Photo by Abby Jiu

On many occasions when we tell people that aren’t familiar with the wedding or stationery industries that we “run a calligraphy/stationery business” we receive one of two responses. 1. “oh yeah, fancy writing” or 2. “But what is your real job?”

While love the art of calligraphy & even more so find joy in sharing it with so many interested newcomers through our workshops, starter kits & social media platforms, Laura Hooper Calligraphy has been Laura’s “real job” and sole source of income for over 14 years. She has been fortunate to have part-time staff for about 8 years {starting with one assistant & building as needed}, and for the past 2.5 years there have been two of us full-time {Laura & myself, Alyssa}. We currently employ 6 part-time staff in addition to a few outsourced components of the business {accounting, graphic design, website work}.

So with that said, below are a few of the methods of income revenue for us here at Laura Hooper Calligraphy. This is definitely not a comprehensive list of the potential sources for any calligraphy business which would also include commercial lettering, logo work, art for online shops such as Minted and more.

Handwritten Work ~ This is what started it all for Laura over 14 years ago. This includes envelope orders & reception work {escort cards, place cards, signs, wood boards, etc}. For some calligraphers this would also include custom commissions such as poems, vows, art pieces {like a “print” but a one-off handwritten piece}, etc ~ we no longer offer this type of work, but it is very common.

Custom Print Orders ~ After doing solely handwritten orders for a couple years, Laura started receiving requests for fully designed & printed invitation suites as well as reception paper goods. We also offer custom map cards for welcome bags, posters for “guest book” signs, etc. This requires design skills {Illustrator/Photoshop} & printing. Laura started working with a graphic designer as this point who digitizes & lays out her work for print. This is also when we started finding our printers, some of whom we still work with to this day.

Teaching Calligraphy ~ Right about the time that I started working for Laura full-time, we had just released our first calligraphy starter kit for beginners & our friends at Karson Butler encouraged Laura to do her first in-person workshop. Thanks to our newly created starter kit, we had a nice curriculum laid out and took it from there. Fast forward to 2.5 years later and we’ve taught over 2,400 students around the US & Canada and shipped over 4,400 kits worldwide!

Shop goods ~ In addition to the above, we also offer party goods in both our LHC shop & Etsy shop. These includes napkins, coasters, stir sticks, greeting cards & more for weddings, showers, parties, home decor, etc. All of our items feature Laura’s calligraphy and are all mass produced. We offer custom napkins, coasters & stir sticks but with higher minimum orders and the price point is a bit higher since we can’t order them in bulk. The shops also include all of our preferred calligraphy supplies.

So there you have a very basic breakdown of our main activities here at Laura Hooper Calligraphy! Laura certainly could not do it all alone, so we are so grateful to have a dedicated team behind the LHC brand. If you are looking for more specific details on how to operate a calligraphy or other small art related business, be sure to check out the Calligraphy Business Bootcamp coming from Modern Calligraphy Summit next Spring! You can sign up here to receive more information as it becomes available.


p.s. to read more on how Laura got into the world of calligraphy, check out this older post here!