Entries Tagged as 'Personal'

Small Business Mom

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

There must be something in the water, because as I was gearing up to write this personal blog post I came across a couple from other fellow wedding vendors on the same subject, including one from the fabulous Ashley Therese Photography.

Finley caught a nasty cold last week, so I kept her out of daycare to rest + recover. The only thing I had to do that day when I made the decision was cancel a doctor’s appointment; no boss to call, no out-of-office message to post. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the downside of balancing a business + a family: that there is no one to cover my “desk”, that much of my personal time is spent working. However, that day I really clung to the upside. Being my own boss means making my own hours, and an hour I choose to be with my daughter is one I never regret.

Finley has recently become obsessed with my phone. I showed her some videos of her and now that is her #1 favorite activity. I try to play this card only when I really need it (e.g. when doing her pigtails), but if she even sees me look at my phone she races over expecting a viewing party. Her latest obsession has forced me to put down the phone (and hide it behind a couch pillow), quiet the noise of email + social media, and be present. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about multi-tasking, but there’s a difference between management + distraction. I now work smarter (and try to still always get my 3 things done each day) as I have a newfound respect for the gift of free time. I still fall down the rabbit hole of Instagram, and have already failed at my goal to go to yoga once a week in 2016, but I’m trying not to waste energy beating myself up for things like that.

That day I let the feeling of gratitude wash over me. I’m grateful for two jobs that I work my butt off for, that fulfill me in different + wonderful ways.



{Photo Credit: Lara Casey}

Looking for more working mom inspiration? Check out this fabulous post!

Three Things

Thursday, April 2, 2015

As a new mom, what I’m finding incredibly challenging is accepting unfinished business. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I want to tackle everything right now. Now that I am home full time it seems one thing crossed off the to-do list leads to five more added. I’ll clean out my inbox and see a corner of my office that obviously hasn’t seen a swiffer duster since the Bush era. It’s like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole, and it was leaving me feeling unsatisfied each day. I knew I had to put a stop to this, or the frustration would eat my alive. I read about this successful entrepreneur who made a point to do three things each day. No matter what else happened in those 24 hours, she’d say “I want to do these three things”, and not “I have to”. I took this for a spin, and it has been fantastic. Each evening I write on a virtual post-it three things I want to tackle the next day. One must be business related and one must be personal. The first benefit is that it keeps me focused; I veer off-course much less often. The second is the sense of gratification at the end of the day, knowing that I accomplished the three things I committed to that morning. Most days I get more than 3 things done, of course, but I’m learning to set myself up for success and not disappointment.

So if you’re a new mom, an old mom, or just an overwhelmed human being in need of a pat on the back, I highly recommend giving this a shot.

Now it’s on to folding laundry and working on a new client quote.

Finley paper

Finley’s objection to me taking notes on this blog post idea during our playtime.

New Year, New Perspective

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This year so much has changed: I quit my day job, became a mom, and took my business in places that three years ago seemed like a far-off dream.

Balancing baby + business will be a never-ending venture, so this year the theme is “small wins”. What I find holding me back often is confidence. Whether it’s as a mom or designer, I waste so much energy in my head, over-thinking. So instead I want to try + celebrate the to-do list that gets done, however minor the tasks may seem. A day with clean dishes, a happy baby + a good design or two is a day worth patting myself on the back. And I’ll remind myself progress, not perfection. I hope you’ll do the same for yourselves, too.

I still have dreams (a feature in Martha Stewart Weddings doesn’t seem laughable), but now I see the value in the small victories. The pessimist might perceive this as lowering one’s standards, but really it’s just about accepting that divided energy yields different results. I’m going to celebrate winning the battles and not the war. I’m thankful for the energy + joy this business still infuses in me; it’s an energy like no other. So cheers to 2015! I hope you all treat yourself with love + patience in the year to come!

View More: http://aprinceportrait.pass.us/styledshootdec13

(Photo Cred: Anaise Prince Photography)

A New Red Door

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Before the baby arrived, we wanted to complete a slew of home improvement projects: a new fence, a paved driveway, and a freshly painted house. I convinced my husband that a red door would look fabulous, and of course I was right. But as I got home that day to see it for the first time, I got a little choked up. It was because Roseville Designs paid for this door.

