This is Part 5 of the Meet The Maker series!
To learn more and start at Part 1, please click here.
Links to all other parts of this series can be found at the bottom of this post.

DAY 25 | HOW IT’S MADE: Every card starts with brush lettering that I do by hand with a brush pen on paper—it’s not a font! But to keep my fingers from falling off and to be able to mass produce, I digitize and vectorize the lettering so that I can print it out. Here’s an example of what the process looks like at each stage:⁣

1) This is an image of the original lettering I did. I took a photo of it, cleaned it up in Photoshop by removing the background and saved it as a PNG file.⁣

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2) This image shows what the lettering looks like after I open it in Illustrator and turn it into vector art. I use the Live Trace – Make and Expand function in Illustrator (swipe to see a photo where you can see all the vector points) to do this. I then go in and adjust all the points until the lettering is smooth. There are tools in the program to help with this like the Smooth Tool but I find that nothing gets it as good as going in manually to adjust. Yes, this part of the process can be tedious! But I’ll usually put music/a podcast on or catch up on The Voice or a TV show I can just listen to while I do this.⁣

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3) This last image shows the final lettering that I use on the card–everything is smoothed out and I can resize it and create the layout with it now! ⁣

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DAY 26 | SELF CARE: Going to Bounce Society’s trampoline workout classes has been my form of self care the past few years! I never thought I’d say that in a million years bc I worked out zero before going and after my very first class was over, I felt a mix of wanting to throw up and feeling like I was going to die—it is hardcore! But the more I went the more I realized how much better I felt, physically and mentally, after each class and I love going now! Every time I step up on a tramp is a chance to get better and stronger.⁣

It can definitely be hard to find an activity that works for you and then find the time and motivation to go do it, but I think it’s something we need to make a priority because we have to take care of ourselves too!⁣

I have also felt that staying active is important, especially since I’m no spring chicken anymore lol Instead of dreading getting older, I want to look forward to it and be the strongest I’ve ever been at 35, at 40, at 45, etc! What does your form of self care look like?⁣

PS: Local friends, classes are in Costa Mesa if you’d like to join me

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DAY 27 | ANYTHING GOES: I’m excited to share that a box of Atiliay’s card for a cause are headed to Boston to the More Than Words Bookstore!⁣⁣⁣
MTW is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. I love what they are doing and am very happy to a part of their bookstore!⁣⁣⁣
Their order provides 40 meals for The EEC and will help to find a micro-loans for a mom entrepreneur! Check them out at @mtwyouth and friends in the area, stop by!⁣

PS: If you’re interested in having Atiliay cards in your shop or space, please email me and I’ll send you wholesale info!

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DAY 28 | PACKAGING:  I mentioned in the reducing waste post that I like to keep it simple when it comes to packaging. Cards are put into clear sleeves and sealed (I’m excited to be switching to a compostable version soon) and packed in a non-bendable mailer with an info/thank you postcard. I finish each package with washi tape around the mailing label and they are ready to be sent off!

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DAY 29 | MOST DIFFICULT MAKE: And most difficult to photograph! One of the hardest parts was seeing the reflection of the letters and also freaking myself out with my own reflection a few times lol Honored to have been able to create this for a lovely bride and check mirror seating chart off my to do list—although this might’ve been my first and last time doing a project like this! Big props to the mirror sign makers out there!

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DAY 30 | SUPPORT: I feel super lucky to have had years of support from my friends as well as finding an awesome community of letterers and makers here on IG who have become real life friends too! My journey would’ve been so much more difficult and lonely if I didn’t have them in my life! Here are some of these special people:

Top left: My very first workshop ever! Made possible by my friend Kristen, who I’ve known since 6th grade and who also helped me at one of my very first craft shows, and her sis-in-law Nikki! This was the push and encouragement I needed to start teaching and I am very grateful!

