Kalligraphy goes global: ISU student opens her own Etsy shop

Mackensie Moore

Achieving good grades and being involved during college are important but one student is exceeding expectations and running her own business.

Kalli LeVasseur, senior in advertising, opened her own Etsy shop on April 25.

An online site for homemade creative items, Etsy.com is available to anyone to sign up and place their products on for sale.

Under the name “Kalligraphy Designs,” LeVasseur creates custom painted canvases for customers. LeVasseur is a free-hand painter and anyone can order a custom piece from her using Etsy or Facebook.

LeVasseur said she has always enjoyed painting and crafting. She started out as a student in the design program but after deciding to switch to advertising, she continued to paint as a creative outlet.

“I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t painting,” LeVasseur said. “It takes up a lot of my time but is completely worth it.”

After painting a canvas for the first time, LeVasseur kept painting and experienced so much support for her art that she decided to put her pieces on Etsy.

With canvas sizes ranging from 5×7 to 16×20 inches, LeVasseur has created a custom headboard piece for a customer and has also painted the driveway for her sorority, Delta Zeta.

“Everytime I paint something new it becomes my new favorite,” LeVasseur said.

While interning in Los Angeles this summer, she decided to keep the site open but didn’t put too much effort into marketing her business. Now that she is back in Iowa, she is focusing on promotion.

“Right now social media is a driving force for everything, especially for a business,” LeVasseur said.

Crediting her major with helping her to understand the business side, LeVasseur uses social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to display her creations.

While the site has only been open for six months, she has already experienced a great deal of business as well as support for what she is doing.

LeVassuer has shipped multiple places across the United States, as well as to Canada. Currently she has customers from the United Kingdom and Italy interested in her work.

Her first customer was a woman from Pennsylvania, but a good amount of LeVasseur’s business is based in Iowa and from her fellow Delta Zeta sisters.

Amelia Medici, junior in industrial engineering, has ordered multiple times from her and used the canvases as gifts for family and friends.

“One time I gave her a vague idea of what I wanted and she created something greater than I could have ever imagined,” Medici said. “Everything she makes is really unique and very special.”

Medici first ordered while LeVasseur was in Los Angeles and said that LeVasseur was extremely understanding with her deadline and had the canvas created and shipped within 10 days.

“She’s going out of her way to make people happy and just above and beyond what a normal college student is doing,” Medici said.

LeVasseur will be displaying her creations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Prairie Moon Winery & Vineyards on Dec. 7 as a part of the Lucky Star Market, a pop-up market open to the public to shop.