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By Collin Breaux | Email: | Twitter: @collin_breaux

When Rancho Mission Viejo resident Gerri Ann Vagadori started the greeting card company Pétale Atelier in 2018 with her friend and business partner Renee Gibbons at a pop-up market at the Ranch, they never imagined they would try to cheer up others during a pandemic.

Come 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, Pétale Atelier is doing just that with its Butterfly Effect Card Kit, named after the theory that one small change can lead to bigger changes down the road. The kits come with two greeting cards you can use to create a chain reaction. The butterfly effect idea came about because Vagadori was already making some cards with butterfly designs.

The Butterfly Effect Card Kit from Pétale Atelier aims to keep spirits high during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Pétale Atelier.

Pétale Atelier has featured pressed flower artwork and designs from Vagadori, and the Butterfly Effect Card Kits feature petal butterfly design artwork. The two were dealing with their own circumstances when the pandemic first began: Vagadori was handling health issues with family members, and Gibbons is pregnant and has another small child she’s caring for. The kits were conceived when Gibbons was trying to encourage her friend, whom she originally met while working at another business.

“We also wanted to give back,” said Gibbons, who lives in Marina del Rey. “A dollar of every kit we sell goes back to Feeding America.”  

Pétale Atelier’s new online store at has kits and other products available. Each kit includes postage.

The kits give people a chance to sit and write during a period when they might have more time on their hands, as well as when they’re craving connection and community. The hope is the kits can encourage people during the ongoing shutdown.

As the kits continue to attract publicit, some people are posting pictures on Instagram.

The cards can be a way to bring people together and express positivity during a challenging time, Gibbons said.

“It reminds us in this time, relationships are what’s really important,” Gibbons said.

The Ranch’s community program RanchLife has distributed cards to senior homes in the Gavilan neighborhood as encouragement.

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