Top right: Me and Susan–we’ve taught together, did this pop up together, I’ve bounced so many ideas off of her, and she’s been such a good listener and given me great advice. She’s also subjected to tons of long rambling texts from me whether it’s about work or reality TV. I’m always thinking, where have you been all my life!? ⁣

Bottom left: Some of my favorite makers and all around awesome women I’m so glad to know: Andrea of Luna Reece Ceramics, Jenna of The Paper Wilderness, Jackie of 3x3Inspire, and Meredith of LB Love Organics.

Bottom right: Lauree of LG Collective was the first to host my public workshops! This was one of the first ones I taught together with Susan!

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DAY 31 | PRODUCT IN THE WILD:  Here are some of my favorite shots of Atiliay’s cards for a cause and lettering out in the wild—and that’s a wrap! Thank you for reading these Meet The Maker posts and I hope it helped you get to know Atiliay and myself a little better :)

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March Meet The Maker - Day 31 -

March Meet The Maker - Day 31 -

March Meet The Maker - Day 31 -

March Meet The Maker - Day 31 -

Thank you for reading Part 5 of the Meet The Maker series! In case you missed it…


This is Part 4 of the Meet The Maker series!
To learn more and see Part 1, please click here.
Links to all other parts of this series can be found at the bottom of this post.

DAY 19 | DREAM MASH UP: I used to make custom cakes and I think it’d be so fun—and messy—to have my lettering and cake worlds collide! My favorite part about making cakes was the decorating and I think it’d be pretty yummy to letter with frosting or paint with food coloring! Might be something I’ll have to try in the near future! (Top left is a cake I made for my friend’s husband of his tattoo and bottom right is an Up inspired cake—one of my favorite movies!)

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DAY 20 | DESIGN PROCESS: Here’s a little bit more on how I created this card!⁣

* I had been wanting to add more teacher appreciation cards to my line. I thought this phrase would be perfect to gift with plants or flowers! (Anytime I get an idea I jot it down in Evernote!) ⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣* I start off every card design with quick thumbnail sketches to figure out the layout and finalize which words will be lettered and which will be printed. Sometimes I know exactly what I want but other times it takes a lot more to get the configuration right!⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣* Next, I get busy lettering! I usually do this on scrap paper with pencil until I am happy with it—if I get lucky I like what I letter in a few tries but normally I’ll do at least 15 or more versions before picking one! Then I go over it with a brush pen.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣* After that, I take a picture of it, email it to myself, and use Photoshop to clean it up and Illustrator to vectorize it.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣* Once it’s in vector form, I’ll go in and adjust as many of those little dots as I need to! It’s time consuming and can get tedious but I think this creates a really clean finished product!⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣* With the lettering done, I’ll size it and combine it with the print and layout the card in Illustrator and add the blurb for the back—and it’s done! ⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣* The last part is to print, cut, pair it with an envelope, take photos, and share it with the world! ⁣

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DAY 21 | THROWBACK: Some of the first cards for a cause I ever listed on Etsy were these stamped and stitched cards! They were truly a labor of love—each was hand stamped and hand stitched and I eventually phased them out because they were time consuming to create and I was focusing more on being able to mass produce. But as I’ve learned more about what I want from Atiliay and what kind of business I want to be, I’ve realized how much I love these cards and really miss making them…so I’ve decided to bring them back! I’ll be giving the designs a little update and will produce them in limited quantity batches throughout the year. Stay tuned or if you’re on my mailing list, you’ll be the first to know!

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DAY 22 | PROUD OF: I am proud of myself for doing this (Atiliay) and I am proud of the people I know and follow here on IG who have shared their work—even if they are scared that it’s not good enough, started or are starting their biz or Etsy shop, are trying a new hobby, or are doing whatever it may be that they feel in their heart they should do without letting fear, circumstances, or negative vibes from others get in the way! I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for taking that leap and starting, for the small wins, for the big accomplishments, and for everything in between. Let’s do that today!

