REFER A FRIEND & GET 15% OFF

Previous Post

Meet the Maker: Elise Pioch

Meet Elise Pioch, founder of the Sydney-based homewares brand, Maison Balzac. The brand's products are inspired by Pioch's childhood in France as well as her boundless creative imagination. First produced in 2017, the highly sought-after and colourful Carafe & Glass Sets catapulted the brand into the world's spotlight, and has grown to include an array of homewares such as glassware, incense, perfumed candles, candlesticks and their holders, and more.

 

Now established with a flagship store located on a leafy, residential street in Surry Hills, Sydney, long time lovers of the brand (as well as newcomers) are afforded the chance to shop the beautiful pieces in person, whilst also taking a glimpse into the creative and personal life of Pioch herself.

 

In our conversation, we discuss all things 'flagship store', 'creativity and inspiration', 'new collections' and 'the use of colour, or lack thereof'.

Maison Balzac Flagship Store in Surry Hills, Sydney

 

Could you share some of your design inspirations for your flagship store?

"As this store is our very first and only one, I wanted it to be very personal, as if every customer was walking inside my own home. So I drew inspiration from my two favorite places: Le Corbusier private apartment in Paris which was restored and open to the public in 2019 and Salvador Dali's holiday home in the small fishing village of Cadaques in Spain. The curves, arches, colors are a mix of both of these architectural masterpieces."

"I wanted it to be very personal, as if every customer was walking inside my own home."

What impact has opening Maison Balzac’s first physical space had on you? Has it brought about any new ideas for products or other creative endeavours?

 

"Absolutely! It is the first time since I started the brand that I can see the entire collection in one place. Every single object is there, it tells our story in a very beautiful and articulate way. I find it easier to create new collections now!" 

"Every single object is there, it tells our story in a very beautiful and articulate way."

Can this space tell us anything about your personal self?


"Yes! The size of the store is small which shows how humble my approach is to everything I do. It is colorful and happy which is an extension of my optimism toward life and everything in general! It is also welcoming and warm, exactly as I like homes and people."

 

 
Your newest collection “Le Cirque” features objects that are full of whimsy. What led you to start creating these looser and more playful pieces? Is this in any way reflective of your actual life at the moment?

"It felt to me that the entire world deserved to be entertained, surprised and amused the same way we would if we went to the circus with a child. It is the best way I found to take our mind off the current pandemic, even for a brief moment. I mean who isn't going to smile in front of a marble seal holding an incense stick on its nose?"

"It felt to me that the entire world deserved to be entertained, surprised and amused...It is the best way I found to take our mind off the current pandemic, even for a brief moment."

L to R: Ilona Catchall, Incense Sticks, Gaspard Vase


How does your interpretation of colour influence the creation of Maison Balzac’s products? 


"'My exploration of colors is purely based on intuition. I choose Pantone colors that feel 'right' or 'interesting' as long as they work well with everything else that exists in the range already. This way, any product can be associated with any other and allow infinite possibilities. It's quite ironic because I only wear black clothes so there is a big contrast between what I feel comfortable with and my creative vision for Maison Balzac!"

"I choose Pantone colors that feel 'right' or 'interesting' as long as they work well with everything else that exists in the range already."

L to R: Medium Green TumblerMargot Vase Trio: Smoke, Teal & ClearTall Amber Coucou Glass

 

“Maison Balzac is an expression of pure imagination”, as written about in the brand’s story. When developing new ideas, scents and objects, do you find yourself looking for inspiration first within yourself, or do you begin from the outside?

"I always start within myself. I close my eyes and bring myself back to the 80's, 90's and 2000's at home with my family. My mother and grandmother (Nadine and Jeanine Balzac) had a very particular taste for objects and interior and this inspires everything I do for my brand today. When I need to find new ideas I remember what object was in the kitchen cabinet or what we took for a picnic on the beach. My personal memories are the starting point of everything."

"My mother and grandmother (Nadine and Jeanine Balzac) had a very particular taste for objects and interior and this inspires everything I do for my brand today." 

Is there an object or scent that you are most proud of?

"I am extremely proud to have created our iconic Carafe & Glass! We brought this 20th century item back into fashion in 2017. The scent I am most addicted to is Sainte T, it is our best seller worldwide and seems to touch a lot of people's sensibilities." 

L to R: Miel Carafe & Glass, Large Sainte T Candle

 

What's on your travel wish list post-pandemic?

"I am a fearflyer so my favorite explorations are near where I live. Needless to say that the pandemic has not been painful for me in terms of travels! However I miss my family dearly so a trip to France would be top of my list."

 

All images courtesy of Maison Balzac