Happy International Women’s Day from the Erin Condren team! As a predominantly female office, we’re so excited to celebrate today as a vital reminder to EMPOWER women in pursuit of progress! As a company founded by a woman, it’s no … Continue reading
Samantha (Sam) Kuhr is a longtime Erin Condren employee, travel enthusiast, boy mom, cancer survivor and travel blogger. She can be found detailing her incredible travels, beautiful family and courageous health battle on her blog, My Travelling Circus. Sam is a beloved member of the planner community and active planner conference moderator and speaker. Today she’s bravely guest blogging and sharing first-hand tips for navigating a conversation with someone with cancer.
We’re honored to announce that we will be partnering with DonorsChoose.org again this year to celebrate the unofficial Back to School season. For every Teacher Lesson Planner sold now through June 30th, we will be donating $1 to projects of YOUR choosing. In August we will open up a nomination period in which we will ask you, our customers, to nominate projects on the DonorsChoose.org platform that you think are deserving of being funded. The Erin Condren staff will then select projects from those nominations and other projects near and dear to our hearts to fund using the money raised.
‘Tis the season for giving, and this year, we are so proud to have donated funds, resources, and our time to organizations near and dear to our (and our customers’) hearts! With well over $300k worth of monetary and product donations to various organizations such as DonorsChoose, Pink Lotus Foundation, School on Wheels, Baby2Baby, it feels so great to be able to give back to our community- especially during the holidays ❤️
Thanks to all those who contributed to our charitable donations in 2016; your support has helped countless children, families, and schools in need.
They say trends come full circle, and after working in a creative environment for the last ten years, I’ve come to realize it’s totally true- and in the case of neon, totally AWESOME! How can you not be drawn to the energy of these bright, brilliant hues? I’ll leave my big hair and headbands in the eighties, but neon is never going out of style!
2. When we set out to design this collection, it was extra-important to me that we do justice to the vivid colors that set neon apart from its sister shades. That’s why we selected specially dyed paper to pump up the palette as much as possible! Furthermore, to make our patterns pop, we needed a special white ink to create contrast. This is not something that’s easy to find in the printing world – but we really wanted to nail it with neon, so that’s exactly what we did!
3. It’s amazing to see just how beautiful these designs are in person, especially when you mix and match them. We were so struck by how lovely they look, we knew we couldn’t stop at just books. Keep your eyes and ears open for matching neon elastic bands coming soon.. how radical is THAT?!
Need a closer look at neon? Shop the full collection here!
In addition to being an all-star mom, her southern charm and years of photography experience make her an invaluable addition to our team. Her images capture the heart and soul of our brand, which is why we felt she deserved a featured post on our blog- along with a Q&A to inspire all our fellow photographer friends!
Q: Carol! Can you explain just how and when you agreed to join the EC team!?
A: Waaaay back in 2004, Erin realized her growing business would need professional photos for the website, marketing, etc. Since I am married to Erin’s brother and was already working as a commercial photographer, it was natural for her to come to me when she needed product photos. We’ve always worked well together and have a great time and productive creative sessions, so as the business has grown bigger, I just keep shooting more and more. Now, I shoot exclusively for EC, as well as shoot video and create stopmotion videos for them as well.
Q: What does your typical day-to-day look like at the office?
A: I come in and set up for whatever product or campaign we have on the schedule for that day and then go with the flow of the creative team. It’s a collaborative process here with Erin and the amazingly talented designers, and we all go back and forth until we get the right vision and shot. We have brainstorming meetings and spend a lot of planning and prepping.
Q: Do you have a favorite EC photoshoot/campaign that resonates with you?
A: The Holiday 2014 “Auntie Claus” campaign will always be in my top favorites. It involved EVERYONE. And by that, I mean everyone with a desk in this office and also my family and Mom! The work team spent endless hours creating the products, wallpapering the walls, and decking out the mantle and tree with the design of the season and voilà! we had the Jolly Jester (design) theme extreme! My mom happened to be visiting so she became team seamstress making Erin’s skirt, scarf & my daughter’s nightgown. My husband brought the kids for the shoot so I could focus on the photography. We weren’t sure if my daughter would make the “naughty” or “nice” list that day (only a two year old!) but everyone cooperated beautifully and it turned out to be a ton of fun for all!
