GOLDEN HOUR PAPER

calligraphy & custom invitation curation

Moving a small calligraphy business across the country

Running a small businessMadeline Kelly15 Comments

Moving a Business

I am no expert but am here to offer an honest testimony of what it's been like so far to drive 3,800 miles across the country (Philadelphia to Portland) to a new home.

As I am writing this, I am sitting in the cozy dining room of some dear friends after returning from a short sledding trip. It was dry and 60 degrees when we arrived on Sunday night but the sky decided to drop some flakes down through Monday night. My husband is out snowboarding with one of his closest friends and I am responding to emails between battleship games with their youngest son. No complaints here.

Also, my birthday was yesterday (which thankfully we were not driving during!) and my husband gave me a drone! What a hilarious gift...I've wanted one for so long but had never actually thought I would own one. We are working on sharing our roadtrip through various videos and photos, so that has made the trip more fun.

Goodbyes and looking ahead to Portland

Getting ready to leave Philadelphia was hard! Starting this business 6 months ago and making so many friends in the wedding business, along with some who are my biggest cheerleaders and advocates, was sad, to say the least. Going to my last Rising Tide meeting and saying goodbye to the women who encouraged me to get me work out there, be proud of the things I am making, and other practical things like when taxes are due, what it looks like to outsource jobs, and the dreaded topic of pricing...was also sad. I am so grateful for social media and that I will be able to keep up with so many wonderful ladies!

I also began to research what the calligraphy market looks like in Portland. At first, it seemed as though there weren't many calligraphers or wedding invitation designers but then, after a "#portlandcalligraphy" search I realized the market may be oversaturated. Despair is a little dramatic of an adjective to describe how I felt but I have thought from time to time, "How is this going to work when there are so many talented people that are going to be around me?".

Of course, remembering that Portland is a much more artistic city and that freelancing there is uber popular, I reminded myself that the fact that there are such talented calligraphers and artists really shouldn't surprise me. I took a deep breath, shared my worries with my husband and a few close friends, and reminded myself that my work and my creativity is worthy of being shared with the world, even if there are people out there more famous than I. 

Reminding myself of why I named this business Golden Hour Paper was something that also brought comfort as I wonder what it will look like to reestablish my business and make all new connections on the West Coast. The Golden Hour is the last hour of sunlight each day. You've seen those gorgeous pictures of this last hour - long cast shadows, glowing light, and surroundings framed with a gold that is indescribable, changing color by the moment. It's my favorite time of day. My desire is to create calligraphy and paper goods that elicit a similar feeling of warmth, wonder, and delight when received. 

The Golden Hour is always consistent - there is always a final hour of daylight each day - but it can come in many shapes and forms. Whether it be overcast, snowing, or that perfect day with the high-sitting clouds, waiting to dance in the last light of the day. What I hope to be in my business is also consistent, creating and expanding my abilities while knowing that some days are going to be different than others. Moving to Portland might be a short season of days similar to overcast days - when my work might not be as recognizable or there are other things that people are paying attention to. I hope to work hard, be as consistent as the sun, and that one day the work created shines through and that I can share some of this beauty with this fun, new city.

Legal aspects of moving a business across the country

There are also legal things to come...things like changing my business license over to the state of Oregon. Making sure to move all my accounts, like Yelp, Facebook, etc. over to the new address (once we find a place to live! That's a whole other story!).

And SEO...that is probably the biggest monster I have to battle in the coming weeks as I work to change over my website to be recognizable in my new area and to ensure popping up as people search for calligraphers and wedding invitation designers.

Taxes will also be interesting next year as some of my work was done in the state of Pennsylvania before making our trek out to Oregon. I am trying to keep my Quickbooks account as clear as possible as to avoid hitting any snags come next tax season.

Questions and Advice for moving a business

As I said above, I am not by any means an expert but I would love to try and answer any questions you may have (whether you are moving your small business across the country or just starting out!). 

I also welcome any advice you may have for moving a business across the country or any connections you may have in the greater Portland area.

Below is the photo my husband and I used to announce our move to our friends and family on social media - all outfitted with my Newberg Script lettering.

 

Best, 

Maddy

Photo by Char Beck Shoots

Photo by Char Beck Shoots