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Introducing Nicole Yang | Assistant Creative Director!

June 07, 2012

I am SO excited to introduce Nicole Yang, EL’s new Assistant Creative Director! Nicole is an amazing designer and all around sweet Southern gal. Many of you may know her from the other hat she wears as Art Director at Southern Weddings Magazine! As EL’s new Assistant Creative Director, Nicole will be working with me in the areas of product design, collateral design and helping me to build a wonderful experience for our new e-shop customers! Nicole may pop in on the blog here from time to time also! So, grab a cup of coffee and get to know her! Without further ado… Nicole!

You have AMAZING style. Tell us about your all-time favorite brand. The one that makes your heart skip a beat!
Anthropologie, no question! Their in-store displays are out of this world. I love that they are always using simple resources, like paper or yarn to create gorgeous installations. Their home goods are adorable and I get into so much trouble when I shop there. I love buying their plates and bowls and mugs individually because they always come in great colors and patterns — there’s no way you can choose just one. PLUS their branding is awesomesauce. Their gift cards come with a little book so you can jot down what’s on your wish list! And their bags and tissue paper are a dream! (From Emily: A girl after my own heart. I can’t step foot in Anthropologie without KNOWING I’m going to get in trouble with the hubby : ) Their kitchen and dining sections get me every time.)

You’ve been really involved with the product development and design for the new EL Shop opening soon. Tell us about your FAVORITE product!
The new Simplified System! I’m a compulsive list-maker and I love having a planner to always reference for appointments, meetings and tasks. My friends can tell you that I’ve spend weeks upon weeks in the past agonizing over which planner I should get at the start of the year, and it’s because I need something that perfectly compliments my organization structure and my life. I LOVE that the new Simplified System allows you to customize what you need out of your planner. (From Emily: Nicole helped design the Simplified System and Planner. MANY thanks to Nicole!!)

Big question. What fires you up the most? 
Two things: the color orange and the tactile products of design. Something about the color orange just fills up my heart with joy and energizes me. I also love textures and feeling products in my own hands. You can gain such a greater connection to a piece of work, whether it’s a sculpture or a dress or a business card just by feeling it, seeing how the material was molded or how the elements interact. I love that when pieces are made just right for their purpose, you gain an immediately clearer understanding of the role that it plays in your life and the relationship you have to it. (From Emily: I LOVE that Nicole loves orange. Now whenever I see something orange and amazing, I have to snap a photo to send her a little inspiration. Nicole, you NEED that orange Kitchen Aid mixer!)

Ok, I’m dying to know. How will you use your Simplified Planner?
My ELP Simplified Planner will be my everything. (Sorry, boyfriend! :) ) My past planners have been my calendar, address book, meal planner, day planner, task manager, post-it corral and wallet all in one. (From Emily: YES!! Oh goodness I can’t wait to see how you build yours. Im so EXCITED to get my own hands on one!!)
Nicole, I’m so grateful for you and your amazing sense of style, warm and sweet emails and love for all things Southern. So glad to have you as part of the family!

Find Nicole Elsewhere:
Nicole on Pinterest <—– LOVE.
xo,
Emily

Lovely photos of Nicole by Millie Holloman

An Experiment + A Giveaway

March 25, 2012

I’m doing something this week that scares me. Why?

I’m scared to let people down. I’m scared to NOT be in control.

But I’m doing an experiment that scares me… because I KNOW I will feel awesome when I get passed it.

I’m deleting my email accounts from my iPhone (gasp!!)

So… why ARE we so tethered to our iPhones?

No… why am I SO TETHERED TO MY IPHONE? Specifically… my mail app?

Answer: My inbox NEEDS me. Those clients need me. Right then. I want to deliver the best client experience EVER (no, really. EVER.) And I do this by being on top of my inbox.

WHAT?!

Are we really better at what we do because we can react in real time to emails, voicemails, etc?

