The Blog
Some happy news to share…

This past week we had our best sales days of all time on our shop website!  I am so incredibly thankful to all of you for supporting Annie Taylor Design. Running a small business is full of ups and downs. It’s more work than I ever anticipated, but there is nothing I would rather be doing everyday.  I feel so lucky, and so proud. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I also wanted to take this moment to introduce you guys to Erin, the shop assistant at Annie Taylor Design, and my sanity saver. You didn’t think I did this all on my own did you??  Erin has worked with me since I relaunched my business and new website in January of 2014.  She is honest, loyal, incredibly smart and resourceful, and I am honored to also call her a dear friend. Oh, and she is also the mom of 3 little boys.  So yeah, we kind of get each other 🙂

Meet Erin 🙂

   
Erin and I look forward to working together in the year ahead, growing ATD, and bringing you all even more unique and inspiring stationery. Cheers to that!

Happy holidays from ATD!  We are so grateful to you all.

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Local Syracuse Friends!  Come see me at Pottery Barn at Destiny USA this Saturday!

Also, I invite you to my home for my annual Holiday Open House!

 

5 reasons why I hope you will shop small…

Listen, I am NOT preaching.  I willfully admit that Target happens to be my happy place.  I am also a regular on amazon.com, with deliveries arriving waaaay too often at our house.  BUT, I also try to support small business when and where I can.  Yes, it usually costs a little more to “shop small”, but the impact it makes is huge.

Here are the top reasons I hope you will shop small a little more often:
(Thank you National Research Center for this powerful info)

1. Supporting small businesses keeps money within the community and enhances the local economy.  It’s true! 

2. Small businesses tend to buy from other small businesses.  When we purchase locally-sourced ingredients or products, we also contribute to our neighbor business’ success and the economic well-being of the community entire. Buy Local!!!

3. They offer unique gift items not found anywhere else. Heck yeah!

4. Customer service at small businesses is a personal experience. 
We are REAL people behind it all, and we care about giving you the best quality. I truly hope my customers feel this way when buying from Annie Taylor Design, it’s the MOST important aspect of my business.  

5. Small business owners are generally experts in their field and are better equipped to answer complex questions or provide innovative solutions for their customers. It’s our passion, our baby!  And therefore we definitely know our field better than the big box chains!


Practicing what I preach 🙂 #shopsmall


Shopping small in my hometown. the Buy Local Bash, 2016.  Me and my little helper.  

So, I ask you, will you try trading in your Starbuck’s for a cup of joe from your local coffee shop this week?

I’m very grateful to all of you, thank you for listening.

We are offering 15% off your entire online order, now through Monday 11/27.  Just enter the code SHOPSMALL at checkout.  Happy shopping, friends!

And the new door color is…

You guys know by now that color is my obsession. Bold, fresh, even loud color. I like to wear colorful clothes and paint my nails with bold nail polish. My home is is full of colorful prints, pillows, rugs, and curtains. And, I like to change the paint on my front door, maybe a little too often, as my neighbors are well aware of. It’s possible I am becoming the neighborhood crazy lady (some of you may be laughing, assuming I was probably given that title a loooong time ago.) 

So why did I choose the new door color that I did? We are heading into the gray months here in upstate New York, and the “winter blues” can sneak up on you. I wanted to try and ward off that feeling this year. So I chose a shade that represents warmth and cheerfulness. After doing a little more research on the color, I found out that it can also increase mental activity and muscle energy. This sunny hue helps activate the memory, encourage communication, enhance vision, build confidence, and stimulate the nervous system. Okay, you have got to be intrigued now!

And the new door color is… yellow. Oh, how I just LOVE yellow.

This new shade is called “Be Daring” by Pittsburgh Paints. So fitting, right? Having a white house allows me to be a little more daring than I may be with another color house. BUT in my humble opinion, every house should have a colorful front door. Nothing else says “Welcome” or “Hello” or “Kind, happy people live here” quite like a fresh, bright, and boldly painted front door.

Cheers to that!

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Behind the scenes at Annie Taylor Design…

I am SO excited that tomorrow is the big ATD photoshoot with Alice G. Patterson. Alice and I have been collaborating for almost five years, and we work very well together. She completely knows my brand, and in my opinion, it’s a perfect marriage with her photography style. 

The amount of prep work that goes into a shoot like this always wipes me out. I have been planning for at least six months; making shot lists, designing products, gathering props and setting the stage. And still, the week of the shoot I am a mad woman.

This photoshoot also involves my kids (with my kids products), which throws a whole extra level of crazy on top of this day. If history proves anything, they will be distracted, super awkward, and will fizzle out after about 30 minutes. Despite this, Alice still somehow manages to get the most adorable shots of them. I think her secret is that she doesn’t mind being silly, and little boys appreciate that 😉

Some of the lovely parts of the day will be getting makeup and hair done professionally by two extremely talented women. Holly of A-List Artistry, and Stephanie of Adagio, will work their magic to make this mama look and FEEL refreshed. Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies!

Alice and I will work together styling and collaborating the entire day. Most days we forget to even eat. By the end, we are both exhausted physically, and creatively. I am already planning on ordering take out and going to bed early when it’s complete.  

I can’t wait to have fresh photos to share with you all, and to create my first wholesale catalog. I also love welcoming you into my home and workspace through Alice’s lens. Stay tuned!

Planning what to shoot, and going through all the inventory. It’s a big job!  Thank you to Erin (our shop manager, not shown) and to Sully (chief opinion giver, above.)


Lots of prep work! Shot lists, props, tear sheets. The better we plan out, the more efficient we can be on the shoot.


Nothing inspires those little DIY projects quite like inviting a professional photographer over. Also, Sully loves to help mom, and get dirty 🙂

I’ll let you know how it all turns out soon!

See more behind the scenes and daily updates on Instagram!

3 words EVERYONE needs to hear to succeed…

Believe in yourself.

I want to share a story that has taken me 40 years to tell…

My entire childhood I struggled in school. I had what can be considered a “hidden learning disability”… reading comprehension. It is something that can go undetected for a very long time because those that have it can read accurately and fluently from the page…however, we don’t always process the meaning of all those words rolling off our tongues.

I hid the fact that I wasn’t a strong reader for years and continually felt worse and worse about myself. I didn’t want anyone to know my secret, or to judge me. I felt ashamed, and stupid. I did well in other subjects which allowed me to hide it and work around it, but that trick prevented me from getting the help I needed early on. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I realized it was more than me not being as “book smart” as my friends and sisters. It wasn’t laziness, or lack of desire to do well. It was clear, and proven in a psychological evaluation, that I have a brain that processes information in a different way than most other people.

With this newly discovered knowledge, I was then able to get the right help and I was provided the tools that were essential for my success. My confidence in school started to come back, which trickled into all parts of my life. I was beginning to truly believe in myself.

Fast forward a couple decades to my life now, as a mom. I feel it is important to share this story about my past. Not to hide it or be embarrassed by it. It made me who I am today. Someone that I am very proud of. I struggled, I worked hard, I overcame it.

I am reliving my childhood all over again through my children (the good, the bad, and ugly!) and I want them to know that I “get it”. That they can share anything with me, with no fear of judgement. No matter what their struggle may be, I believe in them, and I will do everything I can to boost their confidence to help them succeed.

What I have learned in my 40 years is that we all have special gifts, and we all have  struggles. It’s how we truly feel about ourselves deep down determines our success. 

Thanks for reading, friends. I am honored to have this platform to share my life with you all, and to keep it real.


This post is dedicated to Lincoln, my sweet, smart, talented little boy. You make me so proud. I love you, Louie.