With deep aquas, thirsty shades of raspberry, and warm tangerines, an Erin Condren notepad becomes more than the place to jot down your grocery or to-do list, it makes for a visual summer, desktop oasis guaranteed to lift your spirits no matter the true season. Erin is the creative helm of Erin Condren Designs, beautiful customizable paper and organizational (note cards, invitations, notepads, planners etc..) products. Erin draws her inspiration from just about every aspect of her life, including in her role as a busy mother of two. “What has helped my life?” she asks when dreaming up new lines for her expanding design business. It is a question that might yield some gorgeous new designs should Erin choose to build products based on one of her most favorite forms of enjoyment: entertaining. “I love to have people over,” says Erin. “Sometimes we call the house Club Condren, it’s one of my favorite things to bring everyone together.”
Image provided by Erin Condren
If you could describe yourself in one hashtag, what would it be?
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
My daughter! So tough to be a 6th grade girl...discovering herself and who she wants to be. I'm so proud of the amazing young woman she is becoming.
What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?
My dreams are really not too big or greedy! I am so blessed with two healthy kids, a happy marriage and a wonderful & supportive extended family. My dreams from childhood have already come true. The fact that I also have a company that constantly motivates and inspires me to be creative and spread joy to others is just an added bonus. :)
What are you most proud of?
I am so proud of my business and the people that continually contribute to it's success. Some that have been with me for years, and others that are newly on board. Although my name is the headliner, this is certainly not a one (wo)man band! I work with the most talented, smart, driven and dedicated group of people and it is such a CHARGE to come to work everyday. I am truly so proud to be a part of all this and can't wait to see what the future holds for all of us.
What piece of advice changed your life?
I remember how painful young love was, but my life forever changed when I married my best friend. My parents have an incredible marriage (of more than 50 years) and their advice to move on from a rollercoaster relationship I had through college and my early 20s has forever proven to be the greatest advice!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Well, considering I will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of my company in 2015, the next 10 years will be here in a blink! It's an exciting and dreadful thought in some ways.
My twins will be 13 this summer, and off to college in only 6 years. Today I'm dreading that "empty nest", but in some ways it is incredibly exciting to think of what I might do when my "mommy time" is free. Being a mom occupies every single thought and free minute I have, endless possibilities of what I'll do next!
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Wow, that's tough to answer. I really haven't travelled enough in my life, but too many places on my list to narrow to one. I'm really not much of a daredevil, so can't say i've got a long list of adventures either. (no bungee jumping for this girl!) Family is most important to me, so number one would be to have a family reunion with ALL of my family (cousins from near and far too!) in some amazing tropical paradise.
Who has been the biggest female influence in your life and why?
My mom. Hands down. Impossible to explain in a few words what an incredible role model and inspiration she has been my entire life. Her positive energy is infectious, and I was always told as a kid, "you have the best mom!" As a Professor of Early Childhood Development, she has been a plethora of knowledge raising my own children, but also a continuous stream of inspiration in my business, my marriage, and everything I do.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
The biggest risk was buying our house. Both entrepreneurs without a stable income, we really never should have been approved for the loan. We were over our heads and it was a fight to keep our home for many years. The stress of being "house poor" was soo awful and the battle to keep it from foreclosure was the toughest fight of my life. While it was "just a house" and we were prepared to lose it, it also motivated me to work harder than ever. None of my success was from "luck." I learned that just about anything is possible if you are willing to work hard and fight for what you want.
Why are you THAT GIRL?
Well, perhaps because I'm married to THAT GUY...ha! (he does have a t-shirt that says THAT GUY) I'm THAT GIRL when I dance in the grocery store isle and embarrass my kids, or I'm THAT GIRL when someone talks about my growing business. I suppose I've always had a very colorful "glow" and never really conformed and feel honored to be THAT GIRL.
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor