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Meet Gilbert Frogozo of Gilbert’s Lettering in San Gabriel Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gilbert Frogozo.

Gilbert, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Gilbert’s Lettering came about almost two years ago when I wanted to make my mother a mother’s day card written in calligraphy. I skimmed through all the tutorials on YouTube how to write in calligraphy and realized how satisfying and therapeutic it was and I discovered my PASSION for it.

I committed in learning how to get better and bought the proper tools and within a week, I had to buy an organizer for all my supplies as I became too invested in it. I decided to make an Instagram to document my progress and my followers grew rapidly.

Within a month in, someone had already reached out to me for a custom hand lettered chalkboard for a baby shower willing to compensate me, less than half a year into practicing calligraphy, a famous author had reached out to me to collaborate for her upcoming book, and thats when I realized the demand for it.

It soon became a side business as clients began to grow. From friends, family, event planners, authors, producers and filmmakers, being a calligrapher had given me so much opportunities to work with great people, worked on some amazing and inspiring projects, reunited me with people I have not seen in a long time. It also gave me an opportunity to meet fellow calligraphers from around the world through networking.

I had taken a chance to make it full-time as I realized this is something I can make work and grow from. I decided to learn new skills to further expand my services such as teaching my self how to engrave by hand, taught my self different scripts and style of calligraphy. I soon invested on a website, plotter machine, laser machine, engraving tools. I am proud to acknowledge the progress and growth I have made within a year and I will continue to strive and reach for success in my calligraphy journey. I am thankful for discovering my passion and I am doing something I love everyday while helping other people turn their vision into reality.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Staring from the ground up, growing a small business is like running with blind eyes. You don’t really know where you’re headed but you learn as you take little steps.

One of the hardest challenges I have faced is pricing my artwork and learning how to value my artwork. Often, I would undercharge as sometimes I would underestimate the hours and effort that goes into producing a project and I start to get discouraged.

Marketing yourself and finding the right resources is also something that is quite challenging. The business side of calligraphy is something I am constantly learning. Calligraphy have become quite a trend and the market have become concentrated and being on top of your game is vital.

I make mistakes, but I learn from them and I am okay with that.

Gilbert’s Lettering – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a self-taught calligrapher and I proudly serve my clients with a wide range of customized/personalized products and services calligraphy, hand engraving, and hand-made crafts for events, home decorations, gift givings, and/or personal use.

I am a one man-operation business calligrapher, lettering artist, and hand engraver located in Los Angeles, CA. I incorporate my skills in traditional and modern calligraphy to the services I offer such as place cards, seating charts, welcome signs, promotional business signs, menus, home decorations, hand engraving, laser cutting, on-sites, live events for brand activations, weddings, holidays, promotions, and many more!

I am most proud of the rate of growth Gilbert’s Lettering have achieved over the short amount of time I have been in the market. I am thankful for all the clients who chose me and believed in my ability and skills to execute the vision they have and make it come true to life.

What sets me apart from other calligraphers is the extensive process I do updating my clients from start to finish so they know what to expect and they know exactly what they’re getting. From sending various sketches to clients to give them options, to sending them pictures of each progress I make, to consulting with them if they’re satisfied. My mission is keep my clients satisfied and make their vision come to life and making sure it is exactly how they envision it.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success is not defined by numbers or status. It is not defined by the number of your followers on Instagram, the number of likes you get, the number of income you make. These are all just icing on the cake.

I define success by satisfaction and contentment. I consider my self successful when a client is satisfied with my work, I consider my self successful when I don’t make mistakes on projects I only have one shot at, I consider my self successful when I make meaningful relationships with clients and other makers and creative entrepreneurs.

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