Getting ready for the National Stationery Show in New York...! May 11 2017

national stationery show

 

In a few days I am flying out to New York to debut Amelia Lane Paper in the USA. Exhibiting at the National Stationery Show - THE show for stationery businesses - has been a longtime dream of mine but wow, is it scary! Trade shows, for those who are wondering, are where companies exhibit to find new shops to sell their work. So while our products are available to buy through our online shop, they are also available in gift boutiques, book shops, florists, stationery studios and many other beautiful shops around the world which we’ve met at trade shows (sneak peek of the invite we sent to them for this show above!). It’s also a great place to meet other people in the industry and just generally get out from behind the desk!

While I’ve exhibited at trade shows in Sydney, Melbourne and London, the National Stationery Show (NSS) in New York is in a whole different league. It’s eye-waveringly expensive for one, especially when you include airfares, hotels and let’s face it, all the shopping I plan to do over there! It also a lot more complicated when it comes to building your stand. Shows I’ve exhibited at before include walls and basic flooring which you can then pay to upgrade / paint or you can generally do whatever you want to your space - hang shelves, frames etc. At this show, you’re given no flooring and no walls and you’re also prohibited from using any tools to build your booth (my drill has been a like a beloved family member in every build I’ve done before). Traveling from Sydney means it’s much harder (and expensive) to build a booth here and ship it over so I’ve opted to have walls and flooring installed on site there (also $$$$). And then there are regulations, and more regulations, and a lot of other unknowns which are going to have to be figured out on site. Luckily, my cousin is flying over to help me and is much more handy than I am!

But challenges aside, it’s a big moment for my business and I’m so excited to bring our products to the USA! We will be debuting our 2018 range of Amelia Lane Life Designers - with more cover, size and layout options than ever before. We’ve worked so hard on the new designs and have been trying to keep the new covers under wraps but I expect you might see a few sneak peeks if you keep an eye on social media during the show! Already, they’ve been creating a bit of buzz being nominated, alongside our Amelia Lane Wedding Designer, as finalists in the Best New Product Award! I’m not sure if that’s helped settle my nerves at all but it’s certainly a huge honour to be a finalist among other stationery brands I admire so much.

If you’re visiting the show, please come and say hi at Booth 1561 - I’ll be the Australian hiding under the desk!

Chanel x


Farewell 2016 December 31 2016 1 Comment

I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2016! What a whirlwind this year was! You know how some years are brilliant, some terrible and some unremarkable? Well, for me this year was high speed, full action, go go go from day one. And I’m exhausted. On the whole it’s been a wonderful year, so many lovely things have happened and beautiful memories have been made but it has definitely pushed me to the edge of burnout so I’m taking some time over the New Year break to reflect on what was wonderful about 2016 and what I want to improve on for 2017.

First up are my favourite memories of 2016 and as I’m writing this from a balcony overlooking the sea where I’m taking a few days peaceful rest with family I feel like I’m living one of them right now! Tomorrow and next week I’ll start planning my vision board for 2017 and setting my goals for the year and I’ll write about those in a separate post. Because for now, today is all about resting, reflecting and ringing in the New Year tonight!

16 best memories of 2016

1. Stand-up paddle boarding with dolphins one early morning while having a weekend away up the coast

2. Visiting some of the lovely boutiques which stock Amelia Lane Paper products and receiving some amazing press including a feature in the Huffington Post (still so surreal!)

3. Too many to count before work swims at the beach - starting the day right with sunshine, salt water and sea air

4. This year I resumed something I have previously done while I was living in London which is fostering rescue animals. My partner and I signed up with the RSPCA and fostered our first litter of puppies and their mum. Fostering appealed to us as they are generally short term placements designed to give shelter animals some respite from the kennels, time out to heal from an operation or, in our case, time for puppies or kittens to finish weaning from their mothers and a chance to grow a little bit bigger before they go back to get adopted to their permanent families. We were so excited to receive our first littler this year of a mum and four male long-haired Chihuahua puppies. They had all been rescued from a horrible puppy mill and needed to grow a bit before they could get adopted. We felt comfortable that we wouldn’t get too attached as we’re sensible enough to know that five dogs is too many for us and we both have never been the biggest fans of Chihuahuas as a breed so it seemed a great first foster group. And we loved having Maddy and her four pups staying with us and causing havoc before they found loving families so it was definitely a highlight of the year. And it led to…

5. Adopting our foster failure Archer. Unsurprisingly, we grew increasingly attached to the foster puppies and one ‘failed’ - well, we failed with giving him back and now he’s our forever dog and the sweetest, happiest puppy alive :)

6. Launching the Amelia Lane Life Designer and Wedding Designer in the UK. There’s been so much great feedback to our products over there and I’m so excited to add a lot more products to our UK shop later in 2017

7. Dancing bollywood-style in Nepal at my best friend’s wedding and seeing her shine with happiness

8. Visiting the Tu Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa (and Samoa in general!) - one of the most stunning natural places I’ve been to

9. Having a glass of wine and a whole lot of laughs taking a pizza-making class on a rainy Sunday

10. Attending five beautiful weddings and feeling surrounded by all the love

11. Visiting a trade show in New York with my mum (who lives in the UK so extra special for having time away with her) and making big plans for Amelia Lane Paper’s USA launch in 2017

12. Launching a new line of products including the Compact edition of the Life Designer, the Monthly Planners and the Wedding Designers, and reading so many lovely customer messages, emails, comments and feedback!

