Wanna talk about girl-power? This sister duo was and still is at the helm of the calligraphy industry with their brand Laura Hooper Calligraphy. The business is keeping the art of handwriting alive with innovative products, exciting workshops, and above all beautiful calligraphy. Today, we’re excited to chat with the Laura Hooper about just how they stay current and ahead of the curve.
Calligraphy is an art form that dates back centuries but has recently become more popular. Why do you think that calligraphy recently stepped into the limelight?
This is due in large part to the exposure it has received via social media over the past few years. The interest in calligraphy for weddings has not decreased over the life of our business, but with social media, it has become much more main stream for every day use and as a hobby that individuals enjoy whether they are considering starting a calligraphy business or not.
What tactics have you implemented into your business to stay current and trending?
Having been in business for over 15 years, we’ve made quite a few changes to our offerings both for our custom clients as well as in our online shop. We completely understand that to stay relevant it is vital to continuously create new content and make adjustments in how you operate as a whole. We listen to our clients and what they are asking and pay attention to trends in both the wedding and educational fields. Once an area is too saturated, we will move on from that to stay ahead of the curve.
What sparked your love for calligraphy, and how did you know you wanted to take the business full time?
My mom taught me broad edge calligraphy when I was a kid and then in my early 20’s I saw pointed pen calligraphy and wanted to give that a try. I was fully self-taught in that area until a few years ago when I started training with a couple different Master Penmen to work on my technique for more traditional styles, which I’ve really loved developing. So when I’m not working on client orders, you can still find me practicing for my own growth within the art.
My dad is the one who encouraged me to turn this into a business and once I had enough steady work after about two years doing it “on the side”, I made the leap, went full time, and never looked back! I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love as my full-time career.
How do you think your business has benefited from being family run?
Our director of operations is my sister, so I can confidently say that she treats Laura Hooper Calligraphy as if it were her own business in terms of her dedication and willingness to take on tasks. I trust her implicitly with all decisions that we make together and know she will go above and beyond to put the business first, same as I do.
What does a typical day look like in your studio?
Each day is different since I’m working on various clients throughout the week, but in general I arrive to the studio and have a mix of client work, filming for our YouTube channel, and planning upcoming workshops and courses. If I have an envelope order, I might be writing at my desk for 8 hours, but if I’m working on content creation, I could be doing 2-3 different tutorial projects to share on our blog and YouTube. We also hold client consultations for our custom stationery design clients, and at the holidays we customize real pumpkins and ornaments, so there are some days that I’m lettering on those virtually all day. Every day is truly a mixed bag!
Where do you turn to for inspiration, when you get in a creative rut?
I personally find inspiration in nature, specifically my Fox Hill Garden. It’s important to me to have a creative outlet that isn’t calligraphy, and gardening fulfills that need for me.
Do you have a favorite accomplishment so far?
While it all started out with weddings, my favorite accomplishment is sharing calligraphy with over 10,000 others interested in learning through our starter kit + video tutorial as well as in-person workshops. When I first started Laura Hooper Calligraphy, calligraphy was very much considered a dying art form, so it’s been so rewarding for me personally to see interest in the art grow exponentially the past few years. Hosting our first workshops in our own studio in Old Town Alexandria is something I will surely never forget.