Can you share a bit about yourself and what you do?
I run Carole Lola, a calligraphy/design business that provides custom calligraphy services for weddings, events, and more. (Think invitation suites, event signage, personalized objects, handwritten wedding vows, etc.) In the pre-COVID world, I also taught calligraphy workshops and worked with retail brands to provide live calligraphy for their in-store events.
When and why did you decide to start pursuing a professional career in calligraphy?
I taught myself calligraphy about 6 years ago and started my business 3 years ago. I had moved away from the Bay Area at the time and was having a hard time finding a job while juggling a school schedule. So I decided to try my hand at selling a few things I made on Etsy. I loved the feeling of being creative and making some money off of the things I made with my own two hands. So I stuck with it and decided to pursue entrepreneurship more seriously. I still love and enjoy my current day job (especially during these crazy times). I don’t foresee myself giving it up anytime soon. But I also love what I’m able to do with my calligraphy business, so I plan on continuing with both. (Spoiler alert: Just because you want to run your own business doesn’t mean you have to give up your corporate job if you don’t want to! Everyone’s got different dreams and plans for your life. Don’t feel like you have to fit into a certain mold. You do you.)
What do you love most about being a calligrapher?
I love taking a medium that I’m inherently connected to and think of as art (the language of words and writing) and turning them into a physically beautiful thing that can also be considered a work of art. I also love the connections I’ve made since I started Carole Lola. Funnily enough, I started my business thinking as an introvert. It would be great because I would hardly have to interact with people in person. But the branch of my business that I’ve come to love the most is my live events. I love teaching workshops, doing live calligraphy, and participating in pop-ups/maker’s markets because I get to interact with my customers face-to-face.
What has been your favorite project so far?
My favorite project so far has been a live calligraphy event for the Hyatt House. I was hired for their grand opening event and was asked to personalize the favors they were giving out to guests (leather luggage tags). The event’s whole vibe was so much fun, and the guests were all really into having a little personalized gift to take home. I probably lettered for about 4 hours straight that night, but it was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to do more once it’s safe to host events again!
Yes, able to travel outside of the Bay Area for any on-site work!
Are there any additional services you provide for anyone who may want to reach out to you/work with you?
Feel free to contact me about any services/projects you’re interested in that I haven’t already mentioned above. I’m always looking for new and exciting projects to take on. If you need a specific type of object personalized, just ask! If you’re wanting to do a product collab, let me know! I don’t say yes to everything that comes my way, but if it sounds interesting enough and if I think it’ll be a good fit, I’m more than happy to experiment and try new things. I’m also trying to build up my tattoo portfolio, so if you’re interested in custom calligraphy/floral tattoo, hit me up!