Member Feature: Melissa Esposito

Today we are excited to introduce one of our our amazing SSLetters sponsors and local feminist hand lettering icon, Melissa Esposito, owner of Craftgasm, a punchy stationary company, and Analog, her brick and mortar stationary and vintage shop located on the Monroe Street Market Arts Walk in the Brookland neighborhood of DC.

Melissa was hand lettering before I (Amina) knew what hand lettering was. When her shop opened, she and her business partner mailed out the most fun, beautifully lettered invitations. When I asked Melissa what font she used on it (because it was my favorite thing ever- I still have that invitation), she laughed and said she'd hand lettered it. I still can't comprehend that. Get to know Melissa better in this month's member feature!

How long have you been hand lettering?

Professionally: about three years; As a hobby: since at least elementary school.

Describe your hand lettering style.

Informal chic. (At least, I like to think so!)

What are your favorite tools to hand letter with?

I love playing with different fountain pens -- vintage ones are especially rewarding because every nib is different and I don't know what will happen until I am doing it.

What brings you back to SSLetters?

Watching how other people interpret the month's theme is always inspiring! Plus, when I can manage to go to a meeting, it means I have permission to solely work on being creative because while attending I am physically unable to do something else. Making time for creative pursuits, especially ones that aren't work-related, is so hard but so important.

Do you have any hand lettering projects that you're working on? 

I am currently in the planning stages of a handlettered wedding invitation design, but I need to find more time to work on it!

What do you do outside of hand lettering?

I own Analog, a handmade and vintage shop in the Brookland neighborhood of DC. Apart from work, I write a lot of letters, I volunteer on progressive campaigns, and I perfect the art of toddler-chasing.

Vintage cherry blossom postcard notepads found at Analog!

Vintage cherry blossom postcard notepads found at Analog!

Vintage alphabet stencils from Analog

Vintage alphabet stencils from Analog

What is your favorite letter, number or character to letter?

I love doing a cursive uppercase G because there are so many ways to interpret it, but I rarely have the opportunity to use it!

What is your most challenging letter, number or character to letter?

I am AWFUL at ampersands. Dreadful, really.

Thanks so much for sharing, Melissa! You can follow Melissa on Twitter, and her shop Analog @shopanalog on Twitter & Instagram. Be sure to stop by the shop for adorable pens and notebooks at the Monroe Street Market Arts Walk!

716 Monroe St NE, Studio 5, Washington, DC 20017