When chatting with Ryann and Priscilla, we got to learn all about collaboration and the importance of support and having a work wife! This was no normal coffee and convos, as a matter of fact, we met over Irish Coffees and appetizers and it was the best way to spend a Friday!

Ryann is the mastermind behind Gaspara Flora Gifting, where she takes her unique take on bulk gifting and creates beautiful packages for you and your loved ones. Yours Truly Calligraphy aka Priscilla is a brilliant calligrapher and watercolor artist that shares her talent for special occasions, travels, and even teaches her craft to those aspiring to learn. Combined, they have collaborated on multiple projects that have helped each other’s business grow, and ultimately become close friends who have supported each other throughout their journeys!

The following conversation began while talking about how each of them started their businesses and each continued to share the importance of having genuine support through friendship and community.

Ryann: Honestly, I just made it up. My friends will tell you that I get really obsessed and it’s been stewing for a long time to do gifting. It was last year around this time that I found a way to make it work, where I work with vendors to create custom projects for bulk gifts. So I’m basically a project manager and designer. I did a lot of my own copy, data, and inputting projects, and even did my own photography. I knew what I liked and I knew enough to do it myself. And despite what starting your own business entails, I had this feeling that if I just keep going it would all eventually work out. And it has! In that time, there has been a lot of heartache and crazy things to make it work, but whatever it takes I’m willing to do it. I feel like other see what I do as a lot of work, but I don’t feel that way, yes it is hard but it’s my passion and something I really love. It really pays off to see all of your hard work turn into more than how you imagine it to be.

Priscilla: I practiced law for almost 4 years and I felt very stressed and unhappy that I quit last March. I really gave it my best shot those 4 years and it just didn’t feel like what it was what I was meant to do. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and I feel like my skill set didn’t fit in that realm. I didn’t quit to pursue calligraphy, at the time I picked up calligraphy as a hobby.

R: It’s so important to build friendships and a tribe of people who love you and it all radiates from there. As a creative, the greatest reward is someone coming to me for my expertise and it’s kind of like receiving a gold star. My dream is to be in Sunset Magazine or having companies reach out because they genuinely admire my work. What’s great about having Priscilla as a big supporting role is that we push each other to dream really big! I feel like we have to position ourselves to be seen and the rest will follow.

P: When I first found out about Calligraphy, it was when I was planning my wedding and I came across beautifully written cards and I tried to teach myself with a kit I found online and it was a bit difficult having a full time job and not finding the time.. It was about one and a half years after I got married that I took a class and was obsessed! I would practice at home after work and started making cards for family and friends and had just started my Instagram account and from there people wanted to purchase my stuff. I didn’t quit to pursue calligraphy full time, but I did know it was a passion of mine. I’ve always been into art and handwriting, and to be able to commit something to paper takes a lot of thought, planning, and it’s very intentional. And something about it really called out to me. I feel like it’s coming back in such a big way, and people love it. It’s all about sending mail and nowadays since everything is about instant gratification, we can easily write emails to say what you want, but this is something special where you put in an amount of effort of committing pen to paper to send out.

I initially started for myself as an outlet and hobby, and it’s gained quite a bit of traction to where what inspires me is inspiring other people to do it, because honestly if I can do it, anyone can. I like the fact that nowadays anyone can create something, and all you have to do is take the risk! What motivates me is how other people find inspiration. What I love is that each project is different so I don’t end up doing the same things, and even the fact that I get to be a part of weddings and I get to be a part of their special day. I never imagined in a million years I would be doing this. I’ve been doing this officially now since October 2015, and it’s been amazing that community is something that I really have found in San Diego. I’m not sure if it’s the nature of what I do, but being a small business owner can be lonely at times working from home, you don’t really have that interactive environment. But having someone like Ryann helps me stay focused and centered.

I feel like I came out of my shell since starting my business. Like going to those networking events and meeting with entrepreneurs and creative. I’m a strong advocate for pursuing your passion and I can say that I’ve pursued the money in the past and was truly never satisfied. I work the same amount of hours and even more but I can sleep at night excited about the next day and wake up looking forward to working on new projects.

R: I’ve worked at Starbucks for 5 years then went to cosmetology school because I feel like if I do something I have to be the best at what I do. So I ended up going to Paul Mitchell, then worked as an assistant at a salon for 6 and a half years, and was able to work with a lot of local celebrity clients. I then went back to school for fundraising, worked at Playhouse, and left there to start my own company.

Often times I feel guilty because with what I do, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s just been so much fun because at the same time I get to create relationships and friendships. It just feels like this is what I get to do! And our jobs definitely don’t suck!

We chatted about relationships, how the universe conspires people to come into our lives at the right time, and how having a business bestie benefits both parties. Even at the very beginning of our Coffee & Convos, they shared “great things happen when you collaborate because in turn you push each other to do something and work together” and that is something we stand by 100%! Without their time spent sitting down with us over Irish coffees, we would not have this amazing conversation about the importance of collaboration and community.

Just in time for the holidays, Ryann has some amazing gifting options for your favorite people in your life and if you’re interested in learning more about calligraphy and watercolor, Priscilla teaches classes! We love how each of these gals are doing something amazing separately AND together. We hope this inspires you to pursue that new hobby you’ve been wanting to try or find that tribe of yours!

Follow Priscilla

Instagram: @yourstrulycalligraphy
Website: yourstrulycalligraphy.com

Follow Ryann

Instagram: @gasparaflora
Website: gasparaflora.com
Facebook: GasparaFlora