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DAY 23 | TOP TIP OR ADVICE: If I could go back and tell myself something when I first started, it’d be to focus on what’s pushing my goals, dreams, and biz forward and these numbers $$ rather than focusing on social media vanity numbers. Sure, it might look great to have 1000s of followers but that doesn’t automatically mean your business is successful and on the flip side you can have 100 followers and be killing it! I think it’s more important to prioritize your limited time and when it comes to social media to ignore the numbers and keep showing up and connecting with the people who are already there supporting you!

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DAY 24 | CUSTOMERS/FEEDBACK: I am SO appreciative of every customer who has taken the time to leave a review, write an email, or my favorite–send me pics of the products they purchased next to human and furbabies! (“Grand dog”?? These are def my people!) It seriously makes my day to know that something I created has made someone happy or helped to express love and gratitude. It is also really special when people share that they connect with the cause and giving back! These are the reasons why I love doing what I do and makes all the late nights and tough times worth it!

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March Meet The Maker - Day 24 -

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March Meet The Maker - Day 24 -

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Thank you for reading Part 4 of the Meet The Maker series! In case you missed it…


This is Part 3 of the Meet The Maker series!
To learn more and see Part 1, please click here.
To read Part 2, head over here.

DAY 13 | PHOTOGRAPHY: This is where I take my photos—behind the couch in the corner of the living room that gets a lot of natural light (luckily the couch hides this so I can leave my set up there)! My background is a white foam board sitting on top of a short wood side table with extra boards to reflect light with. And I usually take pics with my iPhone. Here’s a pic of set up, final photo, and the table (it’s one of my favorite Craigslist finds from years ago!)

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March Meet The Maker - Day 13 -

March Meet The Maker - Day 13 -

DAY 14 | HOW I LEARNED: Here’s a sample of my work from when I first started learning how to letter—the page from the journal is one of my very first attempts at it! I also found an old “learn” that I lettered and it’s next to one I lettered in pencil not too long ago!⁣⁣⁣⁣
I am self taught and started by following lettering IG accounts/blogs that had tutorials and guides about 4 ish years ago. It was difficult in the beginning because I had no idea what kind of pen to use or how to hold it or what any of the rules were and it was discouraging. But I started to make progress when I⁣:⁣⁣⁣
1) Joined the #handletteredabcs challenge and practiced one letter a day⁣⁣⁣⁣.
2) Found the Zebra brush pen at Daiso and realized smaller/stiffer brush pens are more beginner friendly!⁣⁣⁣
After that it was a TON of practicing, refining, and studying letters. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
There’s still so much I want to learn which I think is one of the cool things about lettering or any art form—there’s always room to progress and grow and I’m looking forward to it!
PS: If lettering is something you’ve been wanting to try or you’ve dabbled but feel discouraged like how I did, I’d love for you to join me at a workshop if you’re in the So Cal area! I wanted to teach because I wanted to share the things I *wish* I knew when I first started and I feel like it’s one of those things that’s easier to learn face to face. (I’m also working on a workbook and videos for those of you who are not in the area!) To view workshop dates, click here for the Workshop Calendar.

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DAY 15 | MOTIVATION AND GOALS: Atiliay started out as a fundraiser and the foundation of what I do is still built on that idea—I love the thought of creating products/workshops that enable customers and attendees to easily join me in giving back! This is what motivates me and my goal is for us to continue to give back together!⁣
One of the ways Atiliay’s cards for a cause help is by funding micro loans for mom and dad entrepreneurs around the world through Because of Father’s Day cards, Atiliay was able to lend to Denis! This is his story and a photo of him with his business. ⁣

To date Atiliay has funded over 80 micro loans in over 36 countries with your help!

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March Meet The Maker - Day 15 -

DAY 16 | WORKSPACE: Here’s an old photo of my workspace at its best—see my post for Day 7 for how it actually looks most of the time! There’s also a cameo below of my two assistants, Valentine and Bernard :)

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DAY 17 | WHAT I’M WORKING ON: I’ve been working on getting wrapping paper made! It’s taken quite awhile to find a printer who will print on kraft paper and recreate the design below but I have found one and am excited to move forward in the process! Stay tuned!

