If you haven’t found us yet, you should definitely head over to the Laura Hooper Calligraphy Instagram feed. On Instagram, I am often asked “how long have you been doing calligraphy?” or “where did you learn the art of calligraphy?”. So I thought I would share the story of how I became a full-time calligrapher/stationer.

People often ask if I have neat “regular writing,” and the answer is yes, I have always had neat, legible writing, and I have also always been fairly artistically inclined. My grandmother on my dad’s side was a painter and cartoonist for Hanna Barbera, and I used to do some painting in my younger years.

Around the age of 12, I took a weekend job working at a booth in the Valley Indoor Swap Meet in Woodland Hills, CA. The company was called Cowboy Chuck, and I was hired to hand-write in the names on the caricature drawings that they sold in the booth. I loved working there and am pretty sure I must have considered myself an “expert” in handwriting.

Fast forward to about 22 years old, when my best friend was getting married and she asked me to address her wedding invitations. I can’t recall what they looked like now, but my guess is nothing fancy on my part. However, when my dad’s coworker’s daughter was getting married, my dad decided to volunteer me to write the envelopes. Then my sister’s boss got married…and you know the drill. Lo and behold I was addressing as many envelopes as possible in my spare time.

In the meantime I had finished my Bachelor’s in Business with an emphasis in Management, and I was working at a mortgage company doing the standard 9-5, while concurrently developing Laura Hooper Calligraphy. I did any and every job I could just to gain experience, clients and a word-of-mouth reputation. I started working on stationery in addition to calligraphy, and sometime in 2005, when I was 24 years old, I decided to leave the corporate world behind and take on Laura Hooper Calligraphy full-time!

I was living in an apartment in Northridge, but ran my “office” out of my old bedroom at my parent’s house {this was really great since all the mess stayed at their place!}. As the wedding industry evolved, so did my business and finally in about 2009, I moved to Hermosa Beach with my then-boyfriend, Jeremy, and opened up a studio right on Pier Avenue in dowtown Hermosa where I worked until Jeremy {now husband} and I relocated to Northern Virginia/greater DC area this past summer.

So there you have it! I hope this provides some inspiration to all of the aspiring calligraphers out there and just know that practice, practice, practice is the key! The industry {wedding and lettering in general} continues to grow, and I continue to try new things just like everyone else, but what I always do my best to remember is that “we are who we choose to be”…