During my journey in handlettering and calligraphy I have had to opportunity of "meeting" other handletterers from all over the globe through the help of Instagram. This thriving community of instagrammers has given me a sense of companionship and unity amidst the feelings of loneliness that often accompany home-based businesses. It is with great honor that I introduce to you a calligrapher that has inspired me and my work more than she probably even knows. Meet...
How did you get started with typography/handlettering?
After I had my baby girl, I wanted to decorate her room with some more personal pieces. I loved all the hand lettered prints that I saw and thought, ‘Well I can do that!’ And so I did.
What inspires you while working on a project?
Picturing the final finished product in my clients home or wedding or wherever it is to be put inspires me and keep me going. I imagine where it will be used and how it will be put on display and that already makes me happy.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. -Colossians 3:23
You’ve done a lot of projects for weddings and other events, what would you say are the biggest perks of getting to use your creative talents in this type of atmosphere.
Weddings and other big events are a great way to showcase my art and many people can see them and may want the same thing. But most importantly, I love that I contributed to that special day and I was part of making someone's day that much more special. They will see pictures of that day for a lifetime and it could be really wonderful but at the same time really stressful knowing that it's the client's big day.
Your shop is full of beautiful mugs, wooden signs, and watercolor signs, all with your handlettering on them, how did your work take you in that direction?
Ooooh, well thank you! I actually didn't start with lettering and art. When I was pregnant with my girl, I made some headbands for her. Then, I tried to sew some pants and hats. That escalated into pillows, teething rings, and sweet little bonnets. (What mama doesn't want to make her babe something with her own hands?) At the same time, I started lettering but I quickly realized there is no way to do everything and I had to choose. I have always been an art lover and creator. With my lettering, I loved the entire process. From preparing, all the way to packaging, I adored it! That's when I knew that this was my calling. It was also a great way to spread God's word through my talent, which was given to me from Him, whether on paper, mugs, or wood.
You are a momma to a recently turned one year old, how has motherhood affected your work?
Tremendously. I definitely don’t have as much time as I did before being a mom. I sometimes wish I would have started lettering before I was pregnant because I would have much more time to practice and grow in this art, however, I know this was God's plan for me. But above all, motherhood has inspired me. I don't know if I would have started lettering before but am glad I started at the same time as my motherhood started for the reason that I had my sweetie in mind for my products.
You stay at home with your daughter, how have you created such a successful business while tending to your child? How did you find the balance to do so?
The answer is God. I can do nothing without Him and He is the one who led me to where I am now. Although I have had enormous help from grandparents, I'm still learning to manage my time. They switch between themselves to take little Mira for the day, two times a week, so those are the days I get to work on orders, finish homework, clean, and finish other chores around the house. And might I add, we live with my parents to save for a house, so we have built in babysitters.
About balance: there is no balance. It's about making it work as best as you can. So many different things come up that you don't plan for and as much as you try to organize your time, you just need to learn to deal with what comes at you out of nothing. And with motherhood, that happens often. I can honestly say I wasn't good at managing work and family all the time, and sometimes even now. With this new endeavor of mine, I was so pumped to work and caught myself spending more time with lettering than my own little girl. Being a new mom brought all sorts of new feelings and sometimes it got hard, so my work was a way to get away. God is and has been great through all of this and is helping me everyday to see what is more important.
How have you seen your business grow over the course of your handlettering career?
I made my first calligraphy print the second day in January of this year and started my shop in February. There is a big difference in the number of orders now compared to the beginning. I now offer a wider variety of items and work. Not just products for your home but writings for weddings, showers, blogs, and logos. This all started with wanting to just sell calligraphy prints but now it's so much more than just that. At one point, I was asking God to show me if this business is for me and I waited. God has given me some opportunities to collaborate with other businesses. When my first collaboration happened with Mama & Little, I knew God had blessed my business decision as long as I planned my time right. That means family first, business second, and most important, God right in the center of all of that.
Social media has also been a huge part of my growth, especially Instagram. I have met many other calligraphers and many followers that enjoy my work. I've grown in followers which means my business grows along with them. This may sound cheesy, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn't for them.
Have you connected with other creatives in your area? If so, do you think this has helped you to grow in your craft as a handletterer?
Yes! We support each other and reference each other. People who know them find out about me and vice-versa. I am naturally a non-social, shy, sometimes scared person so social media helps me in that area. Having this business and meeting other creatives is pushing me to get out of my comfort zone. Being a mom also really helps because through all of the public breastfeeding, standing up for your rights about your baby, and dealing with a noisy little human I've learned to be more social. But going back to the actual question, I love connecting with others and when I get to see their passion, mine grows.
Where do you hope this profession will take you in the future?
I would love to create things that better connect people with our God. I hope I can glorify Him more and more in the future with my profession, whether it's from my home or owning a little shop. I plan to be more involved with weddings and further my skills in calligraphy and watercolor.
What’s one important piece of advice you would give to any young moms looking to start their own stay at home business? What’s one thing you wished you would have known going into your business?
Trust the Lord your God with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Don't hold back on starting it, just do it. Make yourself a goal and everyday do something that will get you closer to that goal. Don't forget, your children are more important than your business. Organize your days and set yourself time to work so you can fully focus on your family when you're not working. Don't mix them together unless you don't have a choice. And I wish I knew this from the beginning, but don't forget to collect all of your receipts to know how much you spent on materials. I still don't know.
Please check out Vita's flourshing ETSY SHOP, she specializes in crafting personalized wood signs, coffee mugs, and much more. Her work is simply breathtaking. To visit her website and blog, check out what she's got going on at www.popcalligraphy.com!
**Also stay tuned for tomorrow, just for this occasion Vita is doing a special Christmas giveaway on Instagram! You are not going to want to miss out! To get a head start, hurry on over to her Instagram account and follow her!