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DAY 18 | MISTAKE OR LESSON: Strive for progress, not perfection–this is something I’ve learned throughout my journey and something I continue to work on. It’s easy for me to get caught up in making things “perfect” which is impossible and holds me back from getting things done! I love this quote and it reminds me to focus on progressing by finishing projects, putting my work and myself out there, and continuing to move forward!

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Thank you for reading Part 3 of the Meet The Maker series! In case you missed it…


This is Part 2 of the Meet The Maker series! To learn more and see Part 1, please click here.

DAY 7 | LESS GLAM SIDE: What can I say, I’m no Marie Kondo! In case you’re wondering, the disaster that you are looking at is part of my workspace and my desk!

⁣This is probably the realist pic I’ve ever posted lol FYI that little corner where you can actually see the table is where I put my laptop. In my defense, I’ve been doing most of my lettering and workshop prep at the dining room table which is why this has gone untouched but it’s the last big area I need to tidy up—the rest of my space is actually somewhat decent lol⁣

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DAY 8 | PRODUCT RANGE: Here’s a spread of the things I offer (top to bottom, leftish to rightish)! Stamped favor boxes, greeting cards, lettering worksheets, baby milestone cards, and brush lettering workshops. To do a little shopping or to view workshop dates, click on the link in my profile—there’s currently a little over 90 products to browse through.

Every item gives back by providing meals for The EEC Preschool & Nursery (pictured), microloans for mom and dad entrepreneurs, and vegan chili and meals for folks across the US!

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DAY 9 | STORY BEHIND THE NAME: Atiliay (Eh-ti-lee-ay) is based off the French word “atelier” meaning workshop or studio specifically for an artist or designer. I wanted a name that nobody else would have so I changed the spelling to how I think the word sounds. I also liked that the name and meaning is versatile enough that if my business were to ever evolved into something else, the name would still work. Fun fact: So far, since 2013, I have only met 1 person (at a craft show) who saw “Atiliay” and immediately knew it was a play on “atelier”! I was very impressed lol The downside of having a made up name is nobody knows if they are saying it right at first! Sorry about that!

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DAY 10 | YOU: Hello! I’m Olivia! Here’s a little bit more about me for today’s prompt…
* My current obsession is World of Dance and watching dance videos! It’s inspired me to sign up for a dance class!
* I’ve been vegan for 10 years and I love animals! A few of my fave food places: Mitasie3, Freesoulcaffe, The Donuttery, and Huglife ⁣⁣⁣⁣
* My other half is Justin who is my COMPLETE opposite! He is a full time podcaster and produces and narrates a family of podcasts called Optimal Living Daily. If you’re into self development, minimalism, and similar topics, I highly recommend them!
* I live in Irvine with my pom Valentine and 3 kitties: Makani, Jefrey, and Samone.
* The dog in this photo is Kingston who came to a workshop!
* I just started reading Wild Swans by Jung Chang and it’s been hard to put down ⁣⁣⁣⁣
* I have a fear of heights and clusters of circles (trypophobia)

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DAY 11 | REDUCING WASTE: This is definitely something I’ve been trying my best to do! Here are a few steps I’ve taken to be more eco-friendly and waste less—

* While I love intricate and beautiful packaging, I’ve kept mine as minimal as possible without a lot of extras because I feel like most of it ends up in the trash! Each order comes in a non-bendable mailer made from 100% recycled paper board by family owned company @upaknship along with an info postcard that doubles as a thank you note.⁣
* I recently saw that ClearBags has new eco sleeves made from plants that are compostable so I’m excited to switch to those!⁣
* Anytime I have paper scraps I keep them to practice lettering on or use for other projects. And anything I can’t use anymore is recycled!

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DAY 12 | HANDS AT WORK (This photo is part of the DIY Calligraphy Wrapping Paper Tutorial Post!)

