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Meet Michelle Blackard of Elle Marie Calligraphy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Blackard.

Michelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was in 6th grade I started playing percussion in the middle school band. As I got older and more serious about music I realized the habits I’d acquired through percussion all centered around patience, dedication, hard work, and more patience. After college, I was thankful to teach percussion and try to insist these same habits in my students. I use them as an athlete when I run 100-mile trail races and compete in Ironman triathlons. And, I used them to help me learn new skills like calligraphy and becoming an entrepreneur.

Percussion will always be a part of me but as I got older I was craving something new to bring a sense of fun creativity back into my life. When I started calligraphy I was putting together a scrapbook of all my running and triathlon races and really wished that my writing was better! I decided this was going to be it, the thing I had been searching for to bring that sense of wonder and imagination back. I took to it immediately, loving the rhythm of writing, the shapes contained within that rhythm, and the realization that it was all muscle memory. If I practiced and practiced and practiced, my muscles would learn this new skill.

It seems strange to me looking back, but I knew that I would turn calligraphy and design into a business from that first day. I knew from the start I wanted to make things for other people and help turn their dreams and ideas into a tangible product that would always bring them joy.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting my own business has been equally terrifying and fantastic. I was really nervous to put myself and my work out there for all to see at the beginning. As the years have passed through, not only does it get easier each time but the feedback that I receive from my clients has really helped my confidence and my skills have greatly benefited from them. My clients have the best, most creative ideas and a lot of the time they will ask me to do something that is a little new to me. They stretch me and I’ve grown as an artist so much because of them.

Learning how to communicate with my clients and make sure that we are on the same page about a project has probably been the trickiest thing. I always think of it as me going to get my hair cut. I know nothing about how to explain to my poor hair girl, Kristen, what I want. I show a picture and say, “something like this, maybe, but, you know, whatever you think.” She is awesome at articulating for me what I want so that there are no surprises. When I meet with a new client I listen carefully, spend time drawing proofs and go back and forth multiple times to make sure I understand exactly what they are looking for.

I try to help articulate the idea in their mind (even if they really don’t know what that idea is) and make it a reality. The best compliment I’ve received recently was after a logo design. She said, “Michelle created the logo with very little direction or vision from me – and it’s EXACTLY what I wanted.”

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Elle Marie Calligraphy – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Elle Marie Calligraphy is a calligraphy and design business that specializes in font creation, logo design, and special event calligraphy. We work with small business owners to find an affordable and creative solution to brand identity through the use of type, colors, and logo design. We also design custom fonts for private use as well as commercial sale.

Elle Marie Calligraphy began as a special event calligraphy company and has stayed true to our roots with a focus on wedding calligraphy and invitation design. We offer multiple script styles including brush calligraphy, pointed pen calligraphy, and modern hand lettering. We also teach classes locally in pointed pen calligraphy.

We are most proud of the relationships we’ve developed with our clients and so thankful for their support and influence as we’ve grown!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
The future for Elle Marie Calligraphy is a greater focus on helping small business owners with their brand identity and social media presence. Our favorite thing is creating fonts.

Working with a business to develop a unique typeface and turn it into a font for their exclusive use makes us really excited! It brings a cohesive look to everything and helps create a lasting brand people remember. Our goal is to make this an affordable solution for small business owners!

We also hope to become more involved with our local community by offering calligraphy classes and workshops on a regular basis. Until recently, we’ve done classes by request only but are hoping to make them available on a consistent basis soon!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jeriann Severson

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