A few times a week, while sitting at my computer, I turn OFF my mail application. I work and design and get amazing things accomplished and created because I’m not distracted. Last week it occurred to me… I’m in and out of my office so much, why am I allowing myself to be SO distracted while doing ANY of these things? Distracted with email while I’m working or distracted with email when I’m playing with Brady or spending time with my family? OR when I should be having ME time? What if I compartmentalized BETTER and designated TIME for email rather than allowing it to interrupt my day SEVEN THOUSAND TIMES?

Even more… when I have down time… instead of grabbing my phone to get sucked into some app or Facebook…  How awesome would I feel if I spent those few moments chasing Brady around the house? Or reading the six books sitting on my nightstand unfinished? 

If we’re all so plugged in, when do we get a chance to unplug and refuel our creative tanks? When I’m anxious or caught with a few spare moments, I often grab my phone and catch up on my Reeder app or scan through Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest for a few minutes. The TMZ app is another black hole for me. I often find myself hitting refresh on my mail app to make sure I’m up to date with anyone who needs me… over and over and OVER again throughout the day. I swear all of this fries my brain.

A question for you… how awful would it be… if I checked my email ON MY COMPUTER (gasp!!) in the morning, in the middle of the day and before I signed off for the day.

Would I have 6 BILLION emails every time? No. Would 80% of those be JUNK or subscriptions or newsletters or advertisements those times that I did see that overwhelming number? Yes. Couldn’t I then flag emails that need attention and delete the rest like I do anyways? Yes.

Would the people who might actually have an emergency or some issue that needed immediate response know how to reach me if something urgent or pressing happened before I checked my email? YES!

So why on earth am I so plugged in?

Tomorrow starts the experiment: “No email accounts on Emily’s iPhone.” I’m finding that the more I simplify and streamline, the better I am to everyone around me. By removing my email accounts from my iPhone, I’ll be able to respond to each email (perhaps not as quickly BUT) with my full attention, from a computer during a time that I am focused.

Now doesn’t this make SENSE?! Why have I not done this BEFORE!?

This is just a step in the right direction. After I tackle this, perhaps I will take Facebook off of my iPhone. (double gasp!!)

Funny story… the last time I did something that scared me… I hired my first employee, the amazing Marissa Kloess, to help me with ELP / ELC… right before I had Brady. One of the best biz decisions I ever made. Looking back it was a no-brainer. Perhaps this will be the same?

In other news, we are hard at work on the NEW SIMPLIFIED PLANNER! And I have to say… it is amazing. I will be holding my breath until the first sample is in my hands.

Also, have you SEEN the new Martha Stewart Home Office Collection with Avery at Staples? I die! Talk about a product that makes you FEEL something. I LOVE her collection. I wanted everything. My mom had a brilliant idea to use MS’s removable tabs (in the cutest little scallop shapes) to separate months in her Simplified Planner. I followed her lead and added them to mine today (as well as a “THIS WEEK” tab at the top to immediately find where I am and a sticky-note pad [in the same cute shape] as well – it sticks to the paper!)

Nicole (ELC’s amazing new Assistant Creative Director!!) and I are hard at work perfecting the 2012-2013 Simplified Planner to go to print THIS WEEK! They will have all kinds of new features and will span August, 2012 – December 2013. (Please excuse my terrible iPhone photo of my current Simplified Planner above).

Before we send our final files off to press, we’d LOVE to know what you’d LOVE to see in the new planner.

SO…. A GIVEAWAY! We’re giving away a goodie bag we’ve put together with a few of our favorite Martha Stewart/Avery loveliness including the tabs + sticky notes you see above! There are a couple ways to win:

  1. Tweet a link to this post – be sure to mention @emilyley so we see it!
  2. Leave a comment below listing one feature/thing you’d LOVE to see in the new Simplified Planner.
  3. Sign up to receive news and notification when the new Simplified Planner is available for pre-order! Leave a note here letting us know!

Contest ends Thursday, March 29 at midnight EST. The winner will be announced this Friday, March 30 right before we send our files off for the NEW Simplified Planner!

PS: Sign up to be notified when pre-sales are open! A very limited number of Simplified Planners will be released. A small portion of these will be available wholesale. To inquire about this wholesale opportunity, please contact me directly.

Congratulations to Lindsey DeLaMare who won the contest!!

copyright 2018 emily ley