#Girlcrush - Erinn Foglesong
Tell us about yourself and your business!
My name is Erinn Foglesong. I am a native of Louisville, KY, currently residing in the beautiful city of Lexington. I am married with a 9 month old son, and a fur mom to two perfectly spoiled rescue dogs, Boomer and Minnie.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I started lettering as a way to save money for my wedding and addressing my own envelopes. With practice, my skill developed and I started getting order requests, which ended up with me biting the bullet and starting my own business!
Is this your full time job?
I worked full time as a health educator at a private college when I started my business. However, now I stay at home with my son full time. So HE is my full time job ;)
How do you structure your days?
I am what one could call a nap time creative. When the babe naps, I create!
Where and how do you work best?
Unfortunately for my husband, I don’t have a set spot in my house, so my things are scattered everywhere ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I have an office, but I guess I don’t like to be confined to one place ha! It also depends on the lighting, especially for shooting lettering or watercolor process videos. I need great natural light, and in the mornings the light is better in the front of the house, and the evenings in the back of the house.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Currently, no. HOWEVER, I run about 6 giveaways a year! So keep your eyes peeled and ears open for my next giveaway!
Where is your business based?
My store is strictly online, but I create my pieces in home.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I contacted a couple of girl friends who had their own businesses, then contacted LegalZoom, who was SUPER helpful in getting me starting with setting up my LLC.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and attracting new customers?
Social media and word of mouth, for sure!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Keeping up with the ever changing Instagram algorithm. It is a pain in my side!
How did you overcome these challenges?
Keep creating new and unique content. Research my audience and find out what they like and what they don’t like.
How do you keep motivated through tough times?
Knowing that every business and business owner has their own struggles. Having a great support system is crucial, too. The lettering community is very “community over competition” which is HUGE. We are very empowering and helpful toward each other, and have learned that people will get much further in their business by working together.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I don’t like to use the word competitor, because see above ha! But maintaining my own style is super important. However, my lettering style completely depends on my mood. Sometimes I want super fancy script, and other times I want a font that is fun and light!
What is the best advice you have received recently?
It is actually a quote by James Keller: “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”
What do you wish you had known when you started your business?
How to start a business?? Lol I had no idea. I went in completely blind and learned everything by trial and error! I have found that learning by mistake is sometimes the best way to learn, though.
Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
Kiley Bennett is probably my biggest influence. She is a fellow hand letterer and she is SUCH a positive role model in the community. Always willing to share her lettering secrets. She is also very REAL. She doesn’t act like everything is all cupcakes and rainbows all of the time, which I love. We all struggle with small business issues.
I admire Amanda Pel Arneill, another handletterer. Y’all. I could watch her videos ALL day. And her lettering is seriously like nothing I have ever seen.
My fellow girl bosses are who inspired me to do what I am doing now, particularly my sorority sister and friend, Lauren Fitzmaurice of Renmade Calligraphy. She helped me get started and answered my 23471 questions I had regarding starting my own lettering biz. Also, all of the creatives and makers in the industry inspire me daily. There is SO much raw, beautiful talent and art out there and I am always looking for inspiration through them.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
What business tools/resources could you not work without?
My lettering tools! Tombow Hard and Soft tip Fudenosuke pen, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Social Media handles, and my Mac.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
Make sure you are paid for your services before you begin a project. When I first started, I worked so hard on a project for a friend of a friend. They ended up changing their mind. I was pretty unhappy, but lesson learned!
Where would you like your business to be 5 years from now?
I would LOVE to be teaching more classes, sharing the craft of lettering and art. I would like for my work to be displayed nationwide and easily recognized as mine.