Handmade Crush: Brim Papery

:) I found another handmade shop to share with you: meet Jolie of Brim Papery. Reading Jolie’s about page, including her vision and the meaning behind her business’s name, is what really captivated me as a fellow handmade business owner. I hope you’ll click over and see what I’m talking about. In the meantime, here’s my latest Handmade Crush interview…

brim papery maggie whitley

brim papery maggie whitley

brim papery maggie whitley

brim papery maggie whitley

brim papery maggie whitley

My name is Jolie Ankrom, and I am the founder and designer at Brim Papery. I live in Columbus, Ohio with my husband and daughter. In early 2013 I quit my teaching job to stay home with my daughter, and I now work out of my home creating paper goods with hand lettering and illustration. Everything I produce at Brim Papery is drawn by hand, converted digitally, then printed at a local print shop.

If I had the chance to go back and advise myself on business at the beginning, I would say three things:

1. Don’t wait to start! I was so hesitant to jump in without any formal training or degrees, but the truth is, experience is the best of teachers and you can’t learn until you try. I didn’t have the time or money to go back to design school, so I started out with the basics and learned what I could through trial and error. I’m so glad I gave myself the chance.

2. Take yourself seriously! If you want to start a business, do it, but don’t do it half-heartedly. Invest in yourself with the time and money to do things professionally, within reason. It’s hard for others to see your ambition and goals clearly if you don’t even see them clearly yourself. Showing respect for your own endeavor will carry you miles. When other people see that you treat yourself like an entrepreneur, they will follow suit and treat you that way, too.

3. Be persistent! Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. As someone trying to build a small business, you will have long nights, failed attempts and many lessons learned. Take it in stride and remember that it’s a journey. Use every triumph and failure as an opportunity to assess what works (and what doesn’t) and grow as a business owner!

Connect with Jolie: blog | shop | Instagram

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Do you remember a time when you said YES to something that was scary — but also really really exciting? What was that experience like? It’s easy to come up with goals and dreams, but finding our inner brave-ness is what makes something a challenge. I really resonated with Jolie’s three tips and my guess is you do, too.

Food for my mama soul.

beach pregnancy maxwell maggie whitley

We found ourselves at the beach on Sunday, totally planning on walking alongside it (and maybe hoping to get this baby low low low). Maxwell clearly had other plans because it didn’t take long and he was tugging at the straps on the stroller to get out. This sweet boy loves getting his feet wet, and in an instant memories of our weekly adventures to the beach over the summer flooded my heart. I grabbed his hand and together we walked down to the waters edge to play.

Zack captured this moment of me with both my babies, and when I saw it on my phone almost a day later I literally gasped. This is such a precious photo to me. I’m beginning to see mamahood as a marathon: we have to pace ourselves wisely, from the early morning hours, so we can last the entire day. It’s a hard, magnificent race.

Now that Maxwell is a toddler and he’s talking to us, sharing what he needs and pointing out all that he sees, it’s so very clear to me that love is at the forefront of his mind — all day, every day. He doesn’t ever see me as tired or repetitive or structured or weary, all feelings mamas have throughout the day. Instead, he sees me as his friend, his teacher, and his encourager. Having this moment at the beach with my babies captured is beyond precious — it’s life giving for my mama soul.

An adventure to the pumpkin patch!

pumpkin patch west hollywood

I love when our weekends are filled with so much HAPPY! It all starts on Friday — there’s usually tons of anticipation over Zack wrapping up his work/heading home. We usually stay up a bit too late on Fridays, which means the morning always comes too soon ;) You can usually find us in our jammies as we talk about our day while playing with Maxwell and Bauer. We have wooden cars and puzzles surrounding us, the books are scattered and we slowly sip our coffee (which Max calls “hot”). Suddenly it’s lunch time and sometimes we haven’t even left the apartment yet. Oops! This past weekend we knew we wanted to finish up some things around our home and after naptime on Saturday we wanted to visit a local pumpkin patch.

pumpkin patch west hollywood

In Los Angeles it’s not uncommon for a seasonal site, like pumpkin patches or Christmas tree farms or ice-skating rinks, to rent out a lot in the middle of a neighborhood. We’ve done all three now that we’ve been here for two years, and it’s kinda fun to see palm trees amongst pine trees or bales of hay ;) Besides, it’s a huge time saver having these seasonal sites set up in a neighborhood. Driving to the other side of the mountains, where there’s more space/nature, is definitely fun but it can take foreverrrrrrrrrr with traffic.

This was Maxwell’s first visit to the pumpkin patch but I think I had just as much fun as him. We love “stepping back” a bit and watching him take it all in. Seeing what he takes interest in (pony rides! face painting! bounce house!) and watching him pick up pumpkins — it’s adorable.

pumpkin patch west hollywood 2

We found a neighborhood pumpkin patch in West Hollywood to visit on Saturday afternoon. There was a small per-person admission but the total cost went towards any pumpkin purchase. We picked out a super cute lil punkin’ and two smaller gourds for our living room, and I love how vibrant the orange and yellow colors look against our brown accent wall. Kinda makes me want to make some sort of fall garland to really cozy things up ;)

pumpkin patch west hollywood

pumpkin patch west hollywood

pumpkin patch west hollywood

Speaking of adventures, Zack begins a new chapter today in his film/commercial/visual effects career and I’m so excited for him. This is a huge blessing/answered prayer for our family and I’m super grateful. And pinch me, but word around the water cooler is he’ll be home at dinner time, regularly. Yes!

I think we’ll all be reminiscing about all the family time we had this past weekend as today carries on… mixed with anticipation on when exactly Baby #2 will be making his or her debut into our family. WE ARE READY FOR YOU, BABY! ♥

We had such a lovely weekend and I hope you did, too. And if you live in a city where the leaves change colors then I’m a little envious of you!

The final days of pregnancy…

living room maggie whitley

I’m having the craziest moments of pregnancy/labor indecisiveness. My internal conversations go something like this,

* we’re totally ready for this baby to be born! Like, today!

* all we have to do is set up the queen bed and re-arrange the nursery, then we’ll be ready

* I’d rather have another c-section than try to give birth (again)

* there’s nothing else we need to buy

* I’ll be ready for the baby once the hospital bag is packed

* no wait, I need to wash a few more loads of laundry before I’m done packing the hospital bag

* maybe we should buy that larger diaper pail we’ve always talked about getting?

* I really don’t want to have another c-section

* I can totally handle two babies (and a dog) in our cozy LA apartment!


Someone, please tell me these thoughts are normal? And my sweet husband, he listens to me change my mind multiple times a day while my thoughts run wild. I went on a crazy cleaning kick on Sunday and scrubbed down our entire kitchen. (Yep, and totally over did it.) These final days of pregnancy can be so hard — the simplest tasks feel nearly impossible (like painting my toes), but I know this is all totally natural.

Slowing down is the best way to prepare for a baby, don’t you agree? It’s so good for our souls.