Friendship and Faux-lligraphy

Jackie Cooper Photography


A few weeks ago, right as the winter weather took an early turn for what felt like spring, I had a desire do something, something fun, something with my girlfriends. I pictured food, and wine, and lots of laughter…all the usual ingredients that make up a good girl’s night, but I was unenthused when thinking of our options that narrowed down to:

  1. Wine Bar (blah)
  2. Happy Hour (meh)
  3. Restaurant (ughhhh)

I was so sick of catching up in public places and thought back to a little tradition that I shared with a girlfriend back home in Saint Louis, Homemade Happy Hour. Going out is fun, but so is staying in and it offers an intimacy and comfort that can’t be captured in a busy restaurant.  Some days you desire a loud and lively environment and other days you want leggings, candles, and your closest friends.

I met May Englestad of POCO POST a few months ago at a Faux-lligraphy workshop at Denver Style Magazine’s Holiday Market and Mingle. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not alone in the fact that with the world of Instagram and Pinterest, we’re all a little more in touch with our creative desires and curiosities. It was like DSM had read my mind when they told me they would have Faux-lligraphy AND floral workshops at their event, for free?! These were two things I recently had been looking into and was more than willing to pay for instruction and I get them both, in the same night, for free?! Unfortunately the floral ladies didn’t pan out, but Mrs. May came through and was a little ray of sunshine in the form of an ex-kindergarten teacher turned creative entrepreneur and instructor of handwriting. We clicked immediately due to her desire and enthusiasm towards instruction and handwriting and mine towards learning and pretty things.  When our tutorial ended, I pulled her aside to ask if she ever considered teaching workshops and when she said she did, I knew she and I would be meeting again,  I just needed to figure out how and when.

Fast forward two months and I reached out to see if she was interested in being a part of a little party I had envisioned that was going to be all things girly, and pretty, and fun….and that’s where Friendship and Faux-lligraphy was born. I put together sent out an invite to a few of my friends and asked them to join me in my “teeny, tiny apartment around my teeny, tiny coffee table for an evening of wine, lady talk, and a tutorial on the art of faux-lligraphy”. Side Note: I invited a few more ladies than my 550 sq. ft. apartment would comfortably hold accounting for 5 not making it, but when only 2 said they were unable to attend and I had an extra girl join, we were maxed, I mean MAXED out. I kept getting texts from the girls saying how excited they were for the class and a few who said they’d been interested in Faux-lligraphy prior to my invitation. The enthusiasm that each of the girls expressed was enough make me confident that no square footage, or lack-there-of, was going to ruin the evening, I just needed more wine and I figured out that wine does fix space problems, it actually fixes all problems.

On a Thursday night just a couple weeks ago I put together a  spread of food, opened several bottles of wine, and invited 11  ladies  into my home for an evening of learning and laughter.

The night started with food, wine, and casual conversation and about an hour in we took seats and turned to the front of the room to Mrs. May who told us all about herself and the art of handwriting and then we got right into our two handwriting lessons of the night, H I P S T E R & Calligraphy. May not only taught us two fun lessons, BUT we also got to work on a project for our bride-to-be in the group, Erin. Each girl was handed a blank card and a colored envelope from May and selected a month of the year and our task at hand was to write down a special date in the card for Erin and her future husband to enjoy the first year of their marriage. At the end of the night we sealed up our envelopes and handed all twelve to the future Mrs. Levy….we also drank more wine.

Prior to the party I asked May to bring some of the cards to sell, because, hello, cards are the new Tupperware, and they were a hit. They sold. Every single card. If I‘m being totally honest, which is really try hard to do, I will let you in on a little secret, I didn’t truly think more than one or two of my friends would buy a card, I wasn’t even sure if anyone would! Not because May isn’t incredibly talented, but you know how people are…well not my friends and NOT May’s cards. They were gone. Every single one of them. In five minutes. Bye.

My favorite? A little drawing of a loaf of bread saying, “I loaf you”. Sold. Not to me though, to the betch next to me who I used to call a friend, until she took my card. It’s an ugly world out there, you guys.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the evening turned out and what I realized was something that was thrown together as a means to catch up with my girlfriends outside of another restaurant or bar, turned into a fun gathering and a bridal activity for a sweet friend. If you’re struggling to think of something a little extra special for a bridal or baby shower, bachelorette or birthday party, or if you just want to get some fun girls together, POCO POST is your answer. How many showers have you gone to where you play the game, guess the baby photo? Guess the future baby’s name? How many parties have you been to where you are taught a skill that you’ve been wanting to learn AND you can use in the future?

 If you know another calligrapher, that’s great, but what makes May so good and what made my event such a success was not only her skills at handwriting, but her talent for wrangling up a bunch of wine buzzed, giddy girls, keeping our attention and making us laugh. It’s hard to describe May without using some cliché and overused adjectives, genuine, magnetic, and like a ray of sunshine, but I won’t try to come up with synonyms or new terms because that’s what she is, that’s May.















If you’re interested in hearing more about May Englestad behind POCO POST, I’ll be featuring an interview with her where we discuss all of the ups and downs and ins and outs of starting a business and being a part of the ever-evolving and exciting creative industry.

Send me pictures of your event with POCO POST and don’t forget Rustic + Refined for all of your upcoming events, big and small, social and ceremonial. Cheers you guys, Soiree and Rose season is upon us! Let the parties begin.

Brittany | Vodka and Birthday Cake | Rustic + Refined Events

**Special thanks to our lovely photographer, Jackie Cooper who not only beautifully captured the evening, but is always a treat to work with!

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