My Story | Part 1: How Did You Get Started?

January 30, 2013
I am just about completely finished with the Stephanie Creekmur branding. Just some coding and development stands between my website and it's launch date! I'm so excited to share everything, but before I get started showing you all of the gorgeous new details of the new and improved Stephanie Creekmur, I want to take a trip down memory lane. I've had more than I can believe emails asking how I got started in this industry. I know I haven't taken the easy or traditional path, and it may be taking me longer than others, but slowly but surely I'm finding my place in this business. I think it's important to take a step back every now and then and remember where you started. Boy, I've come a long way. Cheers to that!

Once upon a time, on a cold February night in 2009... I was attending The Ohio State University and I decided to stay in for the night. I somehow fell into the rabbit hole that is the world of blogging and I came across a number of custom stationery designers. Now, not to be mean, but for the sake of honesty and telling this story correctly, I wasn't impressed. I thought, "hey, I could do that". So, I dove right in, head first and started designing party invitations. I already had the Creative Suite program for some of my classes so I started to explore Adobe Illustrator even more. I wasn't very good, admittedly, at first. You can see evidence here and here. I had a good eye for design and knew what I wanted to create, but it did take some getting used to and I'm proud to say that I have vastly improved, if I do say so myself! 

I needed a name, and so I quickly chose SNC & Co. My initials and company? I don't know what I was thinking but like I said, I needed a name! I created a template website using and started a Facebook fan page. I really had no clue what I was doing or where I was taking this thing, but I was going for it! I never actually created a formal logo for SNC & Co. but that didn't really matter because by February of 2010 I announced that I had changed the name of my company to La Bella Vita Designs. There were a few different looks throughout this chapter as well (here, and here) but I pretty much stuck to using gray and yellow for my color palette. 

Well, that only lasted about 9 months because in November of 2010 I shared news of yet another name, Paisley Card Co. Along with that, came yet another new logo. I think I was on the right track with my reasons for wanting to change my name from La Bella Vita Designs, but again I jumped the gun and didn't quite get it right. In the beginning stages of Paisley Card Co. I tried to stick with gray and yellow as the color palette, thinking that if I kept that, it would give some sort of cohesiveness. (Wrong.)

In October of 2011 I switched it up yet again, and I shared some new branding elements for Paisley Card Co. I even used this sentence in the post: "I'm not saying that this look is here to stay..." which I find hysterical because I knew myself well enough to know that I hadn't hit the nail on the head just yet and I was done making promises that I had broken many a time in the past.

January of 2012 came around and I officially announced that I would no longer be working under the name Paisley Card Co., but would now work under my name, as Stephanie Creekmur. This was the first look of Stephanie Creekmur (which at the time, was Stephanie Creekmur Design). I was happy with what I came up with, but again, it was designed in a rush and I knew this look wasn't going to be around for too long.

This was also around the time when things really started to turn around for me. I knew that I wanted to make this hobby of mine into something real and I knew I had to buckle down and get serious. I attended a couple workshops and took some webinars and I really focused on what was important to me and my brand.

After a lot of time and reflection, I finally revealed my newest logo, the real me, back in June of 2012. It took me 4 months to finalize this baby. So much thought went into every detail. I answered so many questions about myself personally, the Stephanie Creekmur customer, and how I want this little business to change it's small part of the world. These are questions in the past I didn't answer because I didn't really think they were all that important. Boy, was I wrong? Once I took the time to do the hard work, the pay-off was great.  It felt so good and it's something I am still so proud of. It's fabulous.

