MTH2010 :: Lara's Six Month Check-in

Lara just tweeted a link to a blog post she wrote introducing MTH2010. I revisited the post and re-did the excercise... wow. Has it really been six months since MTH in Watercolor? This paragraph sticks out to me the most. In seven days, I'll be living my dream full time. Do I feel the fear. OH my goodness... I'm more excited, nervous, anxious, fearful, stoked, and in love with what I do than ever...

Read this from Lara...
Fear. Every "big" thing I've ever accomplished in my life I was terrified of at one point. Fear is the biggest thing preventing you from really making things happen. Right now, you already know the answers. You know not-so-deep down what you have to do. You just have a million excuses and fears as to why you can't get there. My job as a consultant is to hear the fear. I was a personal trainer in Manhattan for several years, during which time I learned more about self-imposed limitations than I care to share. I have heard every excuse for living an unhappy life and the truth of the matter is (and no one likes to hear this)... it's all in your head. Face real facts, not the constant mental chatter that holds you back from living the life of success you deserve. When you simply identify your fear, worlds of possibility open up.

Wow... after walking through that exercise again. Its funny how the same fears creep up every now and then, how my strengths have grown, but are remarkably the same strengths I had in December, how things have shifted a bit now that I will be running ELP full time, how many opportunities I have had since December, and how many times I've fallen on my face along the way - great risk = great reward. The more times I've tried, the more times I've both failed AND gotten it exactly right. Interesting... go here & do this.



Coming soon... a sister company from ELP. Over the past few years, I've really developed a passion for branding. That can be seen through my love for Wedding Crests, graphic design and working with other passionate business owners. Earlier this year, I started exploring my creative talents a little more by taking on a few branding clients. Over the next few weeks here and on the new blog, I'll be sharing a few of our journeys. Branding isn't just about graphic design, its about capturing feeling, emotion, stories, personalities, quirks, humor, passions and dreams. Working with branding clients, for me, is like working with brides. I find that I'm guiding and walking with them through a delicate, enormous, exciting and creative journey.

Tracy Larsen is a photographer. But not just any photographer. She's a photographer who adores children, finds joy in natural light and passion in family. She contacted me looking for a brand that reflected "love, creativity, purity and honesty in [children's] faces, letting kids do what kids do and stepping in to capture that moment, freezing time, life long memories, [strong client] relationships." Tracy's style as a person and a photographer is very natural, minimal and full of life.

The branding process (with the super secret new ELP sister company) includes three steps:

  1. Discussion: We talk about your company, why you got started, why you do what you do, what you love most and least about it. We talk about you, your story, your personality, your passion. This allows me the chance to get to know you - to answer your questions and get to the heart of your brand.
  2. Color Palette & Inspiration Board: We gather any images you may be saving or may have tagged as ones you really identify with. Pairing any of these images with others that may fit the aesthetic we have in mind, I present three inspiration boards to you. These boards, like the one above, are full of captivating photos based on our discussion (as well as photo sources). For Tracy, I started with HER own photos - pulling the character, personalities and color from within. We refine and perfect these until we have a board and palette that are truly representative of your brand and most importantly, of you. (See Tracy's finalized Inspiration Board, Color Palette and Logo above)
  3. Logo development: Next, we begin designing the logo. I'll present you with four options based on our discussion and your inspiration board. We'll refine and perfect these adding colors from your palette and design elements to bring your logo to life.
I'm so excited to watch Tracy's brand grow here and here. She's wildly talented and has a real gift for working with children. It was such a joy to help design the elements of her brand - one that really already existed within her - as a mother and a photographer. Follow Tracy on Twitter and visit her on her site and blog.
Interested in working with ELP's secret sister company? For now, before the official launch, contact me here and I'll provide all the details you need about this branding process and many other services available.


I just realized... my first day of working full time for ELP will be EXACTLY six months since I attended Making Things Happen in Watercolor. How ironic. It's also the launch date for ELP's sister company... details coming soon...

This morning, I was reading Gina Zeidler's post about how today is ironically her three year anniversary (congrats to M&G!) as well as her last day at her "day job." Tomorrow she begins a whole new life. I am so proud of her.

Monday, I read this post from Lauren Kelly. In Watercolor she had a dream about expanding beyond wedding planning - into serving couples after their "big day" as they embark on the biggest journey of their lives. Lauren has teamed up with amazing people nationwide to start Spark - a holistic retreat for married couples. I am so proud of her.

Last Thursday, as I was minutes away from telling my boss that I'd be leaving my full time job, I caught Christopher Confero on Facebook. He gave me a fabulous little pep-talk. I just adore him. Since MTH, I have witnessed someone with a heart of gold take risks and put himself out there in a way that is almost breaktaking. See here, here and here. I am so proud of him.

Valerie has pulled all of her creativeness under one hat - Southern Fete - and continues to grow her business - not to mention becoming a bride herself. It has been such a joy to watch Valerie grow. She is so kind and supportive - always first with a sweet encouraging tweet right when you need it. I am so proud of her.

While riding in a tiny cab to our hotel in NYC for the National Stationery Show, I got a text message from Lara Casey - whom I admire and respect greatly... "Just wanted to wish you all the best this weekend. I know you will knock their socks off!" How this Superwoman has time to send her encouragement at just the right time, I do not know. I appreciate Lara and Jeff so very much.

It's funny what that one little day did in my life. And I know that though I'm speaking for myself, it meant that much to everyone else in the room as well. There are so many amazing success stories - I'm leaving out tons. But I just wanted to note how much life can change when you break down walls, climb over hurdles and step outside your comfort zone.... when you live and work with passion and purpose.

Thanks to the MTH First Class. I love you ALL and am so proud of how much we've all grown as people and professionals. And our stories are just the first of MANY. Cheers to you all - here's to making BIG things happen during the second half of 2010.


My friend Jenna told me the other day... "I'm going to start calling you STELLA because you're about to get your GROOVE back." My husband took this photo of me in our backyard yesterday afternoon. What am I doing? Who knows. But I apparently thought he was pretty funny. I love this photo. It's so me. So casual, so lighthearted, so imperfect. Jeans. Long hair. Not skirt suits. Not stuffy. Life is good. And its only about to get better. More driven, more ambitious, more opportunity, more creative, more authentic. Happy weekend.


And so, it is with all the pride, nervousness and confidence in the world that I share with you all that beginning on June 21, I will be devoting my efforts, my love and my attention to ELP full time. This was a long time coming and something that has been weighing heavily on my heart for months now. I'm leaving a terrific job as a fundraiser for a Women in Leadership program for the 9th largest University in the nation. But I'm leaving this job to pursue my OWN leadership and passions - something I spoke to spectacular women about daily. ELP has reached every goal I've set for it... and then some. I'm sure I'll write a more heartfelt post later - but for now. I'm so proud. Thank you so much for all of your love, your encouragement, your prayers and your support.