If you’re looking for romance, you’ve come to the right place. Artist, calligrapher and graphic designer Fransisca Edwina Tuis spends her days spinning up whimsical ideas for her line of stationery, Belle Pivoine. Meaning “beautiful peony” in French, Belle Pivoine is a fitting moniker for this collection of charming personalized wedding paper goods, many illustrated with portraits of the happy couple. In addition to invitations and save-the dates, Fransisca also creates greeting cards, art prints, and custom portraits — all with a decidedly dreamy bent. “I believe that personal stories and moments are best told through the gift of a handwritten card, illustration or note,” Fransisca says. “Something that’s made just for you is not only more meaningful — it makes you feel more special.”
Read on to learn how Fransisca taught herself calligraphy, her secret to writing a great card, and shop her collection of paper goods.
Tell us about your creative background and how you created Belle Pivoine.
I’ve loved to draw since I was little. My uncle is a painter and he taught me how, and my parents (especially my mom) always supported my artistic inclinations. After graduating with a degree in graphic design, I worked as a designer in a stationery store in Jakarta, Indonesia. I had a wonderful boss who taught me many things — especially how to maintain a high standard in my work — and I learned about Etsy from her.
In 2012, I met my husband, Guillaume, and we decided to move to his home country, France. One day, I gave Guillaume an illustration of us together — and he adored it! From that day on, I knew I wanted to sell my illustrations: That’s how Belle Pivoine was born. Guillaume believed in my vision and supported me all the way.
Planning a wedding can be very stressful. As an expert on wedding paper goods, what are the most important elements for couples to consider as they select items for their special event?
The most important element to consider when selecting paper goods is the design; it’s such a reflection of the couple, and it really sets the tone for expressing the bride and groom’s personalities and their love story.
Do you have any memorable experiences working with customers on personalized or custom orders?
Yes! While working with a client on wedding invitations, she mentioned that she wanted a touch of gold calligraphy. I’d never thought about calligraphy in my work before, but thanks to her (and the Internet), I taught myself to create elegant calligraphy script — and now I’m totally in love with the process. She was an amazing client, and I thank her for introducing me to my new favorite technique.
Walk me through the process of how you go from an idea to a finished product.
When I get an idea while out in the world, I sketch it in my little notebook; if I’m near a computer, I’ll sketch it on a tablet. From there, I think about the colors and materials I’d like to use. I always add a touch of gold to the final versions of my products now.
Tell us: What’s the secret to writing an excellent card or letter?
Simply write all that your heart wants to say — and always add a touch of your personality. When I write a love letter to my husband, I add a lipstick “kiss” at the end, as well as a spritz of my favorite perfume.
What have been some of the most exciting moments or proudest achievements of your creative career thus far?
Every time we get positive feedback from a client, their words mean so much to us; that’s an exciting moment.
What’s next on the horizon for your shop? Any big plans or new developments coming for 2017?
Our goals are to be more visible in our local market, to create our dream studio, and to reach a point where Guillaume can quit his day job to work full time on Belle Pivoine.
Photos courtesy of Belle Pivoine.