Thursday, December 31, 2015

Belle Pivoine

As the New Year begins, I wanted you to be able to see one of the most gorgeous shops we have. Belle Pivoine's items are light, romantic, and many will stop you in your tracks. Fransisca, the shop owner, clearly transfers her personality to the pieces in her shop. 

Etsy Paper:  Tell us a little about yourself.
Fransisca:  My name is Fransisca. I’m from Indonesia, living in Pringy, France with my husband; Guillaume, and our 4 feet kids; Boubou (a dog) and Chacha (a rabbit). I love living in France even though I miss Indonesia. Those are really two very different countries. 

Lady Marie Illustration Poster Art Print
Art Print

Etsy Paper:  When did you open your shop on Etsy?
Fransisca:  I opened our Etsy shop in Dec 2014 with help from Guillaume, 4 months before we got married. Actually I thought to open one a couple of years before but I was still studying French intensively everyday and didn’t have lot of time to do it. So, in 2014 I finished my study and start to open Belle Pivoine on Etsy. We started when we wanted keep our love story in an illustration that we will cherish forever; our illustration couple and our wedding invitation.

Etsy Paper:  Tell us about your shop.
Fransisca:  Belle Pivoine creates designs, illustrations, handmade cards, invitations, art prints and paper goods. We love to make it personalized or customize it, we always love something that is personal. All our products are made by hand with care and love. We are committed to provide excellent quality handmade products that evoke or celebrate key moments in people's lives, products that could inspire them, give them joy and good humor. All our products, from design, illustration, printing, cutting, folding and packaging are made by hand with love in our apartment based in France. We use high quality materials to obtain well-made and beautiful products.

New Year or Birthday Cards: Happy WOUF WOUF!
Etsy Paper:  Why did you decide to become on Etsy seller?
Fransisca:  Since I was young I love to draw, and have some experience working as designer in a stationery shop at Jakarta. After that, I wanted make my own stationery shop and have my own business. I read a lot of reviews about Etsy and articles about shops that grow their businesses and started at Etsy. So when I get married and moved to France, I had lot of time to think about opening a shop on Etsy and have my husband support me, so we decide to become Etsy sellers.

Etsy Paper:  How did your shop get its name?
Fransisca:  I really love flowers, romantic, beautiful and pretty things. One of my favorite flowers is peony, and I chose to write it in French because, for me, French sounds so beautiful and romantic. I wanted a name that reflected the style of our product too. So I felt Belle Pivoine was perfect. 

Personalized Wedding Invitation Beautiful Romantic Peony Floral
Wedding Set
Etsy Paper:  Do you have a favorite quote to share?
Fransisca:  Dreams do come true. Yes. "Dreams really come true when you really believe it with all your heart, believe you have received, and feel the things that you want as already yours, feel good, be grateful". I experience it when I come to Paris for the first time, found and married my true love, Guillaume. 

Etsy Paper:  What is your favorite thing about Etsy?
Fransisca:  It’s not a massive product, it’s handmade. They sell and buy direct from the artist, that’s why items in there are unique. 

Etsy Paper:  Where do you feel at peace, free from all the pressure of family and work?
Fransisca:  In a garden full of flowers, green grass and blue sky, I feel peaceful and alive. Smell the flowers, lie on green grass and take a deep breath under the blue sky, there is happiness. I dream to have Belle Pivoine’s studio in the middle of a garden.

Etsy Paper:  What is your favorite item to make, the one that makes you smile just thinking about working on it?
Fransisca:  Custom couple Illustration; I really love drawing two people in love. When it’s finished, I take time looking at it and feel happy before packaging and sending it to our client. 

Custom Couple Wedding Illustration Love Story Flowers Meaning
Custom Couple
Etsy Paper:  What has been your favorite comment from purchasers about your product?
Fransisca:  It was from Claire in UK, she’s a mother and she ordered a personalized print “Little Princess Dream BIG" Personalized Art Print for her daughter. She said: “I am so pleased with this print. It is just gorgeous. Fransisca was amazing. She listened to my requirements and made sure I was 100% happy with the final version. A beautiful print that I know my daughter will cherish forever.” Yes, we want our client feel 100% happy with our product, and we want create beautiful goods that people will cherish forever and her comment is a proof that we accomplish that. I'm so thankful.

That is what most Etsy sellers work to accomplish, items people will cherish forever. What an amazing shop! In such a busy world, it's nice to see something a little more refreshing than the usual.

