Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Harris.
Jamie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in the Philippines; and my family moved to Georgia in 2007. I’ve loved art ever since I was a child, I was always complimented on my handwriting and my drawing abilities but it was always just a hobby to me.
In 2016, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Design and Development from DeVry University. At that time, I have already been working full-time with the State of Georgia for three years, and I could not afford to lose the salary and benefits to pursue an entry-level career in graphic design. Since I had some time on my hands after graduating, I immediately decided to teach myself calligraphy by watching YouTube videos and using worksheets that I downloaded online. I love learning new things and calligraphy has always been on my list of things to learn when I had the time, and I would never regret that I did!
In 2017, I decided to open my own Etsy shop and put my name out there doing calligraphy. This decision has been the most exciting and totally unexpected decision, ever. I am still blown away and humbled that people would pay me for my handwriting!
At the beginning of this year, I finally decided to streamline my business and focus more on getting my name out in the wedding industry. My ultimate goal is to become a wedding designer and stationer. I would really love to be able to design beautiful wedding invitation suites for couples one day. Another business resolution I had for this new year is to take it one baby step at a time and not rush anything along the process. To kick things off this year, I have launched a new website on February 18th which includes envelope addressing as a new offering for 2019. I have a feeling that this year is going to be a great year!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would say that my journey has been tough especially during my first year in business because I didn’t really know what I was doing and was just going with the flow of things, but I’m glad that I persevered through because my business did much better in 2018!
My experience has definitely been very eye-opening as well. I have grown so much in just two years even though I only do this part-time, and I never would have even thought in a million years that I had it in me to be a small business owner!
A couple of lessons I would like to share:
Lesson #1: Never doubt yourself. We all have dreams and ambitions in life, and those dreams and ambitions will stay that way unless we do something about it. It doesn’t matter how big or small the way you choose to achieve them, the main thing is that you believe in what you can do and go for it! Whether it be a hobby, a small business, part-time or full-time. You’ll be surprised to see the results!
Lesson #2: Be confident. I have always been the shy type and the one who is afraid to express herself to other people. Learning calligraphy helped me express myself through art by sharing my work on social media, and I have enjoyed interacting and meeting other creatives since I’ve been sharing my work.
I have found a true passion for calligraphy and being creative, in general. I have become more confident in myself the past two years because of all the support from friends, family, and the creative community I have been a part of on Instagram. I recently hosted two chalkboard lettering workshops over the holidays last year and that itself is a HUGE milestone for me! I have the worst stage fright ever but once I got up there the first time, I was fine! Yes, I was still very nervous especially during the first workshop, but I got more comfortable once I started sharing what I wanted to teach my students. I didn’t even go by my notes most of the time because I knew in my head and heart what I was going to say. If I can do it, you can do it too!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a calligrapher. I can write and letter on almost any flat surface you can think of! Right now, I work on a lot of different projects. I’ve worked on framed lettering, chalkboard lettering, event signage, and I have an Etsy shop where I sell personalized vinyl decals, mugs, and wall scrolls. I am currently working on getting back into offering envelope addressing and looking forward to introducing some design mock-ups for wedding invitation suites.
As a brand, I am proud of where it has come in just two years. I always like to help people, and to be able to help people make pretty things with my own handwriting makes my heart happy!
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Ever since I was in kindergarten, I have been obsessed with making my handwriting pretty especially when we started writing cursive in school. I have always been complimented on my handwriting even if I’m not trying to make it look pretty.
At home, my mom has always loved doing crafts. I definitely got my resourcefulness and craftiness from her. My dad is also an artist, he is an animator. Growing up, he used to work as a clean-up artist for Disney Channel Asia and I remember that I always looked forward to visiting him at Toon City, not only because I am obsessed with anything Disney, but because I was able to learn to draw and color the Disney characters they were working on. It was the coolest experience ever!
- Website: www.letterswithjamie.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @letterswithjamie
- Facebook: @letterswithjamie
Shelby Robinson Photography, Letters with Jamie