Who is Shasta Bell, anyways? I am a Minnesota-born, bread lover and eucalyptus-addict. My husband and I live in a small house in NE Minneapolis, enjoying our first year of marriage exploring the city and fixing up our apartment. I first picked up a calligraphy pen while living in West Africa, searching for a portable creative hobby, and returned to the states to open up a small creative studio focused on organic, romantic calligraphy. To me, calligraphy is a long-suffering marriage, the more work you put into it, the more patience you give it, the more it teaches you and the sweeter the result.
How did you get started in the wedding industry? I used to sew and sell bridesmaid clutches and wedding attire. While I was living abroad, I couldn't tote my sewing machine around with me, so I turned to calligraphy and lettering. It was an easy transition from needle to pen and I soon began offering envelope-addressing services in my shop.
What do you enjoy most about working with your clients? Although my clients live in many places around the world, it’s particularly special when I get to design for a local bride. Working face to face brings a special connection and ability to help them realize their vision. It's wonderful to make a personal connection, share stories, and participate in their joy.
Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere! Can I say that? I am constantly flipping through botanical prints, sketching florals, and trying out new styles. Often I will see something simple, while going about my day, and rush to my studio to sketch it out and craft something new. One time, I was driving by a little mall and there was the most amazing "G" on a bright purple neon sign. I pulled over and spent 5 minutes sketching it before hopping back on the road.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, and who was it from? "We are all just doing the best we can" - my friend, Taylor, told me that her husband reminds her of this when she is really tough on herself. Ever since she mentioned it, I repeat this simple phrase to myself when I fail to live up to my ideas and goals. Its very easy to worry too much about what other people think of your work and your character, it can be enslaving. I often isolate myself and irrationally believe I am alone in the struggle, when the simple truth is that we are all just learning how to do life. We are free to live in grace and keep walking out our stories.
Which artists, makers, or designers influenced you? I really admire the work of Karla Lim of Written Word Calligraphy, she was one of the first calligraphers that inspired me to break from traditional styles. Also, the illustration work of Wild Field Paper Co. is beyond words! These creatives challenge my ideas and push me to try new mediums and styles.
What do you hope to provide for your clients? I want to provide fresh, organic options for bohemian and modern brides looking for unique invitations and paper goods. Its important to me to not only offer beautiful designs, but provide a positive and accommodating experience in an industry that can, at times, be overwhelming for new brides.
We have a special place in our hearts for Shasta here at MAVEN because she's part of the #fiskcollab studio located at 1621 E Hennepin Ave, suite 185 in MPLS.