I've always been an entrepreneur at heart. As a kid, I would set up shop in my dad's home office and sell him his own office supplies. A little scammy, no?
Thankfully he played along, and I learned a lot about business and marketing from him as I grew up. I spent a lot of my childhood making PowerPoint presentations, doodling in MS Paint, and making paper crafts, and all this eventually led me to a BFA in Graphic Design.
I jumped into doing freelance work for real clients (that I found on Craigslist, no less) on my first day of college waaaay back in 2006-ish. I learned so much more from these clients than I ever did in a classroom – it was the first of many experiments with this new thing called online business. Somewhere in there I started an Etsy shop (and attempted to sell granola very briefly, hence oats), but it wasn't until 2011 that Paper + Oats was officially born, combining two of my favorite things: design + organization.
2013 was a major turning point in my life as I found myself single, pregnant, and suddenly googling divorce lawyers. I learned quite a lot about myself during this season, and soon welcomed my favorite tiny human, Poppy. This not-so-little detour was certainly unconventional, and lit a fire under me as I poured myself into Paper + Oats, growing it into the business it is today. What started as just a few printable planners on Etsy and a handful of freelance clients, has grown into a brand that blends thoughtful design & practical organization into educational tools for creatives who sell digital products — proving that yes you can get back up after adversity, and do great things in the aftermath. [insert fist pump here]
When I’m not designing or writing or wearing all those other businessy hats, I’m usually walking down to the ice cream shop with Poppy, vacuuming up enough dog hair to make another border collie, or painting just about any surface in my 1930s bungalow.
In the fall of 2016, I had the honor of being a part of a short documentary series produced by Bryan Harris of VideoFruit, and the emotional film below perfectly sums up the seasons of life that shaped who I am today.
PAPER + OATS IS BUILT ON THESE FOUR VALUES
Online marketing gets a bad rap. I want to make a real connection with my audience (that's you), so I serve up the good parts right next to the bad – in business and in life. (Dating? Yeah, it's not going real great.)
If you haven't noticed, I'm a hard worker. I'm independent and driven. And I want to pass that legacy on to my daughter. She insists on putting her shoes on all by herself, so it must be working. Poor thing.
If nothing else, I've learned to be pretty darn resilient over the last few years. I bring that into my business by letting it evolve to move forward. Change doesn't have to be scary – it's kinda good actually.
The only fluff I like is on my dog. There's enough of that out there (fluff, not dogs), so I stick to actionable + practical content for just about everything in my business. Function is my favorite f-word.
WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT MY STORY?
Click around on some of the features + interviews below, if you want to creep on me even more. (It's okay, I do it, too.)
DID YOU KNOW P+O GIVES BACK?
Throughout the year, I give a portion of my profits back to charities + causes that are important to me. Read about all the past givebacks right here.
QUESTION OR CONNECTION?
Fold up your emails, and slip them into the box marked firstname.lastname@example.org.
INSTAGRAM IS MY JAM
follow @paperandoats for the latest products + exclusive promotions + behind-the-scenes shots + a really cute toddler