I often think back to the very first days of One Rose Decor. And no, I don’t mean the first days of the storefront... I mean the first days of painting and selling out of my parents’ garage. The real “beginning.” If we’re being completely honest here, I started my business with zero plan. I knew I was creative. I knew I was driven. And I knew I had the ability to what whatever I wanted to do with my life. I had a natural ability to make. I was obviously drawn to furniture (and still am). But it took me about a year to really discover and hone in on what makes 1R what it is today, and that’s hand lettering.
I’ll start by telling you that when I first started offering custom signage, it wasn’t pretty! I could only offer certain fonts, certain colors, and could only make it work on certain types of wood. It was exhausting having to explain to customers why I could only offer this font and not the other and why there were so many size limitations.
I saw a problem and I jumped on it. Free hand was the only solution.
I started downloading fonts on the computer, printing them out, and spent hours...days...months, copying. I anazlyized every single little curve, angle, and connection. There are probably hundreds of my signs out there that look identical to certain fonts that you can find on the computer. I mean I had this copying thing down to a science!
I got to the point where I didn’t need to look at the computer screen anymore. I didn’t need to copy. Slowly but surely, my letters started to become my own. I noticed little changes in certain letters and came up with my own ways of connecting them. I adopted my own techniques and could now offer my customers just about anything they wanted.
The flood gates were open and what I got in return was so much larger than what I could ever have imagined. Not because I was able to offer a larger selection, but because it truly defined me as a person and defined my business. It totally separated me from the rest of the game.
After about a year of customers inquiring about classes and workshops, I hesitantly started to cave. I had a good...no, I had a PERFECT...thing going. I had a system and a flow to my life that was actually working. The store was growing. Why add something else on? Something else to stress me out. Something else to take up more of my time.
But my customers kept pushing me (thank goodness). When I moved 1R to the new and improved store, this is when I turned my old store into the classroom. Ask me what my best business decision has ever been? This is it. Without a doubt. Hand lettering is not just what defines One Rose Decor, it’s also my sanity, my peace of mind, and my cure-all.
The store is closed on Mondays, so my Sunday evening classes are basically how I wind down from the long week. I could complain about a million and one things, rant all day about this and that, and still somehow come out of every lettering workshop completely calm and refreshed.
Our hand lettering workshops are unlike any other creative class. This is a place for women (or men) to come and get away from the stress of real life for a couple hours, drink some wine, learn something new, connect with others, make friends, and leave feeling damn good about yourself and something that YOU created...from scratch. I’m tellin’ you, this whole freehand thing is no joke! It’s something you should be proud of!
Self confidence (or lack of) is something that I’ve struggled with. A lot and for a long time. I over analyze every little thing that I make, no matter how small. If somebody else has made the same thing, in my eyes theirs is always better. These workshops have allowed me to see that I am not the only one who struggles. Women come into my class literally terrified sometimes (even though I am the least scariest person that you could ever meet). They’ve compared their lettering to mine and to people they’ve seen on Instagram and they automatically think they can’t do it.
When we begin practicing our letters, I walk around and creepily watch over everybody’s shoulders. I notice countless letters that they’ve erased from their paper. Lately, I’ve had a no-erase rule. I swear I’m going to start giving out pencils with no erasers! Sometimes, you just have to let your mistakes sit there and stare you in the face! I encourage my students to look at the letters that they don’t like. Analyze them, figure out what it is that you don’t like, and learn from it.
I always fall in love with the letters that people erase. And let’s be honest, you ain’t foolin’ anybody... I can still see it on your paper after you’ve erased it anyways. And so can you!
“Really? You actually think that looks good?” Yes, yes, a million times, YES! For goodness sakes, OWN that letter! It’s pretty freakin’ awesome to see a woman’s confidence level rise just a little bit. I can’t promise you that everybody leaves my classes feeling like a pro, but I can guarantee you that everybody feels so much better than when they first walked in. And if all I can do is make a couple women feel a little bit better about their abilities every week, then I’m completely content with that.
In helping others learn, I have helped myself more than words can express. I’m still pretty much in denial that this is really how I make a living. I mean really, I teach people how to write. But it’s so much more than that! I teach you how to be confident, and feel INSPIRED!
If you see yourself as a lettering babe, sign up here on our website for a workshop ASAP! I can’t wait to meet you!