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Meghan Markle pulls out pre-'Suits' skill set in bid to become lifestyle guru

Meghan Markle is launching a lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, and using skills from her pre-royalty life to give herself an edge.

Meghan Markle is attempting to build a business empire.

The Duchess of Sussex has worn many hats in her lifetime, working as an actress before becoming a working member of the royal family after marrying Prince Harry in 2017 and then taking a turn at producing after the couple left the royal family in 2020. But now, Markle is trying her hand at becoming a lifestyle guru.

Last month, she announced the upcoming launch of American Riviera Orchard, a lifestyle brand. She hasn't released any further details on the company, but trademark applications show that the brand is hoping to produce everything from textiles to gardening tools to bath soaps.

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The filings show that it's possible she's planning on opening a retail space, and that in the future she might publish cookbooks.

While it seems clear that Markle has big plans for the brand, it also appears that she's very hands-on with the business venture — so much so that she devised the logo herself.

American Riviera Orchard's website and social media showcase a simple logo — the name of the brand written in an elegant cursive script. According to a report from People, that script was written in Markle's own handwriting.

As she explained in a 2013 interview with Esquire, her handwriting is exemplary because "I went to an all-girls Catholic school for like six years during the time when kids actually had handwriting class. I've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well."

Markle had aspirations to be an actress after growing up in Hollywood — she said in the same interview that she spent "every day" on the set of the sitcom "Married… with Children" where her now-estranged father, Thomas Markle, worked as a lighting director and director of photography. She even had a small part in an episode when she was a child.

In her young adult life, Markle spent several years auditioning and taking small roles until she landed her breakout role as Rachel Zane on "Suits." During that time, she told Esquire that she had a "pseudo-waitressing job."

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"I didn't wait tables," she said. "I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding."

Thicke and Patton married in June 2005, which would have made Markle 23 when she took the job. It wasn't the only high-profile gig she landed thanks to her calligraphy skills, as she said that she also did the same thing for "Dolce & Gabbana's celebrity correspondence over the holidays."

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She recalled, "I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand, so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning. I'm glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive."

Markle said then that doing that kind of calligraphy is "super lucrative" because "there are so few people doing it."

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During this time period, Markle also taught calligraphy at a shop called Paper Source in Beverly Hills. In 2018, the CEO of Paper Source, Winnie Park, told People, "It was her part-time job as she was going through auditions. She taught calligraphy and hosted a group of customers and instructed them during a two-hour class on how to do calligraphy."

She also taught lessons in gift-wrapping and book-binding during her time at the store.

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On Monday, fashion designer Tracy Robbins and Delfina Blaquier, a photographer and wife of polo star Nacho Figueras, were among the first to share a photo of the brand’s first product, strawberry jam, on Instagram Stories. Markle's signature can be seen on the jar's label.

Fox News Digital's Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.

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