Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! And welcome to my first Friday round up of the New Year! It feels nice to be back in a regular schedule and sharing some favorite links of the week with all of you. In fact, the last time I did one of these posts we had just embarked on the renovation of our home’s only full bathroom. And I’m happy to report that, a month later, our bathroom is finally done! It took sooooo much longer than I had originally anticipated and we still have a few finishing touches to take care of, but I can’t wait to share it with you! It’s seriously the most amazing transformation. But in the meantime…

Send More Love / In The Daylight via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Image via In The Daylight

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s it for me this week! Stay tuned for another mocktail recipe this afternoon – we’ll be doing one each week for the rest of the month! If you missed it, last week’s Mock Mai Tai recipe was SO good! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

After another day lost in the world of OSBP’s Pinterest, I found myself going for one pin to another and landed upon the striking work of Kelsey Malie Calligraphy. Kelsey Carpenter of Portland, Oregon offers custom designed suites for couples as well as amazing logo work. Playful and dramatic, her calligraphy tugs at the heartstrings of romantics everywhere. Take a look at her beautiful pieces and you’ll see just how it held my gaze. – Julie

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To see more of Kelsey’s work, visit her Etsy shop, Instagram feed and Facebook page for continuous inspiration.

Photography credits: 1 Katlyn Marie PhotoArt; 2 Lahna Marie; 3 left, 5 Michelle Boyd Photography; 3 right Shauna Veasey; 4 Andie Reavely; 6 left Sweet Blooms Photography, 6 right O’Malley Photographers

Seasonal Stationery: Valentine’s Day Cards, Part 1

I tend to view Valentine’s Day as less of a romantic occasion and more as a general celebration of love all around. Besties, family members, kids, and even work colleagues are all just as deserving of a Valentine’s Day card as spouses, partners, boyfriends, and girlfriends. Because we can always use a little bit more love, right? I have a few friends that actually send annual Valentine’s Day cards instead of holiday cards and I love that idea SO much! It’s a wonderful bright spot in post-holidays winter dreariness to find a cheerful Valentine’s Day card in my mailbox. Here are a few of my favorite Valentine’s Day Cards this year!

Seasonal Stationery: Valentine's Day Card Round Up / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Odd Daughter

2. Sycamore Street Press

3. Idlewild Co.

4. Our Heiday

5. Hennel Paper Co.

6. Hello!Lucky

7. Cardtorial

8. Moglea

9. Dahlia Press

10. Bespoke Letterpress

11. Sugar Paper

12. Ladyfingers Letterpress

Brick + Mortar: What’s Next for Your Business?

This fall, Clementine, my Brick + Mortar, turned 5. I celebrated. I took stock of the friendships, partnerships, and mentoring I had done. I felt proud and happy. Then, like a punch in the gut, I suddenly felt worn down – heavy with small business fatigue. I imagined working for someone else; letting them make decisions, and giving me a steady paycheck. I left 2015 with two weighty, honest questions:  What do I want to do next year? And, if it’s this, How can I do it really well? ~ Emily of ClementineHello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Illustration by Emily McDowell

Illustration Emily McDowell for Oh So Beautiful Paper

As busy, creative entrepreneurs how do we confront questions of doubt? Like many of you, I have several side-hustles. I love them just as much as my main gig, but I often wonder where and how to focus my energy to be efficient. Last year, I started a styling and creative consulting partnership, I began offering creative consultation, I continued to write here (xo), partnered with Etsy on some of their new wholesale endeavors and, last month, decided to organize creatives to take a stand against gun violence. I love starting new things and having variety to my work. I love how these things relate to each other, but they pull me in different directions. How do I do all of them well?

2015 was about gathering advice and resources to make my business bloom, but I admit, it’s far easier for me to daydream up new ideas than to put them into practice. I’ve been lucky to befriend some incredible small business owners, so I began 2016 by making time to talk to my cohorts about the nitty gritty of what’s next for me. I also relied heavily on the greater small business community, especially on podcasts, to help me think through many of my small business dreams and plans. This year, I need to dig in and create a structure to help my business plans flourish. I wanted to start 2016 by sharing a few of my favorite podcast episodes, many of which I’m revisiting as I plan for the road ahead. I hope they help you move you through your own stumbling points and give you a boost for 2016! (I’d also love to hear your favorites!)

