So inspired by simple, clean colors in natural settings. And what's an inspiration board without a little inspiration from one of my favorite authors. Its safe to say most, if not all, of the ELP Wedding Collection was inspired by images like these.

Image Credits (from top left):
NYC kitchen featured on House Beautiful
Spring tablescape from Pottery Barn
Beautiful, classic wedding on Style Me Pretty
Wooden sign designed by Chocolate Butterbean


I've added sets of 24, 50 or 100 to the Wish Upon a Wedding Personal Stationery sale. Each set comes with personalized notecards and coordinating envelopes (shown above) in kraft, white, chartreuse, fuchsia and pink. Return address is delicately printed across the back flap. Follow this link to be part of this contribution for an amazing cause.


I had the privilege of hearing Ariane de Bonvoisin speak yesterday at the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction luncheon. It was my second time hearing her speak – and she moved me even more yesterday than the first time. Ariane held a top corporate job managing a $500 million venture capital fund at the age of 30. She was making great money and was miserable. So one day, her “inner microphone” said to her “Ariane… get out.” And she did.

She left her high paying, miserable job in search of the “thing” that fired her up. She travelled Europe (she was born in NYC, but is part Belgiun and part English) – and went on to visit all 7 continents. During her adventure, she started to realize how much she was changing – all because of this change she’d made in her life. So she spoke to everyone she met about just that – change. She asked people who had experienced incredible, miraculous changes what the best thing that came out of that change was. And she asked the same question of people who’d lost loved ones. The good and the bad. She compiled the lessons she learned in her book “The First 30 Days.” But two stories she told yesterday really struck a chord with me.

A group of five year old students were each given one marshmallow. They were told they could do whatever they wanted to with it. But if they waited five minutes before eating it, they’d receive a second marshmallow. 90% of the kids ate their marshmallow. 5% licked their marshmallow :)  and 5% waited with marshmallow in hand for the second marshmallow. The group of kids who didn’t eat their marshmallow received a second one. And that group was tracked for the next 35 years. Without a shadow of a doubt – that group was wildly more successful than the group who ate their marshmallow.

Patience – and the realization that your greatest accomplishment or opportunity – that which you LONG for – could be just five minutes around the corner – can play a huge role not just in your business, but in your life in general. Emily’s greatest life lesson. Perhaps one day I will fully learn this :)

Ariane talked about how woodpeckers choose a tree. And every day they go back to the tree and peck away. Everyone else looks at the woodpecker and says ‘Crazy woodpecker, what are you doing day after day.” But the woodpecker keeps pecking, monotonously and with dedication. One thing’s for sure – their beak hurts every night. Another thing’s for sure… one day, that tree falls. And everyone else says “Look what that woodpecker did.”

The moral here? Never give up. Even when it feels monotonous. Keep pecking. And don’t eat your marshmallow just yet.


Philanthropy, and the idea of "paying it forward" is very, very special to me. For many reasons. While enjoying dinner with Lara, Jeff and Sandi in Atlanta for MTH2010, we discussed the passion behind Emily Ley Paper... the reason I do what I do - where this brand came from. Undeniably, the idea of paying it forward was a common thread in the stories I told. I love to teach and share - but most importantly, I have to know that the product I'm producing, the relationships I'm building - there is a deeper meaning behind them all.

So in an effort to pay it forward - to the industry that has welcomed Emily Ley Paper with open arms since the very beginning - I'm offering a special sale :: Boxed Personalized Stationery (each including 100, 50 or 24 notecards paired with coordinating envelopes) are available HERE at a special price. Only 40 available.

30% of the sale price from each set will benefit an organization whose mission is unbelievably important and very special. Following the lead of the Make A Wish Foundation, Wish Upon a Wedding was created to grant the dreams of couples facing terminal illness. Having been a fundraiser for Covenant Hospice, this mission is incredibly dear to me. I've held the hands of those facing the inevitable and witnessed their PURE grace and sheer courage firsthand. To be able to make the dream of the most important day of their lives come true - well... that is a privilege.

Click here to be part of this contribution.
Click here to learn more about Wish Upon a Wedding.


Every now and then I'm going to post a quote and a photo of me that catch me right where I am. Have you ever read something that just stopped you in your tracks. My mom sent this to me today. She must have known I needed it.

"Do not wait; the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." - Napoleon Hill

"When you regularly take continuous action toward your most important goals, you activate the
Momentum Principle of success. This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going."

Moms are the best. Especially mine.


Hello!? Chocolate covered cheerios? Seriously? My little Southern heart just skipped a beat. See, we put chocolate (and butter) on well... everything. And I'm a serious Cheerios junkie. I eat them every day. Sometimes twice. Only the plain kind. But I may have just found my new favorite. Thanks Oh Joy Eats. Mmmm Mmmm.


Busy week for bridal and bridesmaids stationery! I'm working on a sale I'm going to be posting here and on the website really soon . . . to help a very special cause. Stay tuned.