As creative business owners, we don’t work simply for the money. Of course it’s important, but the main drive has to be passion for what we do; otherwise failure is imminent. In a recent webinar hosted by Ashlee Proffitt, she discussed the importance of defining what success means to you in your business. I thought about it again when the bill came for the housework, and I made a hefty transfer from my business account to my personal one to cover the costs. This, I thought, was success: doing what you love for a living.

Let’s be clear, Roseville’s not buying The Shannon Family summer home in Nantucket any time soon. And a formula that works now will most likely need to be reevaluated as life changes and an industry shifts. If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned as a small business owner, it’s that you can’t rest on your laurels. You’ve got to stay hungry + motivated. But today I decided to bask in the glory a bit, as the sun shined on my new red door.

Red Door

Introducing Finny Lou

Monday, July 28, 2014

The last 10 days have been quite a whirlwind at Roseville Designs. On Friday, July 18th we welcomed our baby girl into this world. Finley Louise arrived happy, healthy, and with what appears to be a head full of red hair.

Life has changed dramatically, and for the better. We’re taking a little time to experience all these special moments (and being available for constant diaper changes), but are looking forward to starting up the 2015 season with new client meetings and more at the end of August.

For now, feel free to email with questions or thoughts, but expect possibly a minor delay in response as we take in long nights, little gurgles, and the exciting new title of mom.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

My Baby Shower

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Back in May I was surrounded by friends + family at The Blue Lemon Restaurant in Westport for my baby shower! I was lucky enough to have fabulous photog Tim from TBM Photography document the day, so thought I’d share some pics.

Baby Shower Westport

My main jam is weddings, but I do still work on the occasional baby-related paper good. Though I was strictly prohibited from being involved in the planning of my shower, my sister + mother did let me do the invitations. It’s a weird (but very exciting) experience to not have a client to answer to, because really you can do exactly what you want.

Bunny baby shower invitation

The theme for the nursery was originally intended to be fruits + vegetables, but once I did the carrot + bunny look for the shower, the bunny took over! (As my friend Sandra says, it’s now my spirit animal.)

peach aqua bunny baby shower

I never pass up an opportunity to line an envelope, and lately I’m really digging wraparound address labels. Maybe not as high-end for certain wedding invitations, but for a party invite or save the date they look great against a colored envelope (and allow for a lot of creativity!).

baby shower custom envelope liner

The last little piece were custom coasters I made that sat at each place setting. They’re a great alternative to printed cocktail napkins, which often get scrunched up and thrown in the garbage!

custom paper coasters

Thanks to Sarah Giggar from Giggar Makeup Artistry for prettying me up for my celebration!

bunny baby showerBlue Lemon baby shower

But most of all, thanks to loved ones who came to celebrate Baby Shannon! Now on to baby announcement design planning….

westport baby shower

The Wedding Loft

Our Big News

Friday, January 10, 2014


In this post I talked about self-reflection, and thinking about all the excitement to come for 2014. But the biggest piece of joy for 2014 I was keeping under wraps….until now.

Mike + I are so excited to officially announce that we’re expecting a baby in July!

The past year + a half business has been a whirlwind of excitement, and I can’t wait to keep riding this wave in 2014.  I’ve already been blessed with a bunch of amazing clients for this season and rest assured, business in 2014 is still in full force. I’ll be working on pretty paper for a good chunk of the year! However, some day-of paper needs (mostly for August and September brides) will be delegated to another designer depending on your exact wedding date. In true Sandy-spreadsheet-nerd fashion, I’ve made schedules for all my 2014 clients thus far ensuring that their paper needs are covered for their big day! If any clients have questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email!

But for now, I’ll continue to enjoy my sour cream + onion potato chips (and more OJ than I thought one person could consume) as I dive head first into busy season :).

2014 + Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On one of my daily blogs, I read about an exercise where you write a letter to yourself for the next year, reflecting on your goals + dreams as if they already happened. A collection of self-fulfilling prophecies, if you will.

On its surface it may seem silly (or even scary), but actually writing “Congratulations on your feature on Oh, So Beautiful Paper” (or said goal for yourself) can provide a kick in the butt needed to work towards it.

