HAPPY NEW YEAR



I'm a little overwhelmed as I realize that 2010 is a few short hours away. This time last year, I sat in a red office (yes, eww, it was red) surrounded by LSU paraphernalia, working on my husband's desktop PC, dreaming of owning my own business - a line of wedding invitations.

365 days later, I'm in my own little yellow studio, surrounded by my favorite paper-goodness, working on my 27 inch iMac :: insert angel's singing ::, looking forward to the launch of something I've put my heart, soul and spirit into for the past year. I have grown in many ways during 2009 - but 2010 brings a whole new adventure for me.

My toast to all of you for 2010 ::

May you live with a spirit of authenticity.
Be true to your style, your art - whatever it is that you're good at. Own whatever it is that you are not. Your "crumbs" as Bryan and I call them. Own them.

May you live with a spirit of adventure
Life. Is. So. Short. Take it. Own it. Crush it. So often we worry about what we have to do when (as Nike put it best) we could just DO it.

May you always act from a place of love.
Remember where you have been and where you are going - always act from a place of love. And remember, being the bigger person is NEVER never, never the wrong idea. Act from a place of love and surround yourself with people who fill that part of you.

May you truly live within your arch of creativity.
Surround yourself with that which inspires you. Let it inspire you. Be open to change and becoming your authentic self.

And last, (and this is certainly a wish for myself) -
May you always remember to roll with it.
Roll with the ups, the downs, the wins and the losses. When life hurts, let it hurt and fuel yourself with the emotions that come from it. When times are up and you are on top of the world - cherish those moments and let them fuel your spirit. Build, within yourself, a strength from each of these.

Happy New Year, everyone! Make 2010 count!

Cheers,
Emily

2009 in Review


I've been doing a lot of thinking about 2009 (and 2010 for that matter). What a YEAR it has been. Both personally and professionally it has been a year of so much growth for me. My husband and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary - our first full year of marriage. I celebrated my first full year in Tampa. And I completed my first full year as a business owner.

Has any of that been easy? No. Has all of that been amazingly rewarding? Absolutely. First and foremost, my husband. He is seriously amazing. No really. He has helped me fold 300 stardream wedding programs during a Bears/Packers game. That - alone - makes him pretty amazing. But he also makes me coffee JUST about every night as I sat perched in front of my iMac working on this business. Supported/brainstormed/jumpedupanddown/thrownthings with me. Who could ask for more.

Lets take an honest look at 2009 ::
  • Bryan and I visited NYC for the first time ever. I was enthralled. In love. Sold.
  • January 1, 2009 - I hit the ground running with ELP. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
  • Then accounting, trademark law, html, paper weight, licensing . . . what?
  • iMac. I'm officially an apple snob. And I loving it... so what does an apple snob do? Macbook Air. iPhone. Love love love.
  • Tampa starts to become more and more of a home. And I learn just how much I love and miss my little hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
  • I have learned that the relationships you build are so much more important and valuable than the sales you make.
  • I discovered Twitter. Well, this is still a new discovery for me. If you don't use Tweetdeck - try it. It made all the difference in the world for me.
  • Making Things Happen 2010 - truly an incredible experience for me. Learned that "getting real" with yourself and facing your challenges head on is actually a huge time saver - as well as a way to find and become your authentic self.
And at the end of 2009, I think the best lesson I've learned all year is one of authenticity. 2009 was a year of discovery - 2010 will be a year of fun (and a commitment to making time for that), of learning and of commitment to pure authenticity. Above is my ELP inspiration board for 2010.
Here's a little online cheers from my family to yours for a 2010 full of joy, adventure and happiness!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone!  I came home to Pensacola with every intention of relaxing, unplugging, removing myself from my work.  But after MTH2010 I am so fired up.  All I want to do is keep moving forward!  Granted, I've done much of this work in my PJs, next to the Christmas tree, on my laptop, surrounded by friends and family.  This Christmas, I am so thankful, so humbled and so excited about what the coming year will bring.  The response to the video blog on MTH2010 was absolutely fantastic.  I'll be doing more video blogs periodically - I love to write, but its very natural for me to talk (in the same way I'd talk to a friend) and tell a story on camera.

