Meet: Loveleigh Loops

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One of the best things about the event planning industry is the amazing vendors we get to work with! These people are some of the most creative and kind people you will meet. I want to introduce you to some of these creative entrepreneurs. In this series, we will get to know a little about the businesses these entrepreneurs have created and what drives them to be successful.

 

Loveleigh Loops was created by twin sisters Jillian and Jordan. Calligraphers themselves, they wanted to find a way to to help others learn the craft. Together they have created dozens of online courses and support a huge community of calligraphers who are learning and perfecting their skills online. We loved getting to learn a bit more about their story and what drew them to teaching calligraphy and lettering. 


I want to lay the groundwork, how did Loveleigh Looks get started?

As kids, we always loved art, hand lettering in particular. We went to college to study Business (Jillian) and Engineering (Jordan), but continued doing art on the side as a creative outlet. When I (Jillian) got engaged in 2015, I decided to do the calligraphy for my wedding so I could make custom envelopes and signs. That really gave me the motivation to refine my calligraphy skills to improve.

As I practiced more, I shared what I was learning with Jordan, and she would do the same. We decided to make an Instagram account to share our calligraphy work. Soon, we got requests to make custom pieces for friends and family, and eventually started selling on Etsy. We started to see calligraphy as a business opportunity beyond just a side hobby. Our Instagram presence grew as people were interested in the things we were making, especially when we showed the “how to” behind it. 

So we started focusing on teaching calligraphy. In 2017, we hosted over a dozen workshops throughout Ohio and Tennessee, and when people saw that we were teaching, we got lots of requests to bring our workshop to different states. So, we converted the workshop to an online course in October 2017. After Jordan got married, we developed a Wedding Calligraphy Bootcamp course since most of our viewers wanted to learn calligraphy for their weddings, and we had just done the same for our own. 

That sounds so fast, how did you get the name?

We worked with a lot of different name ideas because we wanted it to be unique, catchy, and incorporate lettering without being too specific. Jillian’s middle name is Leigh, which is where “Loveleigh” came from (pronounced “lovely”), and “Loops” represents the shapes that appear in calligraphy letters and flourishes. And thus, Loveleigh Loops was born.

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How did you first start or identify a need?

We started with an Etsy Shop and tried a lot of products and services, from greeting cards to envelope addressing to custom pieces. But we continued to get requests to teach workshops and after realizing that it was what we enjoyed doing most, we decided to pursue teaching. We focused on teaching a skill that can be applied in many areas of life. Of course, DIY wedding calligraphy isn’t for everyone, but lettering can be incorporated into other projects, home decor, or simply for relaxation. 

Where has your community grown to?

When we shifted to teaching online, we opened a Facebook group to build a community around calligraphy. It is a place to share work in a collaborative space and connect with fellow lettering enthusiasts. We teach, give feedback, and host challenges for everyone to be a part of. We drop in to do live videos from time to time and answer questions in real-time. In addition to the Facebook group, we started a YouTube Channel to build out our video tutorials and answer frequently asked questions. We also use Instagram to showcase our work, provide how-tos, and connect with fellow artists.

What drew you to lettering/calligraphy? 

We’ve always loved art. When we were kids, we spent most of our time doing crafts together. We had a kids craft book (you know those Klutz books?) about hand lettering and we loved using it to make fancy alphabets, plus we designed our own letters. Around the same time, we took a calligraphy class while on a family vacation and became obsessed. 

What is the difference between hand lettering and calligraphy?

Traditional calligraphy is based on historical scripts. There are a variety of styles of calligraphy, such as Copperplate, but they each follow certain rules and use special tools like dip pens. Hand lettering involves drawing the letters, and there’s more freedom to make them your own. Modern calligraphy bends the rules a bit from the historical scripts. Jordan prefers the more traditional copperplate style while Jillian prefers modern styles, and we enjoy teaching both. 

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What could some expect to learn from you?

At this point, we have about 15 courses on our website ranging from beginner to advanced. They’re broken down into two categories: Tools and Styles. The Tools courses focus on mastering different type of lettering instruments, including brush pen, pointed pen, and iPad lettering. The Styles courses teaches how to expand upon the basics, with topics like flourishing, bounce lettering, and how to find your own unique style. We have some free courses, such as our Faux Calligraphy course, that provide a foundation of how letters are formed. 

One of our most unique courses, and one of the first ones we created, is our Wedding Calligraphy Bootcamp course. Inside, we teach three styles, then show you how to apply the skills to different projects like addressing envelopes, signage, and writing on different mediums like paper, glass, mirrors, etc. so that you’ll have everything you need to create your own wedding calligraphy. 

What have really enjoyed about the teaching?

We love hearing how our teachings have impacted our students’ lives. We’ve heard from people who have used their skills to give gifts to friends or family, or how they addressed their daughter’s wedding invitations, or how lettering was therapeutic for them during a difficult time. Through teaching, we are helping people and having an impact beyond just learning a new skill. Plus, teaching helps us learn. Since people like our teaching style, we get pushed to figure out new things so we can share our learnings with our community.

Where do you see you going in the next few years?

Well, Jillian has her first baby on the way this year, so we want to grow in a way that is supportive of our growing families. We may create more courses as our students request new topics, but the main goal now is to drive traffic to our existing offerings. Ultimately, we want to become the go-to online lettering resource. We plan to expand our team so we can continue scaling.

What is something that you hope people knew?

It takes time to learn calligraphy (or any new skill for that matter). It’s natural to feel frustrated at the beginning, but consistent practice makes a huge difference. Learning from a teacher can help you excel faster than if you were trying to figure it out on your own, but you still have to be patient with yourself.

In regards to our business, people may not realize that we actually don't spend a big part of our day doing calligraphy. We do a lot of back-end management to build out our course launches, manage our website, and support our community. As our team continues to grow, we hope to be able to spend more time going back to the calligraphy part of our business that we love. 

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Any milestones or landmarks in your business that you are proud of?

We published a book earlier this year and it debuted as a #1 new release on Amazon. It’s called Lettering for Planners and teaches how to use modern calligraphy for bullet journaling in beyond. As a result of our work growing a highly engaged Facebook group, we were also invited to a Communities Summit at the Facebook Headquarters earlier this year. We were able to meet with other community leaders as well as leaders of Facebook.

 

What do you do on your days off?

We joke that even though we own our business, we never have a day off. But we’re trying harder to separate work and life, especially with the baby on the way. We live close to each other (just a few houses away) so we’re always together, making food, and hanging out with our husbands. 

Loveleigh Loops is owned by twin sisters Jillian and Jordan. They offer tutorials, classes, and other resources to help people learn calligraphy and lettering styles. Find them on Instagram at @loveleighloops