Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacinta Chen.
Jacinta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia and I moved to Los Angeles after marrying my best friend, Zu. I was so excited to be living this amazing life here with him that before moving to America, I had made all these plans to build my corporate career here in LA. However, all my grand plans changed when my work permit took much longer to acquire than we initially anticipated and suddenly I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. Not one to sit still for long, I decided to pick up a calligraphy starter kit which had been gifted to me before I moved. Given my enjoyment for creativity with drawing, painting, and various crafts as a child, I quickly grew to appreciate calligraphy as the very beautiful art that it is.
Sure enough, I was falling in love with the world of calligraphy and hand-lettering. I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with various media and dove head-first into creating different letter forms. I created an Instagram account, @honesttype, initially just to build some accountability with myself. I set small goals realizing that I needed to start posting my work on a public platform, like Instagram, in order to push past my own fear barriers in putting my work out in the public. It was a challenge initially, but it helped me to grow and push my creative boundaries. My calligraphy work improved steadily and within a year, I was receiving requests for custom commissions and on-site calligraphy events with brands such as Seafolly, Style on the Spot, Morgan’s Jewelers, Del Amo Fashion Center, as well as entertainment industry professionals & producers, event planners, brides and so many more in the Southern California region and beyond.
At this stage, I had started working in a full-time corporate job, so I was learning how to juggle all the work that was coming in, and it was getting tricky to time-manage. I continued receiving commission requests for more calligraphy work and the opportunity to make it a full-time gig presented itself. So, with the support of my amazing husband, family, and friends, I decided to go for it. I eventually quit my job just recently to focus on building Honest Type into a full-time bespoke calligraphy business. It’s humbling sitting in the front seat of this journey. We just launched our website and as I reflect on how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time, I’m so incredibly grateful to the many people who have believed in this with me. I am humbled that this little adventure of mine is becoming a reality, and here in Los Angeles, the city of dreams. It’s pretty unreal.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’m a big believer in mistakes that create growth. Growing Honest Type has been an exhilarating journey – I’ve felt completely overwhelmed many times. I’ve often not known who to talk to or where to turn for guidance, and I have found myself learning from many mistakes along the way. One big struggle was learning how to manage my time well. For any new business, there are just so many things that need to be done, learned or improved and honestly, that should never stop. Another learning-curve has been making friends and networking with other industry professionals as well as maintaining great relationships. I moved to America knowing very few people and not a soul in the wedding & events industry! I had to quickly grow my networking skills, attend networking events (often alone) and introduce myself to lots of new people. I’m naturally an extroverted person but even for someone who loves interacting with people, this was tough to begin with. I’m so glad that I put myself out there, though. I have met some truly amazing people in this industry. Each person has their own journey and I have learned an incredible amount from many of the entrepreneurial men and women who I have had the honor to work alongside so far. I’ve put in countless hours of practice and hard work into Honest Type, I’ve cried when things haven’t worked out straight away, and I’ve celebrated my wins (big and small). I know that anything good is always going to take lots of time to refine and improve, and I’m prepared for that.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Honest Type story. Tell us more about the business.
Honest Type is proud to offer bespoke calligraphy services thoughtfully crafted for all aspects of special events. We know that every event has a special purpose whether it’s celebrating a store launch, VIP shopping party, intimate gathering among friends, bat mitzvah, anniversary, or a magnificent wedding ball. Our desire is to hear each client’s unique vision, to dream and create bespoke, memorable pieces that encapsulate their story with designs that will be loved and cherished for years to come. We specialize in live calligraphy on-site, save the dates, invitations suites, venue sketches, custom monograms, event programs, event signage, table decor, place cards, escort cards, seating charts, menus, and more.
There are so many things I am proud of that Honest Type has had the privilege to be a part of so far. When I deliver work to my clients, I truly hope that every client feels the same joy receiving the work as I do in creating it. I know that each event has a special meaning for each of my clients and I take pride in being able to deliver beautiful work according to the vision my clients give me. One of the things I am really proud of is calligraphing agate place cards for guests of Array Now’s private screening of the Netflix series When They See Us which included guests such as the lovely Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. I’m also really proud of a recent feature of our work which appeared on PartySlate. It’s so encouraging to see that my work is inspiring other vendors and industry professionals.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I personally think that the industry as a whole is moving towards providing their guests with more of a unique, personal, and very memorable event experience. While currently, the trends have been in boho-chic with lots of pastel and industrial themes throughout an event & stationery designs, I believe the trend for 2020 is moving more towards the more classic, minimal looks while incorporating richer jewel-tones. I think industrial elements will continue to stay for a while (and pampas grass is still very popular) but for weddings, in particular, I think couples want a more minimal elegance. I believe we’ll also see the industry shift towards more environmentally conscious choices (i.e., seed paper, soy-based ink) and alternative materials such as upcycled fabrics with as we all embrace sustainability. We are excited to see this shift in the industry and are always on the look-out for ways to embrace sustainable options with our clients.
- Place Cards / Escort Cards | First name-only (“John”) | base price starts at $2.00
- Envelope Addressing | base price starts at $3.50
- Event Signage | base price starts at $55.00
- Seating Chart | base price starts at $100.00 + $2.75 per name
- Website: www.honest-type.com
- Phone: (562) 257-6878
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Arcos, DA PhotoZ, Holly Sigafoos Photo, Manya Photography, Next Exit Photography, Honest Type, KLK Photography