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Thank you for reading Part 2 of the Meet The Maker series! In case you missed it…


This March I participated in the March Meet The Maker Challenge over on Instagram! This annual challenge was created and is hosted by Joanne Hawker, a lovely designer in the UK, as a way for small businesses, makers, and creators to share more about themselves and their businesses as well as connect with fellow biz owners! Joanne creates prompts for posts for every day in March–they range from sharing your favorite product to sharing more about you as a person. I love a good challenge and have been able to complete other month-long challenges in the past so thought I’d try this one out! Since this challenge is hosted on Instagram, I wanted to share it here for anyone who may not be on that platform. I really enjoyed creating these posts and thought it was a good way for us to get to know one another–I hope you enjoy them as well! :) PS: If you are interested in taking a look at all the 2019 March Meet The Maker Prompts, click here.

DAY 1 | FAVORITE TO MAKE: It’s impossible for me to pick just one thing I like making so I wanted to share with you 2 of my favorite parts of the process 1- Adding a note and checking off the give back box on the postcard for every order and 2- Seeing a large order all packed, taped up, labeled, and ready to go! I love seeing the result of my hard work nicely wrapped up—while my desk and workspace is a mess lol

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DAY 2 | HOW YOU STARTED: South Africa > Hand carved and stamped #cardsforacause > Stamps + watercolors + stitched cards > Lettered cards > Lettered cards v2.0 > Workshops! ⁣It was nostalgic for me to see my old work and the evolution of Atiliay! This pretty much sums up my journey in one photo and I’m looking forward to what’s next! Thank you for being a part of it!

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DAY 3: FLATFLAY: You know I love a good flatlay! :) Sometimes it takes *several* tries before I am happy with the outcome (who else has about 500 pics of one shot on their camera roll??) but arranging all the items and adding props is something I really enjoy doing! I treat each workshop seat like a flatlay as well—I want each attendee to be able to see the things we’ll be using for the class as well as be excited by what’s in front of them as they sit down! PS: If you are interested in attending a workshop or hosting a private one, click here to view upcoming class dates and more details!

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DAY 4 | TOOLS & MATERIALS: Here’s a list of some of my most used/most loved tools! I did a ton of research (esp for the pricier items like printers and paper cutter) so I hope this can be useful for anyone currently looking into these items!⁣⁣

Dull no 2 pencil⁣⁣⁣s⁣⁣⁣
A variety of brush pens—my fave is the Zebra Fine Tip Brush Pen⁣⁣ (next to the pencil)⁣⁣⁣⁣
Scraps of cardstock⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
HP Premium32⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

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HP Envy Laptop⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Adobe Illustrator⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Canon iP8720 Wireless Printer⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Rotatrim Paper Cutter⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Scoring board and bone folder⁣
Brother HL-L2300D Printer (for labels/misc paperwork)⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

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iPhone SE (I hate changing phones and I like how small this one is, I don’t care if it’s old lol)⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Lumix GF5 Camera (sometimes)⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
ColorStory App⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Adobe Photoshop⁣⁣⁣

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DAY 5 | DETAILS, CLOSE UP: Here’s a close up shot of one of the sheets from my brush lettering worksheet PDFs that I recently launched! The lower and upper case b are one of my favorites to letter! If you’re interested in learning a new style with bounce and movement in it, click here to learn more about Atiliay’s Upper and Lower Case Alphabet Exemplar PDFs.

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March Meet The Maker - Day 5 -

DAY 6 | FULL OR PART TIME? I think my answer is both! I have a PT day job that I go to in the mornings then the rest of the time on weekdays and  weekends I work on Atiliay. The reason I say both is because I am never off when it comes to Atiliay–it is on my mind 24/7 and I am sure many of you can relate! Having this PT job is relatively new (it’ll be a year in May) but for the past 10 years prior I was freelancing in the fashion industry along with some other jobs in between.⁣

Real talk: I struggled A LOT with whether I should have a job outside of Atiliay or not–I knew what I had been doing wasn’t for me but I still had to feed the pups, pay bills, etc. I also knew that putting my time into 9 hour days was sucking the life, creativity, and energy out of me. But I also questioned whether I could completely support myself with my creative biz and it made me feel like I failed every time I went back to work. Can anyone else relate to this roller coaster of thoughts and emotions?!

