We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Tieu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I went to art school based on my love for typography and drawing letter forms. While working professionally as a motion graphics designer, I kept drawing letters as a hobby. It eventually grew into learning calligraphy–first using pencils and pens, then brush markers, and moving my way up to pointed pen. After a few years of playin around with calligraphy, in 2018, I decided that I wanted to turn my calligraphy skills into a business venture. Unfortunately, at the time, I found myself working for a studio that turned out to be extremely demanding in terms of work hours. I no longer had extra time to work on my calligraphy and well, it really sucked! Flash forward to 2020, a true blessing in disguise, the pandemic resulted in being furloughed from my full time job. I used that opportunity and time to build my business, make relationships with wedding vendors, really put myself out there, filling out all the forms needed to have a legal business. It was rough but I knew that making my hobby into a business was something I dreamed about for years! So now, here I am, making my dreams come true while helping to design client’s dream wedding.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The hardest part of running my business is the business side of things. Art school did an amazing job preparing me to grow as a designer and working professionally. The art school I attended did require a business class but at the time, I would have never considered working for myself and the class just felt like a requirement. When I decided to create Calligraphy by Michelle T, I had a relearn a lot of things that I learned in college.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well since we are in southern California, if my bestie visited (and wasn’t from here), our first stop would definitely be Disneyland. It’s cliche but it is one of my favorite places! Everyone who goes there is always in such a good mood and Disneyland lines has taught me to be patient across all things in life. Hiking and being outdoors is one of my favorite things to do, so we would likely take a day hike or maybe even go camping. If it’s winter, it is off to the snow for some snowboarding or just hanging out at a cabin.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This shoutout goes out to my bestie, Ronica Liwanag. She’s been my number one fan girl since high school.

Website: calligraphybymichellet.com

Instagram: @calligraphybymichellet

Other: michelletieu.com

Image Credits
Pam Jeanne Photography, Peterson Design and Photography, Heirlume Photography, Golden Vibes Photo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.