The owner of Flaminkko Designs, Maeko Bradshaw, is a publisher by trade but a calligrapher at heart. What started as a stress relief hobby during school is now her full-time job. A close family friend encouraged her to branch out after seeing some of her calligraphy work, and boy, are we glad she did! Her custom day-of signage includes everything from seating charts to table numbers and everything in between. When she is not busy creating one-of-a-kind pieces, you can find her outside taking a hike with her two cairn terriers. Scroll on to find out more about her career highlights and creative life in Tahoe!

What brings you the greatest joy in your life? 
Spending time with my family, especially my mom whom I have a really close relationship with. 

What brought you to Tahoe? 
I was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe. I’ve lived in other cities, but I’m always drawn back to Tahoe. 

What is a must-see hidden gem in Lake Tahoe? 
Vikingsholm – actually taking a tour of the estate. There’s something about the estate that feels magical. 

Describe Lake Tahoe to someone that has never been here. 
A big, clear, beautiful alpine lake surrounded by pine trees and snowy topped mountains. It offers a little bit of something for everyone. 

Tahoe lifestyle: winter or summer? 

If you were not in the wedding industry, what would you do? 
I grew up wanting to be a Marine Biologist, so I’d probably have gone down the science route in one form or another. 

What is a fun fact about your company? 
I do more than just calligraphy. I love illustrating and making greeting cards and larger art prints. I’m hoping to branch out into children’s book illustration in the future! 

What is the career highlight you are most proud of?
So far, I have managed to start and keep a business going during the pandemic. 

What is your go-to conversation starter with a potential client? 
I love hearing about their vision for their wedding (or special occasion), and I always ask if they have a Pinterest board for inspiration for me to get a better sense of what they are looking for. 

How would you describe the perfect day in Lake Tahoe? 
Early morning paddleboard session, reading a good book on the beach, followed by an evening spent in the garden until the stars appear.

What are you most proud of? 
Going into business for myself. I see my friends in their 9-5 jobs that they don’t find any joy in, and it makes me feel good knowing I found the thing I’m supposed to be doing for the rest of my life. 

Who inspires you the most? 
My grandmother. She was raised working on a farm and taking care of eight other brothers and sisters. She never finished school but eventually became a successful business owner and floral designer. 

What is your life motto? 
Live life large. 

What was the most recent thing that made you laugh? 
Hannah Gadsby’s recent interview on the Stephen Colbert Show. 

What’s the most useless talent you have? 
I can roll my tongue into the shape of a cloverleaf.

What is the closest thing to real magic? 
Watching the Perseid meteor showers in the quiet Hope Valley meadows. 

What was your go-to activity during quarantine? 
Sketching and teaching myself the piano. 

What kind of wedding guest are you? 
I’m that wedding guest that’s always the first to get everyone out on the dance floor (after the bride and groom dance, of course). 

Any song you can add to our brides’ and grooms’ budding wedding playlist? 
Somebody Loves You by Betty Who. 

Working in the wedding industry is not for the faint of heart. So how do you rest and rejuvenate? 
Getting outside, whether that’s going for a hike with my pups or getting out on my paddle board or going for a mountain bike ride.

What is something people might not know about you? 
I attended an all-girls catholic boarding high school (and loved it)! 

Any four-legged friends in your home? 
Yes, two cairn terriers (like Toto). 

Like what you see? Here is everything you need to know about Flaminkko Designs!

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