Calligraphy Service Business Idea

Business Summary:

Calligraphy is an artistic form of handwriting done with a special pen – it is used most often for special occasions, including wedding invitations, formal announcements, certificates, and customized menus.

Customers seeking the services of a calligrapher either go through a very good printer or stationery store, or they find someone on their own who can do custom calligraphy. They often find only machine-printed calligraphy – hand-done work can be difficult to locate.

Calligraphers learn their art through adult education classes or through buying a special kit, often around $20, that contains special pens, inks, and a booklet of the various types of calligraphic alphabets. Calligraphy is not difficult to learn for someone with an artistic eye, a steady hand, and the patience to stay with the craft until it is mastered. Calligraphers can vary their work hours, and they can offer their services through a stationery store or directly from their own home offices. Calligraphy is a much-admired art form – if you decide to make it your own business start-up, you’ll enjoy impressing clients with your beautiful products.

Start Up Cost: Varies – $2,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

Some artistic ability is required to become a calligrapher. Steadiness and patience are even more important. If you truly want to master the art of calligraphy, you will need to work at it daily until you’ve reached a professional level of skill. After you have the calligraphy down, you will need to put together some outstanding samples of your work in a portfolio to show prospective clients. You’ll be doing everything from place cards to elaborate invitations, so you will want to have many variations on each theme, all beautifully presented.

How Much Can You Earn:

Some calligraphers charge by the hour – the usual rate is between $25 and $50. Others provide clients with a list of retail prices for their products. If the job is to be done at wholesale rates, they deduct 35% to 40%. Of course, the annual income is determined by the amount of time that the calligrapher decides to work during the year.

Understanding Customers:

You will be working with customers who are anticipating a very special event (a wedding, a golden anniversary celebration) and who may be nervous and unsure of just what they want. You’ll need to approach customers with a calm, reassuring manner, show them your portfolios, and reach a clear agreement as to what they ultimately decide on. This is no time to misspell a name or inscribe the wrong date – be sure that all the details are in writing and initialed by the client. Working wholesale for a stationer or wedding planner can be less stressful, but the need for accuracy is still paramount. That’s why steadiness and focus are so critical when a calligrapher is doing a job. It’s all worth it when the client gets her first glimpse of the beautiful finished products you’ve created.

Marketing Strategy:

When you’ve finally reached a professional level in your calligraphy, it’s time to take some of your beautifully-designed brochures to printers, wedding planners, bridal shops, banquet halls, restaurants, and any other business that might want your talents. It’s important to get your name in the local newspapers and on community bulletin boards (including community websites). Keep reminding businesses and individuals that you’re out there and ready for business. Your portfolio will be a prime selling factor, so take it with you when you make the rounds. Lovely examples of calligraphy on invitations, announcements, and certificates can sell themselves – they’ll certainly make people remember you when the next important occasion comes along.

Requirements:

This is one business that requires very little capital investment. You’ll need a basic calligraphy kit, various decorative paper samples, and a quiet place to set aside for practice. If you work from home, you’ll want a spare room or niche where you can show off your work and finalize details with clients. You should have a drafting table, shelving for all of your supplies, and a computer with necessary software. Be sure to hang some nicely framed examples of your work where your clients can’t miss seeing them.

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