Kim Sutton’s passion for raising butterflies started as merely a hobby.
It has since grown into almost a full-time job and over taken much the Langley home she shares with her husband, Jeremy.
Sutton is owner of FlutterBuys, a Langley-based company that grew out of this woman’s love and lifelong fascination with butterflies.
She started in earnest about 10 years ago, when Sutton made the decision to try to raise butterflies herself.
“It kind of snowballed into this thing,” she said.
It has since evolved into what she calls a two-prong business.
One of the fastest growing components of her operation is the sale of larvae kits to organizations such as schools and daycares – which allow curious minds to witness the three-week transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.
“Ancient legend says one can whisper a message or wish to a butterfly, and the butterfly will take that message to the spirit in the sky,” Sutton said.
Given this symbolism, releasing butterflies has become a sign of hope, freedom, and renewal. In this vein, the other component of her business is also flourishing. She grows butterflies for various public and private release events – such as weddings, celebrations of life – that are being held more and more throughout B.C. and Alberta.
While there were literally thousands of people in attendance, Sutton provided 408 Painted Lady butterflies for release in the gardens and the fields of the berry farm Saturday afternoon.
According to one of the event organizer, Shannon Todd Booth of Langley Hospice, “It was a perfect day.”
For the fourth year running, the two local charity organizations partnered to hold this butterfly release, both as an educational and fundraising event.
“Both the Langley Lodge and the Langley Hospice Society look forward to this event each year, and the opportunities it presents to engage the public in a conversation about the work these organizations do in our community,” Todd Booth said.
Moreover, it raised some nice coin for the two charities.
In addition to charging $25 per butterfly, organizers also held a 50/50 draw this year that brought in $350, helping generate almost double the amount raised in past.
Last year, the two agencies split the $3,000 raised.
“This was the most successful event to date, and saw as many returning guests as first timers… raising more than $6,000 for the two local organizations,” Todd Booth said.
“It was a busy day, but even with the large crowds, the u-pick gardens and surrounding grounds offered a unique opportunity for individuals, friends, and families to come together for their own reasons and enjoy the moment as they released their butterfly – whether in was in memory, in celebration, or just to admire the beautiful butterflies in flight under the blue skies,” she said.
Overwhelmed by the feedback to this year’s release, organizers say they’re already looking forward to what next year will bring.
“Feedback has been fabulous, many saying that the event ran the smoothest it has to date,” Todd Booth said.