Caroline Campbell, of Sincerely Me, is a graduate of the interior design program at the University of Alabama and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Her love of art and design led her to develop her passion through paper illustrations, calligraphy, artistic designs and custom creations. Today, we get to know her more intimately as our FACES of Birmingham featured profile. Welcome, Caroline!
Where did you grow up, and what brought you to Birmingham?
I was born and raised in the capital of the Sunshine State, Tallahassee, FL. Growing up, I spent many summers and Thanksgivings in Birmingham visiting relatives. In the fall of 2009, I decided to turn in my “garnet” for “crimson” and set out for the University of Alabama, where I pursued a bachelor’s degree in interior design. I have always been fond of the quaint community, revitalization and culture of Birmingham. My husband, a native of Birmingham, didn’t have to do much convincing to get this girl here!
Tell us about your business and how you got started.
From an early age, art was an important tool in my development, which translated into my major. I was always fascinated with hand lettering and illustrations, so I decided to take a calligraphy class on a whim in January 2014. What started as a creative outlet after work quickly became a requested service. Through steadfast prayer (and a leap of faith!), Sincerely Me was born in August 2014. I have been blessed and inspired by each freelance and custom project opportunity. I find the root of my passion to be in wedding paper and architectural illustrations (I guess that is where my degree comes in!). I become giddy seeing a good wedding map come together!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I am blessed to have two parents who transpire a wealth of advice and wisdom to my brother and me daily. My dad, who I credit my entrepreneurial spirit to, has given me some of the best advice, which carries my drive as a person, creative and entrepreneur: “Be yourself; expect nothing; be humble; fight for what keeps you going.” Can’t argue with that!
Did you have any mentors along the way?
Outside of my parents, I have been touched both personally and creatively by many folks along my journey. As I embarked on starting my own business, I reached out to a local creative who I knew as a fellow sorority alum, Carrie Beth Taylor. I tribute the kick-start of my journey to Carrie Beth, who encouraged and provided words of wisdom, as a female entrepreneur in the creative industry. I greatly admire her artistry and strong words that continue to carry me through the trials and triumphs of being your own boss.
What’s your must-have purchase for this season?
A fresh pair of white jeans for the spring and summer months. It’s a staple for me!
What fashion item would you never be caught dead wearing?
Although a fan of white jeans, you will never catch this girl wearing white shoes. I choose to stay away, regardless of when they are “socially acceptable.”
What’s your favorite vacation spot and why?
Being a Florida girl, it’s only natural to immediately think “beach.” Growing up, we spent countless summers and weekends soaking up every bit of daylight on the coast. I love the atmosphere of 30A. It’s easy to relax and draw inspiration from the architecture, local vendors and vibrant culture all around you, especially while riding a bike around town.
Where is your favorite local place to go to relax and recharge?
It is essential for me to take breaks to recharge my mind and creativity. O’Henry’s in Homewood is my favorite place to grab some caffeine and peace of mind. I can’t complain walking away with the “free” scent of fresh coffee beans that lingers on my clothes the remainder of the day.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Dinner with good food, great friends, but even better conversation. I’m a sucker for summer night gatherings on a patio or porch.
Favorite local restaurant?
What are you listening to these days?
Typically, whatever comes up on my husband’s Spotify playlists or country radio. My go-to “good vibe” music is always Needtobreathe, George Ezra and Ben Rector.
What books are you currently reading?
Truth be told, I’m not a big reader (my mom is cringing). However, you can always catch me reading a Southern Living or Garden & Gun issue. I plan to start reading Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley. But for now, it’s serving as a “stylish fixture” on my nightstand.
Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?
I’m shamelessly admitting this one: I joke with my husband about my fear of not loving our first born as much as our first dog, Jake! Seriously though, needles repel me from necessary doctors’ appointments. My parents knew studying medicine and getting tattoos would never be part of my future!
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, friends and family.
While those are undoubtedly the three pillars in my life, I couldn’t live without my German Shorthaired Pointer, Jake; a good glass of wine and a comfy pair of lounge pants.
Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself with us today, Caroline! Find out more about Sincerely Me at sincerelymecaroline.com.
And thank you, Beth Hontzas, for today’s beautiful photos! See more of Beth’s work at bethhontzas.com.