We attended a Southern California planner meet up to connect in person with the incredible individuals we so often speak with online. You may have seen the hashtag #plannerfriendsmakethebestfriends on Instagram, and it’s true! This community is simply filled with organized and stylized people.
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!
Norah Pritchard of Willowcrest Lane started blogging as a way to share her life and loves, to stay connected to a community, and to always continue to learn from others. Her blog focuses on ways to make life more organized, more beautiful, and more fun!
When I first started my blog, Willowcrest Lane, some of my very first posts were about planning. I wrote about the planners I use and why planning has brought me peace. Let me tell you about some of the crazy looks I got about that. People were like, “Out of all the things to write about, you wrote about your planner?”
But as I stood in front of a sold out crowd of 66 kick butt planner women, I thought, “I have found my people!”
Using my paper planner is one way that I actively try to live a purposeful, balanced life, and I wanted to share that message and meet other women with similar visions.
With that thought, I decided to host a Planner Workshop to gather a community of women in Rochester, NY, the new planners and the pro-planners alike, to share what using a paper planner can do for our lives.
I shared an Instagram recap of the event here, where you can see all the fun candid photos of the day under the hashtag #willowcrestlaneplans.
So often, women can get a little lost in the daily grind of working and taking care of those we love, which we do so well, almost too well. It can be easy to become so busy in our roles that we forget to celebrate ourselves for the amazing women that we are. My goals for planning the workshop were to bring a roomful of inspiring planner ladies together, spoil us all a little, and have a beautiful time celebrating the peace that comes from planning a purposeful life.
Planning an event like this was so much fun! I wanted to make sure that our time together made everyone feel appreciated, so I put some extra fun details like the name tag board, the planner inspiration board, and the paper flower backdrop together to make our time together special. The excited buzz when the doors opened could be felt throughout the afternoon. As the planner ladies came in, my guest speakers and I welcomed them with big hugs and even bigger swag bags! We had some amazingly generous sponsors that made us all feel the planner love. I’ve been sharing about them all month on my Instagram, so everyone had an idea of how amazing they were. We couldn’t wait to get them and start planning! They were stuffed full of stickers and beautiful washi tapes from 12 different shops! We mingled and showed off planners and our favorite supplies, and then it was time for the guest panel to talk for a few minutes about what planning means to them. My friends, Rachel, Claudia, and Katie are planner pros, and I couldn’t wait for them to share their stories and tips. We covered things like memory keeping, planning for peace of mind, and how to overcome the fear of a blank page. I am so thankful to have met each of these ladies, and share the day with them. Then, it was time for some serious fun with our planners. But first, pastries! We noshed and talked, before settling down to the workshop tables to plan. Each of the workshop tables held a farmhouse centerpiece that my husband makes in our Etsy shop. We loaded it full of sweet treats for the ladies to snack on while they planned. Next to the centerpieces was a very special surprise package from none other than Erin Condren!
The Erin Condren team sent each table a bundle of their most fun planner accessories and some pieces from their brand new back-to-school line. Each guest got to try out the beautiful new watercolor sticker books, washi, and colored pens, as well as some of her brand new back-to-school line!
Each table oohed and aahed over the pretty supplies, and started planning right away with the stickers, washi, and pens. I chatted with the teachers at the event about how cute the new pencils, erasers, and journals were. I think I know what to get my boys’ teachers for gifts this year!
I am so thankful to the Erin Condren team for supporting this event and spoiling us all with so many of her products.
Along with all the swag bags and table accessories, the raffle tables were loaded with amazing raffle prizes. I worked for weeks with different brands to offer some fabulous raffle prizes. It was so much fun to watch my husband, Tom, and my best planner friend, Rachel, picking the winners.
The door prize, the highly coveted Erin Condren luxe LifePlanner™, was the last drawing. The room got quiet with anticipation, and I could feel the thrill when I pulled the ticket. The room erupted into cheers and clapping when the winner was called! How lucky!
I am thankful to be surrounded by such inspirational, motivated ladies. I plan for many reasons: to be more productive, a way for myself and my family to stay organized and find balance, as a creative outlet, and now as a way to connect with my community in this journey to living the best life we can. I can’t wait to plan the next one!
Looking for more about planning and events? Follow Erin Condren on Facebook for more info on workshops & conferences!
If you consider yourself a crafter of any kind, you are probably already familiar with the wonderful accessory that is washi tape! If not, prepare to be inspired: this do-it-all DIY must-have is absolutely perfect for decorating your LifePlanner™– even if you aren’t exactly the next Pinterest professional. Using classic washi tape and our designer sticker sheets, we’re going to show you a few simple techniques to turn your LifePlanner™ into a work of (washi) art!
What You Need:
Begin by selecting your washi or sticker sheet (we used metallic asterisk washi tape in gold for the monthly calendar and watercolor for our weekly selections). Using your ruler, measure the perimeter lengths of your borders and mark your washi tape or sticker sheet to cut the right lengths.
As an added tip, you can also use the pre-ruled lines on the back of your designer sticker sheets as a guideline. Whether you want to add borders to just the goals section, mark a super-special day, or outline an entire week is totally up to you and your creativity!
Design Option 3: Banners
Design Option 4: Shapes
Want more LifePlanner decorating inspiration? Follow us on Pinterest!