I am so excited to officially announce that starting the second week of October, I will be taking my hand lettering and modern calligraphy business full-time!
Can I share with you how I got to this point?
Around Christmas of 2014, when I graduated from music school and my worship leader internship at church ended, I was told by my bosses that a job would be opening up in January 2016. I loved leading worship and I was falling in love with my new church, so I decided to wait a year for the job to open up. During this year-long waiting period, I released my second album of original music, “The Way Of Love,” I was hired at a few different churches as a contract musician, I was working a few shifts a week as a barista, subbing as a special ed para, and nannying the sweetest girl. But, after that busy summer of 2015, when nannying ended and I wasn’t getting called to sub at the beginning of the school year, I had a lot of free time, so I decided to learn a new skill: hand lettering.
From hobby to business
I always had an interest in hand lettering, and did a little bit of it here and there in my prayer journal, but it wasn’t something I was practicing enough to really get good at. I was still pretty new to Instagram in the fall of 2015 and I was discovering, for the first time, people who were really good at hand lettering and modern calligraphy. I wanted to be one of those people. So that September, I bought my first brush pen and began hand lettering during almost all my free time. I loved sitting on the floor in my room, listening to worship music, and making pretty letters.
In January 2016, I was hired on staff at my church as I had hoped and continued lettering in my free time. That spring, I started getting noticed on Instagram and through working on random projects at coffee shops, and people started commissioning me to do hand lettered projects for them. I got engaged in April 2016 and I decided after I got married that October, I would open an Etsy shop and really start advertising that I would do custom work for people.
Since then, my business has grown so much – I have a line of products that I sell locally and on Etsy, I’m continually asked to do custom orders, I am so close to releasing my first book of hand lettered work, and I have had a growing interest in lettering workshops!
A difficult decision
I very recently realized I had now reached a point where I had to decide between keeping my job at church and cutting back on lettering work, or letting go of my job at church to pursue these new opportunities with my lettering business.
It was a difficult decision, but I really felt the Lord leading me into self-employment, so I put in my resignation at church and my last official day on staff will be our CD release night on Friday, October 6. After that point, I will still be leading worship most weekends as a contract musician, but Lauren Ibach Lettering will officially be my full-time job!
Saying goodbye to an old dream and pursuing a new one
I’m gonna be honest, even though I know taking this next step is the right move, I still have a lot of fear and some sadness moving forward. Shortly after transferring to music school, becoming a full-time worship leader was my dream job and I essentially had that job. I was deeply rooted in a community of fantastic musicians and songwriters and even though I will still be a part of that community, it won’t be the same, and I feel a lot of guilt for giving up something I worked so hard for.
However, I am quickly learning that dreams change, God leads us down new paths we might not ever have planned for ourselves, and that is 100% okay! I’m allowing myself to admit that what excites me most is growing my hand lettering business and I’m learning to let go of the guilt I have over saying goodbye to an old dream and pursuing a new one.
Change is difficult for me, no matter how good it may be. I know I’ve expressed a lot of mixed emotions, but I am confident I’ll be feeling a lot better once I’m through this transition. I want you all to know that I am VERY excited about this new adventure I’m about to embark on! I am excited to release my book in November, to start teaching local brush lettering and Bible lettering workshops around the same time, and take on more custom orders!
I’m also excited to have more flexibility as I continue leading worship on Sundays as a contract musician at church. I just know deep down, I’m going to be able to serve my church better and more fully during services, since I won’t feel so torn between these two passions of mine.
God’s got his hand in all of this and I’m excited to see how he uses this new adventure to grow my trust in him, to share the gospel, and spread the love of Christ in new ways!
Blessings to you all and thanks for all the love and support you’ve shown me throughout my lettering journey! Whether you’ve been following since before I started hand lettering or you’ve just recently stumbled upon my little corner of the lettering world, you have all played an important role in getting me to this point and I am so grateful!