So why did I start a lettering business?

Why did I start a lettering business

So why did I want to start a lettering business? That's what this post is about.  There's one big reason really, so here it is:

The reason: to have something that is all mine

To explain why this is the main reason, I need to go back a little.  For the last five years I have run a business making lampshades.  It has been pretty successful and well received.  But it has always been a side hustle and has been limited because of this.  I have never been able to devote 100% of my working time to it.  That's another story in itself and ironically starting Bloom Lettering means I am introducing another business into the mix - but I just couldn't not do it.

My lampshade business (it's called Lolly & Boo and you can find my beautiful website here), as I mentioned has been pretty successful and I have made thousands of lampshades over the years.  But the thing is, whilst I have created a gorgeous website with some great images of my lampshades, the website and the photography are the only original creative elements to what I do in that business.

peony and sage blush pink busy bees tapered lampshade by Lolly & Boo
peony and sage blush pink busy bees tapered lampshade by Lolly & Boo

Essentially, stripping it back, I am assembling a lampshade using the various materials and some lovely linen fabrics.  The process is one that, unsurprisingly after five years, I could do in my sleep.  So there is very little of me that goes into each lampshade.  Don't get me wrong, my lampshades are made to a very high standard and I'm a real stickler for making each one perfectly.  But the beauty of my lampshades lies in the wonderful linen fabrics I use that somebody else has designed.  Not because of anything I have done really (apart from the actually making!).  The originality is in the fabric designer's designs, which is the culmination of their ideas and drawings printed on to linen.

So this has been my 'big thing' for a while: the need to be original and produce something all of my own.  I could have gone down the fabric design route but it's not really my cup of tea and I think my collection would be limited to stripes and spots!  It's just not me.

By contrast, when I think of my hand-lettered product range, I have so many ideas!  I am only limited by my imagination and the speed with which I can get an idea down on paper.  It really excites me to think of how I can grow my collection and my business - it feels like full steam ahead.  After thousands of lampshades it can feel like you're running out of steam.  And yes, with a card that says "happy birthday" for example, I'm hardly reinventing the wheel but that's not the aim.  The point is that the style of the lettering will be all mine, the colours will all be my decision and once it's all put together, it's my own original design.  Having designed a few cards and prints now, there's nothing like that eek moment when it all comes together and you see your finished product for the first time!  Super exciting!

You Can Do It Card
You Can Do It Card

so why did i start a lettering business