We were so happy to have the opportunity to learn more about Lauren and her company FXA Calligraphy & Custom Designs. Hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as we enjoyed writing it!
Company Snapshot: FXA Calligraphy & Custom Designs is a design studio based on the Northshore of Massachusetts owned by Lauren Smith. Services include: wedding stationery design and printing, a wide scope of calligraphy projects, and custom illustrations ranging from murals to logo and crest design. Services can be ordered as needed, for instance, clients range from full stationery service (design, printing, envelope calligraphy and assembly/mailing services), while others come in for just a custom illustration, envelope calligraphy or custom signage.
What is unique about your business? I think something that makes my studio unique is that I am a “one stop shop”! Since not every stationer is a calligrapher or artist (and not every calligrapher is a stationer or artist), couples sometimes I have to work with up to three different vendors to design their invitation suite. That can be a lot to coordinate for a couple (or wedding planner)! Working with me, you get custom artwork, stationery design and calligraphy all in one place if you need it! I also work with couples to design a cohesive look for all day-of stationery and signage, even thank you cards. It just adds such a polished look to your day!
How did you pick the name of your business? My business is named after my grandfather Frank (FXA were his initials). He was so important to me growing up and always supported my love of art. He ran his own successful small business for over fifty years, which was a specialty mailing service, so a love of paper is definitely in my blood! I miss him every day and made this his namesake to help motivate me whenever things are challenging.
Tell us a little bit about your background in your career prior to starting your business. Right out of college, I worked in television for about five years in New York City. I definitely learned a lot from my time spent in that industry and met some interesting people! But is also reinforced to me that being creative was something I wanted to prioritize in my career. While working full time, I started working weekends at a local stationery studio (shout out to the amazing Jill and team at J Papers Studio in Greenwich, CT!) and learned everything I know from working with Jill. She is an incredible business woman, teacher and role model. I also knew that I had found my dream job! Upon moving to Massachusetts a few years ago, I started FXA and the rest is history!
What motivates you? It’s a tie! Between my clients and my love of design. I love bringing people’s ideas to life especially for such an important day like a wedding day. I have also had the pleasure of working with some incredible couples and I am so grateful to have met such wonderful people. My love of the whole stationery process also motivates me during busy season or late nights or deadlines. It’s truly something I love doing and learning even more about and refining my craft every day.
If you had to give just one piece of advice to couples planning their wedding, what would it be? KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! I know most people say “enjoy it!” and you absolutely should! But I think the best way to enjoy the process is to work with vendors that are knowledgable about their craft. Find vendors that you click with personally but that can also be a guiding force for you. Navigating all the elements of planning a wedding is really challenging (especially during a year like this one!) but if you have the right team in place who can help you and do outstanding work, the process becomes way more fun and seamless.
Photo Credits: Headshot by Stephanie Vegliante Photography. Tablescape photo by Lindsay Hite Photography. Collage left and center photos by Marcela Plosker Photography, right photo by Callisto and Co.