Ever since I was a girl, I have always loved to draw and paint. When I was in high school, my favorite art teacher, Mrs. Wydra, introduced me to calligraphy. I was hooked! Whenever there was someone who needed “fancy lettering” for a project or document, they would always recruit me to help.
After teaching second grade for six years, I decided that I wanted to do something different-and use my love of art and creative abilities. I took a couple of classes at Mass College of Art, but really just started working on my own at perfecting my natural artistic skills. People started hiring me for all sorts of calligraphy projects, and before I knew it El’s Cards was born.
El’s Cards was started in 1999 with a personal loan of $5,000 (so I could buy a computer and have a website made) and a lot of determination! I took any work that came my way…from small calligraphy jobs to special cards and many different odd projects. My sister, Laura and I lived in Milton, MA with our cats Charlotte and Wilbur (named from a couple of our favorite children’s book characters) and I ran El’s Cards out of our apartment.
In the early days, I sold greeting cards in the lobby of my favorite gym in South Boston, Massachusetts. At that time, every single card and invitation was painted by hand! With a lot of hustle and hard work (waitressing and landscaping on the side to “pay the bills”), El’s Cards became my full time career in 2002.
2004 was a big year for El's Cards. We had a great Mother's Day write up in The Quincy Patriot Ledger about a new custom gift, "Simply You”. Soon after this, my best friend Jody introduced me to my husband, Bob. We dated long distance for a year, I moved north to Greenland, New Hampshire in 2005, and we started our new life together! In 2009, we got married and I created our wedding invitations-including a map of the area-and we discovered a new product for El’s Cards.
El’s Cards has continued to grow every year. So much so, that in April of 2015, Bob and I started to work together full time!! It’s been a fun and exciting experience. Business has never been better and we have different skill sets so we both have a chance to focus on what we do best. We love doing the craft shows and meeting people and our wedding business just keeps getting busier and busier. We are really a great team!
Specialty invitations have always been a big part of El’s Cards. When the first El’s Cards website was launched, our web developer created the special font ElScript from my own personal calligraphy style. This became the popular font included on all of our invitations. Since then, I have added 5 more fonts, all created from my own, modern calligraphy styles. We love being able to offer this special, unique feature to all of our couples. We have also created a full line of semi-custom wedding invitations that are really popular.
After working in calligraphy and watercolor for 25+ years, I still love the “creative days” the most! These are the days I break out my watercolor paints and pens and come up with new designs. Color and the beauty of nature are my biggest inspirations.
When taking a break from work, we love to walk the beach together, relax and read at home with our sweet boy cat, Spike, or share a hot fudge brownie sundae -with marshmallow sauce on the side!