Until next time,
Etsy Paper 
Team Captain

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


This month I couldn't resist featuring a long time Etsy Paper Team member. Little did I know, the shop owner of SnowdonPrints lives a highly creative life.

Etsy Paper: Tell us a little about yourself.
Alexandra: My name is Alexandra Snowdon. I live just outside Manchester in the north of England, right next to the Peak District National Park. It's a lovely area with lots of beautiful countryside but I do enjoy having the buzz of the city close by! I live here with my husband Charlie who has his own hand printed T-Shirt business 'Chucks Original Tees'. He also sells on Etsy so it's a pretty creative household. When we're not printing and drawing we love to go hiking, biking and traveling and that's the inspiration for much of my work.

King of the Mountains Mountain Bike Print
Bike Print
Etsy Paper: When did you open your shop on Etsy?
Alexandra: I opened my Etsy print shop in 2012, but I didn't actually put any products in it until 2013! I've got another shop on Etsy ( selling hand printed bags and cards and I had my prints in that shop at first but I knew that sooner or later I'd need to separate them out. I eventually got around to doing that in early 2013 and I have to say the print shop now gets most of my attention, that's where my heart lies. 

Etsy Paper: Tell us about your shop.
Alexandra: I sell prints of my hand lettered and illustrated designs. I started off doing mostly screen prints but the house was bursting at the seams with mine and Charlie's screens so I decided to invest in a giclĂ©e printer. I love that it's so easy to be able to offer my designs in different sizes to suit all wall spaces and budgets and it also makes it easier to do custom orders too. I still love hand printing but I mostly save that for limited editions these days.

Etsy Paper: When do you find/make time for your crafting?
Alexandra: I'm lucky enough to be doing this full time and I can't tell you how happy that makes me! I was a studio based graphic designer for over 20 years and all that time I secretly yearned to be a self employed illustrator. I finally went back to uni in my late thirties to do an illustration degree, fitting it in around my graphic design job. It changed my life. Two years after graduating I was so busy selling my illustrations on prints, cards and bags that I was able to leave my job. I've never looked back.

Fresh Start Print
Fresh Start Print
Etsy Paper: What do you have on while you're creating, if anything, and is it tuned to something specific?
Alexandra: I love to listen to music while I'm creating, I find it really inspiring. I'm based in the UK and love listening to Steve Wright in the afternoon on Radio 2. I also enjoy the occasional podcast, especially from Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray Love and Big Magic) she's so inspiring and Lisa Congdon, I love that she came to illustration later in life and made a huge success of it.

Etsy Paper: Where do you go to find new ideas/products to make?
Alexandra: I find most of my inspiration when I'm travelling and doing outdoorsy things like hiking and biking, they're my favourite things to do after drawing! I've been all over the world but I keep getting drawn back to the US. I love the big American cities and the National Parks there are just breathtaking. Charlie and I love going hiking in the US and heading off on long road trips. 

Happy Campers Camping Print
Campers Print

Etsy Paper: How do you get the word out about your products?
Alexandra: I have to admit I'm a bit of a social media addict! But I think that works in my favour. When I'm working on a new design I often post 'work in progress' pics on my Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest pages and I do the same again when I've just uploaded a new print to my Etsy shop. I really love getting feedback on my work, and I've had a lot of illustration commissions from greetings card companies and book publishers who've seen my work on social media, so I would say it definitely pays to get your work out there.

Etsy Paper: Do you have a favorite quote to share?
Alexandra: I do! I love inspirational quotes and they tend to feature a lot in my work. It's hard to pick a favourite but one I've always liked is 'The best way to predict your future is to create it' by Abraham Lincoln. I'm a big believer in creating your own destiny, I don't believe in fate.

Etsy Paper: When your creativity gets blocked/clogged, what do you do or where do you go to get inspired and create again?
Alexandra: If I'm really stuck about finding an idea or progressing one I'm already working on I find getting out of the house and doing some exercise helps. Whether it's a quick run in the nearby countryside or a trip to the gym, I always come back buzzing with endorphins and new ideas.

Alexandra Snowdon

Etsy Paper: What have you learned the most about life from your craft?
Alexandra: You get out of it what you put into it.

I leave you with that amazing statement. As an Etsy shop owner, I can testify no truer words have ever been spoken. I can also say Alexandra and Charlie would agree: A couple that crafts together, stays together. 

Until next time,
Etsy paper 
Team Captain