Miami native, Kelsy Valencia, is Cuban Puerto Rican and is your typical Miami girl, and when I say typical, I mean… EVERYTHING.
She is so Miami in fact that she wakes up to the smell of Cuban coffee with Marc Anthony playing background every morning.
She founded Miami Writes, a custom calligraphy service and creates products to celebrate the special moments in life.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always been extremely creative and into arts and crafts, but if I had to pinpoint a specific moment when I decided to treat my hobby as a business was this past Valentine’s Day when I decided to create something out of the box for my boyfriend.
Like most girls, I decided to begin my research on Pinterest, which is where I came across this adorable and unique scavenger hunt that could only be solved by puzzle pieces.
As soon as I saw the overwhelmingly positive feedback from friends, family and even strangers, I decided it was the right moment to turn this passion into a business and here we are now!
Tell us about your business.
Miami Writes is a calligraphy and design studio, providing custom calligraphy services and products to celebrate the special moments in life. With hand calligraphy and stationery needs for weddings, showers, events and more.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
If you mention that you read this interview, you’ll receive 10% on any item.
Since I started my business a few months ago, I have already had the opportunity of creating custom pieces for well-known companies such as Mama Tribe, Greater Miami Jewish Foundation and was recently approached for a collaboration with one of the leading skincare and makeup companies in the world.
Stay tuned to see who it is… I must say it’s some of my best work yet!
Where is your business based?
My company is based in Miami, FL.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Once I finally decided to really make this into a profession, my first step was to create my company’s name which took some time because I really wanted something that represented who I am and where I came from.
After deciding on the name, Miami Writes, the next step was to create my social media pages to promote my designs and generate buzz around the business.
As the orders came in, I felt it was the right moment to take my talents to Etsy!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I personally believe that social media has been the most impactful promotional tool in getting the word out there regarding my business.
Luckily, I have a lot of family members in the marketing industry that have given me great tips to take my company to the next level.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Bridezillas LOL! But I love working with them.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I understand that weddings are extremely stressful and can be overwhelming, so I try to be as understanding and as patient as possible by going above and beyond for my clients to make sure I am delivering the best work possible on their special day.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
- Seeing the reaction from my clients when I deliver the final product.
- Making the impossible possible.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
That really hasn’t crossed my mind because I truly believe that everyone is talented in their way.
Funny that you mentioned this, I’m currently in talks with another Miami based calligraphist for a collaboration which I’m excited to see how that will turn out.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Don’t be afraid to write your own story and speak through your work.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. I am a great example of this.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My markers and social media that has really given me the boost in confidence to grow my business.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I actually just discovered a local author, spiritual mentor and medium Nikki Novo who writes great pieces on bettering your life and empowering women.
One of the favorite articles I recently came across was “A Simple Guide to Self-Care”.
I have to say that the one sentence “Self-care is the things we need to do regularly to stay centered and grounded” really stuck with me and I try to apply to my daily routine.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Marketing and Public Relations are a vital part of growing a successful business.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months are to amp up my business by participating in local events, collaborating with industry colleagues and marketing myself to media, influencers, and brands.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.