My diaries: sideways

So… over the summer my calligraphy business was wonderfully busy with wedding orders, and yet I have taken a bit of a leap and begun selling something totally different to the usual place names, table plan cards and invites. Basically I took a big step sideways and changed the face of my wedding business.

bread board calligraphy

“Will you write on my board?”, asked Emma, amongst other wonderfully creative ideas! Calligraphy by Claire Gould | Styling by Tebbey & Co.

Having sidelines doesn’t mean your core business has to be sidelined!

Have you ever done this?

My core business is still wedding name tags for place settings and favours. I sell invitations and on the day stationery to hundreds of brides and grooms and I LOVE IT.

I’ve diversified this year in two ways: first I took a step back to school with personalised calligraphy pen sets. And then I took another sideways step towards crazytown… I’ve been writing on anything I can find from old windows to huge mirrors, home made blackboards and even an oversized bread board. (Don’t get me wrong: this is my most favourite thing ever!)

It would seem that expanding a wedding business sideways is a good idea. I’d love to hear your story if you’ve done it too!

I know of photographers who photograph schools and proms, cake designers who do birthdays and wedding planners who organise wedding fairs. The biggest change in the last couple of years is the wedding photographers / stationers / cake designers / bloggers who also teach.

Weddings are seasonal, and while we can all have a manic summer and a rush in December, the quieter times for weddings are very evident in October and February… so it’s good to plan for a little extra income at those times.

I’d never limit my business or be closed to new ideas for sideways steps like this. Any opportunity to move my business along is welcome here!

 I have two rules I try my best to live by:

  1. Always try and say yes (from a Frank Turner song!)
  2. Try new things / never stop learning
modern calligraphy pen set

My modern calligraphy pen set – for brides and paper lovers who’d like to try their hand… £9.95 on Etsy (introductory price)

Any other side-steppers here? Would you or have you changed the direction of your wedding business, either temporarily or permanently?

I never want to stop writing for brides and grooms, as weddings can be the most creative places for my calligraphy work and so many new ideas come from the weddings I work on. But once in a while it’s just so lovely to investigate something new and see where it takes me!

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 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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