The Columbus Calligrapher - A Preferred Vendor
Until I interviewed her for this blog, I had never had the privilege of working with Leigh. However, I was very familiar with her work and was excited at the opportunity to get to know her and the history of her booming calligraphy and stationery business.
Like most creatives, she happened upon calligraphy by accident. Kind of. In 2015, she was a DIY bride with a very short-term engagement, who knew that she wanted her wedding to have variations of calligraphy. So what do you do when you don’t have the time to hire someone to do calligraphy for your wedding? Well, you learn it yourself!
“She believed she could, so she did."
After doing her own invitations and place cards for her wedding (link to photos?), she began doing some calligraphy pieces for weddings of a few of her friends. Shortly thereafter, she began a shop on Etsy, “just to see where it would go.”
In 2017, after just two years as part of the Etsy community, she and her husband decided that she would leave her full-time job in retail to pursue her calligraphy business as her sole job (it was already operating at practically a full-time scale). And so was born The Columbus Calligrapher!
Once again, getting to talk to another wedding vendor about what they do and why they do it has really opened my eyes to the world of stationery. There are so many things I didn’t know or realize about stationery in general. I now understand the importance of investing in a beautiful stationery set (which doesn’t have to be expensive by the way!).
As Leigh explains it, “apart from pictures, the invitation is the only keepsake left from your wedding.” While many people would argue that they just throw invitations away, Leigh believes that people won’t do that with a beautiful invitation. When was the last time you got an invitation that actually got you excited to go to a wedding!? I can remember one. It’s the first impression of your wedding to guests, and as we all know, first impressions are huge!
Fortunately, Leigh has made beautiful invitations a possibility for even budget brides. She just released her first set of semi-custom invitation suites, that start as low as $250. All sets are customizable down to the color and information, as well as being able to add on a-la-carte pieces, like details cards or wax seals.
While Leigh does thoroughly enjoy the creating of the invitation suites, her favorite part is getting to know about the couple. I know that’s very cliché to hear wedding vendors say, but I believe that how they shape their business to truly reflect that speaks a lot to their authenticity.
And through my conversations with Leigh, I learned that this is most certainly the case with her and her artistry. She has even started to back away from Etsy for two reasons: she doesn’t want to provide only digital designs (which is a huge market) because she wants to be able to control the quality of the invitations that are printed. Second, she thoroughly enjoys working more with local brides (compared to out-of-city and out-of-state brides) where she can really dig in deep on the bride’s vision, and provide a more thorough and satisfying experience.
Most couples choose to work with Leigh because she has a defining style: minimalist, clean and vintage. However, she loves a good challenge, and being able to flex her creativity muscles by taking on out-of-the-box requests. She especially enjoys venue and floral illustrations.
In fact, some of her favorite have been unique place cards, like calligraphy on river rocks for a small, intimate wedding in the mountains of Colorado. Another favorite was for a couple who were both studying to be literary professors, and they requested escort cards that resembled vintage library check out cards. She went through weeks of researching images, fonts, colors, and paper types to achieve the most authentic escort cards for this beautiful wedding.
So what exactly can she do for you?
1. Semi-custom invitations
These invitation suites are a pre-designed layout, but you are able to customize colors, materials, paper type, etc. You can also choose the number of pieces in your suite, so you have the flexibility to add on things like detail cards, rsvp envelopes, and even wax seals! This is ideally for a lower-budget bride and has a turnaround time (from the point of approval) of about 3 to 4 weeks. Regardless of budget though, Leigh encourages you to inquire to see what she can do. She is always willing to work with lower budgets.
2. Fully custom invitations
This is a completely custom design. Often times, the bride comes to Leigh with a general idea and vision, and after much discussion she makes it come to life. However, if you have no idea where to start, Leigh can help direct you, too! This turnaround time is typically 6-8 weeks from the point of approval. These sites are typically for the brides with larger or unlimited budgets who want a more luxury and customized feel. The average investment is about $1,500.
The best part, though, is all fully custom suites include beautifully addressed envelopes, postage, assembly, cost of printing materials, and printed return address labels. Once everything is assembled, addressed and ready to go, you’ll receive a box full of your ready-to-mail invitations. It’s like Christmas morning!
3. Other a-la-carte products and services:
- Calligraphy/addressing services
- Mirror/wooden signs and seating charts
- Save The Dates design
- Thank You card design
Leigh's products and services are focused around wedding stationery pieces. However, she remembers where she got married, she didn't know the etiquette, what to include, when to send them and how to word things. So she is passionate about educating brides (through a future blog series) about these things so they can be ready and equipped when their day comes!
If you are getting married, or in need of any sort of calligraphy of stationery, please consider working with Leigh at The Columbus Calligrapher!
Pictured below is Leigh's new semi-custom suite, Estate.
Pictured below is Leigh's new semi-custom suite, Poppy.