So cheers to downtime, to celebrating the year's ups and downs, to planning for the coming year and for spending time with those people who refill your spirit.  See you all in 2010!

Making Things Happen 2010




video

Making Things Happen 2010 was an incredibly awesome experience. Grab a cup of coffee and a blanket - this is 9 minutes long. I had lots to say and share thanks to Lara Casey, Jeff Holt and Kyle Barnes. The main lesson: think hard, be introspective, feel the FEAR and DO IT anyway. Now off to tackle this beast of a change I'm making to my business. Stay tuned! So. Fired. Up.

Happy Holidays!




I thought this photo was appropriate with the holidays coming up. In my attempts to learn my Canon, I've been taking a few random shots at random times. This photo is my sweet little neice holding a cup of starbucks [actually hot chocolate]. To me, it captures whats important about the holidays [starbucks] - kidding. Family. The people you love. Downtime.

This will likely be my last blog post before the launch of the BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW Goodpaper online stationery boutique and blog. So much to do between now and then! I’m beyond thrilled with what Goodpaper is becoming and cannot wait to share it with all of you. But before I go, a few [EXCITING] things:

GRAND E-NNOUNCEMENT
If you’d like to receive the Grand E-nnouncement of the Goodpaper launch, please enter your email address in the box to the right.

SHOP CLOSING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
My Etsy shop will be closing December 18. It will reopen with the launch of the new site on January 6. Over the holidays, I’ll be traveling home to spend time with my family and working on last minute touches to the new site! I'll be available via email, but it will be spuratic. My new MacBook Air (thanks Santa!) will help with that!

MAKING THINGS HAPPEN INTENSIVE
I was beyond thrilled, yesterday, to find out that I was chosen as a scholarship winner to attend Lara Casey’s Making Things Happen Intensive in Watercolor on December 21. Click here to watch her announcement video from Breckenridge! Goodpaper is on the brink of so much and this is going to be a fantastic way for me to funnel my efforts affectively, strengthen my strategic plan for 2010 and meet some of the best and brightest in the wedding world. I. Am. Stoked. And honored… thanks to Lara Casey and the SW Magazine team for believing in what Goodpaper is all about. I promise to write a detailed and extensive post on what I learn, who I meet and how, I'm sure, Goodpaper is affected by the brilliance bound to be in the room [on the NEW blog!]

A SINCERE THANK YOU
As I wrap up 2009, I can’t believe what has transpired. Goodpaper (formerly known as Emily Ley Paper as you might remember) started as a crazy idea between my husband and I. He is quite the entrepreneurial risk taker and I – the detail oriented, OCD, design-crazy, Southern gal. Together, we put together this business and have watched it grow from something very small into a business that has touched over 100 brides this year alone. Thank you so much for your part in turning my crazy dream into a reality. Thank you for beleiving that Southern style is the way to go, that ettiquette has its place but should truly be your own and that busy-design isnt always better design. Thanks for commenting on my blog. Thanks for frequenting the Etsy shop and for keeping in touch after your big day was over. Thanks for being patient as I worked out the kinks and learn the ropes. Thanks for trusting me with one of the biggest days of your life. Goodpaper is truly a labor of love and the business – and myself – are blessed because of you.

Wishing you joy and happiness during the Holidays and in the year to come!

Cheers (and see you on the other side of this crazy launch!)
Emily

Operation :: CLEAN OUT THE GOODPAPER STUDIO

(CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE)
Whew! I've been meaning to do this for a while but it's FINALLY TIME! If you are a stationery designer or just an all-around-crafty-person, Goodpaper wants you to know about our Envelope Sale! Sets available (including quantities) are listed above. Please email emily@ilovegoodpaper.com for pricing. Help us clean out our studio and prepare for new Goodpaper inventory!

Our Personal Christmas Cards

Just finished up our personal Christmas Cards. As a stationery designer, I have a reputation to uphold :) But I LOVE this year's cards! I used pocket folders this year so that the pocket could hold our annual letter and our photo could be mounted to the other side. Happy holidays!

HOLIDAY SALE GOODNESS!

