Today we’d like to introduce you to Chanel Wilson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Chanel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in a big, loving Christian family locally here in Houston. After graduating high school, I was the first in my immediate family to leave Houston to attend college at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in 2010 and moved back home. I began working for my father’s consultancy here in Houston as the Social Media Coordinator, and still work part-time remotely from home for the same company as the Marketing Coordinator. In 2012, I got married, and gave birth to my son, Memphis, in 2014.
My whole life, I loved art, and it was my escape from the stresses of life. While I was pregnant with my son, I took a calligraphy class in order to have another job to do from home, in addition to my marketing job. Unfortunately, the man who I was married to at the time ended up being a physically abusive drug addict. After countless attempts at placing him in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and extensive counseling, he chose his life of criminal activity and drugs over my son and I.
When he became abusive toward me, I had a brief window of time that enabled me to pack one bag for me and one for my son, and I left in order to protect my young son from ever being exposed to that kind of danger or from becoming a victim of it as well. I spent every dollar I had in savings trying to get my ex-husband help, so I essentially had nothing when I left. I filed for divorce and took on single parenthood. My calligraphy business helped us survive during that desperate time. Working my two jobs from home allowed me to stay home to raise my son while providing financially for him and I, but I had to make many sacrifices to ensure he had everything he needed. It was the most challenging thing I ever endured, but it was worth it. Through that difficult situation, I truly became who I am today. I am now happily remarried to a wonderful man, who is also an amazing role model for my son. We couldn’t be happier! Now, I am able to continue my calligraphy business with joy again.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As I mentioned previously, I was married to an abusive drug addict for approximately 3.5 years, and that was the most significant struggle in my journey. I tried everything I could to help my ex-husband, and it was truly devastating to watch someone I thought I knew well reveal themselves as someone completely different. I had to call many ambulances and police personnel, had to resuscitate himself myself on some occasions, watched him endure countless near-death experiences, went with him to countless NA meetings and counseling, helped him recover after a coma, cried myself to sleep at nights at home wondering if he would ever come home after disappearing for days, slept with a knife under my pillow when he was home, and had my life threatened with a gun in my face while on the phone with 911.
Life was so incredibly difficult. He overdosed the night we were married, on our one-year anniversary, and on the day our son was born (in front of my family). I paid all of the bills, as he could not manage to keep any job. The psychological and emotional pain was worse than anything physical I experienced. If I would’ve stayed any longer, I know I wouldn’t be here today to tell my story. I endured the abuse of many kinds and sustained injuries that most of my family and friends still aren’t aware of. I believe my faith in Christ and becoming a mother to my son are what saved my life.
Fortunately, my son was never exposed to anything I endured. I left in order to protect him. Even when I was married previously, I changed every diaper, fed every meal, gave every bath, took him to every doctor appointment, read every story, so transitioning to being a single parent was pretty seamless for me. My son is the light of my life, and we became incredibly close over all of these years of it just being “us.” We shared some amazing memories together, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I know I made the right choice for my son and I. My struggles along the way have sharpened my character and have made me appreciate the good things in life and not take them for granted. I am very grateful and blessed to be where I am today. I am a survivor.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
At Cypress Calligraphy, I specialize in calligraphy and hand-painted custom signage. I started doing calligraphy on envelopes for events like weddings, but my business also evolved into painting signs for events as well. I paint signs for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, holidays, birthdays, parties, homes, businesses, and many other events and places. I have painted on so many different mediums – chalkboard, mirrors, plastic, metal, wood, paper, walls, etc. – so it’s the love that it is always challenging and exciting. I freehand paint every piece I make, WITHOUT any stencils or templates, which sets me apart from the majority of other sign painters out there. I pride myself in providing customers with a truly unique, beautiful work made with love, at a fair, reasonable price. I don’t market my business as much as I probably should, but my business thrives primarily on referrals from satisfied customers, friends, and family. I just truly love what I do, and I am so excited I get to share my love for beautiful handwriting and art with everyone.
What were you like growing up?
I was very close to my parents and siblings, and I still am. I had four sisters growing up, so we were best friends. I loved playing outside, using my imagination, playing with my sisters, drawing, painting, and spending time with my family. As I got older, I became successful in competitive sports. My favorite sport was basketball, but I also competed in track and softball. In middle school and high school, sports took up quite a bit of my schedule, but I still prided myself in maintaining excellent grades in school and continued loving art. I loved being a student and learning. I guess you could say I’m a nerd since I loved doing homework and taking tests, but I’m proud of it! I went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from LeTourneau University.
- Phone: 281-793-2031
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cypress_calligraphy_chanel/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cypresscalligraphy/