So how did all this whole paper thing start...

Well let's rewind back to 2012. After I graduated from college I decided I would take a few years off before law school and ended up working for the Florida Supreme Court. Well, let's just say that after 4 years I was better known for planning office parties than busting out cases. Whenever someone at the Court was having a party or event, they would ask me to design invitations and help with the details. You see, as it turns out, paper is in my blood. At one point my great grand uncles ran the largest African American owned printing company on the East coast.  I knew that law school probably wasn't a thing, but how does one begin to build a little paper empire? Wesley Brother's printing had closed down in the late 70's and  after about a thousand Google searches on the topic I discovered this little thing called Stationery Academy. It was as if the paper gods were pointing me right to it. Well, after checking out the website and deciding I NEEDED to be there I clicked on the "Investment" tab. There was no way. Like quite literally no way. I mean I called my then fiance trying to sound upbeat and optimistic (read almost begging) and he said, "I wish we could babe, but let's try to do it next year." (Tangent: The next year ended up being an absolute TRAINWRECK, and Stat Acad would have been even more impossible.) So I resigned my little heart to maybe doing it another time. One night while working at Ann Taylor (because 2 jobs. yes. I believed in the hustle. I also believe in beautiful clothes at heavily discounted prices) I just couldn't get it out of my head. I knew Stationery Academy offered 1 scholarship spot a year and I knew that the deadline was that evening. Then I remembered a Lara Casey quote (because I've been reading the Southern Weddings website since the background was brown y'all.) It was "Make it Happen" So I rushed home, prayed, pulled out my laptop, typed like a crazy person, thought "Why are you even doing this?", prayed again and hit send- right around 11:35pm (I didn't want to look like a procrastinator or anything...) I tried to forget about it and just que sera, sera myself into a peaceful place and then my phone rang. I was at my desk so I couldn't pick up, but on my lunch break I called back and it was THE Natalie Chang, queen of all things glittery and festive. I may have been hyperventilating that I was on the phone with her (OMG- NATALIE CHANG, of Lilly Pulitzer and Jason Adler fame) but when she told me I was the 2012 recipient of the Stationery Academy scholarship I may have full on busted out and danced in the park I was walking through. The next few weeks were surreal and before I knew it I was in sunny Pensacola Beach sharing a room with Rachel from Pencil Shavings Studio, Caroline from Caroline Creates and Beth from Beth Hart Designs. I was sitting next to incredible women like Jenn Sprinkle and Amber Housley and reigning girl boss of the south Emily McCarthy. My head could have exploded...and then Whitney English started talking to me. I swear I almost died. I promise I learned more in an hour with those ladies than I did in months of research. But more than paper stuff I learned so much about myself. Stationery Academy completely changed my life. It's been 3 years since I attended and my business has had it's ups and downs, but I owe an incredible debt to those 22 ladies I met that weekend. Stationery Academy was simply the first domino that fell and started my life on the craziest adventure that I could have never even dreamed of or imagined.