⁣It has taken me some time to get to where I am now, but it feels like I’ve found a good balance that’s currently working for me: having some stability with a PT job while having enough time and energy to put into Atiliay. I also don’t feel that sense of failure anymore–there is no shame in having other jobs or not being FT. Everyone’s situation is different and I think there are lots of ways our creative endeavors can be structured and be successful!

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Thank you for reading Part 1 of the Meet The Maker series!


The Top 6 Things I Learned in 2018 As A Creative Entrepreneur |

I have had a lot of thoughts about this past year and I really wanted to write about them for 2 reasons: 1- so I don’t forget these lessons I have learned/to remind myself of them in case my future self needs it which I think she will and 2- in case it can help you! In this post I am listing the top 6 things I learned in 2018 as a creative entrepreneur as well as sharing my favorite podcasts and podcast episodes that have really impacted my life this year.  Although a lot of these lessons were discovered because of Atiliay and having a creative business, I think they also apply to life in general and can be relevant regardless of what your profession is. It’s not the shortest post and it’s literally taken me all day (and then some!) to write it so thank you for reading and I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me! :)

This post will cover:

  • The Top 6 Things I Learned in 2018 As A Creative Entrepreneur
    • Mindset Matters…SO FREAKING MUCH!
    • Remember Your WHY, INTENTION, and PHILOSOPHY
    • SUPPORT / Mastermind
    • Make Social Media A Positive and Happy Place For YOU
    • Make a NO LIST
    • Anything Is STILL Possible
    • Bonus: Celebrate Your WINS and Acknowledge Your STRENGTHS
  • Podcasts That Have Impacted My Life This Year
  • New Year Wishes To You!
  • Free PDFs for 2019


1. Mindset Matters…SO FREAKING MUCH!

I feel like I read and hear about mindset all the time, but it wasn’t until this past July that I feel like I TRULY understood its importance and power. It seems like every single summer (and during other times of the year too!) I get super slumpy and begin to question EVERYTHING. I lose motivation, I feel super uninspired and creatively blocked, and I start to wonder–did I make the right decisions? Is this the right path for me? Do I need a day job? Can I make a living from being creative? Will I ever feel secure if I am a creativepreneur? Do I need to pivot? What if I am not pivoting fast enough? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?

Somewhere in my own endless line of questioning myself, I stopped long enough to take a breath and put on a podcast to try to quiet my mind. I am a huge fan of podcasts! If at anytime you feel like you physically don’t want to do something (ie: I don’t want to get off the couch) or you are feeling sluggish or unmotivated mentally, stay where you are, put one on, and you’ll instantly be doing something productive (keeping in mind what you choose to listen to.)

I started listening The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes, Episode 635: High Performance Habits from Master Coaches, and it completely changed how I was thinking and feeling! By the end of the episode, my mood and attitude had switched gears. It got me curious again, I started feeling inspired, hopeful, and motivated, and it really helped me to begin to get out of that slump.

I think the most helpful thing was that there were actionable tips that I could actually implement. Even if I didn’t do something exactly as they were being described, it still gave me the basic principles so that I was able to create a version of it that worked for me. I also think it helped me to start DOING again instead of just wallowing and doing nothing. And I just don’t think you can stay in a slump when your mind is learning and growing.

At the end of the day, being a solo creativepreneur means having just one person to motivate, push forward, stay organized, and do the work–myself. If I start questioning everything and going in a downward spiral, I need to be able to pull myself back up and stop it (and the ideal situation is to not even go down that path to begin with!) If my mind isn’t strong, it’s easy to drown in that way of thinking. This is something I am still working on (I don’t think I’ll ever be done!) and while I think it’s normal and healthy to have doubts and question things, instead of just feeling slumpy, giving up, and being unproductive, I am trying to keep going, doing, and believing in myself and my pursuits.



