Giving Tuesday!

swaddle giving tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, buy a swaddle for yourself and we’ll give one swaddle to Baby2Baby.

Baby2Baby provides low-income children the basic necessities that every child deserves.

And if you’re looking a place to donate today, head over to Heart’s Home. They are running a campaign to raise enough money to fund the gas they need to do their mission in Brazil, where I lived back in 2011/12.

Shop Small Saturday


In honor of Shop Small Saturday, I thought it would be a perfect time to answer some common questions that I get about how Be A Heart was started!

First of all, my name is Erica Tighe and two weeks from today I will be married to Paul and become Erica Tighe Campbell! I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and lived there until I moved away for college. My first year was spent at Marian University in Indianapolis until I transferred to DePaul University in Chicago where I got my degree in Sociology.

Photography by Lexi Popa

Photography by Lexi Popa

heart's home brazil
heart's home brazil

After college, I joined Heart’s Home and lived in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil for 18 months. Before going there, I read one of their publications that said that our job was to “be a heart - nothing but a heart.” I loved that concept and hoped to live it with my life. I made a blog called Be A Heart where I wrote about my daily life.

I moved to Brooklyn after Brazil and stumbled my way through trying to figure out what I was to do with my life.

After two years in New York, I decided to move to Los Angeles to be closer to my family in Arizona. While I was job searching, I started selling custom calligraphy quotes on Etsy - something that had become my hobby in New York. My brother also helped me build a website and we called this new business, Be A Heart (because I had 500 instagram followers, which we didn’t want to lose and it now makes me laugh!)

In February 2015, after not being able to find a job that felt like the right fit, I decided that I would try to be a full time designer. I had no idea what that meant or where the work would come from. I did a lot of small custom projects and when I didn’t have work, I made my own paintings. I put the few products on my website and made a few sales.

That summer, I taught my first calligraphy class and fell in love with teaching in this form. I made a calligraphy kit after that and taught more and more classes around the country. I LOVED meeting and connecting with people over the next few years.

In March of 2016, I was published in Elle Magazine and I think that is still one of my favorite moments of my career.

In October 2016, I signed a contract to write my first book, which came out in November 2017.

In January 2017, I hired my first employee and we were now a team of 2!

We worked on so many events, calligraphy classes, branding projects for other companies and products in our own shop!

In January 2018, we became a team of 3 - Chelsea is our design assistant and Kelly manages the shop! This year has been such a balance of trying to figure out how to plan a wedding and run a business! We launched our first swaddle blankets (!!) and the bathing suit that gave me so many gray hairs.

be a heart calligraphy studio design los angeles silverlake

The Marian Bandana was a bigger hit than I ever expected and now we are working on producing more of our own products on top of our work for other companies.

In August of this year, we moved out of my house into a gorgeous studio in Silverlake, Los Angeles. We are now not tripping over each other and have some room to expand.

And soon enough, I’ll be a married woman and am excited to see how the change in my personal life affects what comes into my work.

We are so appreciative of you supporting this small business.


It's our Biggest Sale of the Year

Y’all, if you’ve been following along on instagram at all, you know that more than anything this holiday season I am most excited about getting married in 17 days. I am working double time to prep our shop for holiday sales + finish the remaining wedding details.

The shop will remain open until December 19, thanks to our two assistants, Chelsea and Kelly who will assure that all orders get shipped and into your hands for the perfect holiday gift giving.

And I just want to thank you all for supporting this business by purchasing our goods - especially this year as I take a few weeks off to marry Paul and go on a honeymoon to Mexico City - the first time I will take more than 2 days off in a couple of years.

Be a heart sale

From now (Wednesday, November 21) until Monday, November 26, you will receive 20% off AND free shipping on all orders (plus! get a free Marian sticker sheet with every purchase while supplies last). no code necessary


And in transparency, we are awaiting shipments for a few products that are holding up shipments, but everything will arrive to your door within a few weeks!

Thank you again for your support,

"What I Learned About Dating After Getting Sober"

Before we got engaged (holy moly, I'm engaged!!!) Paul and I wrote an article together for the Grotto Network. As we worked on it and went back and forth discussing our relationship, it was the moment I knew for sure that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man. (Don't let him show you the texts I sent him less than one month after our first date when I was writing Mr. and Mrs. Paul Campbell in calligraphy.) 

You can read the article here

photograph by  Marylouise McGraw

photograph by Marylouise McGraw

Calligraphy Supplies.

It's been years since I've written a post about my favorite calligraphy supplies and I am always getting questions on what to buy and where to buy it. We sell our calligraphy kits as a starter pack that will get you started right away. BUT if you need to re-stock, here's all that you'll need!!

AND I am currently working on reprinting our calligraphy workbook after selling out over the holidays. For those of you who have it, is there any extra info you would love to be included?! Thanks for your help!!

For practicing and draft work, I only use Marker Paper. It is super smooth, won't bleed and is see through so you can trace things or use lines to write straight. 

For final pieces - custom quotes or place cards - I love Bristol Smooth Surface Paper. Be careful not to get tricked by purchasing vellum. It has a slightly bumpy surface and will make your nib splatter.

I also use watercolor paper if I'm using watercolor paints!

For anything that I digitize, I use black Sumi Ink. It's absolutely amazing - so smooth and dries raised off the paper so when you run your fingers over it, you can feel that it was hand done. If you have our kit and need more ink, I suggest buying the big bottle and refilling your small jar. It will make much less of a mess!

When I need a colored ink, I make it myself with gouache paint. I love WInsor and Newton because the pigment is so rich and beautiful. Buy the paint and then use small jars to mix it with a little bit of water until it is the same consistency as the sumi ink

If I am using a paint brush, I will also often use watercolors. You can get tubes of watercolor and make your own palette OR you can get a set that is already dried

Pens + Brushes
For modern calligraphy, there are two types of pen holders.

Oblique Pen Holder and Straight Pen Holder - I tell all my students to try both and see what you prefer. I really do think it is personal preference and how you learned to write as a child.

I use round brushes for all brush lettering. I am partial to the Winsor and Newton University brush. I suggest any size from 000 to 2 for normal writing (you can go larger for big signs and such). Another option is a brush pen!

I only ever use two kinds of nibs although there are thousands of different kinds depending on what look you are going for!

Zebra G Nib is really great if you have a naturally heavy hand. If you don't, like me, you will get a really delicate, feminine calligraphy. One super tip for this is that if you are struggling using this nib - the ink won't hold in the well or releases large blobs - stick it in a potato over night OR run a q-tip with nail polish remover over the nib. The manufacturer puts a coating on the nib to keep it from rusting, but it also causes some issues when you first start using it!

My all time favorite is the Leonardt Extra Fine Principal Nib, which can only be purchased from a speciality store

I use lots of erasers!

And a lightbox. Instead of having to draw on a paper with a pencil and erase the lines, I will draw on a paper and then place the final piece of paper over the drafted piece on top of the light board. Or if I'm addressing envelopes, I can draw out lines on a paper and place the envelope over the lines so that I can easily write straight. It is my very best investment.