We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne Robin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
For many years, I have found it very hard to keep quiet about my social and political views on social media. Speaking up about these things on business accounts, especially years ago, was pretty taboo, because it meant losing a lot of followers, and potentially some work. But I chose speaking out and following my heart rather than conforming to those norms, and although I still lose followers over it, it has become increasingly important for me to do. This year, since Covid has ground the wedding and events industry mostly to a halt, I have had to pivot a bit, and I started making more and more products which speak to political and social issues. I typically donate a portion of the proceeds to a related charity. It is also increasingly important for me to use my platform to encourage people to vote and to spread the message of kindness, inclusion, tolerance and empathy.
Please tell us more about your business. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
When I started my business twenty years ago, I was pretty much the only calligrapher offering more modern, streamlined styles. Now “modern calligraphy” has really taken off, but I think my work stands out because I actively try to make it look different than most other calligraphy, and because I have been in the business for so long. When I teach classes, I always say that my work is constantly improving year after year, even now after over 30 years of practice. I think that shows. And my design work is very calligraphy focused, because that is where my talent really lies, so I believe that’s what I should show off. There are always lessons learned along the way…. I used to not use a contract, for example… but that has definitely changed. And my contract has changed repeatedly after being burned in different ways. But there hasn’t been anything that was not surmountable, which I feel very lucky for. Overall, the road has been pretty smooth and I am very thankful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In non-Covid times: The Getty Museum for views, Jon and Vinny’s, Asanebo for sushi, Las Fuentes for Mexican food, (probably also a taco cart crawl,) Malibu beaches and Malibu Seafood, hike Fryman Canyon (since that is normally my bi-weekly hike,) Bavel and explore DTLA, Desano Pizza, Gjusta. (It’s mostly about food for me.)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would definitely not be where I am without the local events community, and all of the planners, designers and stationers who consistently lift each other up and spread around the work. I am so thankful for being able to ride on the coattails of other planners and designers who have pulled me into a celebrity wedding, for example, which then snowballs into other work because of publicity on the event. I know for a fact I do not deserve all the credit for getting here on my own.
Linkedin: Anne Robin
Facebook: Anne Robin Calligraphy + Design
Yelp: Anne Robin Calligraphy
Other: TikTok: @annerobincallig
Courtney Lindberg Photography