13. Working my way through the Couch to 5km running program - as someone who has never been a runner this was pretty exciting for me!

14. Quiet morning walks with Archie before the world wakes up and seeing how joyful he is everyday

15. Interesting conversation, good food and wine with friends in my monthly book club (and all the long hours curled up on the coach reading something engrossing)

16. Spending this New Years Eve break with family, resting, swimming, having fish and chips on the beach, playing board games and making exciting plans for 2017!

 

 


Christmas Delivery! December 09 2016

 

That time of year is fast approaching and the postie elves are working overtime! All orders are leaving our Sydney or UK warehouse now on the same (if ordered early in the morning) or next business day but for Australia, the cut-off time for pre-Christmas delivery using our FREE standard shipping is here! That is, today Friday 9 December!

For most locations in Australia, if you order today then your order should reach you before Christmas using standard shipping. However, shipping is slow to WA, NT, rural parts of TAS and north QLD so for those areas please use Express shipping if you absolutely must have it by Christmas.

After today, we strongly recommend using express post if you need your order by Christmas. If you're posting to a capital city (except Perth or Darwin) and Sydney areas then you *should* be ok to use free standard shipping until around 12 December but best to check with Australia Post for their most recent delivery time frame.

You can receive pre-Christmas delivery with express shipping up until 20 December but after that your order is likely to arrive after Christmas.

So if you've had your eye on a present for the list-making friend, sister, girlfriend or wife in your life (or better yet, as a gift for yourself) now is the time to order!


How to Use the Weekly Meal + Exercise Planner November 11 2016

Meal and Exercise Planner

A few customers have asked to see a closer look at the weekly Meal + Exercise Planners in the Signature Life Designers. I thought I'd include a sample of how I use it so you can get some ideas of what is possible (but please excuse the terrible hand-writing!).

Each Signature Life Designer has a 'Health' section at the front (after the 'Goals' section) which has 52 weekly Meal + Exercise Planners. There are sections for each day of the week and breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks (a category of mine which always has way too much writing in it!), exercise (a category which normally has too little writing in it!) and a water tracker.

On the right side are some dotted lines which I use for either a grocery list, recipe ingredient list or for a quick reference for calories in my most common meals.

Ideally, on a Sunday night I'll write up my meal plan for the week and have done some meal prep for lunch and snacks. I'll block out any lunch / dinners I have out with friends and then try and plan out a lot of the rest. If I'm writing a list of groceries, I put it on the right hand side where the dotted lines are and then take a photo on my phone in case I'm dashing up to the shops and have left my planner on my desk.

Meal Prep

I find the exercise section really handy as it keeps me accountable if I set it up at the beginning of the week. It's also useful if you are training for a big event such as a marathon or ocean swim. I'm not much of a runner so no marathons here (!) but I did recently complete the Couch to 5km program (so yep, not really in the same league as a marathon haha!) and it was great using the exercise tracker to write out the eight week program and tick it off when done, recording my times and distances.

The Compact Life Designer has been created differently as it is a smaller planner with only a monthly overview page for health (rather than 52 two-page spreads tracking it weekly in the Signature). The monthly overview gives you space to record the day's calories or points intake and the week's exercise to give you a big picture look at how you're going rather than a detailed in-depth view. This is more useful if you're not following a set meal plan / diet or are using an app to record some of the information for you. You can see in my mock-up below (based on a week when I was trialing the sample books months ago) I used both a daily calorie count and then switched halfway through the week to daily points tracking.

I'd love to see how others use their meal and exercise planners for inspiration so please feel free to tag #amelialanelifedesigner on instagram so we can all see!

Compact Meal Planner

 

 

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How to use the Amelia Lane Monthly Planners October 27 2016

The Monthly Planners might be the smallest of all the Amelia Lane planning products but they pack a big punch! I basically designed them because they are just unbelievably useful! Personally, I use mine to see what I have on each month as it comes up. So I include holidays, social engagements and big work deadlines. There isn't enough room to write much - it's more to give you a quick, handy overview and being so small, it's very handbag-friendly. I know a lot of people use their iphones for this big picture planning but I find it hard to visualise my month when it's on a screen. For example I like counting down the weekends until Christmas! A big pro of these in my opinion is that they are undated so you can start whenever you want such as when you're approaching a big event like a wedding or house renovation or project launch.

