Cherry Blossom Custom Gift

The celebration of the blossoming cherry blossom trees is a tradition started in Japan that has carried over to the U.S. as a celebration marking the beginning of spring. Historically, the first cherry blossom trees were brought over as a peace offering to the United States from Japan in 1912. While the timing of the annual cherry blossom festival is somewhat inopportune in the wake of current events, perhaps it provides the perfect silver lining in this challenging time. The effects of the catastrophe are being felt in the U.S. as well, and many organizations are rallying resources together to help turn the cherry blossom festivities into a fundraising opportunity for the relief efforts being made overseas.

Just five days after the earthquake in Japan, Gail Ahlers of Ahlers Designs had the opportunity to go to the Japanese Consulate with Bob Billington, Sunny Ng and Loius Yip. In honor of the meeting Gail was commissioned by Bob Billington to design a gift for Takeshi Hikihara to symbolize the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council’s solidarity and support during this international crisis. The case was accompanied by the following message:

This box combines wood, 24k gold leaf and recycled metal. Each flower is hand formed and painted to resemble a genuine cherry blossom. At the center of each handcrafted flower is a cultured pearl. The pearl represents the beauty that can manifest from difficult and irritating situations.

The gift was well received, reaffirming the fundamental belief at Ahlers Designs, that meaningful gifts matter. You can learn more about Ahlers Designs custom design work at

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