Creative Session with Alley & Co

For this month's session, I have my fellow calligrapher and long time e-friend, Alley of Alley & Co!

We were first introduced two years ago, when our mutual friend was getting married and commissioned us for her wedding. I designed her invitations and button designs (adorable party favors) and Alley made a bunch of beautiful calligraphy signs. Since then, we've stayed connected through social media and even collaborated on some card designs (see here & here.) Although we were Instagram friends, we only met up in real life a few weeks ago and she was just as sweet in person! She had just quit her day job so we talked about everything from freelancing, current projects, dating and just life. After a few hours of conversing, I knew I wanted to feature her on Creative Session and thankfully, she was just excited. Get to Alley and all the behind-the-scenes of Alley & Co!

1. How did you first get into calligraphy?

I learned about it on Instagram when I started following wedding vendors. I took a class with one of my fave calligraphers, Jenna from Monvoir, when she was just starting out her business…just amazing timing! If you don’t follow her on Instagram, you need to! She’s an absolutely amazing artist!

2. When did you decide you wanted to pursue a creative career?

I loved the idea of being able to do this on and being a shop owner, so I opened an etsy shop. Not too long after, I began collaborating with many other creatives in the wedding industry and now most of my clientele are wedding couples who are interested in having custom wedding invitations and/or day-of details. Although my shop has been on vacation, I hope to provide ready made wedding goods again in the near future.

3. As a freelancer, what does your day-to-day look like? What are the pros/cons?

It’s different everyday! But I try try try to start with reading scripture (loving the book of Galatians!) and catching John MacArthur’s 6:30am sermon broadcasted on KKLA-FM 99.5 (it’s convicting and humbling). Then, I usually begin the “work” day with responding to emails and going over timelines/deadlines. It helps me know what days are for designing wedding invitations or wedding goods for clients or photoshoots with other talented artists… and I can do this in my pj’s if I wanted to!

Pro: I can be pretty flexible with my schedule and choose what I do in the day. However, I have to keep myself accountable and be disciplined with my work because there’s deadlines, too. Con: Trying to stay up to date on social media channels on top of computer work and actually calligraphing and illustrating. Doing all this yourself can be tiring.

4. How do you juggle business and your personal life?

It’s a work in progress balancing both! I have to have a similar daily schedule just like I would with a regular 9-5 job. If I grab coffee with a friend or check out a new place, I have to plan it ahead of time. I also have Sunday as my Sabbath, because I need the mental and physical rest.

5. Outside of calligraphy, what are your other hobbies/passions?

I love food! I have a long list of recipes from sweet to savory that I try and make and want to tackle –recently learned how to make homemade pad thai! I also love flowers! I love arranging them, drawing them, painting them … it’s fun!

6. What's next for you and Alley & co?

I’m currently working on my website and would love to finish that this season for a soft launch. I’m also in the (very very very!) beginning stages of designing some wedding suites. And now mums the word on any more of that until then (;

Current favorites-

Instagram: @sarah_winward her floral work is inspiring and naturally pulled together with such ease, @ginnyau her designs display honest beauty in the simple things

Ice Cream: Tillamook everything! Most especially the Oregon Hazelnut & Salted Caramel, yum!

Shop: @saintsignora I could easily go broke with all the lovely handmade paper and procured collection Katie has

Stay connected with Alley!

Instagram: @alleyalleyandco