Amber Housley

Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers Feature

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Martha stewart dreamers into doers doer of the week

I’d be crazy if I didn’t tell you how loud I squealed in delight when I read the email from the editor of the Martha Stewart online community, Dreamers Into Doers, and that I would be an upcoming weekly featured “Do’er.” I was in the middle of a cafe in Sewannee, Tennessee, and the first time with internet service after our fun Father’s Day Weekend in the Georgia mountains.

 

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I am SO PROUD of this accomplishment and the opportunity to have my name associated with the Martha Stewart brand. Her huge empire of businesses is SO inspiring to me. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than encouraging other women to follow their dreams and build a business – whether big or small. The Dreamers Into Doers community represents all that and more. The women highlighted are crazy talented and smart and I feel humble to join their ranks and share my story of building my business over the last 5 years.

Right after I got the news of the feature, I went to my Making Things Happen Atlanta Alum group to share the news. It is fun reading this back from a few weeks ago and I thought I’d share it with you all. Maybe it will give you the encouragement you are needing to do something you haven’t acted on just yet.

Hello all – this past week, I realized both the meaning of these quotes “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” and “you’ll never know unless you just ask.” I was ready to launch my new site a few weeks ago, but something in my gut was saying it wasn’t right, it wasn’t ready. 

During this time, some an opportunity came up to be featured/profiled on popular wedding business blogsite, but instead of replying to it, I ignored it. I made the excuses to myself, “it isn’t the right time…my site isn’t ready. my blog isn’t ready…” It was as if I was telling myself the stars all had to be perfectly aligned with my branding, my business before I was capable of sharing, “look at me, this is what I do, I love what I do and I do it well.” 

Also, on my list of business goals is to one day be featured as a “Dreamer Into Doer” on the Martha Stewart website, but I had never applied. (The bigger part of this is the Dreamers each year are invited to the Martha Stewart offices to meet editors, see behind the scenes, attend workshops, meet Martha, and attend a show taping). I’d just get the emails each week of the new person being featured, and I think, “wow someday that would be great.” What the heck was I waiting for?!? 

So finally, rather than sit around and wait, I made a few tweaks to what I did have. I went ahead and updated my profile pictures across all platforms with new headshots, I made some minor text updates, new splash images. And of course, I finally nominated myself for a Dreamer Into Doer. Four days later, an editor contacted me and I going to be featured in an upcoming Dreamer Into Doer. (insert high-pitched squeal) I also finally finished that business interview and I’ll be profiled in the coming weeks. Some other opportunities are popping up all over the place. The point of all this sharing? I ask you, What are you waiting for?? Is there something you’ve been holding back on? The only thing you’re wasting right now is time… :) 

I was at a cross-roads for taking the next steps for my business a few months back. I know very well that businesses do not reap the rewards of new branding overnight, but all the changes and branding strategies I was dreaming up started to hold me back under the weight of: it ALL had to be done NOW. The huge monster of to-do’s kept me from tackling very things I was certainly capable and deserving of, right at this moment. Just as I am today.

And I have to share with you, I’m in an AWESOME place. Seriously. I listened to my gut, held off on the new branding and now coming out with something totally better than before this Fall.

And even though my shell is still in it’s ‘awkward’ state, they called anyway. ;)

Click here to read my business journey thus far: http://dreamers.marthastewart.com/pages/doer-of-the-week-amber-housley

A year ago today: Nashville Carnival Wedding

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A year ago today, I was wrapping up the details for Carli and Spence’s carnival themed reception at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Carli and Spence were married in a private ceremony in Hawaii, and then came back to Nashville to throw a really fun, really creative – okay who am I kidding here – SUPER AWESOME! – reception for their friends and family in Nashville.

So awesome was the affair, that it was featured as one of the Top 20 Weddings of 2010 by the readers of Style Me Pretty. Huge, huge honor! You can see more here: Style Me Pretty Best of 2010 Magazine

Carli, Spence and Spence’s mom, Theresa, were a dream to work with! So many creative ideas and special touches they wanted to include. The whole event is truly an exact reflection of them. Carli has a great eye for design and I’m really excited to share that she is working alongside me at Sweet Life Designs these days.

