Amber Housley

Stationery Academy Recap


I’m really excited about sharing my experience at The Stationery Academy in the most authentic way. It ended up slightly long and slightly even more excited/emotional/honest and used the word ‘amazing’ too many times for some people than I had originally intended. But here goes…

Last week I spent an amazing 4 days on the beaches of Pensacola, not soaking up the sun, but instead laying out the foundation for a new and improved version of my business at The Stationery Academy.

Founded by Whitney English Kolb and Emily Ley, who are two amazing women with awesome brands in the marketplace, their purpose for the academy was to share tried and true stationery business strategies, so we can in turn build our own strong stationery brands. Lara Casey, was also on hand to share her branding expertise and is one person who always continues to inspire me to no end!

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View from room 612

I sincerely believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason and is part of a bigger plan, right down to all of the smart and talented attendees that made up the inaugural ‘Class of 2011′. You would have thought we’d known each other for years from the hugs when we parted ways on the last day.  Each day the entire room was FULL of ideas from such inspiring, creative women. From our workshop sessions, to the conversations at dinner, I walked away feeling that each of these women were so set to make amazing things happen for themselves. And I’m so, so, lucky to now call each one of them friends!

 

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Credit: Meg Baisden Photography (www.megphoto.com)

Another piece of my heart now also resides with my four roommates, Courtney, Ashlee and Amber. We all randomly decided to be roommates and it turned out to be like a summer camp sleepover every single day. We laughed, we cried, we shared, we inspired each other and are now holding each other accountable for a lot of big things in our life as we parted ways. Amber and I are back-in-our-college-days sorority girls and we decided that this ‘university’ needed one was well…Phi Omega Nu Tau…I’m President and she’s the Social Chair and well, that’s another story we’ll pick up another day…{insert lots of giggles here} ;)

 

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Credit: Meg Baisden Photography (www.megphoto.com)

Some big takeaways and realizations were made at The Stationery Academy for my business:

Over the last couple of years as I’ve built up my business, I’ve produced some amazing work that makes my heart smile in the largest possible way. But then there are other times where I just sort of ‘liked’ what I was doing and was just happy enough with getting paid to do something I was good at.

I know now that I want my clients to come to me because they want a piece of the Amber Housley style, not just Amber’s spin on your own personal style. Is that going to limit me in some ways? Maybe. My sweet, girly, Southern, smart, sorority girl lifestyle is not for everyone. Will I encounter amazing people who will appreciate and love everything I have to offer them and in turn I absolutely LOVE every piece I produce? You bet!

I left feeling so at peace with how everything is going in my life and for this business. Sure, there are lists and ‘download’ pages a mile long, but for once my priority and sight isn’t on the finish line. Instead, I realized that if I put my heart and all my hard work into everything I’m working on now, that finish line is going to happen. I have no doubt in that now. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that. And in turn, makes all these things I’m working on now, unbelievably fun! I’m going to enjoy this journey and soak up every twist and turn in the road and just see where it takes me.

We made a “crazy list” of some of our biggest dreams and goals. It’s pretty thrilling to see them down on paper. So much so that I’m sharing some of them here. I can’t wait to come back in 10 or so years and see how many of them I’ve accomplished!

Some of the ‘crazy list’….

1. Work 4 days a week. I would love 1 day a week to have the stay-at-home Mom experience.

2. Build a company that I can pass down to my family.

3. Have my own lifestyle products sold in an amazing store like Anthropologie

4. Have my own lifestyle TV show (side note on this – I originally said “be a guest on a national TV show” and everyone in the room laughed, challenging me to instead to dream bigger and have my own TV show)

5. Be paid to speak at a conference

6. Exhibit at a tradeshow like NSS or a Gift fair

7. Building an amazing home studio that is featured in a magazine

8. Tour Europe, return to the Spanish city I studied abroad in college

9. Add a philanthropy piece to my business

10. Show my children and family that any dream is possible

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Stationery Academy’s adorable ‘swag’, enjoying some welcome cocktails with new friends.

 

At one point during the conference, Whitney turned to me and asked point blank, “what’s your definition of success?” And I honestly couldn’t answer on the spot.  Even now, I don’t think I can sum that up in one sentence. I think that if I’ve accomplished some of the crazy list, and have lived a life that is summed up in one of my favorite quotes, than I have reached success.

Here is that quote wrapped up in a pretty little package that I’ve designed. You can download and save it, print it, pin it, make it your computer desktop, whatever! Maybe it will inspire you to keep on making BIG things happen!

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Comments

hillary says:

Inspirational words: “I know now that I want my clients to come to me because they want a piece of the Amber Housley style, not just Amber’s spin on your own personal style. Is that going to limit me in some ways? Maybe. My sweet, girly, Southern, smart, sorority girl lifestyle is not for everyone. Will I encounter amazing people who will appreciate and love everything I have to offer them and in turn I absolutely LOVE every piece I produce? You bet! ” — I feel the same need to commit to that journey, and feel all the more empowered reading your blog today! Great thoughts & thanks for the inspiration :)

Amber I am moved to pieces that you opened up like you did in that post. You are soooo on the track to being true to yourself, your brand, and your creative talents. I cannot wait to see you on a TV show or displaying at the NSS. I will be the crazy girl promoting you the entire way and whispering to people that I knew you when you were just starting out and look at you now..Keep your head held high and I can’t wait for our paths to cross soon….!!!!

Courtney says:

I LOVE you Amber. You are so inspiring and I had a huge smile on my face as I read this. You are going to accomplish all those things on your list so you better start making it longer. Thank you for being an example that you CAN do it all. Can’t wait til next year!

That is such a journey worth committing to Hillary! You are already so talented and amazing, I can’t wait to see the even bigger things you have ahead of you. XOXO

Stacie, your enthusiasm is contagious!! I love how fired up you are about encouraging all of us and for taking the reigns on making big things happen in your life. I know that path crossing will happen sooner rather than later! xo

Courtney, you are so gracious and kind. I guess I better start working on that longer list since the whip has been cracked by my 612 roomie! ;) Love you right back and can’t wait till next year. I’m showing up with coordinating PJ’s for all of us!

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