This was also another big game changer for me during my summer slump. I was reminded of these concepts from the podcast I just talked about and this podcast episode as well.

Here is my why, intention, and philosophy I initially came up with:

I started making cards because I wanted a way to get people to help me feed kids at the EEC Preschool in South Africa! My intention has been to create a fun and easy way for others to give back with me. My philosophy is that we can all create small ways to make an impact. (I shared a little more about this over at this Instagram post.)

It’s been about 5 months since I wrote the above, and it’s still pretty accurate! I do think it will probably change and go through different iterations, but the most important thing is for me to not lose sight of it. It’s easy to in the daily hustle and bustle and grind but if there’s something I can do daily, weekly, or monthly, to center myself back to this, I think it can make all the difference.


3. SUPPORT / Mastermind

This past year I was lucky to continue my friendship with Susan of Rae + Lily (we met on Instagram almost 2 years ago) and for the past several months, we started meeting up every other Fridays and having one-on-one Mastermind meetings (or “MM” as we call it when we are texting :)). If you haven’t heard of a Mastermind or weren’t sure what they are, it’s basically a group of people who get together to brainstorm, hold each other accountable, and provide support. For us, it’s dedicated time to talk about our creative and entrepreneurial endeavors, goals, highs and lows, get advice, and bounce ideas off one another (during this time we make sure we don’t talk about other things, like Terrace House lol). It’s about an hour long and at the start of it each of us has 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to speak followed by a response from the other person and then the rest of the time we discuss whatever topics we need to.

Having these meetings have helped me SO much in SO many ways. It has kept me accountable, helped me come up with new ideas, given me answers, are fun, and I always leave each meeting with new ideas and excited to get started on them!

Besides that Susan is amazing and I just think she is so wise and I enjoy her company, I think our MM has worked for us because of a couple of reasons: we truly care about the other person and want to see them succeed, we take our MM seriously, we are able to meet up and have face-to-face time consistently, and we are in the same type of industry but have taken different paths/had different experiences/do different things (we can relate yet provide a different perspective).

If there’s someone you think would be a good fit for you and vice versa to do this with, I think you should reach out to them and schedule your first meeting! I’ve learned that having support like this is invaluable.

PS: Your MM doesn’t have to be the same as ours–you can definitely structure it differently/however you’d like!


4. Make Social Media A Positive and Happy Place For YOU

If that means unfollowing people or muting posts and stories, do it! We have all experienced the negative side of social media and what an unhealthy life-sucking black hole it can be! If people you follow are making you feel bad about yourself, making you compare, or anything that isn’t good for your mental and emotional health, stop looking at it by removing it from your feed. It’s not to say that these people are doing anything wrong or intentionally making you feel that way–it’s more about us. For example, it’s weird but there are some people I am genuinely SO happy for and then with other people, their wins make me feel so bad about myself! Stopping myself from looking at their posts has not just made me feel better but helped me focus on my own path instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing. I fully support community over competition and I also genuinely believe there is enough success for all of us, but at the same time, I don’t ever want my support for someone else to come from a place that is not genuine or fake in any way.

On the flip side of things, I try very hard not to post things that I think may make others feel badly. It’s important to celebrate our successes but I also think it’s important to pick which ones we share and how we share it.

With ALL of that said, I know I am very lucky to have found a wonderful community on Instagram! Many internet friends have become real life friends and social media has been a huge part of my journey so I am very grateful for all the positives that have come from it!

PS: Some accounts I highly recommend you follow and make me very happy whenever I see their posts: @wolfgang2242, @owenthegriff, @scruffles_fatcat@hotdudeswithdogs, @hotdudeswithkittens, and @overheardla ;)


5. Make a NO LIST

I heard about the No List on another episode of The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes, Episode 670: Building An Influential Personal Brand with Rory Vaden. A No List is exactly what it sounds like–it’s what you ‘re going to say NO to! We won’t be able to do it all and saying no to something gives us the chance to say yes to something else. I can have a hard time saying no (anyone else?), so this was a really good exercise for me that has eliminated a lot of stress and helped me stay on track.

