Here at Black Southern Belle, we absolutely love to showcase our the talents of our southern sisters. It’s our pleasure today to share Jessica Barbee of Paper-thin & Fancy. This hand-lettering and calligraphy company based in Stafford, Virginia is truly a gem.
Paper-thin & Fancy LLC
What services do you provide?
Calligraphy & hand-lettering design stationery services for weddings & events–custom orders always accepted!
Why did you decide to start a business?
I realized that being a successful, career-driven woman is my ambition, and instead of working in my closed-in 9-5 claims cubicle for a well-known insurance company, I’d be happier starting my own business. That gave me the freedom to do something I love, for clients and customers who are as happy and passionate as I am.
Before you owned a business, what did you do?
I was a top claims generalist for a well-known insurance company.
What is your favorite client story?
My favorite client story is about my very first bride. She was referred to me by a fellow creative, and the entire process of creating stationery for her Spring was so fun. It made me fall in love with what I do.
What is the most interesting client request you have had?
A client asked that fish hooks be added to a custom hand-lettered matte frame because her boyfriend loved to fish.
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business?
Research, research, research.
What do you love about southern decor?
It’s in my blood! Southern decor reflects tradition and a “homey” feel for me, and there’s nothing like feeling at home.
What inspires you to do your frames?
My custom hand-lettered frames inspire me because every client is so different, and each frame has a style that’s unique to it’s future owner. That’s why I love creating my custom frames.
What tips do you have for someone looking to purchase a custom piece as a gift or for their home?
When thinking of custom gifts or decor for your home, just think of some of your or your gift recipient’s favorite things and incorporate them into the gift and you can’t go wrong.
How many frames do you have in your personal collection? What are your favorites?
I currently have 5 frames, each one is hand-lettered with a favorite quote of mine and my husband’s. My favorite frame is a hand-lettered quote from my favorite show Grey’s Anatomy.
Do you have any mentors?
My mother has always been and will always be my mentor. She’s a creative in her own right.
What is your favorite thing about being southern?
Southern food, lol.
What is your favorite southern entrees or sides? Why?
Mac & cheese, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes and gravy–all homemade of course.
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business?
Paper-thin & Fancy is a home studio and studio shop so these days I’m wearing a fall/ winter onesie while hand-lettering with my pen in one hand & coffee mug in the other. Currently, my favorite item to use is a Micron pen.