So you’re on the fence about attending Stationery Academy. I understand. I was once there, about 4 years ago. I was wondering how I was going to pay for the conference and my airfare, but most of all I was just really hesitant that it wouldn’t be worth the money. Would these women think my idea for a line of stationery be dumb? Those thoughts swirled in my head for weeks. There was a scholarship fund that I applied for and literally poured my heart into. I remember thinking, “Welp there’s goes my idea. Either their going to love it and take it as their own or they’ll pick someone else who was able to convey their idea better.”
On the day the scholarship winner was announced and Emily Ley called me, I was sitting in the parking garage of my day job, about to walk in for the day. Emily gave me the news, I may have screamed in her ear for my excitement and then after I got off the phone, I cried like a baby. Y’all, I was ecstatic! Even if I had not had won that scholarship I had already made peace about the fact that I would pay for 1 of those last 2 spots if I didn’t win. Thankfully, I won.
Throughout that week in Pensacola, Florida I felt such an overwhelming sense that I was right where I needed to be. These women, they got me and they got my idea.
You see at the time I went, Southern Fried Design Barn was literally just a name, an idea and a few designs on paper that I had quickly worked up a week for the conference. Day 1 of the Academy I shared my business idea and these strangers whom I had just meet were sold. I was literally beside myself that someone other than my parents though my idea for a stationery line would work. These women were enthusiastic and encouraged me to take my idea to the next level.
Now, almost 4 years later I have taken Southern Fried Design Barn to the next level. I have created this website and this blog (!), developed over 14 different product collections, been published by 4 magazines, exhibited at the National Stationery Show 3x consequently, exhibited at America’s #1 wholesale market – AmericasMart, exhibited at over 10 craft shows, gained over 60+ retailer stores who carry my products and that’s just to name a few. And it’s all because the Stationery Academy taught me the ropes, gave me the tools and knowledge to really take the next step.
You may not want to have your own stationery business, like I did. Maybe you design custom wedding invitations, or own your own retail business, or have an idea for a product, or you’re an entrepreneur and you have lots of ideas and don’t know where to start. The group of women at this conference is unlike anything I’ve ever been apart of. I still keep in touch with the ladies who attended with me in that very first Stationery Academy in the summer of 2011. These women are life-long friends.
Maybe you’ve already attended Stationery Academy once and you’re wondering if it’s worth it to attend again. My answer in short, yes. I loved the first conference so much, I attended twice, just last year in Nashville. The best part was, I was able to gain a whole new business perspective since my business had grown and really developed it’s own style. Also, the Academy’s curriculum changes each year so I was able to gain new knowledge on the industry. Plus, I gained about 20 new friends who yet once again, got me!
I have to say that I have a incredible support system. My family and friends are extremely encouraging of me and this dream, but it’s different when you have other friends in the business that can relate to you on a whole different level. I can pick up the phone and call these women anytime now to ask for advice or bounce off ideas.
The relationships, knowledge, assistance and encouragement from the Academy is priceless. The 4 years of growth that the Stationery Academy attributed heavily to is priceless. This is a bold statement, but alongside hard work and a ton of prayer the Stationery Academy to me, is the third factor in my success of Southern Fried Design Barn. This conference is worth you time and money. I guarantee it! So go now to the link HERE and apply for one of those last few spots. Your small dream is worth it. Listen to that inner voice. I’m glad I did.
If you have any questions I’m more than happy to answer them! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to chat.
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