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My diaries – my boyfriend calls me Beach Girl

There’s an art to buying and selling wedding business stories

Sometimes I wish I was Hans Christian Andersen. I’d love to be able to tell a compelling story – and for my story to sell my wedding business. Back in 2005 when I started my wedding calligraphy business, stories meant nothing. Websites had to be professional: “we sell calligraphy” or “we pride ourselves on customer service”…

yawn.

Then Etsy happened. Lucy Ledger made an impression with her wedding business story. Annabel and Kat won our hearts and the blogosphere went crazy. Opinions and reviews overtook straplines and marketing. The internet went mad for people – and personalities began to shape the web. Brides and grooms were buying into the stories and sellers they loved – and businesses blossomed because of them.

Playing on a mountain… just a quick drive from my house!

Your wedding business needs a story – and its story is YOU!

Etsy sellers need a fascinating ‘about me’ story. The best shops have faces (people-faces!) and personalities. Buyers – whether they’re brides and grooms, mums and dads or crafters – want to know who they’re buying from.

How many times have I advised readers to find a photographer they ‘click’ with to shoot their wedding? (Answer: it feels like hundreds!) Why? Because personality is important.

calligrapher claire gould (10)

Even if you won’t be at the wedding, your business needs personality

In these days of crafts and DIY, small businesses are thriving online. As always, there’s fierce competition in the wedding industry and those of us making stationery and decor need to work extra hard to succeed.

A key to so many success stories is personality. But just how do you go about shaping and telling your wedding business story?

Create your success story to inspire!

Your business needs a personal story to really engage and appeal to your potential customers. You can literally tell your story on your website’s ‘about me’ page – but it needs to be a compelling read. Mine can always benefit from an update – and my calligraphy ‘about me’ page is one of the worst! I’ll rewrite it soon…

Tips for writing your wedding business story

  • Aim for reader engagement and appeal
  • Your story should be an entertaining read
  • Give your target audience what they’re looking for
  • Share a secret or two – it’s about not hiding
  • Take aspirational photos of your studio

If I was to write my wedding business story today I’d start by telling you my boyfriend calls me Beach Girl. That’s how my name comes up in his phone! And I love it. I love being Beach Girl – because it’s who I am. I live by the seaside. I escape, I adore the freedom of the beach and the tranquility of the mountains nearby. That freedom is what inspires me to create and craft, to live the life of a calligrapher, to aim high, to find thinking space and dream big.

I’d show you around my little studio, let you play with my calligraphy pens and put some music on while we did… oh, and that might surprise you too! And you’d smile and probably laugh at me and I’d quite like that – because I’m just being me. I’m different, I have a dragon’s egg hanging from my ceiling and a tattoo on my neck. I ride a Vespa. My Mini has a yellow Octopus in the front, called Kneel.
calligrapher claire gould (11)I decorate my little work space with things I love – like these gorgeous letters Jo from Vintage Twee made for me, and the pearl heart by Betsy Button which I love. There are pens everywhere, and there are at least five for every occasion!
calligrapher claire gould (12)

Have a peek around my studio – I took some pictures for you! Here’s my inky pen, and an invitation and love hearts treat from ELS Design.

Oh and this is me in Dublin – looking like a sensible grown up!

My bookshelves aren’t just for books!
calligrapher claire gould (1)My nibs live in the gorgeous decorated box on the left… I adore the fairy on the top who keeps them safe (affectionately known as “the bloke” but it’s a long story!) – this was a beautiful gift by Jo from Vintage Twee. I keep thank you cards around because they make me smile.
calligrapher claire gould (2)My owl, from my friend Pat, and some calligraphy extracts from my all-time favourite book are on the walls around my studio
calligrapher claire gould (3)The apartment has character: I even have stained glass 🙂
calligrapher claire gould (4)… and a little calligraphy on the wall above my high cupboards!
calligrapher claire gould (5)This is the view from my work desk – isn’t it perfect?
calligrapher claire gould (6)My reading room is inhabited by dragons and magic – there are French and Italian dictionaries and books on the history of calligraphy dotted around as well!
calligrapher claire gould (7)
calligrapher claire gould (8)I never imagined I’d be a calligrapher or a wedding blogger. I learned languages at school and added marketing to my little repertoire at university. I travelled, lived in France and Italy and spent a decade or so working in marketing in Manchester. Home has always been the Lake District though, and when my wedding blog and calligraphy business were a success I came home to the Lakes to work. calligrapher claire gould (9)A calligraphy song lyric with a personal message from Frank Turner written on the back!

I spend every day writing: either picking up pens and mixing inks, sketching layouts and creating beautifully lettered designs, or discovering beautiful weddings in my inbox and writing about them so I can share them here on the English Wedding Blog. I adore what I do – and for now, the love of my craft and my lifestyle is my wedding business story. I hope it’s a good read!

calligrapher claire gould (13)Mollie Makes – I was happily surprised to discover Kirstie had mentioned me here! (This feature is a great ‘about’ story – she shows us around her home, a fab way to do it!)
calligrapher claire gould (14)

My studio floor, covered in Paperchase photo albums with handwritten covers – these were Jemma’s creative table names which she planned to fill with photos for wedding guests to enjoy!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this impromptu little studio tour! Have a fabulous Thursday everyone 🙂
claire gould calligrapher signature

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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1 COMMENT
  • Nathan @ Artemis Stationery
    5 years ago

    Very good article Beach Girl!

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