How Dubsado Works For Your Business: Calligraphy
A few weeks ago, we started a series highlighting how Dubsado works for all the amazing industries that make up our Dubsado family! From Photographers to Lawyers; Calligraphers to Doulas, Dubsado is the CRM for all creative entrepreneurs. This week, we got to hear from some amazing Dubsado Calligraphers.
We asked them a little about themselves, their industry and what makes Dubsado the perfect Client Management System for them! Let's meet them:
Cami: Hey y'all! I'm Cami, the owner and artist behind Cami Monet Watercolor & Calligraphy. I'm based in Orlando, FL, but I was born and raised in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. (And I'm mighty proud of it too!) I'm all about love-inspired wedding invitations and joy-filled paintings that celebrates life's sweet moments, even if that moment is as small as a fresh cup of coffee. I'm a sprinkled donut enthusiast and certified cat lady fueled by grace and lattes. When I'm not painting, you can find me hitting the gym with my ridiculously good-looking, total sweetheart of a husband or poppin' tags at thrift stores. Find me at @camimonet and let's be friends!
Elisabeth: Hi! My name is Elisabeth and I am a calligrapher & designer based in Marietta, GA right outside of Atlanta. I am extremely passionate about creating beautiful one-of-a-kind custom wedding invitations for brides! I also host Modern Calligraphy workshops when I have time; I love educating other creatives and helping them get started in their business endeavors!
Sarah: My name is Sarah, and I'm the heart and mind behind Sarah B. Calligraphy. I design wedding stationery for brides who value the art of heirloom calligraphy and attention-to-detail all over the United States. Another major service I provide is artisanal branding for creatives who crave an aesthetic system that expresses their business. My passions include supporting and helping other creatives with their businesses and empowering brides with lettered details for their wedding. Living in the state of hospitality, you can be sure that my customer service is spot-on with a bit of southern flair!
1) How did you learn your craft?
Cami: My dad is a watercolor artist so I literally grew up painting. (Just picture toddler me putting the finishing touches on my dad's masterpieces. Yeah, he was a brave man.) I sold my artwork in his gallery throughout my childhood, but as I got older, I started painting less and less. At the end of 2015, I took a copperplate calligraphy class, and it reignited all that creative passion, as cheesy as that sounds! I began painting and lettering daily (It was my 2016 New Year's resolution to create more.) and taught myself the style of brush calligraphy that I use today. Of course, all of the watercolor techniques I learned from my dad — I still call him after I finish every painting to get a final critique on it! (You can check out his work at gwebbgallery.com. Prepare to have your mind blown.)
Elisabeth: I am completely self-taught! I never attended any workshops while I was learning calligraphy, mainly because I am left-handed and there were very few calligraphers who could have actually helped me learn how to do calligraphy. For years I thought I couldn't do calligraphy because I was left-handed, but once I really started researching materials I was able to find things that worked for me!
Sarah: I went to college for graphic design and wanted to emphasize in branding and editorial design. While searching for my first full-time job after graduation, I needed a creative outlet. Typography and hand-lettering were always interests throughout school, so calligraphy was the next step. Even though I learned digitizing and design the more traditional way, calligraphy was the opposite. I learned completely online and practiced everyday. I tell my calligraphy workshop students that I began teaching calligraphy locally because I didn't have that opportunity.
2) As a calligrapher, how has Dubsado been most impactful to your business?
Cami: I could write a NOVEL on this (seriously, Dubsado has been a game changer for me), but I think the most impact it's had in my business is upping my client experience. I love that I'm able to deliver a seamless process for my brides because I really want working with me to be as stress-free and fun as possible! Being able to easily send them proposals for custom projects, wedding questionnaires and beautifully branded design proofs not only keeps me organized (no more details lost in the email abyss!), but also creates a unique collaboration element with my clients. (And if you really want to make a client feel special, just send them the link to the client portal. Gets 'em every time.) I get more compliments on how fun and easy it is to work with me, and that's all because of Dubsado! Plus I feel way more profesh. (Sending PDFs and 4,000 questions over email does not make you feel that way, let me tell ya.) And that's half the battle right there.
Elisabeth: Dubsado has helped streamline all of my process in the best way possible! It is extremely easy for me to send proofs and to have my clients sign off on sketches that I send them. I always try to create a digital version of what I will be providing my client before doing the actual work, and Dubsado has been essential for streamlining that process and making sure to get a client's official signature of approval!
