Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places—Who Says Our Industry Is Not Creative? 

What's in your hometown?

I have adopted nine cities in my career in this industry, but my hometown was and remains to be Memphis, Tenn., USA. My town is blessed to have a lot of well known jewels as well as some, not-so-much in the spotlight. Memphis is no stranger to our great industry with the likes of International Paper, Verso Paper, Buckeye, Buckman, Cascades Tissue Group, and Georgia Pacific to name a few.

Recently, I received some bad news that one of my second cousins was spending some time in Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis. I called and spoke to his dad, my first cousin, to check on them. When I discovered they would be in there for several days, I decided to send a goodie basket to cheer them up a bit and to let them know I was thinking about them.Window Display

I went online to search for baskets in the Memphis area. This one store kept popping up, Bella Vita, is located in Collierville, Tenn., a town located right outside of Memphis. Although they had some great choices, I was looking for some snacks, balloons, flowers, and a stuffed animal for this specific occasion.

I did however go on Bella Vita's website and discovered some very unique, creative gifts from several local and regional artists. In addition to all types of products, they also carry many "reclaimed items" that are turned into art. I could not help but notice that several items were made from recycled wood and paper. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to see this place for myself the next time I was in the area. The first thing that caught my eye was the display in the window.

They have Flowers, made from packaging materials contained in the boxes that are shipped to their store, and get this, they are attached to stands made from recycled pallets. For you that know me, I am not a real flowery kind of guy, but this was really cool.

Laurie OutsideI went inside the store and met the owner, Stephanie Singley, as well as Laurie Losorwith, the artist who made the paper flowers (posing with her creation in the photo at left). They gave their permission for me to take a few photos and tell our readers about this small piece of how our industry touches people's lives in ways we probably never think of.

They also had some "rewind candles" made from old wine bottles that have been cut down to hold candles scented with your favorite wine (not a lot to do with paper but I thought they were cool).

So the next time you think our industry is not creative, just remember that there are those who consider our products a true work of art.

More information about Bella Vita is available online.

More information about TAPPI is also available online.

There are two types of people in this world, TAPPI members and those who should be.

Until next time....................

Larry


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The Great Pacific Northwest! Part 1 of 3

Travels with Larry February 2017 


There's No Place Like Home

When visiting Thompson Industrial Services, LLC, Eric Fletty and I had the pleasure to visit a town that neither of us had been before.

Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places

I have adopted nine cities in my career in this industry, but my hometown was and remains to be Memphis, Tenn., USA.

All About Axchem

Larry spends time with TAPPI's newest Sustaining Member company at PaperCon 2016

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 2

Fall 2016 -- I have seen the Future


The Year of the Dragon: Part 2

This past May 31, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with personnel from APRIL's pulp mill in Rizhao, Shandong Province, China.


Larry Travels to Delaware

Our trek to Wilmington, Del., although extremely interesting was not to find the answer to this burning question.

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 1

Fall 2016 -- Keynote Speaker at Pulp and Paper Industry Reliability and Maintenance Conference. 

A Small World

On June 25, 2012, Scott Springmier, Eric Fletty, and I accepted a previous invitation from long-time TAPPI member and a young, Mike Ditka look-alike, Jim Niemiec...

Riddle Me This!

On Thursday, January 8, 2015, Kristi Ledbetter, Eric Fletty and I had the privilege of having two gentlemen from one of TAPPI’s newest Sustaining Members...

You Never Know

John, you will be missed...

To find something Special sometimes you have to look under every Rock

On June 22, 2016 I had the pleasure to visit a location of a 75 Year TAPPI Sustaining Member Company. That company is WestRock and that location was the Aurora, IL Paperboard Facility.

Familiar Names, a New location and a New Attitude

April 19 20, 2017 (right before PaperCon2017) Kristi Ledbetter, TAPPI’s Converting Division Manager, and I had the privilege to revisit a company that I had the pleasure of writing about several years ago.

Travels with Larry near the Windy City

The date of August 16th has a special meaning to me. This date happens to be the day, in different years, when the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth...

An Accent on Innovation

On May 13, 2014, Eric Fletty and I had the opportunity to visit with one of TAPPI’s Sustaining Member companies, Kadant Inc., at its Kadant Johnson facility in Three Rivers, Mich., USA. 


Seneca Steel Erectors, Inc.

Eric Fletty and I recently discovered that the town of Logan, OH is home to Men and Women of Steel.


If you Mess it Up, Un-Mess It!

If you have been around any time at all in our industry, you know that things will get messed up in the areas of finished goods...

Dreams Do Come True

Dreams do come true...in so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years...


Is it the People or the Equipment?

Finally an answer to that age old argument—is it the people or the equipment?


How Many Times Have You Heard the Term Found Money?

During a recent early morning walk around Peachtree Corners, Ga., I found what I thought was a small pile of leaves.