If you’re subscribed to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram, you already know that 2021 saw us get rid of mental distractions so we could stay focused on creativity. While we still offered calligraphy classes and custom calligraphic art, we finally got serious about Custom and Semi-Custom Stationery. Read on to see what we came up with!
In this Article:
3 Big Accomplishments from 2021
1. We Launched Our Online Calligraphy Classes
It would seem like 2020 was actually the appropriate year to start teaching online, but we had just gone full time and still had a lot to figure out! This actually resulted in a successful Rebrand at the beginning of 2021.
Last year, we taught Broad Edge Calligraphy for Beginners and Intro to Hand Drawn Lettering online through Zoom. This year, instead of Hand Drawn Lettering, we’re offering Intro to Pointed Pen Calligraphy. We’ll also be offering some fun demonstrations through Zoom. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter to catch them!
2. We Opened an Etsy Shop!
Okay, *technically* we opened it in 2018 or so, but never listed anything until this year. Opening this shop felt like the next part of a series of big jumps since the spring of 2020. We’re happy to share things are going smoothly!
A Few Shop Items
3. We Improved Our Marketing Skills
We wish we’d known 3 years ago to put this time and effort into marketing! But everyone learns and works at a different pace and we’re here now. Seeing the results in a graph is so satisfying and encouraging!
Here’s What We Did:
We Improved Our Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This took a lot of research and some trial and error, but the graph above shows a definite difference! We went back and added key words to our 2020 blog posts. This helped people find our calligraphy articles and videos. For 2021, we started with keywords and wrote our content around them.
We Used a Content Strategy
This is our 3rd year using a regular Content Strategy to guide what we talk about and why. We love using the Content Strategy Toolkit from Column Five Media. In 2021, we matched the things we posted online to the business growth and direction we wanted to see. We also started measuring our results across our outlets and setting monthly goals. 2022 is looking even more streamlined!
We Finally Scheduled Posts Ahead of Time
Behind the scenes at Crossroads Calligraphy, you’d see tons of video and article drafts. In 2021, we let go of the resistance we had against publishing our work. (Read: “We somewhat conquered perfectionism.”) Sharing our ideas sure felt better than letting them rot in the recesses of our Google Drive.
We use Facebook Business Suite, Mailchimp, and Pinterest for Business to organize and schedule our posts ahead of time. This helps us stay in touch with our audience, even when we’re riding the depths of creative flow in the Studio.
Our Popular Content
Most-Watched YouTube Videos
2021 Client Work
Last year, we saw more wedding work, all for intimate and beautiful gatherings. All of the calligraphy we did was for the big day: menus and welcome signs, keepsake wedding vows, and place cards for that special touch at the reception.
Most of our commissions continue to be one-of-a-kind calligraphic art that our clients give away as gifts. Here are a few of our favorites:
What Our Clients are Saying on Google
“Renee did a beautiful, framed piece for us on hand colored parchment. She listened to what we needed and very quickly produced the exact gift we wanted to give to dear friends. She is a total delight to work with, and her work is thoughtfully created. I could not ask for more. If you have any calligraphy needs, do give Renee a call.” — Sheila Schultz, Tucson, AZ
“Renee was a pleasure to work with, and did a wonderful job on the place cards for my daughter’s wedding reception. Would definitely recommend for anyone looking for calligraphy work!” — Carla Carpentier, Tucson, AZ
“The way Renee explains hand lettering makes it easy to learn. Good resources with the video available to watch and improve your hand lettering, along with handouts.” — Nancy Slyman, Miami OK
Part of our system of Values is to donate part of our gross income to local organizations. In 2021, this amounted to $125 collectively donated to Tucson Reparations, Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Our Ascender Scholarship Fund is at $150 after 2021. These distributions are built into our budget so that as we grow, so do our contributions.
Coming up in 2022:
Above all else, what we’re aiming for is checking in using videos in addition to email and Instagram captions. We’re also looking forward to teaching more calligraphy and related skills. Hopefully, in-person Calligraphy Meetups and classes will be possible later in the year, but in the meantime, we’ll still offer classes we can online. Lastly, we’re aiming to expand our Stationery Line to include greeting card sets and custom wedding invitation suites!