#vallarinabrandcrush / 09

JOYFULPAPERY-01 Hey guys! Happy Tuesday! I'm happy to report that this week appears to be going MUCH quicker than last week, and I'm so grateful for that! It felt like last week lasted a zillion and a half years.

I'm excited to share with you another #vallarinabrandcrush! Today I'm crushin' on Joyful Papery, a sweet little shop filled with prints, cards and other bits + pieces that are lovely and made with heart by the shop's owner and creator, Emily. Fun fact: I stumbled across Emily and her shop on Instagram (I do believe 90% of these brand crushes/lovely ladies have dropped into my life that way!) but found out through chatting that we went to the same college, and both grew up in/near Indianapolis! Oh, what a small world it is.

Emily was sweet enough to share a bit more about herself and her shop, so pour a cup of coffee or tea and settle in to get to know Emily!


1. Tell us about yourself. Who are you, what do you do? I’m Emily, and I’m so thrilled to be here in this beautiful space today. I’m a wife to my college sweetheart, Ben, and together we’ve set out to serve our Father in every breath we take. Right now we’re living in Virginia Beach, VA while Ben is finishing his Masters of Divinity and I work a bunch of fun jobs, including my hearts passion, lettering for Joyful Papery! My heart beats fast while encouraging women through the Word of God, speaking life into women in the TTC and infertility community, and advocating for orphan care, foster care, and adoption! I love living at the beach, rolling around on the floor with our pup, writing, and lettering

2. Describe a typical day. There really are no typical days for me, since I work a few different jobs… To be honest, I can’t even tell you what next week looks like! For the most part, I try to get up earlier than I’d like (I try to set my alarm clock for 15-30 minutes before I should actually be getting up) to give me time to wake up, pray, and spend time in the Word before whatever the day holds starts happening. I usually catch up on emails and orders in the morning before I head out to one of my jobs. During the day I either work from home on Joyful Papery, head to Ocean Art, selling local art and photography and help with custom framing, or you can find me working at local farmer’s markets selling Pennacook Peppers products! I love the variation of all the work I’m doing and I’m honestly loving this season of hustle we’re in! In the evenings, Ben and I try to work out together, which is usually running, biking, playing tennis, or just going for a walk down to the beach! We’ve also started charging our phones in the kitchen at night, instead of next to our bed (something I read from Gretchen Saffles), which has been incredibly freeing and so great for our marriage and for a full night’s sleep! It makes a HUGE difference for us!

3. How do you stay inspired? My inspiration comes from the Bible, journaling, nature, music, and friendships! Most times if I’m in a creative rut, I’ll run out to a local coffee shop, plug in my earbuds and pull out my Bible. I also try to spend a fair amount of time outside, whether it’s going for a run down to the beach or even just going on a longer-than-normal walk with our dog! If you’re in a creative rut, do something you’ve never done before. Go out to that new exhibit at your local museum. Take a walk on that trail you passed last week. Take your kids out to that park you’ve been meaning to go to. Run out to that cute little coffee shop that’s not on your route to work in the morning. Put yourself around people and in places that push you to new experiences.

4. What's your favorite way to cultivate creativity? For me, cultivating creativity has to be an intentional work. I have no formal training in art or lettering, so I’m always trying to push myself into new realms of creativity. Studying other art forms and being inspired by other artists is great, but I’ve found my creativity to be organically at its best when I’m home, with a warm cup of coffee, music on, and a clean desk in front of me. One thing I have to remind myself consistently is that you can’t be afraid of failure. Every draft is growing your craft and making you a better artist.

5. How did you get started doing what you do? I’ve always been a doodler. I can remember doodling in class on anything (usually my arms or my jeans…sorry Mom!) and thinking that it was a fault in who I was. I remember thinking I was stupid because I wasn’t learning the material as quickly as the other kids were. It was like I had to doodle in class in order to be retaining any material. Then, after I gave my life to the Lord, I watched all the women in my Bible study flourish and memorize scripture, and there I was again, not learning or growing in my relationship to the Lord the same as everyone else. One summer I bought myself a journal, and as I’d study God’s word, I found myself doodling in the margins. I realized this was my language with the Lord! It all clicked when I thought of doodling as the way I communicate and grow in intimacy with Jesus. When Instagram came along, I would take a picture of my journal and talk about what the Lord was teaching me, and soon I had friends and family that were approaching me to see if I would create something with their favorite verse/scripture on it as well. During a season of hurt and grief, the Lord used these doodles to speak to me, to grow me, and to teach me contentment, in and out of season (Philippians 4:11-12). And now as my business has grown, it’s my prayer that everything I create and every cent brought in would be a loving sacrifice back to Him and that it would bring others to know and grow in the contentment and joy from being close to the Lord.

6. What are your three favorite reads? An older one, but one of my all-time favorite books is Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. Another one of my favorites is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – I’m pretty sure I’ve read it cover to cover at least 4 times, and it changes me every time. I also really love older writings – anything by A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, or A.B. Simpson. I also love poetry/lyricals/hymnals!

7. What fills your tank so you can keep doing what you do / how do you rest? Time with the Lord, no doubt. I keep being reminded over and over again to plant myself near the stream of living water; that no good thing can grow apart from Him. I’m always at my best with I’m nearest to Him, and if I’m feeling worn out and weary, it’s usually because I’ve been out of sync with the Spirit.

8. If you could give another creative entrepreneur who is just starting out a piece of advice, what would you say? Dream big dreams, but hold on to them lightly. That dream you’re dreaming up might just be the first step God is calling you to, or might lead you down a road you hadn’t even imagined yet! Hold on to your dreams and boldly take steps towards them, but give God the freedom and the room to grow and go in directions that He has planned for you!

9. Share five products/apps that make your life easier / you can't live without.

  1. The Day Designer by Whitney English – I was at Hope Spoken as a vendor this March and all of the attendees were gifted one. A few short hours later, a sweet gal came and gifted me with hers, as she already had one. This planner has been such a great tool! I’ve always struggled finding a planner that works for me, and THIS is the one! I carry it everywhere!
  2. Spotify! I can.not. work without music. I just can’t.
  3. Instagram – it’s the App that the Lord built my business on and I love to use it to encourage, spur on, and meet new friends!
  4. Notes App on my iPhone – I jot down notes throughout my busy days on it, and I also use it to write up my blog posts before I post them.
  5. Lettering tools! – I ALWAYS have gridded paper, a dull pencil (I love a good dull point, is that weird?), and a few Micron pens in my purse wherever I go! You just never know when creativity (or boredom?) will come upon you!

10. Favorite song to throw an impromptu dance party to? For a dance party, ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles. For a sing-a-long, anything Third Eye Blind, the Eagles, Coldplay… Little known fact about me – I LOVE music, but cannot sing/dance/play anything musically… *sigh*

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Yay! Thanks so much, Emily! You can keep up with Emily on her blog, Instagram and Facebook page, and of course shop her gorgeous products right here!