We had the good fortune of connecting with Evette Goldstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evette, what do you attribute your success to?
As a calligrapher, I have a unique formula for my business in that there are very few people who write calligraphy by hand and not all who do are able to write in virtually any style from the ancient classic styles to the hip modern styles. However, I believe the single most important factor in my success is my customer service. I treat each of my clients like gold and by that I mean I give them my undivided attention from their initial inquiry to delivery of the completed work. I create personal samples, usually to match the writing on their invitation or specific style of writing they request. I keep them informed of my progress as well as any difficulties that may arise. I always ‘under promise’ and ‘over deliver’ ~ in other words, if I promise to have their order complete on a specific date, I always finish before that date. When I present them with the completed work, I always include a gift ~ usually a frame-able quote. Return clients always receive ‘preferred client’ pricing ~ generally a 10% reduced price for my work. Even though there are not very many calligraphers, I believe that if I do not extend the BEST customer service, they will enlist the services of someone else.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have the ability to replicate what I see and that allows me to write in virtually any style. I even write the signatures of the individuals who authorize the certificates of award that I create for a variety of businesses and organizations. Although I am sometimes intimidated by by ‘lofty’ requests, I will give most requests my best shot ~ however, once I am able to determine what I can do and admit to what I cannot do, I take the appropriate steps to either get the work done or help the customer find someone who is better qualified to complete the task at hand. Even with a business plan, it was difficult in the beginning to attract clients. I knew that most of my potential clients would be brides and grooms, so I spent a lot of time researching wedding publications to decide where and how much money to spend. I also spent a lot of time researching wedding organizations and going to events sponsored by those groups. After about a year, I determined the time and money spent on the publications netted zero return on investment. but the time and money spent on cultivating personal relationships with other wedding professionals truly built my calligraphy business. Not only did they refer wedding clients to me, but business clients, too. A bonus to this has provided great friendships with other event professionals as I treat them as gold also!
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.
Only a week? So many places to go and things to do! Downtown ~ the Capitol, the Mint, LoDo, all of the Art Museums and galleries, Zoo, historic buildings, restaurants ~ too many from which to choose! Mountains ~ quick trip to near mountain towns, Georgetown, Winter Park, Vail It’s all wonderful and I am exhausted just trying to narrow down and select!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents were amazing role models… My father was a self-employed automotive mechanic and in addition to teaching me the value of customer service (which I mentioned earlier) he taught me about the intricacies of running a sole proprietor business and the importance of not only being the BEST that I could be as a calligrapher, but also how to be the CEO, the accountant, the receptionist, and the janitor. My mother was a trail-blazer ~ she was a ‘Radioman’ in the US Navy during WWII and a Deputy Sheriff when typically these were ‘men’s jobs.’ She was intelligent and thoughtful and showed me how to do my best, under any and all circumstances. My husband is my biggest fan and my toughest critic. He was the one who suggested I pursue a career as a calligrapher (which had been a life long hobby) when I was laid off from my Aerospace Engineering position with the admonition to find an elegant but descriptive business name and write a business plan. Following their examples and advice was a great idea as I will celebrate my 19th anniversary as a professional calligrapher in February, 2021
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prettywritingcolorado/ and https://www.instagram.com/art_by_evette/
Jensen Sutta, Kim Harrison Carroll