We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Strickland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always been wildly inspired by Julia Child and her approach to work. She took on a hobby, and turned it into a life-affirming business. She found beauty in what she created and wanted to share that with others. I feel inspired by that all the time. Something that started for me as a hobby, turned into a bespoke style business, catering to clients wanting something special for the memorable times in their lives. Whether its a set of signage for a wedding, a cake for a baby birthday, or something silly for a party, I try to approach it all with the same vigor — that these products will mean something to the ones I create them for. I also try to teach as much as I can, so that others can walk away with a similar feeling of accomplishment.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I try to create one of a kind pieces that people will cherish even after their event is over. I have had brides that framed and hung menu boards in their home, signs that have gone into nurseries, and framed photos with baked goods I have made for birthdays and showers. I letter ornaments and gifts for the holidays from Christmas into Valentine’s Day, and I love when clients will tell me they have continued to display their items long after the holiday because they love them so much. Things all started for me when I took a basic calligraphy class, and while the pen and I weren’t besties right away, I was very inspired to keep trying. I got into modern calligraphy, and really found a rhythm. By then I was only really making beautiful envelopes for friends’ birthday cards and wrapping gifts in hand lettered paper, and then a friend asked me to make some signage for her wedding. Man, that was a challenge to come up with a directive on how to create that, but I drew on my time working with display at Anthropologie and West Elm, and made it work. And they turned out to be some of my favorite to date. Since then, almost any time someone asks, I say yes, because they are my favorite thing to do! There are certainly struggles in starting any business, but I like to think that I take each hurdle in stride. I am a natural problem solver, so I tend to think in terms of a directive when faced with a problem. I think a large challenge for me is keeping things fresh and unique. I love that I can create something that is completely special, and it being handwritten makes it feel so singular. I also love that I can make something completely customizable – from size, color, font, and lettering, its a wonderful opportunity to really make something encompass the vibe and feel of their event.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love living in Houston! Right now, it’s a little tricky to send you to too many places, but in a non-COVID world, I would definitely check out the Museum District. I love the CAMH and the Menil, and the Museum of Fine Arts is always a favorite. Also, the McGovern Centennial Gardens when the weather is nice – my husband and I will walk and then just sit in the grass on a blanket and enjoy the day! It’s so beautiful there. If you happen to be in town on the right weekend, my husband and I love to go to Joystix on the first or last Friday of the month. You pay to get in, then can play all the arcade games your heart desires! If you want a delicious meal, my favorites include Georgia James, Poscol, and Roost. I could have a last meal from any of those spots, as they are all fantastic! Also, Frank’s Pizza downtown – I may have driven downtown more than once just to pick up pizza on my way home. If you’re downtown, I love Conservatory. You can eat from a variety of different concepts, grab a beer or glass of wine, meet up with friends, and even play some old school arcade games. For drinks, I LOVE a Tiki bar. When we travel, my husband and I always look for a tiki bar in whatever city we’re in, so you know LeiLow is on my list. I also really like Kanaloa – the atmosphere there is amazing, and you can get snacks from Oh My Gogi! For coffee or just a hang out, I really like Catalina Coffee, Blacksmith, and I’ve been meaning to try Secret Garden Coffee at Bravery Chef Hall because I love a good range of coffee drinks!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Genie Mack for sure! What started as friendship some 15 years ago at TCU has turned into a constant give and take of inspiration between our two businesses. I started Cinnamon Lane Events with the idea that I would just slowly build up clients and not really sure what to do beyond that, but Genie and I have traded ideas and thoughts about what would make our businesses better over the last couple of years, and that has helped me so much! Also, I am so thankful to the ladies of Renovate Houston. I can’t tell you how much they have supported me over the last couple of years, and have really pushed me to create wonderful products for the women who shop in their store.
Instagram: @amylane7 or @cinnamonlaneevents
Other: I have an etsy shop with items you can order anytime! www.amylane7.etsy.com
Bar Menu photo courtesy of Josh & Dana Fernandez