Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Robin.
Anne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I learned the basics of calligraphy when I was 9 years old in an after-school class. I started doing invitations and envelopes for friends and really used it as a side job to make some money while I was growing up and going to school. When I graduated college, I moved to New York City to pursue a career as a dancer, but was working in restaurants to support myself and hating every minute of it. I decided to try and start a calligraphy business to replace the restaurant work. In 2001, I quit my job to do calligraphy full time.
At that time, there were not a lot of calligraphers, and there definitely were not any young calligraphers, so I offered a fresh perspective and some styles that were new and more modern. It started slowly, but after a couple of years I had built up a large New York clientele and was running a thriving business.
I moved back to Los Angeles (I grew up here) in 2011, and while it was a bit of a restart for my business, by primarily using social media I was able to build a Los Angeles clientele very fast.
In the last few years my business has tripled, and I have started teaching, designing full invitation suites, and doing a lot of logo work and other branding design that is less time consuming than lettering envelopes. I also started an online shop to sell prints of my work, cards and stationery, and other items.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been fairly smooth, actually. My on-going struggle over the past few years has been with too much work. I know it’s considered “a good problem to have” but it is a problem, especially with businesses that are manual like calligraphy. I was working 80 hour weeks with a small child and realized that I needed to change how I worked. I limited the number of addressing jobs because they are especially time consuming and expanded into design, workshops, and products. The shift in service offerings has enabled me to continue to grow the revenue of my business while working fewer hours. I’m now at a better work/life balance.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Anne Robin Calligraphy and Design – what should we know?
Anne Robin Calligraphy and Design is a boutique calligraphy and design company. We primarily offer hand calligraphy services for envelopes and day-of details and design full invitation suites and other paper materials for events. We also design logos and other branding, tattoos, packaging, etc. and sell ready-made items and custom stationery through an online shop. I also teach workshops for beginners and intermediate students. My work has become known for its clean, modern style, as well as for its use of bright color and playful nature.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I really understand that, especially in the events world, clients have a lot on their plates. When someone hires me, I try to make it very clear that they have one less thing to worry about. It’s a creative business but I take the business side very seriously. I am on time for deadlines, responsive, and try to make sure there are no mistakes. These kinds of responsible business practices seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many small business owners have a hard time with them.
- Website: annerobin.com
- Phone: 917.863.0899
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @annerobincallig
- Facebook: Anne Robin Calligraphy and Design
- Twitter: @annerobincallig
- Other: shop.annerobin.com
Black and White Suite – Jose Villa
Acrylic Menu – Erin McGinn Photography
Neon 1st Birthday invite – Krista Mason
All others were me.