Elise Pioch Balzac founded Maison Balzac back in 2012, the brand is now well known for its imaginative novel object and beautiful scents that can elevate any space.
Elise let us step inside her new HQ to talk about her favourite things in the office, her most loved Maison Balzac piece, her greatest lesson and much more.
First things first, how did it all begin & what was that light bulb moment when you decided to start Maison Balzac?
It was a slow process that took at least 12 months. During this time, I learnt how to make candles in the evenings, while working full time as a fashion buyer during the day. I thought of a name and gathered my memories of the place I was missing the most: my homeland (in the south of France).
What is the first thing you do when you get to the office?
I make some fresh Chai Tea with Oat Milk!
What are your must-have desk essentials?
A pastry (ideally a croissant), my laptop, Le Labo Hand Cream, my AOL daily planner, and a Muji pen.
Top organisation hack?
Never push to tomorrow what you can do today.
What do you love most about the new Maison Balzac space?
The fact that we actually have space! It’s the first time since I created the business that we have a dedicated office and showroom, separate from the warehouse itself. It feels like luxury!
What design aspects were non-negotiable for you when looking for your new space?
I wanted a head office that had personality, not just a modern warehouse in an industrial estate. We took over a car garage and kept the steel structure, the concrete floors, the huge roller doors and the “Spanish” metallic window ornaments.
What’s one of your favourite pieces in the new office space?
I really really really love the Sarah Ellison velvet couch surrounded by the off white curtains and vintage floor lamp. This is my favourite corner to make calls, have interviews or just remove myself from a busy schedule during the day.
Where do you find your inspiration for Maison Balzac? And what's your personal favourite piece currently?
MB is a way for me to recreate my favourite memories from when I was a child growing up in the 80’s in the south of France. To find inspiration I close my eyes and remember every colour, every piece of tableware or familiar smell from that era. One of my favourite pieces is Mr Snail, a marble incense holder with 2 incense sticks as antennas. As a little girl I remember going in the bush with my little wicker basket after the rain to collect the biggest snails then my grandmother would cook them with garlic and parsley!
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt from your business growth?
I’ve always followed my heart & intuition no matter what, but as the business grows it’s become more important than ever to make a difference!
As a businesswoman & mother, who is in your support network?
I generally only rely on myself because my support network is tiny but my four anchors are my daughter, my parents, my husband and an amazing team of 15.
What are your goals for Maison Balzac / what are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
My goal is to continue to surprise, to bring happiness and to have fun along the way.
Follow Maison Balzac HERE & shop Elise's fave Notebook & Notepad.