"A picture is worth a thousand words" says the adage. Through her illustrations, Hélène, happy mother of three princesses and founder of Petit Berge perfectly depicts the magic of childhood the French way!
In spite of her busy schedule split between motherhood and drawing, the talented artist took time to answer our questions. What a joy to enter her world!
What is the story behind "Petit Berge"? The name has us dreaming already.
Petit Berge comes from the labels which my mother-in-law use to sew upon her children's clothes. After my wedding, I embraced this pretty name. It seemed only natural to keep it alive and incorporate it in my universe!
The project was born in a totally unexpected and spontaneous manner. When my second daughter turned one, I began to feel restless as a housewife. I love taking care of my children yet I did not feel fully fulfilled. That's when I dug out my coloring pens and got back into to drawing, a long time passion. I started publishing my illustrations on social media, just for the pleasure of sharing. To my great surprise, it was an almost overnight success. I was very quickly contacted for a first collaboration, then a second, a third... And that's how I decided to take the leap, launch my brand and create my e-shop. It began with birth announcement cards but has now extended to all kinds of ceremony announcement, colorings, invitations, stickers and made to measure illustrations.
Your universe depicts the magic of childhood, how would you present it?
Poetic, floral and refined, Petit Berge is first and foremost a quest for Beauty, Good and Truth. Each illustration is a hymn to the magic of life and tenderness of childhood. It is all in the details, the color shades and choice of the outfits which I particularly care about. The world of childhood as well as that of nature have always inspired me. My short but lovely working experience as designer for the French kids' brand Jacadi has undoubtedly influenced my universe too.
You accompany children and families' small and big milestones? Could you share one of your treasured souvenirs with us?
It is always a great joy to delicately enter the intimacy of a family and an honor to sometimes be the holder of preciously kept secrets. I feel grateful for all the lovely encounters I make. Through my work, I create unique bonds.
My most beautiful souvenir is that of a family who decided to have their baby baptisted upon discovering my christening cards. A beautiful moment. I love this idea of transmission.
Each country has its birth traditions. In France the birth announcement card is a staple. Could you tell us more?
Becoming mother, creating or enlarging a family is always a strong moment and deserves to be properly announced and celebrated with our loved ones. In French we call the birth card "faire-part" which means to share. The aim is indeed to let friends and relatives take part in the magic of these very special first moments of life and to capture them forever. Nothing will ever replace the joy of receiving a birth announcement on pretty printed paper. A very ancient tradition standing the test of time!
Coloring and drawing is a timeless classic for children. What does it bring to mind?
I fondly recall my first colorings. They were those of my mother who was a painter and taught me to draw. As a child my school books were always filled with tiny illustrations. Drawing is a way to escape into fantasy worlds, to unwind, to express one's emotions, to capture souvenirs and so much more...
I strongly encourage children to color. It's a very educative activity : to learn to outdraw an object, to fill a shape, to respect borders... Who knows, by stimulating creativity it could also give birth to new talents!
Would you have a piece of advice for mothers of the world?
No one is allowed to give you their opinion on how to give love to your children or how to educate them. The heart of a mother is a huge treasure, filled with tenderness, sometimes with anxiety and self-doubt deep inside but always overflowing with love. The most beautiful gift we can make to our children is constantly filling up their love tank!
A final word?
A quote I live by: "Where there is a will, there is a way!".
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Discover the website Petit Berge
Card, posters, birth and special event announcement cards, made to measure illustrations and creations. Hand drawn and printed in Paris. Worldwide shipping.