I only had one thing on my No List in 2018 and it was to say NO TO CUSTOM PROJECTS. This might sound surprising but I decided that I want to be product and workshop based and in order to do that, I needed to stop working on custom projects (such as addressing envelopes or creating invitations or signs). Although I have loved aspects of every project I have worked on, they’d be more stress, time, and work than I had anticipated–EVERY SINGLE TIME! And accepting those jobs and sharing photos of them would only lead to more of the same work that I was trying to stay away from. This had nothing to do with my clients (who have all been amazing!) but more to do with me and what my own strengths and weaknesses are. I have found that I am much happier working this way. There are exceptions–if a dream job or custom project I was really excited about came my way, I am allowed to say “yes” to them but only because they made me super excited and not because I feel like I had to.


6. Anything Is STILL Possible

When I was younger and throughout my 20s, I completely believed that anything was possible. Like if a friend told me they were going to become an astronaut but had no previous education or training in this area, I would completely believe that it was 100% possible if they were willing to put in the work and make it happen! I also believed deep down that I had it in me to lead a different life, one that I wanted to live and to do things that would be special and leave an impact. As I got older (I am 34 now), without me realizing, that part of me slipped away and the reality of life and paying bills and being an adult set in. It’s not that I didn’t believe this anymore, but I just kind of forgot about the magic of possibility I had believed in so strongly before. I recently remembered this and realized that I shouldn’t let that part of me/way of thinking slip away!  I truly do believe that no matter how young or old we are or how whatever, anything is still possible if we really want it! This also goes back to mindset and truly believing in yourself!

I think this quote sums up pretty well how I feel: “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” — Charles Bukowski


BONUS: Celebrate your WINS and acknowledge your STRENGTHS

Most people don’t do this enough, myself included! I am sure there were SO many things we all accomplished these past 365 days but the things that pop into mind is what we HAVEN’T done. So this is a reminder to celebrate all the amazing things you have achieved and all the things you are capable of doing in the days to come. In the same vein, don’t forget to acknowledge your strengths. Instead of thinking “I wasn’t this” or “I wasn’t that”, acknowledge and celebrate the strengths you possess that have helped you get through tough times and allowed you to be where you are today!

A few of my wins for the year was teaching almost 50 workshops and I am really proud of some of the freebie PDFs I have included in my newsletter this year. And because of the workshops, I’ve realized that one of my strengths is being able to make people feel welcome and comfortable and it’s something I’d like to do more of in the future!




Here are my favorite podcasts and episodes that have helped shape my year:

And some other podcasts I love:



How has the past year been for you? What are some lessons you have learned? What are your dreams and aspirations for 2019? I’d love to hear! I also wanted to take this time to thank you for being here, for your time, and for your support–it really means so much to me. I am excited for what the new year holds and wish you lots of happiness, love, laughter, and success in the days to come! Happy New Year!



I have created 3 different PDFs to use for the new year and I wanted to share them with you! I have found in addition to everything that I mentioned above that writing things down and getting my thoughts on paper help me stay organized and help me keep my eye on the prize, whatever that may be! The 3 freebie downloads I have created are:

  • The Hello 2019 is a PDF is an overview and outline of your year
  • The Habit Tracker is a tool to be used daily to create new habits or maintain the ones you have
  • The Mindset and Goals PDF is for you to organize your thoughts and goals on a monthly basis

If you’d like to use one or all of them, all of these PDFs (along with an entire library of free downloads) are available to my newsletter subscribers. I know how many emails we all get so I try to send just 1-2 emails each month to keep in touch and share things I think may be helpful! If you’d like to get on the list and receive these along with new PDFs every month as well as news and more, sign up for my newsletter by clicking here: