"They say the simplest stories are the most beautiful"
The idea or the beginning of the story
The 1st containment of 2020 will have allowed us to refocus on our priority: the family ♥️
One afternoon, we finally allowed ourselves to think about a project together, a project for us, to enjoy ourselves and to create.
For two years, this idea had been in our heads without ever coming to fruition, until one day we said to ourselves: "ok, this is it".
Didier and I have always drawn, less so in the last few years, but in our current activity we were missing this creative part.
We needed to work for ourselves.
Didier made websites for others for many years, 11 years in total, and I had never found a job that suited me, I always ended up getting bored.
It was high time for both of us to do something for ourselves, to put our hearts and souls into it, to do something that resembles us and brings us together.
Write our own history.
There was one essential thing, Didier learned it as the sites were created, the name has a capital importance in a new company.
A company is a bit like a child, the name can be a trigger for many things.
It was obvious that we had to start there.
We wanted to find a name that would stick in our heads, a name that was different, we wanted it to be immediately evocative of what we wanted to do.
We had the idea of creating posters to bring a touch of easy decoration to everyone, both of us in love with paper and the ways of using them, we wanted to find a name that was evocative in this field.
We searched for a while for the word "paper" in several languages until we came across "Pepa", which means "paper" in Maori.
Instinctively, as a Mum of four children, who love the cartoon Peppa Pig, I came up with the same tone as the credits: "PEPAMOOD"!
Adding the word "Mood", which means "mood", didn't necessarily seem appropriate at first, but that's what came up, and in retrospect I couldn't have chosen better.
Of all the names we had selected, this is the only one that stayed in our minds, without ever coming out.
That's how the name "PEPAMOOD" was born.
Birth of Pepamood
Ok, we had found the name, but there were still a lot of things missing, one of which was essential ... the universe.
Because making posters is good, but we didn't want to do it like everyone else.
I quickly told Didier that we had to move towards personalization, making posters common to all made no sense and after a few days it was even more obvious: we had to go towards the family.
The realization that we had during this confinement, getting closer to our children and refocusing on our values.
Of course, we were not the only ones to have experienced it.
Without knowing it, we had just activated the identity of Pepamood: emotion.
It took us several months to understand this, until many of you told us: "You create emotion".
Since then, this idea has never left us, it has even become a leitmotiv:
With each new product, each new collection, we think with our emotions. If a model doesn't touch us, it's because it's not finished, not complete.
For almost 3 weeks we have been working hard to get everything ready for the opening on 6 May 2020 and the beginning of this magical story.
Our room quickly turned into an office, well, okay ... it already was a bit! And on the other side of our bed was our printer.
Not long before, I was making watercolors and Didier's uncle, who was a printer, had kindly given me a printer that was no longer in use.
This printer allowed us to launch the site and our first posters without investing astronomical sums.
We are so grateful to him today 🙏🏻
You could say that we were sleeping in our office, without ever really cutting. Our main activity was already taking up a lot of our time and the arrival of Pepamood changed our whole life forever.
One afternoon in June, the phone rang, it was a young girl looking for a web internship (our main activity at that time).
Didier was very sensitive to the audacity she had in calling to ask for an internship (we don't like classic job interviews), he told her to come and have a coffee, to discuss it, and that day we met Clara.
Clara is our sunshine at Pepamood, she immediately brought us a freshness, a bit of youth already too far for Didier (we call him the old man 😅). Clara never left, it was obvious that we had to keep her with us. We do not regret this choice ❤️.
It's also largely thanks to her that 3 weeks after her call, we foundpremises to welcome her in a better way and feel a bit more legitimate. Clara's first tasks were related to the moving in of the offices, painting has no secret for her 😅.
We had planned ourWe had planned our "holidays", between Clara's arrival and the start of our new office, the first in 4 years for us. Of course, it was a month a bit quieter on the activity, but not on the ideas. Lhen we were on holiday, we spent a little time each day brainstorming.
I knew there was a need for a hybrid product, a product that would take the portrait of everyone who didn't have "the right picture".
The name came and without even realizing it, it was totally obvious: "Create your Family".
From complement to main activity
When we got back from the holidays, we started talking about the model, the "how to".
Sometimes it seemed easy in writing, but it was much more complex to set up. I'm not even talking about Didier's side, he had to set up a whole system to allow complex customizations of the posters.
On August 06, 2020, the "Create your family" made its grand entrance. Without anyone understanding it, it was the real trigger for Pepamood and became our best seller in only a few days.
We then understand that something is happening and that it is time to turn the page of our previous activity (Web studio).
So we decide that Clara will stay with us in the fall and that we will need reinforcements very quickly if the orders continue.
We start to challenge ourselves, to set weekly or monthly objectives, a forecast.
We reach the estimated number of orders in August and we start on an even higher basis in September.
We're working hard with Anne-Laure
In September, we started making frames with a French manufacturer. For us, there is no question of making frames that are not as high quality as what we put in the illustrations and the printing of the posters.
Very quickly, we also realized that transport via the "classic" La Poste is no longer possible, we record too much breakage and for us it is unbearable to see your posters with frames arrive at your home broken. We decided to switch to Chronopost, all our deliveries will now be express.
But September will remain in our memories as the month of Anne-Laure's arrival. Clara introduced her to us and the feeling immediately took hold. She has a lot of experience in illustration and, as we understand it, is looking for a company that has human values and that fully assumes them. We agreed on a first test very quickly. The first few days will only confirm that Pepamood will be made with her.
September is also the first month as "this is it, we have a successful business". We have reached the planned figures and exceeded them.It will take us many more weeks to be convinced of this.
September was also the time of the creation of another product.
A surprise, then the arrival of Tifenn and Liam
We've been working on it for weeks and decided it was time to show it to you. It's "T'es qui toi?", a board game based on the principle of deduction, customizable with your family.
The game is made of FSC wood from responsible forests, it is cut near Lyon, by Alex, our partner in this project.
To have created a product outside the realm of posters, but rather games, is a source of pride, where we were not expected and it is extremely exciting. The reception is crazy, everyone loves it and on our side, of course, we are so happy. The presentation will be live on Instagram in early October.
October will also be the arrival of Tifenn, met via Instagram at the bend of one of our post where she comments, delighted to see illustrations made in Perpignan, she who has just arrived in our pretty area after having traveled a lot. We use our now well-tested technique of "Come and have a coffee or tea" (we've adapted to tea since Anne-Laure arrived 😅).
She will make an express return from Paris where she was away for a few days and will start right away. Even if she will not have her job at the moment, but a few weeks later, Tifenn learns very quickly and she is very efficient. She still proves it to us every day.
October is also the arrival of Liam, because the preparation of orders now takes too much time and we need a person dedicated to this job. Liam will come for a coffee too, but he doesn't drink it.
I still remember this meeting, him coming back from a drunken night, very stressed by our interview, us totally at ease with the fact that he has the right to have a life outside and to do what he wants. Again, as always, we avoided the CV or cover letter. What's the point of knowing what a person has done in the past, even though we're meeting them today.
What we're interested in is precisely today: "What is this person capable of and willing to give today? “
This will also be the time for us to set the deadline for ordering for Christmas, because we have an important deadline and we do not want to make untenable promises. We have been putting off this idea for a long time, because setting a date in October for December means we are taking a big risk, even though we have very little hindsight on the activity. The date is set on the 21st for the 23rd of October inclusive and the number of orders on the 22nd and 23rd will be completely crazy.
The Christmas rush and the arrival of Angelique
We are now starting to place orders for Christmas. We have only one objective: to finish in time so that you can have your orders placed by 23 October.
We are beginning to realise that this will not be done without concessions, and the team is offering to work overtime on its own.
At the beginning of November, we have the opportunity to have larger offices (from 50 to 200m2), still in the center of Perpignan and by the same owner as the current offices, a godsend in terms of the possibility of coordinating moving in and out.
We are moving on the 17th of November, having spent the week and the weekend before preparing our arrival, installing the lights, a minimum of decoration and painting.
At that moment, we had the feeling that we were taking on water, on the one hand the whole team was giving it their all and on the other hand the orders kept coming in. Fortunately, we quickly understood that the team was at the top of its game, everyone was holding on and supporting each other, physically and psychologically. We use a lot of tissues, we had combined work and therapy in a way.
Tifenn then suggested that we bring in her sister, Angélique, who joined us at the beginning of December and hasn't left us since ❤️.
Her arrival will be a real breath of fresh air, we quickly understand that Angélique is very methodical, she starts preparing orders and it's been her domain since. In a few days, we manage to have a real rhythm, if we continue, we will manage to finish the Christmas orders on time.
The team is in full swing, we don't touch the ground anymore. We (Didier and I) are working non-stop Monday-Sunday. We have to be able to deliver the orders on time at all costs, it has become our only objective. We no longer have any perspective on the forecast and the figures, it all seems very far away. The priority until the holidays: the Christmas orders.
We are also setting up a system so that those who have ordered outside the deadline can have a card to give under the tree with a personalised note, so that they don't end up empty-handed.
In total, it will be a little more than 660 orders and 400 cards that will be sent to you for the holidays in December alone.
Of course, our Chronopost advisor likes us a lot and Thomas, our great delivery man, who comes every morning to pick up your orders, likes us a little less 😅.
We end December and the year 2020 exhausted, but extremely proud of the work done.
We have, in 7 months, made a huge take off and built a solid team, but we all need some rest, sowe take a few days from December 23, 2020 to January 4, 2021.
2020 - The Balance Sheet
- a team of 7 people then Lisa, Léonie and Maxime joined us in January.
- More than 2000 orders shipped.
- The desire and motivation to push back the limits in 2021 and to continue to write this story together.
Sharing, honesty and transparency are the values we share on a daily basis with our family, our team, our community and our customers.
We pay special attention to the other. We believe that only in this way can we move towards a positive future, nurturing a virtuous circle of caring.
The rest you know, much more than a company, Pepamood is a big family.
Today we are proud to create so many emotions through our paintings.
Let's keep writing this beautiful story together ❤️