This post is a little peek into where Polly and Me all started. I often get asked the questions ‘how did you get into calligraphy?’ and ‘Where did the business start?’ so I thought its time to give you an insight into it all.
Firstly, for those of you who don't know; I’m Allie. A wife, a mum to two little girls and a huge modern calligraphy enthusiast. I live in Nottinghamshire and that is where my business is based, but the products and work I produce can be shipped all over the UK, and even further if you wish.
I started my calligraphy journey as a hobby. I have always enjoyed being creative and calligraphy was something that really caught my eye as a project I wanted to try. I’m an all or nothing kind of person, so when I get into something, I can’t leave it alone. I am completely self-taught in modern calligraphy and this meant hours and hours, days and days and months and months of practice to get the stage where I felt confident in what I was producing. This is when the business side of things kicked in.
I used to work in a vintage clothes shop in Leicestershire, which I really enjoyed; but with my passion for modern calligraphy growing and the business idea tapping away in my mind, I knew it was time for something different.
After having my first daughter, Polly, I realised I wanted a way out of a normal working routine. As all mums know, juggling work and family life with a small child is difficult and I needed to find something that worked more flexibly. So I started doing little bits and pieces, trying out designs and planning, whilst juggling everything else, of course! I went back to work for a couple of years whilst doing this and then met Nat, who is more famously known as Yummy Little Cakes and RubyLou’s Treat Company.
Meeting Nat was a game changer for my business. We became friends and she offered me some of the best advice I will ever have for my business; she really screwed my business head on. At the same time, I was on maternity leave with my second daughter, Evelyn and realised it was time to put my business into action. I made the decision not to go back into employment and set out on the journey of establishing Polly and Me.
I soon moved into the Nottinghamshire studio that Nat has for her business. This was the best decision ever for many, many reasons. Partly to feel like I am actually going out to work on my working days (which is a really big thing when you are self-employed), but also for having an amazing space to display my work alongside some complementary cakes, treats and creations from Yummy Little Cakes and RubyLou’s Treat Company.
Being self-employed it can be very lonely working on your own. Working alongside someone else, in a similar industry has helped me feel like I have a colleague. We have a great opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other and find lots of inspiration too.
Since then, I have never looked back. I'm so proud of how Polly and Me has gone from strength to strength and I have been lucky enough to work on some wonderful projects over the past few years. The business has also expanded and we now offer workshops and a stunning home range consisting of beautiful candles, mugs and prints; all featuring Polly and Me original modern calligraphy artwork of course! I can’t wait to see what the future will bring.