One year ago today, I was using my high school math to problem solve exactly how many jelly beans were needed to fill 8+ trays that would hold adorable heart shaped pink lollipops that would serve as escort cards (answer: A LOT!). One year ago, I was putting finishing design touches on paper pom detailed guest “grab bags” for guests to put all their loot in. One year ago I was placing final orders for what would be a DREAM dessert table that even featured Carli’s homemade mallows (yes she can bake too!). One year ago, I was pinching myself for working on a one-of-a-kind event for two such sweet people that I’m so happy to now call friends.

Here are a few glimpses of this fabulous love-filled, pink as cotton candy, production:

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Original Style Me Pretty Feature Available Here: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2010/10/28/circus-wedding-in-nashville-by-sweet-life-designs/
Full Gallery Available Here: http://www.stylemepretty.com/gallery/gallery/2345

Photography: Creative Push / Event Design, Dessert Table Design, Invitations & Paper Goods: Sweet Life Designs / Flowers: Brocade Design Arts / Event Planning: A Delightful Day Event Planning / Reception Location: Country Music Hall of Fame / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Reception Dress: Betsey Johnson / Cake, Pies and Dessert Table Treats: The Bake Shoppe / Cinematography: 2Duce2 Videography / Linen: LaTavola / Draping: Blue Nova Designs / DJ: Cosmo Creations / Paper Heart Garland: Paper Acorn / LOVE Banner: Sweet Pea Seashells / Paper Bride and Groom (to the right of cake): Concarta

My view in three weeks: The Stationery Academy

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I’m thrilled to report that in just a few short weeks I’m going to be headed to Pensacola, Florida to be a part of the inaugural class of The Stationery Academy! It has been a dream of mine to one day produce a wholesale line of stationery and gift products for the retail market and I’m excited to be able to pair up my already vast knowledge of print production with learning some new tips and tricks of the wholesale stationery market, presented by some of the top experts in the industry. Not only do I get to meet Emily Ley and Whitney English for the first time, but I get to give a big hug to my friend Lara Casey (from my MTH and Engage adventures) who will be there sharing her branding expertise as well.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the big highlights of the four day trip…this view:

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Yes, there will be a wee amount of beach/relax/rejuvination time on the first day.

The other part I’m really excited about this conference? The connections! In my travels over the last year to Making Things Happen and Engage!11, I have met so many truly inspiring, go-getting, like-minded and creative new friends. Going into a conference knowing NO ONE can seem daunting — trust me, I did it at both MTH and Engage — but in reality, everyone is sharing the same excitement and nervousness. This time I’m walking into this experience with not a hint of nervousness, just a whole lot of happy vibes and gratefulness for the opportunity.

Let’s do this!

Summer So Far

A glimpse of our family’s summer so far…

In May we toured the historic Nashville neighborhood of Richland/West End and saw some lovely gardens…Colin particularly loved one that had a pond full of koi fish and lots of stepping stones…

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And I fell in love with the GORGEOUS peonies that were in full bloom. “Someday…” I thought wistfully to myself….”I will grow these same peonies!” Yes folks, failed on the peony plants again this year. :(

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And of course there has been lots of pool time…Colin is a FISH. Just loves the water. Swimming lessons are definitely in store for him.

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And there are some days when I think my 2 year old is going on age 16….

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We rounded out June by heading east to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Complete with pretty babbling creek…and snakes…lots of snakes (yikes!). Thankfully, snakes were discovered on the day we headed home…and not on the day we were enjoying rock hunting and splashing.

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Have I mentioned how I love living so close to such beauty? I never imagined my life would turn out so my kids would grow up with access to such fun childhood play and experiences that you find here in the South.

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Loving my rock throwing, frog catching, water splashing, full of wonder, little boy.

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Here’s to the many more summer adventures ahead of us! To think we’re already half-way!

 

Sneak Peek: Ashley & Daniel’s Santa Rosa Beach Destination Wedding

I met Ashley, Daniel and Ashley’s mom at local coffee shop on a cold winter day in Nashville. Immediately I could tell that the details for their bright and cheerful Florida wedding was something that I wanted to be a part of! A warm mix of marigold orange and aqua blue, I incorporated a sweet vintage bicycle at their request to be a little more vintage-y and a little less “beach-y” for their intimate occasion. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the details of their Santa Rosa destination wedding. A full posting of ALL the sweet details and fun paper goods to come!

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