Out of OfficeOut of Office Blog

The Art of Small Business

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After more than a decade of art training, with a B.A. in Art from Columbia College and professional training from The Art Institute of Chicago, The American Academy of Art, and Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Christy Toney decided to further pursue her passion by starting her very own business called Calligraphy by CT. Christy’s calligraphy training started back in high school, but has continued till this day as a master calligrapher.

Christy is such a master of her craft she even offers calligraphy lessons through workshops or one–on-one lessons, in addition to selling  her products online to customers around the nation. Some of her products include table numbers, signature drink signs, welcome mirrors, seating charts and other specialty items. This is where Christy turns to FedEx Office to assist with all her business print and pack & ship needs.

“I remember being so nervous about taking my business to FedEx Office, but the team made me feel at ease, carefully explaining how they would pack my materials and thoroughly going over all my printing options,” said Christy. After having such an exceptional first experience with her local store, she has now proudly used FedEx Office for more than five years. This is how Christy explains it, “just a thrilling experience. I always take my business to my local FedEx Office store.”

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Christy’s entire art career can be characterized in some form as “ink on paper”. A form of art in which subjects are painted with black ink on all things possible. Christy’s art specialty and her 15 years as a print production manager makes her a tough critic on printed material. “Print is everything! Particularly because of the industry that I am in, clients pay close attention to how I’ve branded myself, and I take pride in handing out only the best correspondence.”

Another game-changing discovery Christy had along her journey as a small business owner, was clearing up a widespread misconception. That once you leave your regular 9 to 5 job to start your own business, you will have more free time. Christy along with many others believed this to be true, but quickly learned the exact opposite to be true. “You have even more responsibility, especially if you are a sole proprietor. I’m the marketing manager, lead calligrapher, accountant, social media specialist and web designer. There is literally, always something to do,” said Christy.

Last year Calligraphy by CT celebrated its 10-year anniversary and this is what Christy’s states are her top 5 key takeaways from the last decade.

  1. Hire talented people – Don’t be afraid to hire people to help you as your company grows.
  2. Invest in yourself – Your skill set can always be brushed up. Learn from thought leaders in your industry.
  3. Thought leader – As you remain in business, blog regularly so that you can become a thought leader in your own right.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others – It’s easy to get caught up in follower count and post engagement, but the most important this is being an invaluable resource to your current audience.
  5. Success is not overnight – You need to be ready to commit a good deal of time to what you do and sustain that effort.

Find out how FedEx Office is helping other small businesses find smart solutions here and use #MyFedExOffice to share your story on social media for a chance to be featured.

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