How adorably cute are these business cards (if I may say so myself!) I LOVE it when I get to do design work for friends. I designed a logo and business cards for my DEAR friend Dusty. And let me just say . . . Dusty makes cupcakes. But not only does Dusty make cupcakes, but she makes cupcakes that rival anything you've ever had. She baked the pink pineapple cake that my friend, Amy, surprised me with on my birthday. I wanted to eat the entire thing. Her cupcakes (and cakes) are absolutely delicious and ADORABLE (Dusty, should I mention your pizza too? No seriously people. Just trust me, she's probably the best cook I know. Sorry Mom) Check out her brand new blog (my favorite are the baby bottom cupcakes - how precious!) She's going to be crafting up some cupcakes for my husband, Bryan's, 30th birthday in May. I cant tell you the theme because he reads this - but just know its going to be AWESOME. I promise to share photos.


I really love orders like this. I've finally set up two more branding packages in my Etsy shop -

Logo Design & 120 Business Cards
Including unlimited revisions and all final EPS, PDF and JPEG files for you to use however you like + 120 business cards (printed on white heavy, soft textured stock)

Logo Design
Including unlimited revisions and all final EPS, PDF and JPEG files for you to use however you like

If you have questions - shoot me an email at


Integrity is, by far, the most important value to have. Not just personally, but also in business. It encompasses trust, honesty, confidence and authenticity all in one. As you know, providing TOP notch customer service (as in above-and-beyond-customer-service) is vital to your business. Integrity goes hand in hand with that concept.

Decor8 wrote an awesome post yesterday on the fact that "DIY does not mean Duplicate It Yourself." Obviously there are copy-cats out there. People who lack that integrity and will blatantly copy your work. Has it happened to me? Yes. More than once. And not just in the "I'll borrow your designs" type of way - but in the "I'll copy things from you word-for-word" type of way. I could write you a novel about how I feel about this. Its the biggest way to short-change yourself and your clients AND damage your reputation.

But what I want to talk about in this post is something a little less intentional. Sometimes, as a new business owner, new designer, new artist - we find inspiration in the work of others. I ABSOLUTELY find inspiration in the work of other stationers, other wedding industry professionals, other big dreamers. And when you're new, it's very easy to think (or even unconsciously think) "I love how they worded their Terms and Conditions. Its very clear. I'll just borrow this line and that line..." OR to look at another artist's work and think "this is working so well for them, I could borrow this image or that image..."

And this is where integrity, and a commitment to developing your OWN brand, comes into play. Being inspired by the work of others is one thing. But being inspired by the work of others - to create something that fits, feels, or looks just as good (IE: very similar) is another thing.

I've written a lot about how I stumbled upon my own personal style. I knew in my heart what I loved, but I wanted to cater to the audience. So I designed fluffy, frilly, decorative, ornate stationery. Until one day, I decided - I don't like this. I like clean. And simple. And traditionally minimal creations. So I went with it.

Allow yourself to do that. Create, build, design until your fingers want to fall off. Mess up a thousand times so that you can whittle your way down to your OWN personal style. And this doesn't just apply to designing - but to writing your copy, choosing your equipment, etc.

All of this to say - always reach out for help. Ask those you look up to for tips and advice. Always admire the work of others. But if you don't let your OWN personal brand and personal style come out - you'll have nothing to stand on - you'll have no brand. Integrity is the glue that holds your brand, your personality, your customer service, the quality of your work, and your potential - all together.


This is my favorite set of stationery in my favorite ink and envelope color pairing. So simple and organic yet so full of personality.


It comes. It goes. You're up. You're down. Momentum is hard to get and keep going. Over the past few months, I've felt crazy momentum at times and NONE at others. Its important to figure out WHY it goes away and HOW to get it back . . .


I'm writing a monstrosity of a blog post thats been on my heart for a while now. In the meantime, I like photos :) This is some of my recent work - all thermography.


A little sneak peak of my completely remodeled studio. Once its all put together and the new blog is live, we'll be showing it all off! Its very simple, classic, natural, DIY, useful and well... pretty.

I love it in here.


I originally titled this post “Not every day is going to be the best day ever.” (This picture here… I remember feeling like it was the best day ever. On Pensacola Beach. One of my favorite places on Earth. With one of my favorite people in the world)

My days seem to go from AMAZINGLY-SING-IT-FROM-THE-MOUNTAINTOPS-AWESOME to RIDICULOUSLY-GO-BACK-TO-BED BAD. My lack of patience while making things happen and commitment to continuing the momentum of the first part of the year keep me pushing through the later. I’m learning that the worst place for me to be is stagnant. Working with many different professionals to organize projects and build ELP sometimes presents the challenge of waiting on three things at once – things that take time to perfect. In another post, I mentioned how much attention I pay to the end product rather than the destination. As an stationer, that’s my job – to be wholeheartedly concerned with the end product, the quality and perfection of my finished pieces. It’s also important to pay attention to the journey there. To pay attention to customer service and to thoughtfully answering questions and guiding my brides along the way. That is as big a job (and just as important if you ask me) as the destination (or final pieces) themselves. Not only does a good experience build loyal clients/customers who will 1) come back to work with you again and 2) refer you and your services to others, but it helps your company grow at a good speed.

