Today we’d like to introduce you to Raymond Ramirez-Manzo.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It was August of 2013 in Manila, Philippines. My parents asked me to design the invites for their Pearl Anniversary Wedding. It was my first time to create one since I am used to doing marketing collaterals for different brands. When I was creating a mood-board, I chanced upon an invitation suite with the couple’s name in Spot Calligraphy, I knew it was custom art piece since I have a big interest on Typography. I did my research on Calligraphy. Because I didn’t know that there is an art such as that. Ever since I was young I would scribble and do lettering – I would re-create album covers for my favourite artists with my lettering. And I thought, I couldn’t make a living out of lettering.
The next month I took a local Calligraphy workshop. I can’t remember much about it, but it was a decent introduction for me to get started with the nib. The nib though is very intimidating, such a tiny thing but hard to control sometimes. You need discipline, a lot of practice and a lot of patience for you to create beautiful forms. Then one day, I picked up a brush and started doing brush calligraphy and boy it felt freeing! I was just expressing myself through words and strokes. Eventually I would go back to using nib and rediscover how much I love it. I could create elegant strokes, really delicate hairlines with it and that played a huge part in figuring out my brand.
When I moved to California on the Spring of 2015, I began to flirt with the idea of creating a Calligraphy business. After a year of being here and also after fully realizing the direction I wanted to take, I have finally curated my brand – KidGolightly Calligraphy.
KidGolightly was derived from my free-spirited personality and I feel like that I will always be “forever young”, intertwined with a fictional character that played a big role in my young adulting phase – Holly Golightly. In one way or another, the brand name represents my luxe calligraphy style which is effortless, a little playful and elegant.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I had my fair share of struggles. I still do, until now. There will be days that I’ll feel like my work is not good enough or I’m not good enough. It is cruel and unkind to do to yourself but you’ll get lost sometimes and start to compare yourself to other Creative Entrepreneurs. Now, I know how to handle it. I realized that I was wasting time comparing myself to someone’s success, it only distracts me from achieving my goals. So I just focused on pursuing the kind of work I want to do, work hard, give it my all and give myself enough grace. I eventually grew out of that insecurity and that lead me to feeling that my brand has reached a certain level of stability.
Plus, furthering your knowledge of the business you’re embarking is also a big help. The more researched you are, the better you have an understanding of what it is that you’re into. Before I only knew what my goal is, now I know what are the steps I need to take to get to that goal. My everyday mantra is “no rest for the wicked”. If you want to chase a dream, then you better run & don’t ever give up, even if you already make it – hold on to it, as if your life depends on it.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about KidGolightly Calligraphy – what should we know?
KidGolightly Calligraphy is a full-service organic calligraphy studio & bespoke stationery design house, that provides that effortless sophistication to brides with impeccable taste & small businesses in the U.S. and worldwide.
What sets me apart from others is my script, they’re delicate and unique. Like a cobweb in the wild nature. When I create pieces for my clients, I don’t overthink it as much as it seem. I approach projects organically and let it surprise me. Don’t get me wrong, of course I stick to the vision and what we discussed but I truly believe in spontaneity. Even in relationships, my connection with the people around me evolved in an organic way. Always letting fate be the driver. As romantic as that may sound it is the beautiful truth.
Every project done is invested with so much time & infused with passionate love for the craft. I collaborate with my client to create the perfect piece that speaks of the memory they wish for it to hold – be it an heirloom from a wedding day, a “just because” gift that comes from the heart, a custom piece they can imagine or a hand lettered logo that embodies the story of their brand. A KidGolightly piece represents quality work that is luxurious in feel to captivate their audience. I am known for that and I am proud of my brand because it is truly me and it is not limited for any kind of growth. I will be launching a Semi-Custom suite very soon, it’s gonna be perfect for brides or grooms who wants a timeless wedding stationery – a classic style with a modern twist without going over board on their budget.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I can’t even begin to express how lucky I am to be loved by someone so amazing & so giving, without unsuccessfully holding back the river behind my eyes. My business’s main investor is my husband – who financed most of my materials, drove me to all art stores, to all my meetings, events. He helps me scheme my marketing, pushes hard for me to achieve my goals & gives me that much needed boost in times of doubt and insecurity. So, every time you do business with me, you’re also investing a young love’s dream.
My family, when they can they help me out. They would assist me in assembly, penciling out lines for envelopes, then erasing those pencil lines after I’m done inking ha-ha! I remember, even my Mom would help me mix inks and she always promotes my brand in social media. My younger sister, Valerie, is my go-to person when I need an assistant, she’s the ultimate pencil-er (is that a word? Haha) in making my guidelines, tear paper with me and basically share many triumphs and heartaches. Everyone in the family had their fair share of contribution, my older sisters are very artistic as well so they definitely lend out their magical hands once in a while. My sister-in-law, I can confidently say is my number one cheerleader! Everyone in the family is very supportive.
My friends, who are my first clients, they’re the first people to believe in the work that I do. Special shout-out to my friends who bought my first products in Etsy, to Yhan who organized my first ever Calligraphy workshop, which was international one by the way – it was in Singapore, and Cristina who was my first bride & first one to have a custom piece in her home as well. I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful people.
Then I have my mentor, The Fozzy Book. I feel like I’m Adele and she’s Beyonce at the 2017 Grammy’s right now. Ha-ha! I adore her. She rooted for me in finding my own style and encouraged me to figure out my niche market. And of course my fellow creatives on Instagram who shows so much love and support! Our community is all about boosting each other, giving tips, commenting on each other’s posts and I never felt like it’s a competition. I made good friends along the way and I am so very thankful for that. Special shout out to my girl, Nicollete of Lazywood Lane.
- Stationery Design starts at $250.00
- Envelope Addressing starts at $2.00 per
- Hand Lettered Logos starts at $250.00
- Website: www.kidgolightly.com
- Phone: 6199625514
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Instagram.com/kidgolightly or @kidgolightly
- Facebook: Facebook.com/kidgolightly
Photos are taken by me except for the “I Still Do” custom card, it was taken by Kel and Mel Photography.