To say that Megan Fahy is a badass would sort of be an understatement. Last Labor Day weekend, at the height of wedding season—when her calligraphy business usually reaches its apex—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “The day I got my diagnosis, they told me I had cancer over the phone, and I was like, ‘OK, great, I have menu cards to do, so, thank you and goodbye,’” says Fahy, who lives in Menands and grew up in Albany. Soon after, she had surgery, and literally the day afterwards, still in an immense amount of pain, Fahy was doing her art on apples for an upcoming wedding. (Apples? We’ll get to that in a minute.) That was followed by five months of chemotherapy followed and a month of radiation, the last of her treatment coming in early May.
The story of Megan Fahy Calligraphy started a decade ago. After college, while she was living in Boston, Fahy did an intensive run of workshops at the North Bennet Street School—a private school for all types of makers—working under a master calligrapher in the art of pointed-pen calligraphy. From there, she became so good at it that it turned into a business. “When I started, no one was doing this,” she says. “It took off very quickly.”
Upon moving back to the Capital Region, she connected with an old friend, who put her in touch with a celebrity event designer. And in the fall of 2017, things got interesting. “I was hired to do Serena Williams’ bachelorette and wedding,” says Fahy. “I went down to New York, did it all in secret out of somebody’s apartment.” Guests, whom she did personalized, hand-scripted calligraphy work for on gifts such as aprons and Beats By Dre headphones, included Beyoncé, Karlie Kloss, Ciara and La La Anthony, to name a few. A business that started as mostly save-the-dates and wedding invitations has expanded into “writing on very bizarre surfaces,” she says, like apples. She’s also done work for fashion designer Carolina Herrera; model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, John Legend; and even Saved By The Bell’s Kelly Kapowski (i.e. actress Tiffani Amber Thiessen).
More recently, Fahy decided that the Capital Region community needed a little TLC, with the COVID-19 crisis being such a downer. After stumbling across the work of Bay Stater Antea Amoroso, whose #letteringforlove campaign involved the artist lettering happy messages on storefronts and other spaces, Fahy was inspired to do the same for local businesses forced to temporarily close during the statewide lockdown. She posted to her Facebook page: “If you are a small business or school in the Capital District area looking to brighten your windows, I am offering my lettering services. I am here to help!” Businesses that have already felt Fahy’s love include anatomie gym in Troy and Lollipops Children’s Shop in Latham. Thanks, Megan; the Capital Region has never looked (or felt) better.