Welcome to the launch of my little company, Caliya Design Co.
This is something that I've been working on for almost a year now, so it's been while, and I am finally ready to share what I've been upto.
Caliya has been a passion project of mine ever since I got engaged in the fall of 2015 and started planning my wedding. It had been a tough summer, due to having spent 4 months unsuccessfully job searching after graduating from my degree in Fashion Communication earlier that year. Soon after the engagement, I started my first office job in marketing at a health and beauty company in Toronto. I spent six months there before my now husband, Ken, and I decided it would be best for us to move back to Ottawa. He is an electrician by trade, but had just graduated from Kinesiology, and we had plans to move to Florida after the wedding to pursue an opportunity given by a family friend. We thought it might be best for us to move back home to Ottawa to live with family to save money for the wedding and the upcoming big move. But, we're still here in Ottawa, patiently, but anxiously, awaiting the completion of the process that will allow us to start our new adventure in Miami.
When we moved home I started working with a local bridal shop, one I had worked with previously while I was in school, where I worked in branding and marketing for their line of bridesmaid dresses. I spent almost a year there, while I planned the wedding and started work on Caliya. I'm very thankful for that experience because it allowed me to learn so much about the wedding industry and small business, encouraged my creativity, and supported me in my life outside the shop.
I quite enjoyed the wedding planning process, which as a bit of a control freak, I did almost solely by myself (by choice). Soon after I got engaged, my mind went a mile a minute with ideas around design, styling, decor, and of course, stationery. I knew that I wanted to hand make my own paper, but I had never really done anything like it before. Around that time I came across a small calligraphy course that I found on instagram, called the Modern Calligraphy Summit. So, I decided I would buy all the supplies and take this course so that I could learn some basic skills for the wedding invitations. Our wedding was on August 27th 2016, and it was the most beautiful day.
When I decided to do the calligraphy course, it introduced me to this world of modern calligraphy that I had never really known was there. The deeper I got into it, the more inspired I became, and the more ideas flourished within me. And although my job wasn't an 'office job' in the traditional sense, I imagined a life where I could spend my days working from my own private studio, creating beautiful pieces all day. At the beginning of this year, I was presented with an opportunity that would allow me to work on my passion project full time.
As I started to really focus in on taking the ideas and vision from the artistic mess in my head and make it into something real, I found it difficult to sustain motivation with only myself to be accountable to. I had never thought of myself as an entrepreneur or a boss before, and wasn't equipped with the mindset to lead myself on this journey. It took many months of questioning, doubt, and insecurity to finally come to a point where I was ready to actualize what I had been dreaming of, regardless of whether it would be successful or not. I still feel all of those things every once in a while, but the farther along I get, the more I'm learning that it's normal to feel that way sometimes, and how to better handle it. I know now that it's never going to be easy, it's always going to be changing, and to enjoy the process. I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be one day, but every day I'm getting a little closer.
Hopefully in this experience I can inspire others to explore their creativity, in the way that I am constantly inspired by all of the talented artists I've come across along the way.
"to love beauty is to see light"
side note -- this is the first time I've ever written or publicized anything personal like this, so if you're still here, thanks for reading, and feel free to follow me on this journey.