This week's featured entrepreneur is Loren Chesnut. I had the pleasure of meeting Loren during my tenure at Clemson University. It's one of those cases of not remembering how you met, but being glad that you did. Loren is by far one of the most down to earth people that I've ever met and I was uber excited when she agreed to be a featured entrepreneur.
I got to witness the growth of Loren's business through the lens of social media. It's the perfect intersection of creativity and a niche market. I'm excited to share this awesomeness with you, so let's jump right in!
Where are you from? Favorite quote? Interests and hobbies?
Hometown: Williamston, South Carolina
Favorite Quote or Verse:
" Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life." - Galatians 6: 5-8 MSG
Interest, Hobbies, Fun Facts: Calligraphy, tennis, basketball, reading. Law & Order: SVU fanatic
Talk about your business. I know how cool it is, but please share with the masses what your business is, how it started, and what keeps it going.
Business Name: Captivating Calligraphy by L.A. | www.captivatingcalligraphybyla.com
Tell me about your business.
CC offers handwritten services such as, but not limited to: envelope addressing, invitation design, wedding day-of pieces, custom stationery designs, spot calligraphy and more.
Have you always wanted to be a business owner?
Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would own a business. Honestly, the thought never really crossed my mind. I'll tell anyone, CC is definitely a GOD thing!
What inspired you to start it?
It started with me wanting to find a new hobby-- something that I would enjoy doing and would be one of my "happy places." I began to brainstorm things that I was interested in. Calligraphy has always been one of those things that I always wanted to try but never made the time for. One day I was talking to a good friend of mine and was telling her how I needed to find a hobby and I mentioned that I was thinking about giving calligraphy a try. She encouraged me to go for it and I did. I ordered a few supplies, watched a couple of YouTube videos and began to practice. I remember posting a couple of photos on Instagram and the rest is history. People started asking me to do small projects here and there...next thing you know, I was filing paperwork to register a business! It's funny because whenever I'm asked how I got started with calligraphy I always think about Amos 9:13-15 MSG where it says:
"Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won't be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once - and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills..."
Not only does this verse describe CC to a perfect 'T,' but it also describes my life in general. I am truly blessed!
What keeps you going?
Passion. I feel like I have finally found that one thing that I absolutely love doing! I also enjoy meeting new people. Most of my clients have been brides, so I always like getting to know them and being a small part of their journey to the aisle.
What has been the key to your success and growth?
I honestly believe that CC is where it it is today because of prayer, favor, and the continuous encouragement from my support system.
What has been the greatest entrepreneurial lesson that you’ve learned since being in business? What’s the best business advice that you’ve received?
"Don't do your business the way the rest of the world does it. Dedicate your business to Him and you will see it flourish!" - unknown
Now that you've been in business for some time, what can we expect to see in the future?
I have so many ideas and goals for CC, but I think the next thing you will see from me will be one-on-one private calligraphy lessons and workshops. I receive a lot of inquires in that area so I am working towards adding those to my list of offerings. I also plan to start blogging in the near future. The blog will not be just about calligraphy but I plan to incorporate some things pertaining to marriage and life after the wedding. I feel that the bigger purpose behind my work is to encourage healthy marriages. I think that it's easy for us to get so wrapped up in the planning of that one day that we fail to really focus on the life after.
What are some books, podcasts, or other resources that you’d recommend for up and coming entrepreneurs?
Books: Day Job to Dream Job: Practical Steps for Turning Your Passion into a Full-Time Gig
Podcasts: Sean Wes is one of my favorites to listen to. I stubbled across him because he is an artist and specifically does handlettering. I found his website and started watching his videos. He gives a lot of great tips and advice regarding business and I have found a lot of his information to be very useful. Visit his website at www.seanwes.com.
To learn more about Captivating Calligraphy by LA, visit Loren's website. Also, be sure to follow her on Instagram @captivating.calligraphy and like her business on Facebook!
Know someone who should be featured? Email email@example.com for details on how to be featured!