It's Fall! Well, not technically Fall, but to me, September 1st always means Fall has arrived. I desperately wait and count down the days until Panera brings out the squash soup, and now I can burn all the pumpkin candles without Joe making sly remarks. Pumpkin candles make me more productive, I swear.
I think that's why Fall always gives me the extra push to make the most of my final quarter. Every Fall, I start to think about all the goals I made for myself and my business on January 1 and figure out how I can conquer them before the end of the year. I print reports, make an action plan for the next wedding season, and start to whip my calendar into shape.
This quarter, I'm even more motivated and able to tackle #allthethings with my new intern, Jax, coming in twice a week! Jax is a fashion major at VCU, and she's an immense help with social media, assembly, marketing, customer service, and more. Plus, it makes it way more fun to have someone other than my cats to talk to while I make wax seals and perfectly align stamps on invitations!
Since I've started bringing on help, English Tea Paperie has been able to do more than I ever dreamed. Would you BELIEVE that I am nearly fully booked for 2018?? How insane is that?! This business started when I made my own wedding invitations with a hot glue gun (true story), and now here I am serving 15-20 awesome couples each year. And things have gotten way more sophisticated than the glue gun . . . but we still use one sometimes!
Now, I know that 15-20 clients may not seem like a lot. You may be thinking, "Woah, Chloe. That seems pretty low." I thought that once, too. So I would take on 35-50 clients. In those years, I was stretched to my breaking point and could 100% NOT provide the kind of experience I wanted to give. I couldn't give each bride the attention and detail that she deserves. Plus, I was making silly mistakes, rushing and trying to give my best, when I was simply just pushed to my max. I took a long hard look at numbers, at the ETP experience, and to the time I was missing with my family, and I came up with boundaries for myself. I believe God is calling me to serve better, work smarter, and live more in 2018, so that's the new ETP mantra.
All that aside though, I am celebrating a way cooler number than 15: Joe and I are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday!! How he's put up with me that long is anyones guess!! We're celebrating with our favorite: an outing to Cooper's Hawk! A sweet ETP bride gifted us a wine club membership, so we're hooked now. There's no other way I'd rather celebrate 11 years with this man. We also want to see the new Reese Witherspoon movie . . . is that out yet?!
Since Fall wedding season is upon us (YAY for the Fall ETP brides with their autumn color palates!), I don't have a ton of new photos, so I'm leaving you with one of my favorites from this year by David Abel Photography. This geode invitation was a labor of love -- I ground sea salt into the paint to get the texture to look so real you have to touch it make sure it's just paper. ;)
The things us artists do!! For your viewing pleasure, here are some of the inspiration geodes that led to what you see in the final suite!
Happy hump day friends!