So, it's been quite a while since my last post. A month and a half, to be exact. To be honest, though, I have a great reason!
The past month and a half has been keeping me crazy busy, and I wanted to tell you about all the amazing things that have been happening behind the scenes!
Let's start with client work.
Over the past month and a half, I've been working on so many different client projects - from envelope calligraphy to custom watercolor art, from wedding signage and place cards to custom hand lettered logos. I've a got a few pictures below to show you a little of what I've been working on :)
Aside from client work, I also participated in two styled shoots - both were last month. They required a lot of time and work and creativity, but I am so, so happy I was able to work with these ladies and contribute my hand lettering and calligraphy skills.
For one of the shoots, I had the opportunity to create a custom invitation suite with full calligraphy on handmade paper, plus place cards, a menu, bride and groom chair signs as well as a 4 foot x 20 foot calligraphy backdrop... yeah, that one was a lot of work - but I am so happy with how it turned out, and I can't wait to share more photos of the shoot with you!
For the second shoot, I created bride and groom chair signs, place cards with brush calligraphy and envelopes with brush calligraphy. A few pictures from both shoots are below!
I TAUGHT MY FIRST CALLIGRAPHY CLASS!
A couple of weeks ago, I taught my first calligraphy class! I received an inquiry from a typography class professor at a college here in Omaha that wanted me to come teach her students about calligraphy, and I immediately said YES! I've been wanting to start teaching calligraphy, as I've been getting quite a few requests from friends, family and social media followers, so this seemed like a sign that it was time to finally take the leap and start teaching!
Preparing for the class was nerve-wracking - I had known I would be teaching the class in July since the professor had contacted me in May, and I had had quite a difficult time focusing on other things (like writing blog posts, haha!), as I had to come up with a solid lesson plan and start preparing to speak in front of these students. Public speaking is not something I'm very good at - I'm a naturally quiet person, but I knew that if I wanted to take the step into teaching calligraphy, I'd need to buck up and just do it.
So, I created a lesson plan, a list of supplies for the students, and went through my "class curriculum" on my own several hundred times (maybe not that many, but it was a lot!). We covered faux calligraphy (using ballpoint pens), the basics of modern calligraphy (warmup/practice strokes, individual letters & numbers, and connecting those letters to create words), how to address an envelope in calligraphy, and also brush calligraphy (using waterbrush pens).
Obviously, a lot was covered in that three-hour class, and it went SO WELL! The professor asked me to come back in the fall to teach the class again to her next round of students, and I am so, so excited! I definitely know a few areas in my lesson plan that could use some improvement, but overall, I am extremely happy with how it went, and I have a whole new level of confidence in my calligraphy skills that I didn't have before teaching this class!
INVESTMENTS & BUSINESS CHANGES
THE BLUEPRINT MODEL
Last month, I decided to make a big investment in my business: The Blueprint Model by Shanna Skidmore.
Shanna has been a serious role model for me for quite some time, probably since I started my business. I've watched tons of interviews with her, read her blog, subscribed to her newsletter, and just loved every second of getting to know and understand the beautiful way that Shanna runs her business. Shanna is a business strategist and financial coach, and the core mission of her business is to help creative entrepreneurs (mostly women) design their business in a way that allows them to clear the clutter and live the life they want to live.
The Blueprint Model is a 12-week online consulting program created by Shanna, that takes business owners through Shanna's consulting process to help them create beautiful, profitable businesses that allow them to live the lifestyle they want. I decided to invest in these program because I truly believe in Shanna, and the numerous testimonials from some of my other entrepreneur role models who had gone through the program only helped convince me that this was the next step for me and my business. We are now onto Week 3 of the program, and I have loved every second of it. I'm already seeing big changes happening, and I can't wait to see where my business and I are at the end of these 12 weeks.
BUSINESS ORGANIZATION & BOOKKEEPING
I've raved before on how much I love 17Hats - and I still do. It has so many great features for business owners, but I decided that there was a few key things that it was missing for me and my business.
So, after much debate (and a free trial), I decided to switch to Honeybook. After hearing many other creative business owners in the wedding industry like me rave on and on about Honeybook, I knew I needed to check it out. I'm so glad I did! The interface of Honeybook is SO BEAUTIFUL, and it is so easy to use and understand. Just a few of my favorite features include the pipeline, invoicing, email templates, proposal templates, project timelines. Not to mention, it's a few dollars a month cheaper than 17Hats - BONUS!
Another tool I began using is Asana for project management. I kept hearing so many good things about how easy Asana can help you organize your business that I knew I needed to have it in my life. Now, I have awesome checklists and reminders for every step of a project I am working on.
The latest tool I began using is Quickbooks Self Employed. This has seriously been a bookkeeping lifesaver for me! It automatically drops all my transactions - both business and personal - into their separate accounts, so I am able to keep track of my spending, receipts, and helps me have everything ready and organized for tax time. It's amazing!
Starting next month, I've got 4 clients lined up to work with on their save the dates, wedding invitations and ceremony/reception decor for their special days! I am so very excited about these projects, and I absolutely can't wait to share more.
I'm also working on a line of my own semi-custom wedding invitation suites for more budget-conscious brides who aren't able to pay the full price for custom work. Make sure to follow me on Instagram to get a few sneak peaks within the next couple months!
ANOTHER STYLED SHOOT
I'm teaming up with a wedding planner here in Omaha for another styled shoot, and I am so, so excited about this one! It is going to really allow me to show my calligraphy skills in unique ways, and I can't wait to see it all come together!
MORE CALLIGRAPHY CLASSES!
Now that I have my first calligraphy class under my belt, and most of the nerves have gone away, I am going to start my own calligraphy classes here in Omaha! I'm currently on the hunt for awesome venues to host the classes, and I'll also be creating amazing workbooks for all the attendees. With a few adjustments to my lesson plan and some more practice, I'm hoping to start teaching both group classes and one-on-one sessions this fall! :) If you're in the Omaha area, be sure to follow me on Instagram and sign up for my newsletter, because you can bet I'll be filling you in on both!
Interested in working with me or taking a calligraphy class? Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and/or sign up for my newsletter to be notified about calligraphy classes, or feel free to reach out about your project via the form on my "Let's Chat" page or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org :)