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State of the Studio & a fun little freebie download

When I first launched my Etsy shop back in January of 2011, I didn’t have a 100% firm grasp on what my brand – my visual identity –  was. Understanding and identifying my own personal style has never been the problem; it’s been identifying how to attract the kind of customer that really got my style and who I was. Once I got into the groove of having my own shop –  my own brand – I became acutely aware that I wasn’t completely representing myself the best that I could. It lacked personality and style. So after a few months of agonizing sketching and assessment, I rebranded in time to go to Alt Summit in January of 2012. Pencil Shavings Paper became Pencil Shavings Studio, a much more inclusive name of the variety of products I was offering.

When I finally was able to restyle it, I fell madly in love. It was finally representative of what it is that I want to accomplish. I absolutely love my logo and my collateral materials.

But Stationery Academy was all about truly understanding that branding is more than just pretty looks; it’s the heart of your business. Why do I do what I do? I love design; it’s so much a part of me that I can’t separate one from the other.  I love color, fashion, typography, patterns. I love inspiring others to find the beauty in the every day. I love connecting with people and building relationships.  Additionally, sharing my life authentically and somewhat transparently is also one of my passions. My strengths are that I’m a natural encourager and a joyful optimist. Blogging has helped me to piece all these things together. That’s why I choose to write about my struggles with UC and the long difficult stretch when Simon switched careers. That part isn’t pretty or easy; but the joy comes from encouraging others in their struggles.

When you buy something from Pencil Shavings Studio, I want you to feel like you are the Pencil Shavings Studio girl.   So who is she? Well, simply put, she’s all about being a showstopper and encouraging others to be showstoppingly fabulous too.

And in true Pencil Shavings Studio style, I’ve created my very own MASH game to find out which PS Studio girl YOU are! You remember MASH, right? That perfectly awesome timewaster of a game that we all played (erm, assuming you’ve been a teenage girl at some point) during long stretches of 3rd period algebra or 5th period world history. See what your final combination will be and then tell me in the comments!

Psssst: Need the instructions on how to play MASH? Check out this handy dandy guide here.

As a final note, I feel the need to clarify something, whether it’s truly necessary or not. This isn’t about acquiring all these things or feeling like you need to keep up with this perception of a lifestyle in order to fit in. It’s inspiration – plain and simple. It’s about feeling something: I see all these things, and I feel inspired and happy. It inspires me to bring color into my life in small ways by picking up flowers at the market or maybe a new pillow off of Etsy.

Wow. There you have it. Branding therapy happening right here.

How will you be inspired today?

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