Q: What inspired you to be a photographer?
A: I was always creative when I was little: drawing, painting, & sewing with my mom and during my free time. My dad taught me all about his camera and gave me my first one in the 2nd grade. I won a photo contest in the 4th grade and that definitely sparked an interest in photography. I kind of forgot about it for a while until my best friend took a photo class in high school and I thought, “Hey wait, I want to do more of that, too!” Looking back I can see that I took A LOT of photos over the years (way before iphones and Instagram). I just loved it and couldn’t get enough. When I went to college I majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography. When I moved to California for more school, I started shooting portraits and weddings, then on to commercial & products.
Q: What is the Erin Condren product you couldn’t live without?
A: I LOVE my “Oh What a Week!” Schedule Pad for my busy family of 5, which I fill out weekly (corresponding to my rose gold, vertical LifePlanner™). My kids love seeing our week’s activities. I’m also an EC notebook junkie. I keep different ones for blog, marketing, video, etc. Hmm, I can’t say which product I love the most – they are all absolute necessities for keeping order around here!
Let’s face it: some days, packing a lunch for yourself or your kiddos is an exercise in creativity. Even if your pantry is looking a little bare, nothing spices up a played-out PB&J quite like a tote-ally adorable lunch tote! Suddenly, lunching just became a lot more lively.
Let’s digest a few reasons to love your lunch tote:
Neoprene = easy to clean! We’ve always loved the stretchy, sturdiness of neoprene for our carry-all clutches, which is why we stuck with this marvelous material for our lunch totes! In addition to being dishwasher/washing machine safe for easy cleaning, neoprene is also great for temperature control, meaning your snacks will stay within a certain temperature range- pretty cool!
Expandable accommodates all your eats! Don’t let the first glance fool you- these lunch totes were made for serious snackers! The bottom expands, as does the material, making it easy to pack all the essentials without bruising your banana.
Secure Snacking With a Velcro Tab! There’s no crying over spilled milk when it comes to these tough totes- we made sure of it! The zipper extends all the way across the top, along with a velcro tab below the handles for added support.
Personalize to Your Taste! Keep it minimalist with a monogram, or go quippy with a fun, food-inspired quote! Any way you slice it, your personalized (or non-personalized) tote can be tailored to your taste.
We want to see what sorts of snacks you’ve been packing in these terrific totes! Snap a photo & tag us on Instagram for a chance to be featured.
Over the years, my obsession with nail art has grown- but it hasn’t always been this way! Believe it or not, even with my love for color, I used to keep my fingers bare. Yet I was so amazed by a photo I saw on Instagram by @willpaintnailsforfood that I simply had to give the whole nail art thing a go- and wow, am I hooked! Meghan, my Instagram nail artist muse, had created a fun and funky paisley design to match the cover of her LifePlanner™, and I was so inspired and intrigued!
For this year’s launch, I knew it was time to give some of my favorite covers a little nail art nod of approval. After all, what’s more fun than a matching mani & LifePlanner™ to make planning that much prettier?
I started with my all-time favorite shade, turquoise, then let my nail artist (who is a genius, by the way) go wild with gold foil! I love the way she used the negative, white space of the nail to accentuate the minimalist elegance of the luxe LifePlanner™ – it’s safe to say she “nailed” it.
The next planner-inspired mani I chose was meant to match the original rose gold metallic LifePlanner™. The look was really feminine and chic, and I knew the combo of rose gold and lavender background color would look lovely as a nail design!
Now this is something I didn’t even know was possible: marble nails! How anyone discovered this is beyond me, but I’m so glad they did! It’s the perfect way to blend color and texture to create an effect that is as unique as it is beautiful- exactly what I look for in every design we create!
While it would be totally overdramatic to say that that “nail art changed my life,” it did make me realize what a world of fun and creativity was waiting at my fingertips! They may be tiny canvases, but I’ve come to see my nails as little artistic expressions of personality that deserve to be decorated and celebrated.
Show us how you’re matching your nails to your LifePlanner™, notebook or journal! by tagging us on Instagram! Who knows, it may just be this week’s #FanFriday challenge…