Cover Think Peony Co. Studio in Jalan Ampang. (Photo: Areena Zainal)

Brand stylist, wedding stationery designer and Think Peony Co. founder Zana Shah infused her passion for paper craft into an Instagram-worthy design studio that would meet the approval of any creative

Meet Zana Shah – a powerhouse of creative energy and the one-woman wonder behind bespoke stationery brand Think Peony Co. Since launching six years ago, Think Peony Co.'s artisanal stationery and logo designs have been highly sought after by popular homegrown brands like Brown & Sugar, Oh Happy Gift, Oh Sebenar and more.

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Where wedding invitations are concerned, Zana's versatile flair for different styles, colour palettes and designs makes her a master of her craft. 

But a lot of work goes on behind those dreamy, Instagram-friendly flat lays. Think Peony Co. stands by its mission to serve up only the most premium paper goods, finished in a range of complex processes, from foil stamping and die-cutting to embossed detailing. And as challenging as it is to singlehandedly run a business like this, it's plain to see that Zana is living her passion through Think Peony Co.

"As of now, Think Peony Co. is a one-woman show, but I've been truly blessed to receive external professional support throughout this six- year journey," she enthuses.  

Proof that her design skills aren't limited to paper and Instagram, Zana's penchant for all things pretty is also displayed in the bright, bohemian-inspired interiors of her Think Peony Co. design studio in Jalan Ampang.  

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Tell us about the design philosophy and purpose behind your studio.

In the early days of Think Peony, I still had a full time job. I had to travel all over Klang Valley to meet clients while carrying a lot of work samples. Four years in, I decided to quit my job to focus fully on my business. Settling down in this studio in the heart of Kuala Lumpur was just what I needed.

What’s the effect you want the studio to have on visitors?

I think my studio accurately reflects how I feel about my passion. I love to share my work and shower my clients with the best visual experience, so every corner is filled with paper goods of different materials and finishing. The first thing you’d see once you set foot in this 450sf space are samples of my work from almost 100 brands displayed at every corner. I encourage my clients to see, touch and feel the materials and finishing that we use. Ultimately, it's a space that really conveys what Think Peony has to offer: a dash of luxury on top of immaculate service. 

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Did you design your own studio? What was your initial vision and design brief for it? 

I do have a keen interest in interior design. I took inspiration from multiple platforms and yes, I decorated this studio all by myself. Being in the creative industry influences me to have an eye for all things beautiful and witty, which I think makes for a distinctive space, as entertaining as it is welcoming.

What do you love best about your studio?

That splendid view of Kuala Lumpur, especially at dawn was a huge deal to me. Decorating this space is like creating a sanctuary, and I really got to express and satisfy my other creative sides in the process. I paid a lot of attention to the little details, so this studio is really a labour of love.

Related: 8 Creative Professionals In Asia And Their Imaginative Workspaces

 

Tatler Asia
Above Zana's work desk at the studio

What’s the first thing you do each day when you walk into your studio?

I started to have keen interest in indoor plants during the MCO. They’re often the first thing I check on when I walk in. It’s true what people say, seeing greenery helps one feel more relaxed and calm.

How does Think Peony Co. reflect your personal passion for design?

I’ve always loved collecting paper goods, ever since I was a little girl. I’d often study the paper culture of other countries whenever I travelled overseas. Today, running a business in branded stationery and creative consultancy truly gives me that same sense of joy. 

 

 

 

Was it difficult transitioning from running the business from home to doing it from the studio?

There are pros and cons. Pre-studio working life was a bit challenging, especially moving from one place to another for appointments and meetings, but I did save on rent. Now, it feels a lot more convenient to be able to host my clients on top of having a space of my own to display my work, but of course with additional financial obligations.

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Why is it important to have a creative and beautiful work space?

It's important to have a chic and cosy space—where else should we invest in other than our own working space where we spend hours every day? Creative juices don’t always flow naturally. I personally believe it’s vital to revive my mind and surround myself with the things that inspire me the most: gorgeous stationery, fresh indoor plants and an array of various kinds of paper. 

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