Friends!! OH MY GOODNESS AM I SCREAMING!? I don't even have words for this. But I will try. Stay with me. More than a year and a half ago, I was sitting in our local library writing my second book, A Simplified Life. An email popped into my inbox. It was from a company called ACCO. I didn't recognize the name at first. Until I realized ACCO stands for American Clip Company... also known as the inventors of the paper clip.
You heard me right! They are also the parent company for a number of incredibly well known brands like MEAD, Swingline (staplers!), and AT-A-GLANCE. AT-A-GLANCE was the brand of planner I used when I was younger. I'll never forget the feeling of walking into the school supply aisle at our local retailer and spending an hour searching through planners looking for just the right one.
This email was sent on behalf of the AT-A-GLANCE team... asking if we'd be interested in creating a line of planners, note taking products, desktop products, gifts, and more. After I fell out of my chair, made a scene, called my mom, text our team (!!!!), and caught my breath... I responded.
Since then, there have been flights back and forth, a hundred zillion phone calls, mountains of emails, visits in Tampa and Kettering, OH (where they are based), piles of proofs, and one teary FaceTime call in the middle of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo (more on that later). And today, on behalf of our whole team, I get to share the news. Emily Ley x AT-A-GLANCE is now available (for a limited time) at Office Depot, Staples, and Target stores nationwide.
WHAT IN THE ACTUAL WORLD!
Back to the zoo. Whitney Hawkins (our Creative Director) and I headed to Kettering, Ohio in Summer 2017. We became FAST friends with the entire AT-A-GLANCE team and knew it was a match made in heaven. In Kettering, Whit and I met with their team to brainstorm tons of new products and ideas.
Our goal: to create products we've always wanted to make but never had the ability to (for instance, we've tried a hundred ways to make a wall calendar, but never could get the price point right -- they're just so pricy to make!) and to bring the Simplified / Emily Ley message to women all over the country at lower price points. Again, something we've not been able to do on our own. Our Signature Simplified Planner Collection (available only at EmilyLey.com) is a higher end collection. We use luxury materials when it comes to paper, covers, etc. With AT-A-GLANCE, we were able to create a large variety of planner options (vertical weekly! pocket monthly! big monthly) at much lower price points. One key note: Daily Simplified Planners are *ONLY* part of our Signature Simplified Planner Collection at emilyley.com.
AT-A-GLANCE helped us meet these production goals and then some. For well over a year, we designed, dreamed, created, proofed, edited, and waited. All three collections were completed before we knew if the three retailers we were pitching would select our collections for their stores. And one day this Spring, while at the Zoo with my two three-year-olds, My friend Jenny from AT-A-GLANCE FaceTimed me. I think I burst into tears BEFORE I answered the call because I knew she'd only FaceTime me for one reason (well, other than to see her adorable babies, but I digress). And with two bewildered babies (and a couple of sea turtles) by my side, I got the news.
Our collections were selected to launch in all Office Depot stores, some Staples stores, and nearly all Target stores across the nation.
It's a dream come true. I'm all choked up just writing this thinking about all we've done to get here -- not just with AT-A-GLANCE but as a team. The midnight-launch-prep video calls. The boxes my kids helped ship out of my living room. All. the. mistakes. The dear friends we've made here in this Simplified Community. Guys. WE DID IT! And you helped us do it. People (brands! stores!) outside of our community here... they took note. They saw the joy and the determination and the message that SIMPLE IS BEST coming out of this sisterhood and they invited us... to share our mission in a bigger way -- to bring more women in.
So today, we're celebrating. We're celebrating you. We're celebrating hard work. We're celebrating SIMPLIFIED and our partners at AT-A-GLANCE. Now excuse us while we JET off to our local stores to SEE these beauties in person!!
Oh and watch this Behind the Scenes video below. Brady was the Team DJ during our EL X AT-A-GLANCE photo shoot this summer! :)
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