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HOLIDAY SALE! The Cyber Monday Holiday Sale went over so well, I've extended it until December 10.

100 sets of personalized stationery, including an assortment of these envelopes are now just $50 with FREE SHIPPING! Hurry, stock is limited! Choose from any design in the Etsy Shop. Make your purchase here and include the design you'd like in the "Comments to Sellers" section.

Cheers,
Emily

Today

Today I am frustrated and a bit grumpy. I am not a good product photographer. But I am learning. And Im going to fake it. That or I'm going to find someone who is and pay them lots of money. Sigh. My GPS... no, my TREASURED GPS... was stolen from my car. In my nice neighborhood. I want it back. A friend did things to make me sad. And I am up to my ears.

The silver lining. I am up to my EARS. Seriously. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful customer base. I cannot wait until January. Today... I am thankful.

HOLIDAY SALE EXTENDED!



These have been really popular the past few days - so happy holidays!

Set of 100 Personalized Stationery Sets = $50 with free shipping. Envelope color choices are limited.

One more day only! Stop by my Etsy Shop to make your purchase OR email me.

Cheers!
Emily

GOOD IDEA :: Giant Stationery Sets - 100 in each!


Introducing a new holiday gift idea! From now until December 19, I'll be selling these stationery sets in my Etsy shop as holiday gifts! Each set comes with 100 (!) sets of personalized flat notecards - printed on double thick 110 lb white OR ivory stock - and coordinating envelopes (in any of the colors shown or in an assortment of each).

Each set is $50 with free shipping until December 19!
Purchase in my shop or email me to get started :: emily@ilovegoodpaper.com

Happy holidays!

OH MY GOODNESS


I think a great addition to this little blog will be a new feature I’ll do on the occasional Friday – “Oh my Goodness” featuring all the little things that make life so good, even unexpectedly.
  • Starbucks red cups – These, by far, top my list of signs Fall is in the air and the Holidays are around the corner
  • Blind letterpress – I’m recently in love with this form of printing. I love the simplicity.
  • My sweet husband making me laugh – if you haven’t met Bryan… he is one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. He has an uncanny, unmatched ability to make me laugh even when I am having the worst of days. One of the top 3 reasons I love him to pieces.
  • Traditions – Fall is the season of traditions for my family. A boisterous Christmas White elephant party. A Christmas morning scavenger hunt (for my husband, myself, my brother and my brother’s girlfriend – all of whom are between the ages of 22 and 30). A silly ornament exchange with my husband – we are developing quite the eclectic collection.
  • My mom’s sweet Southern hospitality – my Mom is the best at this. When Bryan and I go home for Christmas, my mom always has our favorite foods baked and waiting (chocolate chip cookies – my weakness in life). She plans our favorite dinners. My dad makes coffee in the evening for everyone while we sit around and chat. Home is so comforting.

Looking forward to spending a week at home this Holiday season. But in the meantime, keep those personal stationery and Holiday photo card orders coming!

* PS: Changes are a'coming for Goodpaper! Slowly but surely. Check out www.ilovegoodpaper.com for the new splash page. A bit of Goodpaper style to tide you over until January 8 and the big reveal!

Personalized Stationery on sale now!


If I do say so myself, personalized stationery makes a great Christmas gift! I've just listed 18 new personalized stationery designs in my Etsy Shop. Prices start at $18 for 16 sets of flat note cards (printed on double thick 110lb cover) paired with coordinating envelopes (colored or kraft). Each set comes packaged in a clear cello sleeve adorned with a ribbon and Goodpaper kraft label. If you're interested in ordering a different quantity, please email me at hello@ilovegoodpaper.com.

Holiday photo cards are in full swing! These are also available in my Etsy Shop. Or, if you'd like a custom design - email me. Happy Holidays!

The Countdown Begins...


Today I read a blog post by Lara Casey, someone whom I’ve never had the joy of meeting but constantly admire, that was just beautiful. I can’t even sum it up for you in my little blog, but I hope you’ll go to hers and visit it. Especially if you’re a Southern Weddings magazine fan… especially if you own your own business… especially if you are working one job to pay the bills and another to complete your heart’s work… especially if you’re young and ambitious and have an idea you can’t wait to run with.

