and it grows in to flowers."

The paper comes from a Winnipeg company called Botanical Paperworks. It's made using recycled materials, and is embedded with wildflower seeds. When the recipient of the card has read it, they can tear it into pieces, plant it under a thin layer of soil, water it and watch it grow.

Teschl says, "I'm a very big fan of the zero waste movement. I love the idea of obviously protecting our planet, and doing everything we can as consumers to make smart choices that enable us to make the most out of the resources that we have available."

She's designed cards for almost every occasion, from birthdays, to thank you notes, to Mother's Day. Offering people the chance to send a card and flowers in the same envelope—though the latter won't appear for a few weeks.

"To see it translated from something I like to do, to something people love to see and then love to also just like learn about, I couldn't ask for anything better honestly."

Teschl says she plans to keep coming up with creative card designs, in the hopes her company will continue to bloom, just like the cards themselves.

"It's like selling magic beans, you know what I mean? People are blown away by it!"