PIET moodshop loves... Helen B
"helen b" is the pseudonym of Helen Blanchaert. This all-round creative artist loves making things. And she makes all kinds of things! You can find her illustrations on a porcelain breakfast set. These little must-haves add a more personal twist to your breakfast ritual and make the perfect gift. Helen also designed the personalised porcelain mugs with Scrabble letters for PIET moodshop. High time to listen to her story!
Tell us something more about yourself.
I got married to Peter five months ago. We both had a daughter called Stella from our previous relationship. What a funny coincidence! I spent twelve years working as a social assistant for refugees. As of 1/1/2016 I will be taking a career break to focus on "helen b" and the shop full-time. It's a very exciting time and I am really ready for this!
Where did you develop this urge to create things?
I've always been creative for as long as I can remember. I remember redecorating my room every month. I would paint the walls or cover them with newspapers. As soon as I moved to Ghent, I started organising "Creative with Helen" for my friends. Making things and encouraging others to be creative energises me, it really makes me feel good. I always see a lot of potential for creating things.
How and when did you launch your brand "helen b"? What is your brand DNA?
I've been illustrating on porcelain since 2014. My mother died at the end of 2013 and that's when I realised that life really is too short. So I decided to chase my dream and I haven't regretted my decision for one second. On the contrary even. I love making things and developing ideas. It is my favourite thing to do.
What is your favourite "helen b" product and why?
The “o, wat zie ik je graag" mug. "Oh, how I love you", or "o wat zie ik je graag" in Dutch was the name of my blog when Stella was born. I thought it was such a nice and meaningful sentence. I think people should say this more often to each other. Recently someone told me that he had used my mug to propose to his girlfriend. The whole idea really made me smile. I absolutely love this story.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by a lot of different people. By everything and everyone. Probably because I'm so curious. I love positive sources of inspiration and people who chase their dreams step by step and follow their hearts. I really look up to them.
Is there something that makes you secretly happy? Something that makes you happy but that you don't immediately feel the need to share with others?
Many little things make me happy. A beautiful morning, a cup of good coffee, orange socks, a hug from my daughter, a pleasant discussion, a new idea... I really think that happiness can be found in the little things in life if you are open to them.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I have to admit that I don't read gossip magazines but when I have to wait in the dentist's office I really enjoy reading "Dag Allemaal" (the Belgian equivalent of Hello magazine). I always hope that she's running behind schedule.
What do you hope to achieve with "helen b" in the future?
A lot! I'm currently working on the first item of a textile line, which I hope to present in early 2016. I really enjoy developing an idea, seeing it take shape and then refining it until I've got a finished product.
PIET moodshop sells a lot of fun stuff by "helen b". Take a look at our selection here.