I’ve never advertised. Not a bit. All of my clients have come to me via Etsy and referral. I love working with each one. I love building trust with them so that they come back to ask me questions about invitation assembly, calligraphy referrals, post-wedding thank you notes and baby announcements. (Yep, had a few of those!) What a joy to walk with each client throughout their journey. Kind of like a photographer (especially my dear photographers) walks with you capturing the special moments throughout your life. My photographers have taken my 1) engagement shots 2) wedding shots 3) business headshots 5) product photos and 5) will [ONE DAY] take maternity and family photos as well. That kind of trust is irreplaceable. I love that relationship and enjoy building it with my clients.

That brings me to my struggle this week. Wholesale vs. retail.

I adore working with my clients. I also enjoy the business of the business – building relationships within the industry, talking with boutiques interested in selling the ELP stationery and wedding collections directly to THEIR customers, marketing my brand. Whitney English encouraged me to exhibit at the National Stationery Show in NYC for this very reason – to build a wholesale base. The wholesale side of the stationery business is much different than the retail. It excites me to no end. But just as I focus 100% of my energy into one thing at a time, I feel a pull in two directions. 100% to two sides is hard. Lara Casey, in my opinion, is a master of multitasking. She manages people, a mirage of businesses and a personal relationship with everyone she comes in contact with. How she does it, I don’t know. One of the four thousand reasons I admire and learn so much from her. I'm learning lately that just as its important to base your personal brand on your heart and soul and WHY you do what you do. Its equally as important to base your business model on those factors as well. Secrets to a strong foundation.

So in hashing out the ELP business model a bit, I’ve decided to make a few small changes to the website (coming later), begin building ELP Wedding Collection albums and continue to build my custom design/branding and custom stationery/invitations clientele. It’s very exciting and there are some things in the works that I cannot wait to share with everyone.

Morale of the story? Hard business decisions are just that = hard. They’re important and big because they can be game changers. But make them and go full steam ahead. Remember how lucky you are to be able to make the hard, big, game changing decisions. Big decisions are opportunities for greatness.


I’ve been a bad blogger lately. Mostly because I’ve been holding off on a few post ideas until my new blog is ready. (Holy awesomess, cant wait to share the new design AND get to WordPress).

This week was a crazy week. Last weekend we took the plunge and completely redid my studio. I cant even begin to express what that did for me, my brand and my creativity. I now work in a space that is totally ELP. We got rid of every piece of furniture, a few doors, added shelving, bought some antique Craigslist goodness, painted every square inch, added hardwood floors, DIY’d our hearts out AND planned a trip to an awesome local flea market for treasures this weekend. Would you even believe we found a silver pineapple to adorn the letterpress table? Awesomesauce. I know you want to see photos, but you’ll just have to wait! So many exciting posts ready for the new blog.

Wednesday, I had a great conversation with Whitney English about the stationery industry, the inner workings of wholesale relationships and the National Stationery Show. (Photos above are booths at the NSS from Pink Loves Brown and Whitney English). That conversation was fabulous and sent my head a-spinning. ELP continues to change and grow, but I’m feeling very good about some new directions we’re about to head in. More details to come when its all ready to share.

The thought of the National Stationery Show really made me stop and think. I’d planned to exhibit in 2011 – but Whitney said something to me that I think I will always remember... "Just be there. Get out there and have a presence." I spend so much time trying to perfect things (there’s that dang word again…) She encouraged me to take the leap and exhibit at THIS YEAR’S National Stationery Show. I spent the next twelve hours on the phone with the NSS, adding up AMEX and Delta rewards points, rallying my Mom and best friend, Taylor, to get ready for a NYC trip in 10 weeks. And yesterday I found out, the NSS booths I was looking at… are sold out.


MOVING ON! While it was an incredible idea and something I totally would have made happen – it wasn’t meant to be quite yet. What that whirlwind twelve hours did for me was lit a spark under me to really delve into the world of wholesale. And take an interesting look at my business model and my true goals for Emily Ley Paper. Have I got it all figured out yet? Not quite. But the wheels are spinning and I’ve been fortunate enough to be mentored by some of the best of the best. The benefit of having a brand that I’m proud of and a “mission statement” that never changes – is that I can have something to measure these big ideas and hard-big-picture questions against. Does this fit ELP and my commitment to authenticity and top-notch quality? Is this idea for a refined focus for my collection and an expansion into more options right for a brand dedicated to classic Southern design?

Blogging is like therapy. I figure things out when I write. And right now, after writing and re-reading that last paragraph, I am thankful for a few things:

1) I’m thankful to have mentors who are generous, encouraging and most of all – HONEST.
2) I’m thankful that I dedicated the time, money and HEART to developing a brand representative of ME.
3) I’m thankful that I have a mission statement for ELP – that is never changing – something solid and strong that is the foundation upon which every decision is made.

Food for thought. Happy weekend!