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{Dainty Extra} Oh My Word Workshops

Seeing that the owners Melissa Johnson, Lauren Halverson, and Amanda Feldkamp of Oh My Word Luxury Paperie love the written word, it’s no wonder they started hosting modern calligraphy and hand-lettering workshops. We chatted with Melissa and workshop host Chelsey Burtis on what the scoop is, along with other workshops happening at the downtown Sioux Falls business.

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(Owners Melissa Johnson and Lauren Halverson.)

Tell us about when you started workshops and how that came about.

Melissa Johnson: Our paperie is all about creating a safe place for story. We knew that we wanted workshops to be a part of helping people leave a legacy with their words and share those stories. It was a part of the business plan even before the business launched.

What are the workshops you offer and what is the typical cost?

MJ: Workshops range from Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering to Bible Journaling and Intro to Watercolor Cards. We are super excited about the Letterpress workshop we have in the works for later on this summer, keep updated for details to come! They vary in price but are most typically right around $30. Each workshop includes class supplies, instruction, a cupcake from our sister company Oh My Cupcakes!, and a beverage of your choice. (We have our wine license, so you can even indulge in a glass of wine while you workshop!)

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How did you find Chelsey Burtis and choose to have her workshops?

MJ: Chelsey and I have known one another and had a mutual love for one another’s work for a long time, and we’ve long wanted to work together. This was a great fit for both of us. We feel so fortunate that she chooses to share her amazing talents with our workshop participants!

How can taking a lettering workshop be beneficial to someone planning a wedding?

MJ: You know . . . think of it this way: you’ll be sending out personal invitations to the most incredible event of your lives. You’re investing thought, love, time and money into each detail of the ceremony and all that goes with it. When that gorgeous invitation arrives in the mail, imagine how extra special your guests will feel, that extra level of elegance showcased, if you’ve taken the time to hand letter the recipient’s home address. Breathtaking.

That is why a hand lettering workshop is beneficial not only to the bride, but to anyone who might be helping her send out those unique and beautiful invitations.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could make your own wedding chalkboards or address your invitations yourself instead of paying someone else to do it? – Chelsey Burtis

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(Image of Chelsey Burtis and a few pieces of her work pictured above.)

Tell us a brief history about your experience with lettering.

Chelsey Burtis: I joke that my first commissioned art was to do bubble lettering for friends in elementary in exchange for gum. I was the one to handle the lettering on school projects. I’ve just always loved to letter in some form, and it’s always seemed to come naturally for me. I had been dreaming and praying about how to pursue my hobby of art and lettering for the past few years. It seemed like an obvious next step for me in early 2015 to actually make a business out of it.  

What do you think the importance of lettering is?

CB: In a digital age, it can be so refreshing and wonderful to own things made by hand. It can breathe life into someone when they receive something as simple as a hand written note. Lettering is an obvious way to spread that joy.

Where can people check out your lettering/work? 

CB: My complete collection of work can be seen by searching #chelseyletters. I keep it simple and only share from my Instagram, @chelseyburtis. Examples of my work can also be seen locally in downtown Sioux Falls. I painted large lettering murals on the walls in Unglued and I keep the menu boards fresh at WoodGrain Brewing Co.

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For someone who is nervous about their writing, what would you tell them if they’ve thought about taking your workshop?

CB: Here’s something surprising: my actual handwriting is terrible! When people say they are handwriting-impaired or don’t consider themselves artistic, I just want to yell, “You can do this! This is for everyone! This is for you! Just let me show you!” These same people who have taken this class are consistently surprised and pleased with how well they are lettering in only 90 minutes. The secret is how I break it down into baby steps and easy to grasp concepts. Also, I use a lot of ridiculous analogies. Those help, too.

What else is new at Oh My Word?

MJ: So many things! It’s been such a fun beginning since our February open, and we are grateful for how well Sioux Falls has embraced this stationery boutique concept. We are working diligently on our online store, and will soon be able to ship your favorite things to friends and family anywhere in the U.S. In addition, we will be adding an Oh My Word kiosk out at the Empire Mall within the next couple of months right next to our Oh My Cupcakes! kiosk near center court. We know the two kiosks and offerings will naturally complement one another and will give people further exposure to the paperie concept in a new location.

Any upcoming dates we should lookout for in May and June? How can people sign up?

MJ: May 6 and May 11th are Basics to Hand Lettering/Modern Calligraphy with Chelsey Burtis workshops. We also have two dates scheduled in May and June for our Snail Mail Socials! Those are really fun events where we encourage you to come prepared with four names and addresses you want to send notecards to, and then you can use our workshop space, our pens and stickers and Lettermates and any supplies you need. You can sip, savor some sweets, socialize, and enjoy dedicated time to get your cards written for the month ahead. You leave them with us at the end of the evening, and we’ll stamp them and mail them for you. We’d love to see you there! You must sign up ahead of time so we know how many spots to reserve.

Anything to add? Any new workshops in the works? 

MJ: We are working on a letterpress workshop, hopefully coming later this summer. We’re also continually asking the question: “What would people want to learn that has to do with words, paper, and writing? What would we want to learn?” As we continue to ask those questions and to learn a few answers, you’ll see new workshops created. It is our truest passion to help people share their stories by putting pen to paper, and we are grateful that God has given us the space to do just that.

Upcoming Dates:

May 6 + 11: Basics to Handwriting/Modern Calligraphy with Chelsey Burtis. For more upcoming workshops check out their website or register by calling (605) 310-8698.

{Photos by Elizabeth Lucille Photography}

{Dainty Extra} Make S’More Out of Photos

“Lucas loves to camp, so we incorporated camping and roasting s’mores into Bailey and Lucas’ engagement session. Making your engagement pictures personal will help you relax and have fun during the session. You will love the results!” – Sarah of Sarah Ann Photography.

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