Hugs, Handshakes, & My Most Asked Question

My daddy taught me early that when you meet someone new, you give ’em a firm handshake and look ’em in the eye. I still do that today. However, I am a southern girl through and through and if you’re not a hugger, you better be on your toes ’cause that’s how we roll down here in the south, too! Let’s just say you can choose right now between a virtual hearty handshake or a good ol’ Southern girl hug…nice to meet ya’!

If you just happened to stumble across Lettered Grace or the Lettered Grace Journal, you’re probably wondering who this gal is, right? Well hello, friend! I’m Kelli Cross, the Owner/Creative/Calligrapher/Stationery Designer at this business baby of mine. I’m so glad you’re here! I’m based in the heart of the Peach State where my handsome farmer hubby and I are growing crops and our three kiddos, currently ages 7, 6, and 4. (Let’s be honest, though – he handles the crops. I have a tendency to kill any plant that finds itself unfortunate enough to enter the doors of our home.) We’re really a lot like most other families, I would imagine. We juggle that funky balancing act between work and play, school and fun, routines and chaos. We married on Valentine’s Day in 2009 and it’s been an adventure ever since!

The question I probably get asked the most is “How did you start lettering?” The answer I almost always respond with is that I just kind of always have. Even as a kid, I loved the artsy-craftsy things and kept a steady supply of Crayola products, coloring books, and paper handy. I was always doodling and coloring! In my middle and high school years, I joined the yearbook staff and loved the process of designing pages and finding the perfect fonts for different layouts. I dabbled in everything from scrapbooking to banners for Friday night football games to lettering just about every poster board sign you can imagine. Dare I say, I was so good at mimicking different fonts and writing, I may or may not have perfected my mama’s signature my Senior year of high school. (I’m only putting that here ’cause she’s heard me say it myself!)

Fast forward to 2015. I was a stay at home mama to my three wonderful kiddos and I LOVE that title and all it entails. I also found myself desperate for a creative outlet, peer interaction, and possibly, a way to contribute financially to my family. I started playing with lettering just for fun. Doodling things I saw on Pinterest and just trying to learn letter shapes and how to create them. After I crafted some items, I sold a few to friends. Then, a few more asked for certain scriptures or quotes. My inner circle mentioned I should look into an Etsy shop, so I did. With that, Lettered Grace was born.

 

My kick-start secret weapon: Once I decided to start a business, I also decided to learn how to letter for real…like, how to create my own style, my own techniques, my own look. Enter: one of my all-time favorite lettering friends, Amanda Arneill! (Insert cheering fanfare here) I had been following her on Instagram for a while and she just offered her first ever course, Let’s Start Lettering!¬†Naturally, I signed up. Now, I sign up for all the Amanda Arneill classes. It’s become the best addiction I can’t break! With Amanda’s class conquered, I had the skills I needed to venture out with some confidence, and that’s just what I did!

I’ve definitely grown in my lettering style and in the products and services I offer. Lettered Grace began as a small Etsy shop offering craft-type products, then grew to offering retail items like mugs and tumblers. Christmastime was full of custom ornaments – literally shipped all over the US! In early 2017, I had my first request for wedding stationery and fell. in. love! There’s just something magical about working with a bride-to-be, getting to know her, hearing their love story, and helping design the pieces that will make her day the one she’s been dreaming of. So this year, I made the decision to transition over to stationery design and bridal services. Lettered Grace offers all the stationery goods – from save the dates to wedding invitations and programs to thank you note cards, as well as rentable chalkboards (for local clients & venues) and custom personal stationery! And I can’t forget our lettering workshops! It’s been a highlight of this year – kicking off our Party at the Pear series where I get to share my love for letters with local ladies of all ages…it’s a dream come true!!

It’s crazy overwhelming to think of how much Lettered Grace has evolved in just under 3 years of business and I can’t imagine what we’ll look like in 3 more! I’m both giddy and incredibly grateful that you’re here and along for the ride! After all, YOU are what make this dream of mine possible. Every comment, like, share, order, workshop sign up, or custom request is the biggest encouragement and affirmation that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

All the more reason to skip that handshake and go for the hug, right?

I sure think so!

 

See you soon!

XO ~ Kelli

 

*The Let’s Start Lettering link is an affiliate link. I’d love to know if you sign up via my personal link! (Aka: I have a gift for you!)

**Photo by Anna Filly Photography, at the Society for Creative Founders Conference in Pensacola, Florida.

  1. Damion

    June 30th, 2018 at 12:43 am

    Thank you for the great post

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