Today we’d like to introduce you to Antea Amoroso.
Antea, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started out falling in love with the art of lettering as early as elementary school. I can remember asking to stay inside during recess to help make signs for the classroom and wanting to be a teacher someday just so I could write on my own dry erase board. My passion developed into a business in 2011, shortly after designing my own wedding. This is before Pinterest was born, so trying to describe my idea of a rustic wedding in a barn to friends had them asking if they should wear boots in the horse stalls! We had our dream wedding at The Barn at Gibbet Hill, beautifully captured by Bharat Parmar and featured in The Knot magazine shortly after. I began sharing photos of my wedding on Facebook and at the same time I began selling many of the popular signs and decor I had created on Etsy, just as the rustic trend began to rise. I was working part time at my friend Rachel’s floral shop, The Flower Shoppe of Eric’s, and working out of the living room of our condo during the other time on my signs. I expanded the visibility of my wedding signage to more local brides who started to request to borrow/rent some of them for their events instead of purchasing them, GENIUS, I thought! At the very same time that this side of my business began to evolve, a store front next door to The Flower Shoppe opened up and without any questions asked we decided to take a leap of faith and open up The Wedding Shoppe together. At eight months pregnant with my second child, we designed a space that brides could come to meet with the both of us for their event: floral’s from Rachel and custom signage rentals from myself. This leap of faith turned into the best decision and soon after a full time job of mine! Over the next four years I grew my business of 15 weddings a year to 80, then 100, surpassing every goal I set for myself. I hustled hard and used my favorite resources of word of mouth, social media and vendor referrals to get my name out there. Couples loved the idea of renting all the little details they would see on Pinterest, while having it customized for their own event. Soon after, we bought a house in our hometown with a massive two car garage that quickly became “wedding storage”. I found myself working more and more out of our garage as home life became more demanding, while still maintaining the shop downtown. One day, the idea clicked. Why don’t we make our garage my shop? The idea of going from a storefront to my home terrified me and excited me at the same time, but I knew what was better for our family and took the chance. We spent the winter renovating and turning this space into a showroom where I could meet with brides. Have them view my now expansive collection of rentals and work on events all from the comforts of my own creative space. We are finally up and running in the new studio and revealing the grand opening of the space on Sunday, June 3rd 2-5pm.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Although the road has been bumpy at times, it has allowed me to grow. For that, I am forever grateful that it has now always been smooth. Each and every hurdle I have faced along the way has allowed me to learn more about myself as a person and business owner. My biggest struggle is one that I find any mom and small business owner faces and that is work/life balance, or as my Dad likes to say life/work balance. Sometimes I felt like the best Mom, taking the kids on spontaneous fun adventures but then kicking myself when the work load piled up. Other days I felt like I hustled and crushed it, but would cringe as my kids begged me not to work or look at my phone. If anyone out there knows the perfect balance between the two, you’re a rock star! I’m still learning every day while most importantly realizing it’s not about what happened-it’s how you react, what you do with it and how you grow from it.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business specializes in custom hand lettered designs, for event rentals as well as home decor. What sets me apart from other talented calligraphers in the area is the rental collection of signage and decor that is available for events, as well them being completely customized for them. I provide everything from seating charts, welcome signs, table numbers, card boxes etc. on a collection of mirrors, windows, wood, chalkboard… you name it and I can most likely write on it! Clients have the option of picking up directly from my studio and bringing it with them to their venue, or we provide delivery and set up as well. My husband and best friend, Dave, helps me every weekend with event deliveries! I am so thankful for his help and support along this journey and could not possibly do it without him. My friend from middle school, Robbie, also helps with all the midnight pickups from all the venues allowing me to get some rest in between events! The other popular side of my business that has recently expanded is the make your own sign class called Girlfriends Guide to DIY (thanks to my sister Jackie, who you will 100% see at every event!) These classes are held outside of wedding season at local venues, most recently The Beauport Hotel, where guests are provided with all the tools to make one of my popular hand painted wooden signs with a seasonal theme! I also invite local vendors to come pop-up during the class so everyone can shop, sip and create!
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was a typical Leo, creative and passionate but very stubborn. My mother is an artist, so that is where I get my creativity from 100%. My father was a Criminal Defense Lawyer and now Life Coach, and that is where I get my work ethic and drive from. I was always into something creative thanks to my mom, and my writing in a straight line can be thanks to all the written punishments I received as a kid from my Dad! I learned how to use quill and ink in high school and am thankful for all my art teachers who helped me learn the skills that I still use every day. Although I did not go to college for my career now, I did explore a creative field studying Fashion Design at Lasell College and abroad in London, England. I started working at 14 years old at a local garden center, Eric’s Greenhouse, where I met Rachel (The Flower Shoppe) and was introduced to sign making digitally there. I became “the sign girl” since my passion can clearly been seen better lettered rather an in a garden!
- Event Signage Rentals: $5-$395 per piece, with packages available on my website
- Girlfriends Guide to DIY: $60 per ticket
- Custom Signs for Home Decor or gifts: $30-$120 depending on sizing and/or lettering
- Address: Reading, MA
- Website: www.anteaamorosodesign.com
- Phone: 7812491286
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: anteaamoroso
- Facebook: facebook.com/anteaamorosodesign
Callan Photo – Shawn and Frankie Callan