We met Stephanie Ko through social media a few months ago and were pleased to finally bump into her human self at a local craft market this summer. After many swoon sessions over her beautiful calligraphy and designs, we knew we had to know more behind the Canadian-maker and her cheerfully-crafted work. Without further ado, meet Stephanie Ko, the creative mind behind Simply Steph Ko.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Stephanie, and I am a calligrapher and stationery designer. I create custom calligraphy designs for weddings and events, and I bring the elegance into everyday life by creating greeting cards for you to share with your friends and fun prints for your home and office.
Tell us about your brand Simply Steph Ko
The Simply Steph Ko brand stands for simplicity, joy, and encouragement.
Some people say that the stationery industry is dying. I disagree. I believe that it is changing.
Most of us would agree that our mailboxes are full of flyers or bills nowadays. Gone are the days when our grandparents would write love letters to each other every day. But this means that in today’s world a card or a letter is no longer an expectation — it is special. A card filled with kind and encouraging words can bring joy to our lives, and I want to be a part of that. I want to empower you to pick up your pen, write to a friend, and give them the warm fuzzies.
So I create cards for the modern joy-sharer. Each and every card or print will help you share joy and encouragement with your friends in a simple yet special way. You Are My Better Half Card // Buy Here
What’s your creative process & how are new ideas born?
Because I am a calligrapher first, and illustrator second, the ideas usually start with a quote, a wish, or a word. The imagery then builds around the letters to capture the essence of what the words convey.
A lot of cards are inspired by real life moments when I need a card, for example the Camera Card was one of the first cards I designed because my dad wanted a camera, but I couldn’t afford it. So I illustrated one for him instead!
Once the idea is formed, I will draw, paint, and do the calligraphy for the card. The process starts by hand, and is then put together digitally to create the final design you receive in your hands. Each card is printed and packaged with love in my Ottawa home. From beginning to end, it is a labour of love. Thank You Cards // Buy Here
What is your most favourite piece and why?
I am always biased towards my newest designs. Every day I am practicing, learning, and improving. With that said, my newest cards are wedding and engagement cards, and my favourite of the bunch is the Ampersand with Flowers Card. The ampersand (or ‘&’ sign) represents the marriage union between man and wife, making this card perfect for celebrating new engagements, weddings, or anniversaries! The ampersand is also my favourite character to write, so on a superficial level, there’s that too. Ampersand Card // Buy Here
What advice do you have for makers just starting off?
As Nike has famously coined, just do it! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from other people around you. We’ve all been there and know exactly what it is like to be new. Learn whenever possible. Listen to podcasts and webinars, read books and blogs, and ask your fellow makers. This community (yes community, not competition) is one filled with eager entrepreneurs sharing our hearts and passions with you. If you’re ever looking for a recommendation for a beginner calligraphy pen, podcasts I love, or my favourite coffee shop, just send me a message and I’d love to chat!