As 2009 begins to draw to a close, I honestly can say I have no idea where it went. Somehow, in twelve short, short months I’ve started a business, changed its name, learned more than I ever thought I would need to know about business, balance and all things paper, celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary with my best friend, adapted to a new home while deeply missing my old one and somehow survived. I can only think that 2010 will bring even more change and excitement for me. Emily Ley Paper started as a small idea… maybe an Etsy shop… maybe a few weddings for friends… and somehow grew into this crazy business called Goodpaper that has brought me so much joy. It’s almost like my child… it’s changed countless times, grown into its own and continues to morph into something bigger than I ever dreamed. I. Cannot. Wait. To. Share. It. With. All. Of. You.

But at times, I find that it sincerely takes over me. I work, for those of you who don’t know this, at the University of South Florida Foundation – handling all development and fundraising as the Assitant Director of Development for the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy program from 8-5. From about 5-midnight/1am, I run Goodpaper… and at least 1/2 of my weekend hours are spent doing the exact same thing. When I wake up in the morning, I go for quick 30 minute run (this is a new habit), then get ready for the day – while reading through emails I missed during the last 5-6 hours. I inhale a kasha granola bar, fill up my coffee cup and head out the door to beat traffic. One thing I can say is that while I am at USF, I devote my time and attention to my program. But instead of lunch dates, I’m typically at FedEx shipping wedding orders or at Staples picking up office supplies. Many days, instead of lunch, I shut my office door and reply to emails and write blog posts. On my way home everyday, I have a phone date with my Mom as I fight the Tampa traffic. When I get home at night, I make dinner 2 or 3 times a week or we eat cheerios or PBJs (we laugh bc we love that we do this… even though the Martha Stewart in me tells me its awful), then by about 6:30 I’m back in my home-studio, filling orders and working on the website. Bryan and I make sure we have a date night at least once a week – he is my sanity.

Without Bryan, I'm not sure I would have ever started this venture. He is so supportive and such an encouragement to me. It was his entrepreneurial spirit that led me to make the leap. He gets so excited over the smallest accomplishments, much like I do. And this project has become one that we share... even when it takes over our living room with photography equipment and he has to help me fold programs during the LSU football game :) I'm a lucky woman.

I am so apprehensive, excited, semi-terrified, nervous and over-the-moon about launching Goodpaper in January. The site is absolutely incredible. And my web designer, Kendra has rolled with each change and shift as Goodpaper becomes a strong brand. The last screenshots I saw took my breath away. It’s Southern. Classic. Simple. And Friendly. My photographers and favorite people on earth, Meg & Charles Baisden did artistic product shots for me as well as headshots that are… perfect and make it all seem so real. I’ll be taking a little over two weeks off in December to enjoy the holidays and wrap up last minute website edits.

I need to learn to unplug myself. But I absolutely cant wait to see what 2010 has in store for Goodpaper. Thanks for your support and for reading this really wordy post. It’s a bit of a ramble, but feels good to share a bit of “me” here.

Cheers,
Emily

GOOD NEWS :: New Stationery in Etsy Shop!


The new Goodpaper Stationery is now available in the Etsy Shop! Everyone loves something with their name on it - so start your holiday shopping early! Sets of 12 are $18.

Each set is printed on double thick 110lb cover (white or ivory) and is paired with coordinating envelopes (your choice or color or assortment). Sets arrive to you packaged in a clear, cello sleeve.

If you're interested in a larger or smaller quantity, shoot me an email and I'll set up a custom listing for you :: hello@ilovegoodpaper.com

GOOD ADVICE :: Never wear pearls before 5pm?

At the heart of Southern style is Southern etiquette. Sometimes it seems like the rules are forever changing. The other day, a dear friend of mine, told me she heard It’s improper to wear pearls before 5pm. I had to laugh! Absurd! But, as it turns out, that is in fact an old Southern tradition. Few woman adhere to the rule (yours truly included) nowadays. I came across this great article from Real Simple today and just had to pass it on. Good advice. (“Good Advice” is also the name of the etiquette section of the new Goodpaper website!) What are your Southern etiquette rules?
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Introducing Yourself to a New Colleague
Aim to: Welcome the new person as soon as you hear she has arrived. Don't wait until you've been in a meeting together or exchanged e-mails, says Jill Bremer, an executive image coach in Oak Park, Illinois.