I have been on this self-branding journey for over a year now and I am so proud of where I am today and have so many wonderful people to thank for that. I can't wait to share more of my story, my brand board and collateral, and ultimately my new website and blog. I hope you'll stick around for the big reveal! :)

Shew, that's a lot of information for one tiny business. I sure have given her a lot of faces, huh? Some people may think I shouldn't highlight that part of my past, but I hope it helps give comfort to other new entrepreneurs out there. If you're not quite sure where you're headed, it's OK. Listen to your heart and be yourself and you will get there. I promise! :)


iRecommend | Done Not Done

January 29, 2013
I've said it many times, but in case y'all didn't know - I'm a list person. I love lists. I will make a list for anything and everything. Typically, my lists have to do with tasks that need to be completed for business or errands that need to be run. With all of the thoughts we have running through our heads it can be quite difficult to remember that new book "you just have to read", or that delicious restaurant "you just have to try". This is where Done Not Done comes in. It helps keep track of all the things you want to do. Ya know, with all of that spare time we have lying around. Movies to see, books to read, music to listen to - add it to the list and save it for a rainy day!

P.S. Has anyone noticed how quickly the Vine app has taken off? Everyone I know is joining - including friends who aren't in the creative world and aren't typically on the front end of social media exploration. I'm still getting the hang of it and finding new friends - be sure to look me up!

In the Studio | A Birthday Card for Mama

January 16, 2013
This is yet another long overdue post but I still wanted to share it! My mama's birthday was back in August and instead of buying a card, I decided to make her one. I can't ever seem to find a card that I like both the content and design, so I was much happier creating something myself.

I designed and printed an envelope liner because let's face it, every envelope deserves a pretty liner. And the quote I used for the front and inside actually came from a card I had found at the store but it was so ugly I couldn't bare to purchase it. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the outcome! :)

Please excuse the horrible iPhone photos! I was lucky I remembered to take a few before I sealed up the card! ;)


In the Studio | Cute as a Button Baby Shower

January 14, 2013
I am so far behind on sharing client work it's sad, but regardless - here I am with a Cute as a Button baby shower invitation I did for one of my old college roommates back in August. Erin's sister was expecting a little boy and this was the theme her and the co-hosts had decided on. They wanted the color scheme to be parallel with Baby Felder's nursery and I absolutely love this color palette!

While I plan on sharing a few more recent client projects, I am no longer accepting custom design projects. I will make an official announcement here shortly, but for now a little heads up will do! This does not affect any of you who are currently in correspondence with me regarding an upcoming project.

Inspiration Dances With the Daring

January 10, 2013

Last night while I was working late in my studio (It wasn't really that late. I'm talking 11 PM but I'm trying to train myself to think that 11 PM is indeed a late hour.) a commercial came on the TV. I think it was a car commercial but I honestly couldn't tell you because I wasn't really watching the television. I just had it on for background noise, but clear as day I heard the above. We have to get out and live life. Take time for family and friends and things that matter! If we spend all of our time cooped up working we are only harming ourselves and the creative process. I just love everything about these words. And because I am who I am, I had to stay up extra late turning it into a pretty graphic. Isn't the gradient from my logo just gorgeous? I fall more and more in love with it every day.

Anyway, I feel like an overachiever bringing you two blog posts today! ha! I hope your Thursday is going fabulously and that you are hard at work finding your purpose and making your dreams come true!

P.S. See that pretty little butterfly? More on that coming oh so soon! ;)

Make It Happen | January Goals

Hello, friends! Just popping in to get my January goals out into the universe! Last year I tried this very thing and I didn't get past January. I'm hoping to have better success this year. As I've said many times before, putting my goals and dreams out there really help to hold myself accountable, so I do find it helpful when I share my lists here on the blog. I'm also trying to narrow my list down. I am a list person and I am notorious for making a to-do list for the day that is 60+ tasks long. That is just not going to happen. I put too much on my plate and then I feel like a failure when I don't accomplish it all. So, this time around, my monthly goals are smaller in number and they are easy and realistic to obtain. Please, see below! :)

  • Make progress on my website. The above sneak peek is of my website that has been in the works for an entire year. That's a little bit seriously ridiculous. What you see above has changed a little bit but let me tell you - it's beautiful and I can't wait for the entire thing to be live. This month I have revisited this project and I want to make serious headway, that way I only have coding to worry about - which I will be hiring out. I'm hoping to share a launch date very soon!

