Written by Richelle Putnam
Photography by Brittney Dowell
Paige Cannon was in high school when she first discovered designing on the computer. This, along with her Art I and II classes, led her to pursue a Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in graphic design at Mississippi State University. Now, as a busy mother of a two-year-old, Paige works part-time in a graphic design position for a real estate company doing their marketing and advertising.
“One of the glorious things about being a graphic designer is that you can work from home if your child is sick or something comes up,” Paige said, adding that she can “pretty much work from anywhere.”
So she started her own business, Pecan Paper Company, which custom designs stationery, invitations, announcements, artwork, ads, and other tangible products that incorporate her stunning watercolor and hand-lettered designs.
“I enjoy doing things on the computer,” Paige said. “I think it’s a great way of editing your work.” Her delight, however, is in her painting and hand-lettering. “That’s really where my passion is. A lot of my invitations include watercolor and digital.” Every product “is 100 percent me.”
Customers come to Paige regarding their event and special occasion or business and personal need and Paige custom designs their idea.
“I also have an Etsy shop where I sell ready-made creations, so the design is already created.” Once someone purchases it, Paige customizes it with the names, dates and times, the information on the event, and provides the customer with a digital file.
Often customers really don’t know what they want. “Those are the fun ones to me,” Paige said. “You never know how people are going to respond to your work until you put it out there. It’s fun to see how people take things and see things so differently.”
Her bestsellers are baby shower invitations, but once football season starts, her tailgating watercolor designs become very popular. Her handcrafted celebration confetti cards are made from hole-punched dots recycled from discarded paper she didn’t use. “I print on the card and then place wax paper on the front, and dump confetti in over the design.”
Someone planning a wedding is different from someone throwing a party, Paige said. Invitations tend to be more classic. Although, some brides-to-be want bright, fun things for their wedding. But, as far as the invitations, “they seem to be more simple and elegant.” The invitation sets the tone for the wedding and the wedding guests. “I’ve done a couple of wedding invitations that were more modern, but they were still very simple with text and maybe a logo or a seal. Generally, the bride comes to me knowing what she wants.”
Wedding invitations don’t usually incorporate Paige’s artwork, but bridal shower invitations are different. Paige will hand-paint those, transfer the design onto the computer, and then add the type.
“I designed my own wedding invitation,” Paige said. “I came up with a design that didn’t have any script. It was very modern, and I used black and tan colors.”
Other designers inspire Paige, but most of her designs are created from old-fashioned brainstorming and sketching with a pen or watercolor. “A lot of my favorite designs come from when I was painting or sketching with music in the background.” Months later or maybe longer, she’ll see something that strikes her that she didn’t see before. That design may soon become her latest creation.
Completion time depends on the project. Paige sends a draft to her client and if it’s not what they had in mind, she starts over, taking into consideration what the customer did and didn’t like. “It’s definitely a lot of moving and changing and editing.”
Pecan Paper products are original and made for you, even if it’s from one of the already designed templates, Paige said. Her work represents a momentous thing or time in someone’s life, whether it’s a birthday, a wedding, a save-the-date, or an art piece created for that special person and special occasion. “It’s much more special than picking something out that you find in any store. “
WEBSITE: www.pecanpaper.com Etsy shop. Also, follow Paige and Pecan Paper on Instagram and Facebook.