If you are late: Apologize for being inconsiderate and then show interest in her background, ask how she likes the new job, or invite her to lunch.

Tip: As a company veteran, you'll have an easier time making the first move because the newcomer is probably overwhelmed and can't remember whom she has met.

Welcoming New Neighbors
Aim to: Stop by within a few weeks of their arrival, says Millie Downing, author of the Miss Conduct column in the Boston Globe Magazine. If they're busy unpacking, just say hello and visit later.

If you are late: It's never too late, but if the "new" neighbors have been around long enough to be heading up the block association and you still haven't met, you might ask a mutual friend to make the introductions.

Tip: Prepare a file of useful local information to bring over. Downing suggests delivery menus, area maps, event calendars, and the names and numbers of the best dry cleaner and plumber.

Sending a Get-Well Card or Flowers
Aim to:
Send it as soon as you hear that the person is not well. If she is having surgery or some other short-term treatment, send your card after the procedure.

If you are late: Mail a card that says you've been thinking about the person, and apologize for not contacting her during the illness.

Tip: If you don't know what the person's condition is, try to contact friends or family before sending anything. If the person's health is deteriorating quickly, a get-well card might not be appropriate.

Sending a Condolence Note
Aim to:
Get it there within a few days of the funeral. "You don't want to drag it out for the family," says Crane's Stationery spokesman Peter Hopkins. "People need to start recovering."

If you are late: If you're late writing the note, explain that you've had difficulty expressing your feelings on paper.

Tip: Flowers are not always welcome. The family might prefer a donation to a charity in the deceased's name. (Check with the funeral home.) If donations are requested, make one within two months.

Hosting a Bridal Shower
Aim to: Throw the shower about two months before the wedding, says Los Angeles wedding planner Mindy Weiss. This allows the bride to send thank-yous before the final wave of wedding preparations.

If you are late: Don't be. If you're not up to the responsibility of planning the shower, pass it off to someone who is.

Tip: Without burdening her with details, ask the bride-to-be about her expectations concerning gifts, games, food and drink, and whether men should be included.

Sending a Wedding Gift
Aim to:
Send a gift to the bride's home before the wedding. "You do not have a year to send a wedding gift," says Peggy Post, author of Emily Post's Etiquette 17th Edition ($26.50, amazon.com). "That is a myth."

If you are late: Etiquette rules are rules. But, honestly, newlyweds (and even two-year-weds) are always pleasantly surprised by a thoughtful, albeit late, gift. And the bride has probably heard the one-year "rule," too.

Tip: If you send the wedding gift too early, it may be mistaken for an engagement or shower gift. Wait until you receive the wedding invitation.

Hosting a Baby Shower
Aim to:
Host the shower four to six weeks before the due date. Consult with the mother-to-be about timing: Some women, due to health complications or religious custom, prefer to wait until after the child is born.

If you are late: If a shower is delayed so long that the baby is already teething, consider offering to help out with an open house for the newly enlarged family, or to host a first-birthday party.

Tip: In the past, baby showers were held for first babies only. Today showers for second- and third-borns are more common, with gifts often focusing more on the mother than on the practical needs of a newborn.

Sending a Gift for a New Baby
Aim to:
Get a gift to the house within three weeks of the birth, or bring it over the first time you see the baby. If you already gave a baby-shower gift, you don't have to send a second present.

If you are late: "Select something that can be used by the growing child," says Downing. Or give a gift card that lets the parents choose exactly what they need and spares them the hassle of store returns.

Tip: Check in with the new parents around the five-week point. By this time, the phone calls have died down and reality (and shell-shocked exhaustion) is setting in. Talking to an adult may be a treat.

Sending a Birthday Card or Gift
Aim to:
Get it there a few days before or after the birthday. Try to be timely with gifts for kids, who may be less understanding than adults about late gifts.

