We had the pleasure of sitting down with Emma Pearce, the talented designer and founder of Sister Paper Co. This small but mighty stationery brand has been making waves in the industry since its inception in 2021. With a focus on simple yet elegant designs, Sister Paper Co. has created an array of illustrations that have our customers swooning.
We have delved into the story behind the brand and Emma's creative process, Discussing everything from the challenges of starting a business to some of Emma's most beloved products. Join us as we explore the world of Sister Paper Co.
First of all, I’d love to know, where did it all begin? Did you always know that you were going to be a stationery designer and illustrator?
Absolutely! I always knew I wanted to be an artist, even from when I was five years old I was telling everyone I wanted to be a painter. I was always creating. I’ve remained passionate about art, earning a degree in Surface Design (think textiles, home surfaces and print for fashion) then working around the world for various publishing companies, and now I’m delighted to have full creative freedom with my own brand.
You have so many beautifully illustrated cards. Are all of the illustrations all created by you?
Thank you! Yes, I create all of the illustrations you’ll see on Sister Paper Co. products. I’ll start with a pencil sketch, then use watercolour, gouache paints and inks. Creating everything by hand gives my products that unique touch, and results in one-of-a-kind illustrations full of creativity and curiosity.
Have you had any WOW moments since starting Sister Paper Co.? Did you have a big job that resonates with you as being the one that made you think - I can do this!
For me, it’s a WOW moment every time I meet a new stockist, it always feels so personal and heartwarming to connect with the wonderful store owners and buyers that want to stock my products.
What and who inspires your designs?
I’m constantly finding inspiration in new ways, drawing on anything and everything from fashion, homewares, and art. I love craft and creative projects of all kinds, and I’m currently obsessed with the idea of modern mysticism - think tarot, crystals and celestial imagery.
How do you get in the flow for your creative process?
When it’s time to focus on creative projects and get into the zone, I start with my environment, making sure I’m in the fluffiest clothes, get a cup of tea in a cute mug, light a candle and put on a podcast. For ultimate concentration, I need a clear inbox too!
We love the efforts you have made towards a more sustainable business. Could you tell us more about the sustainable forests you use, and your biodegradable packaging?
I love that you’ve asked this! I'm making efforts to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle so minimising my products impact on the environment is important to me. It’s one of the key brand values I hold for Sister to consider sustainability at every stage of the product journey, from the concept through to distribution. For example, my home-studio is powered by energy from renewable source and all my products are recyclable with compostable packaging.
All the paper stock I use is made from trees that are harvested responsibly from sustainable forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Our greeting cards are wrapped in Nativia sleeves, a biodegradable clear film from bio-based origins that is made from renewable resources.
What’s the process for you when it comes to creating your designs? Can you share the process from the start of an idea to the finished product?
All of my designs start with a pencil sketch, usually it’s a scribbly, rough drawing that I get onto paper as soon as I'm feeling inspired. Next I'll consider if I'll be including any print techniques on my products, perhaps I'll design a unique shape for my cards or find the perfect foil colour. Then my favourite part, i’ll paint using watercolours, gouache and inks. The finished artwork is scanned and I make some tweaks digitally, perhaps changing a background colour or layering some of my illustrations together to form the final image. Final touches are added in Photoshop and my cards are ready to print.
Where is your workspace?
My workspace is at home in my little flat in Brixton, South London. It’s full of brushes, paints, piles of paper samples, books and my cat Ziggy.
What's in the pipeline for you? Do you have any big exciting projects that you’d like to share?
I’m working on Sister Paper Co’s first collection of stationery! The new collections are still in development stages but I'm working towards planners, notebooks and list pads. And of course some beautiful new greeting card collections!
Do you think digital will ever take over paper and pen?
I’m a massive stationery geek, nothing beats paper and pen. While I do love a productivity app, I’m a sucker for a handwritten to-do list and there’s nothing like making a quick sketch when you’re feeling inspired, it’s the most genuine way to translate my thoughts into something physical and tangible.
I’d love to know which one is your favourite design from the past and present combined. Do you have a preference, and if so, what makes you favour a design over another?
My favourite design is the Tarot Sun, which features on cards, prints and gift wrap. I’m all for promoting personal growth and mental well-being, and am a big fan of anything that helps people feel joy or see positivity in the future, whether that’s through the tarot, crystals, or horoscopes.
Any last words?
Thank you for supporting my small business dreams!
Keen to shop more of Sister Paper Co. designs? You can shop the full collection on our website here
You can find them on Instagram at @sisterpaperco
Or visit their website at - www.sisterpaperco.com