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

I've also thought about having multiple monthly planners with a specific use for each one - for example, using the Hibiscus cover for work goals and deadlines, the Jungle print for health plans (running and gym schedules, meal planning and training schedules for events such as an ocean swim or half marathon) and the Leopard print as a social media calendar. To be honest though, all those areas of my life are so intersected that it makes sense to keep them in one cover and for the moment I'm using the Hibiscus cover, which I'm slipping into the back pocket of the Life Designer {Signature} in Palm Leaf Pattern.

Below are some pages showing how I plan out my months - as you can see I *try* to coordinate different activities with different pen colours etc but of course that's not always practical! I love the Paper Mate Ink Joy pens which you can buy at Woollies and Le Pens which you need to ship from the USA. As you can see, I sometimes scribble important information for that month in the margin - here it's some flight details as it's the month of destination weddings for me - first Nepal and then Perth!

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

I also use the 12 month planner at the start to put in holidays and big events - such as trade shows for my work. This would be especially useful for teachers, students or mums with kids in planning out school terms and holidays.

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

In the Monthly Goals section I try and set a goal each month for work, health, and social/personal.

Amelia Lane Monthly Planner

 

Product specs: undated so you can start whenever you want, A6 size, soft textured card cover, thick 100gsm paper inside, two annual calendar views, a monthly goals spread, 12 monthly calendar views and some lined and blank pages on the back. Five covers. You can see more (and some nice clean pages without my scribbles!) here.

I would love to see how you use your monthly planner!

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Front of House: Before and After October 17 2016

 

A few weeks ago I was asked to talk about my experience renovating the front of my house for Reno Addict - a great blog for people like me who love seeing house before and afters and are a bit real estate obsessed! It's a sister site to the equally inspiring Interiors Addict. You can read the full article here but below are some photos showing the brown, black and beige colour scheme which was there when I bought the house, and the blue/grey and white look I ended up going for.

Some of the biggest changes were to the front and back courtyards all done on a tiny budget using Ikea, Bunnings and Flower Power, along with some free family and friends labour carrying the pots inside and a van rented from GoGet. There is still lots to do (such as the whole inside!) but at least now I feel like it's a bit brighter and happier when arriving home - and the bright lime green door certainly helps!

I would love to hear of any inspiring house renos you've seen or read or any recommended sites to visit!

Chanel x

Before

House Before Photo

 

After

 

Before

 

After

 

Before

 

After


Introducing the 2017 Amelia Lane Life Designers! October 10 2016

2017 Amelia Lane Life Designer Compact Black

Pre-order opens in TWO DAYS! Pre-orders will open on WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER AT 10AM! Orders will ship in November.

After such a quick sell-out of the 2016 Life Designers last year, we quickly got to work on the new + improved Life Designers for 2017 and we’re so excited to show you what’s to come!

2017 Amelia Lane Life Designers {Signature}

First up, the covers! There will be two covers to choose from in 2017 - an elegant navy and white stripe and a bang-on trend pink with green palm print. Both have the concealed spiral binding which we know works great for protecting the spirals as the planner gets tossed about in handbags and offices, and gold corner protectors. They will also both come with gold elastic band closures this year which are a little luxurious touch.

Inside, we’ve chosen to go with hand lettered quotes and inspiration for the monthly artwork pages and a soft pale blue / grey inside cover with back pocket. We’ve kept all the features you love with a few updates such as moving the weekly meal and exercise planners to a separate tabbed section at the front of the planner so you no longer have to flick through these to get to the next weekly spread. Similarly, the monthly budget and expenses pages are in their own section at the back. As always though, we’ve kept the focus on ‘whole of life’ planning as we know happiness comes from feeling in control of all areas of your life - from day to day schedules, to long term goal-planning and health and finances so you’ll be able to stay on top of all these with the 2017 Life Designer!

Specs-wise we’ve kept the nice, thick paper to reduce pen bleed and thicker card for the monthly tabbed pages. And yes, they will most definitely come packaged in a luxurious gift box like last year! The 2017 Amelia Lane Life Designer truly has all your bases covered for keeping on top of all important events, plans and goals in your life.

p.s. are you in the UK? Then we've got some good news! We will have a VERY limited number of the 2017 Amelia Lane Life Designers {Signature} in Navy Stripes with UK public holidays shipping from the UK so you'll receive it super fast! Make sure you pre-order the UK edition to enable free UK shipping!

