We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Brade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claudia, how do you think about risk?
I think taking a risk usually has a negative connotation, and I’m very much convinced that it shouldn’t. To me, it’s the opposite. Without taking risks, there is no growth or achievement. Entrepreneurial success, for example, goes hand in hand with taking risks. Without taking a leap of faith, there sometimes won’t be the chance to succeed. Personally, the best outcomes in my life happened to me when I took a risk and was willing to pursue something, no matter what the outcome was. I will always pursue what brings me joy and happiness, even if it means risking what’s comfortable and easy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a calligrapher for weddings and events, and I specialize in mirror and signage rentals. I’m very proud that I’m even where I am right now, after only 3 years of business. I used to look at other calligrapher’s websites and swooned over their work, wondering if I will ever have as beautiful photos of my work as they had. Today, I look at my website and it makes me so proud to see all the beautiful photos of projects that I was able to be a part of. And there are so many more event photos that I haven’t even had time to add to my portfolio yet!
Another thing I’m proud of is my own mirror rental collection with unique and antique pieces. I have 12 tall mirrors that are suitable for seating charts and welcome signs, and a variety of small mirrors and table numbers.
What I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t do everything. People always told me to find my niche when I started out, and to me that was the hardest thing in the beginning. I just didn’t know how I would focus on one niche, if I was just starting and needed all the business I could get. But with time comes experience and you will find out what brings you the most joy and what comes to you easily. For me, it’s creating signage and focusing on other day-of event items, such as place cards or menus.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m vegetarian, so I would take my friends to get some of the great vegan and vegetarian dishes across town. I love Hugo’s Restaurant in Studio City and Café Gratitude. I’m a fan of the beach and boats, so I would definitely include a whale watching tour in Newport Beach or Long Beach. I would also take my friends to Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach, because I love the small beach city vibe there in comparison to Santa Monica.
We would definitely watch the sunset at Griffith Observatory and overlook the sparkly city at night. Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite places in LA. I used to come there a lot when I just moved here and it felt so surreal to be looking down on LA, a city that I had only known from movies before.
For drinks I would take them to Perch LA, my favorite bar Downtown. And if it’s a Sunday, we would have brunch at Le Petit Paris. Their Sunday brunch menu is amazing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The community of local calligraphers and event planners. Many of them shared their knowledge with me when I was just starting out, and I’m grateful for their abundance mindset. I would like to mention Heidi Davidson of Heidi Davidson Design in particular. Heidi is a wonderful person, calligrapher and designer, who has helped me a lot. She shared her knowledge and resources with me; and I got so many items in my rental collection from her.
Stanley Wu Photography Sanaz Photography Lorin Kelly Photography Rachel Stelter Photography Jasmine Marie Photography Two Fourteen Photography