So I took a stab at this back in January 2013, and just read over what I had hoped for myself today. It was a really interesting practice (one I highly recommend) because when I wrote it, I truly thought some of the goals were simply out of reach. I knew it was for my eyes only, so I threw caution to the wind. But it turns out in some cases, I was selling myself short.

Here’s the best example of that; I noted in my letter that I was going to be a part of a strong network of Connecticut wedding vendors, but something even better happened. This network came with it some of the most incredible friends, ones that have changed my life professionally + personally. You know who you are,  and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Of course, I don’t have a perfect batting average. My younger dog still barks incessantly at anyone who comes to the door (though I have made progress!), I didn’t yet get that feature in OSBP, and I still haven’t seen Paris. But regardless of the shortcomings, I can say wholeheartedly that 2013 has been the most  challenging + fulfilling year of my life.

Resolutions may have a deadline of December 31st, but dreams + goals allow you more time. Time to appreciate progress made, and assess new tactics on how to get it done. So I feel no shame in rewriting some of mine that I didn’t get to cross off the list this year, while celebrating those that need not be repeated.

So cheers to 2014, and wishing you all the ability to dream big + work hard in the year (and years) to come!



Busy People

Monday, November 4, 2013

busy people

A few days ago someone said this to me, and I’ve been coming back to it all weekend…so much so I decided to whip up a little graphic for it.

A lot of people ask me how I juggle this business, a full-time job, and the rest of life. I usually respond with 2 points: One is that I am a very organized person (the nerdy type that genuinely enjoys creating to-do lists), and two is, more simply, because I have to. When you know only a small percentage of your day is down time, then you organize better. If you know you have X number of things to finish by Friday, then you plan Monday-Thursday accordingly. I’m certainly not advocating an I’ll-rest-when-I’m-dead mentality, but rather trying to comfort those hesitant to take a risk. You’ll figure it out because that’s the only option if you really love something. And passion is the best tool in a juggler’s arsenal.

This isn’t just to those in my position, because the truth is so many of us juggle more than we realize. Kids, jobs, homes, marriages…it’s a lot + we deserve a pat on the back.

The third thing I sometimes say to people (depending on how close I am with them + if I’ve had a libation or two) is that I don’t always juggle it all. I’ve screwed up plenty, and I know I will again. But that damn passion convinces you to dust yourself off and get back in there.

So today I celebrate those fellow jugglers, those who look forward to an afternoon off (but don’t know what to do with themselves when they get it). Those who can’t remember the last time they experienced boredom. Those who have to-do lists for the week on the desk and a dream list for the future in their back pocket.

Passion is a very, very beautiful thing.


Monday, September 2, 2013

I’ve been reflecting on vacation and the idea of unplugging this week. As I sit here on Labor Day with my feet against the rails of our Vermont cabin, I’m reminded of what getting away truly means. Normally on vacation I count down from the beginning, 4 days to go until I have to get back to reality, 3, 2, 1…

I really love my reality, my day-to-day. Sure, having my full-time gig in addition to my business can be taxing, but I’m very happy with my present. My dad tells me the late twenties is the best time in your life, because you’re young enough to believe that anything is possible and old enough to make it happen. I think he may be right.

But with vacation comes a bit of a lull. You get used to the ease of not planning each part of your day and (gasp!) not checking your email every 15 minutes. You see that an email response today vs. tomorrow really doesn’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, and you learn to ease off the gas pedal.

As I enter September (my favorite month!) I’m filled with excitement, but a little angst. The busy season is calming down a bit, but having the opportunity to take a breath is scary. We desperately cling to a time when this will come, yet when it does we fear it means disaster. So in September I’m going to try and appreciate the moments when I am striking a balance between work and play. I’m savoring this time I’ve had with my family (thanks to Lara Casey for some wise words on that subject). This is the first vacation we’ve taken with kids, now that my sister is a Mom. It’s changed things, but for the better.

So here’s to September, which I hope brings a season of continued success, growth, and life lessons for all.

(My niece on her first speed boat trip. She took it like a champ and had more joy on her face than I think I’ve ever seen before. I wish us all that kind of bravery.)

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