Members of the working population can relate to getting lost in your work. Whether it’s in a positive or negative sense, many of us have come across the need to be productive. A lot of young employees have resorted to seeking new hobbies that would help them keep their minds off work during their free times and restore their work-life balance. For data analyst Marj, she started Studio Petit à Petit where she gets to practice her passion for bespoke and digital designs.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, Marj decided to become a modern calligrapher after she came across an existential crisis a couple of years back. She started questioning herself about what she really wanted to do: “Do I have another skill to offer instead of goofing around? Is being a corporate employee enough for the rest of my career? Can I learn something new at this age?” Marj grew overwhelmed with all the opportunities and ideas in the middle of seeking what her heart really wanted. It wasn’t until she discovered her ikigai — a Japanese concept that connects the values of working and living — that she took the first step towards learning a new skill. And the rest is history.
Marj invested in and attended several workshops in calligraphy and design before launching Studio Petit à Petit. Her brand became a home for bespoke calligraphy ideas made for special occasions or whenever you need written inspirations for manifesting your intentions. The modern calligrapher has loved journaling and stationery since she was a child. She was already creating her own stickers, stationery, and digital wallpapers, which later on added to her services offered at Studio Petit à Petit.
While her creative pursuit led her to people who adored her works and soon became her clients, Marj is humbled and grateful to say that her brand is still slowly blooming. Her business was inspired by a French proverb meaning “little by little”, which is also Marj’s core mantra to achieve her dreams. She recognizes that it isn’t an overnight effort and the key is to be consistent and to find the fuel to pursue that passion. Studio Petit à Petit’s mission is to promote a thoughtful language of giving while touching lives through beautifully written words and designs.
The stationery brand also has the goal of becoming more sustainable as it grows. Marj sees sustainability as a diet where you try to limit and eventually eliminate what you don’t want in your body. She practices the same concept in her business by actively looking for alternative options to promote sustainability in holistic and creative ways. As a small business owner, Marj admitted that it was inevitable for her to use plastic in her packaging since this is the easiest and most common way to do so. This is has driven her to step back and reassess her materials, and look for opportunities to reduce any potential waste and promote recycling!
Marj discovered noissue because of their undeniably inspirational mission and vision. Aside from providing sustainable packaging, noissue supports small businesses and encourages them to join environmental conservation initiatives like the Eco-Alliance. Marj proudly chose noissue Tissue and Stamps that use soy-based ink for her packaging because it’s simply a win-win. Customer service was a breeze and not only did she get to customize her packaging with her designs, but each material is made out of compostable and recycled materials.
Marj wants to make her materials as organic as possible. With her goal of being a zero-waste company, she places materials inside her boxes that can be redesigned, reused, and recycled. She also makes sure that her tissue is as good as it can be, in other words, hard to throw away!
Browsing through her Instagram, you could tell that Marj put a lot of heart and soul into Studio Petit à Petit. She gets to know all of her clients’ personalities before she suggests her ideas as each of her designs are meant to help manifest her customers’ intentions. Since it isn’t a one-size-fits-all service, Marj critiques her work and considers each creation as a learning experience.
Almost all of her products are unique and have different stories to tell. Marj considers her 18x24 project with more than 50 beautiful words as her most stand-out product to date. Her client trusted her to bring her personal prayer to life, which she compiled in her journal for months. When Marj delivered it to her home, her reaction was priceless! This made Marj realize that touching lives became more satisfying, while getting paid just became a bonus.
One of the challenges that Marj constantly faces as a solo entrepreneur is staying motivated. There are days where she runs out of creative juices and her hands wouldn’t cooperate with her mind, no matter how long she spent thinking and conceptualizing new ideas. She tries to overcome this by regularly checking up on herself. Marj recently set aside some quiet time to reflect, pause, and just be grateful every morning.
As someone who struggled with overcoming career and creative slumps, Marj’s advice to other aspiring business owners is to reflect and feel what’s your heart’s true desire. It’s important to invest in improving yourself so you can offer your best to the world and let your work speak for itself. Don’t rush yourself and set your goals so you can achieve them little by little, or should we say: petit à petit!
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