CHIC PRODUCTS THAT INSPIRE AND FIRE YOU UP. 点燃小宇宙的时尚小玩意儿.
I’ve always thought that ‘staying chic’ is crucial. I was so happy when I met Cathy Fransisca, designer and creative director at Paper Provision [www.paperprovision.com], stationery and gift brand with a hint of fashion, art, beauty, culture, and positivity. I was happy because we share the same love for small pretty things, and because she is doing her best to put more of these out there.
我一直认为“潮”是非常重要的元素。见到Cathy Fransisca我非常开心，她是Paper Provision [www.paperprovision.com]的设计师和创意总监，这个文具礼品品牌充满了时尚感，艺术感，美感，文化和积极的元素。我开心的原因是我们都喜欢美好的小玩意儿，而且她为了推广这些做出自己最大的努力。
Cathy, who has recently moved to Beijing from Australia together with her husband, is still looking for her way around Beijing and in the meanwhile she is working at new stationary collections, drawing inspiration from everything she sees around her.
We met on a sunny afternoon for a smoothie, and I asked her more about her chic company.
Is the team behind Paper Provision a one made of girls only?
Technically it’s a guy/gal team. I’m the gal and the creative lead while Wallace makes up the guy (currently based in Melbourne), who is in charge of production. But the idea of Paper Provision is basically the brainchild of a lifestyle stationery company run by women for women essentially.
Where did the idea for Paper Provision come from?
To be honest, I’m such a sucker for pretty things and I figured so does every other woman! I think women are very generally emotively tactile creatures who are easily affected by touch and feel. We don’t feel ecstatic when receiving a birthday e-card, but we get giggly when we receive a gorgeous paper invitation in our real mailbox! Paper triggers a certain sense of emotive quality that electronic cards are sorely lacking in warmth and emotional connection, which essentially a very human aspect. At the end of the day we love being able to touch things and feel it in our fingers. Especially pretty little things…
What’s the most interesting project you worked on?
It has to be what we are working on currently. We are starting up a ‘homme’ or ‘for him’ collection. A collection catered for men exclusively and reflects masculinity which is remiss from a lot paper and stationery companies. These days, a lot of women have taken up on themselves, buying for their man or ‘love of their life’, and our trendy stationery allows them to create an extension of themselves to give insight of their preferences upon their family and loved ones. It reflects their personality, their creative decisions and in turn gives their other halves an opportunity to understand their ladies and experience the fun and sexy gesture. Any men would appreciate a bit of fluff. To top it off, I have always loved masculine lines and style so it also becomes a creative indulgence for me.
那一定是我们现在正在做的项目。我们在创建一个“homme” 或者 “for him”的系列。这个系列专门针对男性，并体现了大部分纸品和文具公司所欠缺的男性元素。如今，很多女性都会主动给她们的另一半“生命的最爱”买卡片，我们时尚的文具提供了更多的空间和选择来表达她们对家人和爱人的感受。这反映了她们的个性，她们创造性的决定，同时，通过体验这些有趣又性感的小举止，也给她们的另一半了解对方的机会。男性有时也喜欢这些柔情的小物件。而且，我一直很偏爱男性线条和风格，所以为此设计对我来说也是种享受。
If you could expand to 4 cities in the word only, which ones would you choose?
London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong.
Why is it so important for your customers to be chic?
It’s important for me because I am into ‘chic’, but it’s not necessarily important for my customers to be chic. I believe when women make the discerning choice to buy what they ascertain to a ‘chic’ product, it’s a reflection of their lifestyle choice and preferences which inadvertaently makes them feel good about themselves. I aim to make desirable products that inspire people and put a bounce in their step by injecting a little bit of fun, humour and a taste of fabulousity.
How can beautiful – and, again, chic – objects make people’s lives better?
Through the advent of the worldwide web and globalisation, people are becoming increasingly discerning individuals with very discriminative tastes and preferences. And Paper Provision is a reflection of this. We want to cater to our very discerning clientele, where people are increasingly desirous of pretty things. Once upon a time, women dress up for men. These days, women essentially dress up for other women. Why? Maybe because we like to instill envy and trigger admiration in others. We want ourselves to feel good and make others fawn over our pretty things. When we put on something nice or have nice things that people pay compliments on, it makes us feel good thus makes us happy.
Are Chinese customers interested in your products?
Actually, I always have them crowding my table whenever I do pop-up booths. They are amazed and appreciative of the products and display. They would ask me what these are and I’d explain that these are cards you send out to people on special occasions like birthdays etc, and then they would walk away. I think they find my products beautiful but they don’t necessarily get it. Most of my designs are inspired by the contemporary trends in design and fashion industry, passing trends and the influence of pop culture, which is very progressive and malleable and go through rapid changes. A trend much influenced by the western culture, which is something Chinese are not inclined to. Plus sending personal handwritten notes to let people know they’re worth the effort is not really big part of their culture. That being said, I’m pretty happy to focus on just serving the expat communities here. In fact, the days of finding cheesy and tacky greeting cards in Beijing (and everywhere else!) are finally over!
Cathy and I totally agree – there is just something about surrounding yourself with an environment that reflects your true sense of style and intrinsic value that boosts your spirit, gets you out of bed and gives you that inner drive you need to succeed.
Cathy和我完全同意 – 那些围绕着你的小物件，恰恰反映了你独特的风格和内在真实的自我，激发了你的精神斗志，它们是每天叫醒你的动力，也驱使你走向成功。
Paper Provision collections are modern, classy, simplistic, glam, edgy, eclectic and chic. And this is exactly what women need. Isn’t it?
Cathy Francisca e’ arrivata da poco a Pechino insieme al marito – e ha portato con se una valigia piena di carta da lettere, bigliettini di ringraziamento, e altri pezzi di cartoleria. Ha fondato una societa’ di stationery dove la parola d’ordine e’ ‘chic’. Perché la vita e’ fatta di piccole cose – ed e’ importante che siano belle da guardare.
For the chat with Cathy I was delighted to wear:
linen shirt亚麻上衣: vintage 复古
silver ring银色戒指: Dodo by Pomellato
nail color甲油: Chanel #563 Vertigo
The picture of the two of us together was taken with my white Sony NEX-5T.
For all the other pictures special thanks to Paper Provision.
Translation by Vivian Zhou.