If you are late: Send the gift anyway. In your card, write something like "It took a lot longer than I thought to find the perfect present," suggests Hopkins.

Tip: When you jot down a birthday on your calendar, make a note to send the card or gift five days before, or set the alarm on your PDA.

Giving a Housewarming Gift
Aim to:
Bring a gift the first time you're invited over, or send one when you receive the change-of-address mailing. If you know there will be a housewarming, you can wait to deliver your gift then.

If you are late: Don't worry about it. "Housewarming gifts are not obligatory," Post says.

Tip: "Don't give someone a gift before she moves," Post says. "That's one more thing she'll have to pack."

Returning a Phone Call
Aim to: Return a business call the same day. "Anything past 24 hours is too late for most people in business," Bremer says. Downing recommends that you return personal calls within two days.

If you are late: Apologize with a simple "I'm sorry." Avoid explanations unless you have a very good excuse.

Tip: If you don't have time for a long conversation with a friend who has left a message, send an e-mail saying when you will call back.

Returning an E-mail
Aim to: Respond to business e-mails within 48 hours. (Any later than that is bad for your image at work.) Try to show friends the same courtesy. Make sure to use the automatic out-of-office reply when you're away.

If you are late: "If you know you can't respond in a timely fashion, at least send an e-mail to say you're in a time crunch and will get back to the person as soon as you can," Bremer suggests.

Tip: Complex instructions―or anything that might trigger a lot of back-and-forth messages―may be better dealt with over the phone.

Staying at a Friend’s Home
Aim to: The "fish and guests stink after three days" rule is useful, but close friends may want you for a longer time. Stick to the original dates, even if they insist you stay longer, says Downing.

If you are late: If unavoidable events prevent your leaving on time, offer to take your hosts to dinner so you can relieve them of cooking duties.

Tip: Don't show up with unexpected guests. If you're not sure who's invited, ask politely.

Sending a Thank-You Note
Aim to: Mail it within two days of receiving a gift, being a guest at someone's home, or enjoying any other act of kindness. Notes for holiday and wedding gifts can wait until the frenzy of the event ends.

If you are late: "Write a thinking-of-you note instead," says Hopkins. Mention that you still recall the wonderful dinner or that you've been enjoying their gift.

Tip: A job-interview thank-you note should be mailed the same day, Bremer says.

photo above by Joe Scafuro

FREE STATIONERY! Calling all brides!

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If you are a bride I have worked with... through Emily Ley Paper or Goodpaper (for monograms, invitations OR any other piece for your wedding) ... I would be so delighted if you would give me a review on Project Wedding and/or Wedding Wire. All brides who complete these for me by this Friday and email me to let me know (info@ilovegoodpaper.com) will receive a set of personalized stationery FREE! 8 cards and envelopes with your name. Be sure to include your address in your email! :)

My plan is to have these pages up and running when the site launches in January. A Wedding Wire link will be posted next week! MANY many thanks!

Just click HERE to be taken to the correct page to write a review.

Project Wedding vendor reviews  Wedding Dresses, Wedding Photographers, Wedding Songs, Wedding Ideas, Bridal Showers

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Goodpaper Holiday Photo Cards


The Goodpaper Holiday Photo Cards are up in the Etsy shop! I've been beyond productive the past few days - spending 4 days in Goodpaper Bootcamp (as I've thoughtfully named it) to make things HAPPEN! Happy Friday!

Words to Live By

Over the past few months, my thoughts on business, work-life balance and ambition have been changing. Thanks to bloggers like these and the book “The Four Hour Work Week,” I’ve found that my attention is turning to “making things happen” and “being good at what I know.” Sometimes, it’s so easy to get lost in the details that we miss the big picture day-to-day.

For instance, I am relentlessly trying to figure out QuickBooks. Connecting PayPal to QuickBooks has proved to be one-hellufa-nightmare. (PS: this is a call for advice, would love to know if you’ve made this work). I spend so much time sorting through transactions and matching them to my chart of accounts that I am pulling valuable time away from what I need to be working on… putting finishing touches on the Goodpaper Wedding Collection for the new website. So finally, I decided to stick to what I “know” and am “good at” and hired an accountant to work with me. We’ll meet for our first time on Friday and continue to meet quarterly to make sure I have my act together.