  • Go to bed at a decent hour. For as long as I can remember I have been a night owl. I love being up late. Super late. And I get my best work done in the wee hours of the night. The trouble with that is, the majority of the world works during the day, so I'm trying to get more on that schedule. So far I have been able to get myself into bed around 11 or so. The problem is that I am not falling asleep until usually around 2 AM. I guess at least I am resting, but my mind is still going 100 miles a minute so I still have some work to go on that.

  • Set myself up for success. Again, for as long as I can remember, the majority of troubles I go through are self-imposed. I run late for everything because I'm not prepared and I'm terrible with time management. This month I am focusing on setting my clothes out the night before and making sure I have enough packaging supplies for my orders that need to go out. Those two things eat up a lot of time and it's something I could avoid if only I would prepare.

  • Drink enough water. I usually do pretty well on this one but I want to make sure that I am getting enough water each day. The benefits are endless and because I don't do the best eating at decent hours or making sure I get the proper nutrients, this is something that I can easily conquer.

  • Make my bed every morning. I've read numerous times that one small thing you can do to be happier is make your bed. I guess because it makes you feel organized and put together but regardless, so far it's been working and I've been doing pretty well with this. I don't put all of my throw pillows up each morning but I do pull my covers up neatly and make sure it looks nice. When I come into the room it just instantly feels more tidy (even thought there are piles of laundry that need to be put away). I'm hoping to turn this into a habit, but only time will tell!
So there you have it. My goals I am going to try to conquer this month! Wish me luck! Do you set goals for each month? Each week? What are you working towards right now? I would love to hear!

2013 Word: Organization

January 7, 2013
Well here we are, already in the second week of 2013. I hope everyone's year is off to a fabulous start and that you are knocking your resolutions out of the water! I always like to take this time of year to reset and reevaluate where I am and where I am headed in the coming year. While, I have a few resolutions goals that I'll hopefully share with you this week, today I want to share more with you about my word for 2013. 
I don't know about you, but when I'm organized I feel like I have it together. There is a serious correlation between to the tidiness of my bedroom and my productivity level. I feel more distracted and instead of focusing on whatever task is at hand, I have intruding thoughts of "I need to make my bed" or "I should have cleaned the bathroom". While those things may be true, I don't need them clouding my thoughts while I'm working. I want to clear the clutter in my life and make things easier on myself. If all of my clean laundry is put away after it comes out of the dryer (I hate this part of laundry) then I won't have to be frantically searching for my black sweater in the morning. There are lots of areas where I need help in the organization category but the ones I'm listing below are my top priorities. 
  • Home. Bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, studio. I want to have control of it always. I know that I will never have it all together all the time, but I want to make a conscience effort to making a place for everything and effectively using the space I have.

  • Business. I am terrible keeping up with my inventory and packaging supplies. I am constantly running to the store to pick up tissue paper or the post office for stamps. These silly things are easy to prevent and seriously put a dent in my productivity. I spent this weekend organizing my studio and it is already making a world of difference. I'm so excited to get to work this week!

  • Computer. My files are a mess. I do pretty well creating separate folders for different projects and files but there is a lot of information on my computer that I no longer need. I also want to take control of my desktop. It tends to be a catchall for all those things I'm not sure where to file away and that I'm not quite ready to trash. I'm thinking about designing a wallpaper that works for my needs and seeing how that helps me keep things in line.

  • Finances. I have never been one to balance my checkbook or schedule bill payments ahead of time. This has caused me to overdraft my account numerous times because you can not always rely on the balance listed in your online banking. Trust me. I really want to get a hold of my spending, in my personal life as well as for my business, and know exactly where every penny is going. I have never been one to save for a "rainy day" but the older I get, the more I realize that it's necessary!

I, like so many others, headed to Pinterest to find some creative solutions for my organization goals. You can follow along and see what I've pinned here. Have any other great organization tips for me? I'd love to hear what others are doing and have found successful in their own lives!

Have you chosen a word for 2013? If so, I would love to hear it!