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How 'Black Tulip' Got It's Name

With my first *official* anniversary of being in business coming up in July, I wanted to share the meaning behind my brand name; Black Tulip. All of June and July of 2018 were spent creating business plans and logo designs around the name "By Hand Calligraphy", which was a pretty solid name, but has absolutely no backstory other than the obvious; my calligraphy was being done by hand.

Photo Courtesy of Corey Lynn Tucker


Before Black Tulip
I developed a color palette of pastel blues, greens and pinks because that's what I saw others were doing. Light and airy photos, bright whites, crips linens and swirly letters to compliment. I've been making art "seriously" for almost 10 years, and never have I ever created anything from the heart that had pastels as the main color palette. But I had also never tried to market my artwork to a niche of clients before and I had no idea what I was doing, so I followed everyone else's lead. 

Just before my official public "launch" in August, I had a complete breakdown. I felt like my personality and creativity were missing from my brand. As an Aquarian, I pride myself on being quirky, weird, and different. My business looked just like all the other, albeit beautiful, but Uber-pastel calligrapher brands. What I was doing was not authentic to who I was/am as an artist. My message and purpose were not apparent and it made me feel like I should just throw in the towel before the adventure even began. 

I needed that authentic, raw, real and imperfect element to my brand to make it feel like my creative home. I needed a welcome space to be who I truly am. So I stopped trying to be what I thought others would want me to be. I swapped my pastels for dark and moody blacks and browns, earthy greens and a bold and powerful red. I thought of my life, my inspirations, my happiness and that is where Black Tulip was waiting for me. 

The Netherlands + The Color Black + The Month of February = Black Tulip
I'm pretty sure this is common knowledge, but tulips are kind of like the "poster child" for the Netherlands, the country where I was born. Holland is where my dad kind of taught me how to drive a stick shift (lol, thank God automatic is the standard in the USA). It's where we celebrated my birthday every year in February. It's where my family lives. That country is home to some of my most cherished memories, so it only felt right to have a tulip as part of my brand. 



The color black has been my comfort through difficult years. It is my safe place, and a major part of who I am and what I create. It is a color that embodies who I was and who I grew up to be. It was only natural that any color palette I create for my business be centered around black.

Black Tulips are actually a very deep shade of purple. Purple not only symbolizes royalty (my name Stephanie means "crowned one") but also the month February by way of the amethyst. Being born in February, I have always surrounded myself with this beautiful stone. 

As you can see, this brand is unapologetically me. It is my past, my present and hopefully also a part of my future. 

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