As a small business, it’s costly to “outsource,” but I’ve found that you have to decide how much you value your time. For me, I value it more than teaching myself QuickBooks :)

Above and beyond the idea of outsourcing what you’re “not good at” is the simple thought (thanks, Dad, for this great quote) we “work to live and don’t live to work.” Remember that your work should be your passion, but shouldn’t drive your life. The Four Hour Work Week suggests that we should remove ourselves from the parts of our business that we aren’t absolutely needed in – and focus on that which drives success and thus drives our own happiness. I, all too often, find myself living to wake up at 6am… and work til midnight. For me, it’s a means to an end – when Goodpaper will be successful enough to support itself. But I also remind myself that besides a business owner and designer, I’m a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister… and those roles are even more important. As strange as it may sound, those first two exist to support the later.

All in all, remember to spend your days “making things happen” and “being good at what [you] know.” Your passion should drive your happiness without ruling your life. "Balance" is never truly found... it's a constant shifting of commitments from side to side as priorities change all in an effort to remain upright :)

Etsy Tips

Much to my amazement, one of my Goodpaper monograms was featured on the front page of Etsy AGAIN today! This makes twice this month! I chaulked the first feature up to “luck” and kept going about updating Etsy as usual, but after this feature – decided I’d give it some more thought. A few Etsy friends have asked me what I’ve been doing differently? Well.. a few things are key (or so I’m believing at this point)…

RULE #1 :: Make sure your shop reflects your brand and is clean, clear and concise. The Goodpaper brand is very simple and I’ve tried to make my shop reflect that sense of “white space” and minimalism. The introduction contains only what needs to be there – most importantly, links to my website, blog and email address (these get used frequently by visitors).

RULE #2 :: Take REALLY good photos. Invest in a good camera.
I changed all my photos out just before the first front page feature. I think this helped a lot. Clear photos (where the whites look white, not gray… I've found lightboxes dont help this... only natural, direct sunlight) are so important. Here's a good tutorial. Again, I’ve tried to make these as clean as possible. A few months ago, I bit the bullet and invested in a real Rockstar camera – my Canon Rebel XSi with a Macro lens (this is perfect for photographing text and small details). I love this camera and have found shooting in natural sunlight is key.

RULE #3 :: Update and renew items regularly.
I try and add to my shop pretty regularly, but it doesn’t always happen. Most importantly, I try and renew at least 3 items (including one best-seller) every morning. This keeps my items showing up on the “newly listed” feed (also on front page) and shows them early in searches.

RULE #4 :: Be kind and courteous even with outlandish requests. I’ve gotten a few crazy convo’s on Etsy the past few months… buyers asking for me to design logos for free, asking me to copy other designer’s monograms, asking for 3 for the price of one. Even though I can’t help these buyers, I make sure to point them in the right direction and thank them for coming my way J

Best of luck to all you Etsy’ers! New Etsy items to come in the next few months including wedding pieces, Christmas photocards, new monograms and LOTS of personalized stationery!

Font Love

As you may already know... I have a small... well, large... obsession with fonts. I just can't help myself sometimes. It's sort of out-of-control. My Fonts is perhaps, my favorite Font site - but there are quite a few other sites that offer free fonts. Some of them are really great and offer some pretty great fonts. Here are a few of my favorite font sites as well as a few really pretty FREE fonts for your DIY projects!



Our Anniversary Weekend

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We're back! Indian Rocks was a great trip. Thanks to our friends Jeff & Lisa for letting us stay in their beautiful condo for the weekend! It was so nice just to get away and talk about the past year. It's been such an adventure and so much fun. I must say... I'm the luckiest girl in the world to be married to my best friend.