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / After The Jump Podcast

After the Jump, has been, without a doubt, one of my favorite podcasts. Hosted by Design Sponge creator, Grace Bonney, this podcast stopped airing a year ago, but there are 100 incredibly helpful episodes. My favorites include: Episode 6 Meg Mateo Ilasco and Mom Inc. (deleted from the web, but still available on itunes!); Episode 20 Becoming your Brand Episode 39 Raising the Bar; Episode 90 Genevieve Gorder returns.

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Magic Lessons Podcast

Magic Lessons is the creative weekend getaway we all dream about in podcast form. This short follows up on Melissa Gilbert’s work with her recent book Big Magic. Each episode comes in two parts – an interview with a creative person who is stuck and then a conversation with one of Gilbert’s co-horts about advice for that person. I adored this short series, but Cheryl Strayed’s advice in episode #2 Pursue your passion like a mofo and Brene Brown’s take in the final episode, Big Strong Magic, were the food I needed to keep my creative heart beating last year (do listen to the complimentary episode for each or they won’t make sense!)
Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Being Boss Podcast

Being Boss is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs hosted by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon.  This is one of my regular listens (thanks to Kristen’s recommendation at the August NYNOW). I especially loved episodes #4 How to Be Boss When You’re Afraid of Failing and episode #53 The Value of Staying Small.

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Girlboss Radio Podcast

#girlboss radio. Launched after the crazy popularity of Sophia Amoruso’s book, #girlboss, these conversations are refreshingly honest with a kick of irreverence. They’re all fun, but for business, I really liked Episode #4 Sheree Waterson, CEO Nasty Gal.

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Profit Power Pursuit Podcast

Profit Power Pursuit.  Tara Gentile asks delightfully pointed questions which lead to real, detailed answers from her guests. I haven’t listened to all of them, but especially enjoyed these two so far: Episode #3 Megan Auman; Episode #8 Keri Chapin.

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / The Lively Show Podcast

The Lively Show. Jess Lively is effervescent and upbeat, even when tackling difficult topics. I enjoy the episodes when she digs into tougher life stuff, and interviews grounded, deep women. I especially enjoyed #58 Using Values to Thrive in Work and Family with Tina Roth Eisenberg; and episode #107 Quitting a Full-Time Business for More Joy with Melissa Gruntkosky, which explores the extremely important question of when quitting our passion project may be the best thing for our lives.

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / Smart Creative Women Podcast

Smart Creative Women. Hosted by Monica Lee, there are some wonderfully extensive interviews with creative women. Two of my favorites include Lisa Congdon: A Creative Journey and Emily McDowell’s Amazing Adventure.

Hello Brick + Mortar: Small Business Advice by Emily Blistein of Clementine for Oh So Beautiful Paper / StartUp Podcast

Start Up – This podcast is all about the making of Alex Blumberg’s podcast company, Gimlet Media. The transparency and awkwardness in this series is refreshing and compelling. Start with episode #1 How Not to Pitch A Billionaire and see if you want to listen on…

Screenshot 2016-01-10 14.19.15

Iron Curtain Press’s The Dream Is Free Print means one thing when you’re dreaming, and another when you’re years in.

We’re experiencing a bit of a golden era of entrepreneurialism. Starting your own business is applauded. Quitting your day job is glorified. Running your own thing is great. But we’re not all cut out for it, and even those who are generally deserve far more support than we’re receiving. I know it’s not time for me to sell the farm (or the store in this case!) but I’m digging in to my resources, I’m making time for tough conversations with fellow business owners (and my family) and I’m genuinely looking forward to some change this year.

What about you? What’s ahead in 2016? What are your stumbling points as a small business owner and where do you turn to overcome them?