Amelia Lane Life Designer {Signature} Navy coverAmelia Lane Life Designer {Signature} Pink Palm cover

2017 Amelia Lane Life Designers {Compact}

Love it but want something more handbag-friendly? Well, we know after speaking to a lot of you that you love the large binder size of the Life Designer to keep on your desk, home studio or kitchen bench but want something more portable to take into the office. So we created a brand new 2017 Life Designer {Compact}. The Life Designer {Compact} is a book-bound cloth fabric-covered Life Designer which has all your favourite features but on an edited scale to reduce page count and bulk. Smaller in dimensions than the Life Designer {Signature}, the Life Designer {Compact} has a week to two-page spread like the large, and vision boards, monthly tabs, a yearly planner, monthly calendar view and a back pocket.

However, instead of 12 goal action worksheets, the Life Designer {Compact} has a monthly goal overview spread, a monthly health tracker (to keep an overview count of daily calorie / points intake, plus weekly exercise output) and a monthly budget. This way you’re able to keep an overview of all these sections of your life on hand with you without the level of detail in the Life Designer {Signature}. And it also comes in two covers! A classic Black and a summery Sky Blue, both with a black ribbon page marker and nestled inside a luxurious black gift box.

2017 Amelia Lane Life Designer Compact Black

So which is the right planner for you?

If you like to make detailed meal plans, are following a diet or weight loss plan where you like to record all calories / points intake, use goal action plans to plot your work or personal plans and need a larger sized planner to fit your schedule in, then the Life Designer {Signature} is for you! If you’re constantly on the go, and just want to be able to see an overview of your health and budgets (for example, you may be using a daily tracker app for one of these so just want to write down your totals), then the Life Designer {Compact} is your best fit!

We can’t wait to see which planner and cover you choose! We think we’ve covered everything but please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions! And make sure you mark your diaries for WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER AT 10AM for pre-order!

Happy planning for 2017!

Chanel x


Healthy Habits: Morning Exercise October 03 2016

At the beginning of this year, I made a conscious effort to incorporate morning exercise into my daily routine. I know the timing of it doesn't work for everyone but I've tried morning, lunchtime classes and after work gym sessions and I know mornings are the most beneficial for me (read: the most likely to happen!).

When I've exercised in the morning I feel full of energy for the rest of the day and am also much more likely to eat healthily until at least dinnertime. But it's mainly that boost of endorphins and energy setting me up for a positive and productive day that gets me addicted.

My absolutely favourite form of exercising to start the day is a swim in an ocean pool (usually Bronte, pictured, or if I'm free to travel further afield Freshwater), but more commonly it's laps at Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in the Botanic Gardens or a quick run around Centennial Park.

While swimming has always come naturally, I'm definitely not a runner! What helped convert me was the Couch to 5km podcast series (I used the NHS one but there are a few out there). The weekly accountability and really noticing my progress was so motivating. I'm 100% a 'gold star' person - i.e. needing feedback from someone else to keep me going - and I also liked how the pace was manageable so I wasn't just immediately turned off once it got hard (like every time I'd set out to go on a run by myself!). It also helps me to go home and record it in my Amelia Lane Life Designer so I feel the satisfaction of ticking it off as 'done'!

To really get you behind the idea of setting up healthy habits, I strongly recommend Gretchen Rubin's book 'Better Than Before'. One of the main principles is that habits strop you having to make decisions over and over again because they just become routine. So it's no longer an option whether or not you're going to do something, you just do it unthinkingly. I'm still trying to ingrain the habit of morning exercise as I know it always makes me feel happier and I hope this motivates you to give it a try also!

Chanel x


Hello + Welcome! September 28 2016

Amelia Lane Profile Picture

It's so lovely to 'meet' you!

I'm Chanel - the owner of Amelia Lane Paper. Why Amelia Lane Paper and not Chanel Paper you ask (because everyone does!)? Well, there were pretty big issues with using 'Chanel' in my brand name with the rather well-established fashion house taking over all of Google's search results.

And why Amelia Lane? This is another super common question and understandably so. Let me just preface this with saying had I really thought through how often I'd be asked these two questions as I was brain-storming business names I probably would have come up with a slightly less embarrassing name...! But I named my company Amelia Lane after my favourite doll when I was a little girl.

Yep, a doll. We'll chalk that one up to lessons learned!

I live in Sydney, Australia but have spent a few months here and there living in Paris, Florence, Seoul and New York followed by a whopping nine years in London. Australia is definitely where my heart is though and I think our combination of sunshine and beaches is pretty hard to beat.

You can find out more about me and why I started Amelia Lane Paper here, but I hope you'll follow along the blog for sneak peeks of future product launches, behind the scenes designing, some interviews with hugely inspiring women and a little bit of everything else that makes life wonderful - family, travel and food!

Chanel x

p.s. the photo is from a Q+A I did over on the lovely Polly Finds Beautiful Things blog - you can check it out here!