Bryan, who isn't one for big surprises, pulled out all the stops this weekend. When we arrived at the condo, we changed and went to dinner at Conch Republic. It was really good... then afterwards, we grabbed a bottle of wine and headed back to the condo. When we walked in, Bryan led me to the kitchen and started talking about how bad our cake topper tasted (attention brides :: it's gross). We had attempted to taste it the day before and gave up when we decided it tasted like licking the inside of an ice maker. Bryan opened the condo fridge door and surprised me with my ABSOLUTE favorite... peanut butter chocolate Wright's cake. I promise we did NOT eat as much as it looks like... the poor cake slid off it's board inside the box and squished part of it... :( If you're anywhere in South Florida... you have to come to Tampa and visit Wright's Deli. Their cakes weigh about 20lbs (and probably put that much on your hips) and are the best around.

After I got over my giddiness over his surprise, he pulled out a little box and gave me a beautiful diamond ring that matches my wedding band. Now I have one on each side of my engagement ring.... one from our wedding day and one from our 1 year anniversary. I teared up big time. Photos to come! :)

One Year Anniversary

.Bryan and I are off to Indian Rocks Beach to get away for our one-year anniversary on Sunday. The best year of my life... with my best friend. Have a great weekend everyone!

Good Blogs

I've been blogging for years now... but my blogging started as personal and lengthy and has, with the "birth" of my business, morphed into something more succinct and "hot topic" -ish. My undergraduate degree is in English Writing (Masters is in Public Administration, randomiknow) so I've always had a passion for literature, reading, writing and sharing my thoughts - as random as they seem to be sometimes.

Lately, I've been drawn to blogs about business, social-networking, new-media and fashion. I love story-telling blogs also. And most of all, I love blogs that update frequently and have really great photos. Two keys to succesful blogs, if you ask me. I wanted to share with you a few of my most favorite blogs... the ones I check throughout the day - even when I should be more focused on other things. Cant wait for the unveiling of the "goodpaper" blog in January... mmmm goodness!

Lara Casey - All Business
A Rockstar in her field, social-media expert and overall joyful person - and from my hometown of Pensacola.

Style Me Pretty - Backstage
We all know and love SMP, but check out Abby's newest Blog - "Backstage" where she tells the stories behind her business, her day-to-day life and even her history as an invitation designer. Love it.

Meg Baisden Photography
Not only super good friends of mine, but real innovators in the world of photography. Check out Fusion Media also. If you're getting married, call them. All the cool kids do ;)

Sarah + Abraham
A very sweet small business owner whose had great success. Her blog offers great advice and frequent updates on her company.

DesignSponge - Biz Ladies
Super resource for women business owners - not to mention trend-watching.

Jack & Izzy
Another super sweet designer. Her blog tells a great story of a new business growing...

Sarah Jane Studios
One of the most inspiring stories of a small business owner taking over the world with her lovely artwork. my future child [one day... hold your horses]'s nursery will be decked out in Sarah Jane goodness

The Business of Being Creative
For the business side of us creative types - Sean Low is the brainchild behind the success of Preston Bailey. Read him. Follow him.

Zen Habits - Simple Productivity
Love this. Sanity = simplicity for me.

ETSY Storque - Quit Your Day Job
One of my newest favorites. Follow Etsy'ers as they tell their stories of turning their hobbies and dreams into full time jobs. One can dream...

GOOD DEAL :: 125 INVITES FOR $200

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In honor of the Fall weather that's coming (and bringing so many beautiful Fall weddings!) I'm offering one set of 125 ivory, square invitation sets for $200. This includes the following:
  • Ivory square envelopes with return address printed on back flap
  • Ivory square invitations
  • Ivory response cards with return address printed on front
  • Ivory response cards
  • Printed on extremely heavy, soft textured paper with textured, matching envelopes
To purchase: email Emily at emily@ilovegoodpaper.com ASAP! First come first serve!

Gorgeous Letterpress Invitations

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So excited to share my latest letterpress invitation suites. I just finished these beautiful invitations for a big Southern wedding in Mississippi. These are definitely in my top 5 favorites!

The paper behind the invitations will be used for envelope liners. The stock is Arturo - see the deckled edges? Gorgeous.

Etsy Tuesdays

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I've just realized that my biggest days for sales on Etsy are Tuesdays. How interesting! According to my Google Analytics, a good 60% of my correspondence and sales from my shop all take place on the most random day of the week. I'm not really sure why this is - perhaps brides are likely to be bored at work and surfing Etsy by almost mid-week? :)