"There is enough room for everyone in this fun little handmade world, but I think it is always great to remember to be yourself."
- Sarah, Founder of Chalk Full of Love
If there is one thing I feel is lacking in the handmade community, it is empowerment and support from others. So, to help fill that gap, I’ve decided to begin a monthly series called, “Artist of the Month” where I feature handmade artists in multiple fields and host a fun giveaway with them to help spread the word about their gift and their mission within this community.
So, for September, let's meet Sarah, Founder of Chalk Full of Love: hand lettering expert with a talent for putting together the right words at just the right time. She has been growing her business viciously for the past two years and her eye for color and talent in typography has many (including me, her number one fan) swooning on the daily (all the mint and peach is to die for). Read on to learn more about her process, how she got to where she is today, and how to get your own handmade business off the ground and flourishing.
1. How did Chalk Full Of Love get its start?
Almost two years ago, I was between jobs, in a new city, and had a lot of time on my hands. A friend had commented on my personal Instagram about some chalkboard art that I had created for Christmas and said something like “You should sell these!” I remember going to Michaels and buying a bunch of wood and investing my first $100 into the business (basically, I was painting wood slices and personalizing them with chalk art). It took me almost three months for my first sale. I had been incredibly discouraged and felt like this venture was never going to work out, but after that first sale - it was a snowball effect.
2. What inspires you the most?
I am a graphic designer by trade so I am constantly being inspired by things like packaging design, book covers, and old school signage. Sometimes I have to get out of my head and try to get inspired by new and different things. Being a creative takes a lot out of me since I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with new (and amazing) product ideas.
3. What is your favorite piece you have made and how did you develop the idea for it?
This is a tough question! I think my favorite piece differs from my customer’s favorite piece sometimes, but I will always love my first mug design (the original “jesus + coffee” with the laurel). This design was the first time I ventured out of my comfort zone. The idea for the mug came from the little quote: “All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.” That quote was already being done by many others and, in my opinion, a bit too busy, so I started sketching out my own twist on it (like the way the j of Jesus wrapped around the c of coffee). I posted that first sketch on Instagram and got quite the response.
4. Has there ever been a part of your business that was a disaster? If so, what happened and how did you remedy it?
I wouldn’t call any part a “disaster” per se, but there are definitely parts that are a struggle like the finances of running a business. I am not the best with numbers and have to ask my Dad for a lot of help. There have also been products that have been flops, but I take those and try to learn from them - what I did wrong and what I could have done better.
5. Is it tough being your own boss or is it the easiest job you’ve ever had?
I love being my own boss. Easiest job ever.
6. Name one job that you wish you could hire out to someone else.
Oh man, oh man! Shipping. Shipping is the bane of my existence. Mugs are fragile, sadly, and can break from time to time. Sometimes I am shipping the same item twice… maybe three times. Trying to keep track of reships and ones that need to go out priority. Plus bubble wrap, boxes, tape - all this boring stuff you have to spend a lot of money on, and it just gets thrown away in the end.
7. First came chalk letterings, then came mugs and notebooks, now there are even classes: what is next for your budding business?
I like to think the world is my oyster since there are so many dreams buzzing around in my head. I hope to one day open a brick and mortar store and branch out into branding. I really want to come out with more stationery as well, the list goes on and on (but all those things cost money)!
8. Any advice to those out there wishing to start their own handmade business?
My advice is to just do it! Find your niche and go after your dream. There is enough room for everyone in this fun little handmade world, but I think it is always great to remember to be yourself. I think you will be 100% more successful with original ideas (I have seen that in my business and with many others)! Don’t just try to be like someone else because you see them being successful.
Chalk Full of Love is giving away a "Jesus & Coffee" mug to one lucky winner. Gulush Threads is also giving away a $10 shop credit to the winner.
To enter, leave a comment below letting us know your favorite two colors and for an additional entry, head on over to Gulush Threads IG and like the giveaway photo. Don’t forget to follow both @gulushthreads and @chalkfulloflove to be entered!
Giveaway ends Sunday, September 20th at midnight CT with winner announced on Monday, September 1st right here on the Gulush Blog.
GIVEAWAY WINNER: Beki Hancox
Much love and Good Luck,
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