Sarah: Because calligraphy and stationery design are so custom, no order is the same. This can be tough to find a workflow that works with each client. Dubsado has made the process more streamlined and easier for my clients and me. The communication with my clients are smooth, and I can collect all of the information in one system without keeping track of many emails and random files floating around. It's enabled me to send everything to my clients without have to use different programs.
3) Do you have any processes in Dubsado you think would be helpful for other calligraphers?
Cami: Of course, y'all know I'm all about using the forms in Dubsado for my design proofing process (using the subcontract for signing off on final files is a MUST), but I also love sending a final feedback questionnaire once the job is complete! Once my client fills out the testimonial questionnaire, I also send them a little final gift as a thank you for their business and honest feedback. I ask questions to help improve my experience and collect reviews to use on my website, and I also include links to other sites where I ask them to leave reviews. This is a newer part of my process, but I love hearing my client's' thoughts and ending on note where they feel heard and appreciated. (Here's what the form looks like! https://hello.dubsado.com/public/form/view/59cc49f47272366e868f4462)
Elisabeth: I use Dubsado for so many different facets of my business: wedding invitations, logo design, semi-custom Christmas cards, and more! Yes, I think a lot of my processes could be helpful for other calligraphers, but each person has to learn how to utilize Dubsado in a way that is the most beneficial for them. As long as you are using Dubsado for your invoices and contracts then you are off to a great start!
Sarah: In my Facebook group for stationers and calligraphers, I've seen several people ask about invoices and how to present them. I know how valuable time is, so I love being able to create a proposal with a quote within thirty minutes for my clients. I use packages for the invitation suite pieces and envelope addressing, and I assign one service/product per line item for the other packages, such as ribbon, envelope liners, wax seals, etc. The reason I have the packages with multiple pieces is because they usually come in a set. The single line item packages are for add-ons that aren't necessary for a suite. I think a misconception with the packages is that you have to have multiple items within one package. You can actually have just one item to build a custom invoice! When I create a quote, I make an invoice and can simply add what my client wants then change the quantity. Next I add the proposal form which has a section just for the invoice that is automatically added. Finally, I send it! My clients love how everything is in one place. They can see the cost and details of each item and are able to review the information.
4) What makes calligraphy so unique as an art form? Do you see it evolving in the future?
Cami: My favorite thing about calligraphy or any art really is that you can take the SAME quote or subject, have 37 different artists create their take on it, and you'll end up with 37 completely different pieces. Calligraphy is especially unique now because everything is digital, so getting back to the basics of pen and paper has taken on a new sense of luxury. A beautifully crafted letter or envelope feels extra special. Remember how we used to get excited about getting an email? ("You've got mail!") Now, an actual hand-written letter in our mailbox feels like Christmas morning. Calligraphy is just taking that connection to the next level because it turns an ordinary word or sentence into a treasure, a miniature piece of art. Even with our fancy-schmancy iPad lettering tools, I see pen and paper making a comeback in the future. It's not just an art form; it's an escape! I mean, texting is cool and all, but have you seen flourishes?!
Elisabeth: Calligraphy has been around for centuries! The uniqueness of calligraphy is that it's kind of like painting... you have options for different materials, different inks, and even different styles of lettering, which means that everyone's calligraphy is going to look different and unique unless you are training in a specific formal hand! I love that calligraphy is something you can only continue to get better & better at. I'm still practicing and learning!
Sarah: Art evokes thought and emotion and is a way to express yourself. When I work with clients, the top questions I ask during our consultation is, "What style are you going for, and what's your vision?" For a more whimsical boho bride, I'm not going to create something traditional like copperplate calligraphy. The style of the wedding and calligraphy has to be cohesive, and that's why I use certain kinds of calligraphy to express the theme of the wedding. There is more time and heart that goes into calligraphy compared to a typeface. Even if I use the same style of calligraphy for more than one design, there will always be variations with the letters because it's all done by hand. It's like doing a painting but with letters. I wholeheartedly believe the art of calligraphy is growing. Calligraphy was used for common writing and illuminated manuscripts. Now look at how much it's grown! You see it in editorials, logo designs, videos, and stationery. I'm sure people 300 years ago didn't think it was going to be a lost art that came back with a vengeance in the creative world! Calligraphy isn't a trend. It's something classic and ever-changing.