Patricia Mumua is an example of what happens when intuition, creativity, self-motivation, and great design come together. Her stationery is fun, chic, and playful – a style that definitely relates to the personality behind it.
Patricia started out wanting to be an illustrator of children’s books. This background is evident in the whimsical and fun-loving style that she has established with Fawnsberg, the business that she runs in conjunction with her sister. Fawnsberg features Patricia’s illustrated notecards, as well as her hand-calligraphed stationery. It seems like her calligraphy is what really made Fawnsberg become so popular and successful; what started out as a few orders of hand-lettered stationery soon turned into a fully fledged business. Along with that growth came new issues and problems that required troubleshooting. She decided to make the switch to rubber stamps, for example, so that people could buy one rubber stamp with their address or greeting on it instead of her having to handwrite hundreds and hundreds of orders. For me, this exemplifies the importance of being willing and able to try new things and take risks. From a business standpoint, Fawnsberg is probably making more money now with the rubber stamps since Patricia is able to take more orders at a time. I know for myself, when I’ve figured out a specific way of doing something that works, I tend to be hesitant about trying a different approach. She reminded me that it’s always important to look for ways to improve your technique.
It was also interesting to hear that even while she is having so much success with Fawnsberg, she still looks ahead to other possible opportunities and isn’t afraid to think about “what’s next.” Her love and passion for children’s literature hasn’t left her even though it’s not what she’s focusing on at the moment. She loves what she does, yet still has “future plans.” That is something I think many people (including myself) often forget: it is important to always be working toward something. Success never constitutes complacency.
While I personally enjoyed Patricia’s entire presentation, her approach to and opinions about sketchbooking fascinated me a great deal. Her technique of pulling words out of a jar proved that there is always something by which we can be inspired. Her keen attention to detail and awareness of the world around her was evident in her sketches, and she described keeping a sketchbook as a way to not only see the world, but actually observe it.
It was a pleasure hearing Patricia speak this past week, and I know that Fawnsberg will be the first place I go for all my future calligraphy needs.