Hi there! I’m Emily Ley. I was born and raised in the South. Every Sunday my dad made grits, eggs and biscuits for breakfast – without a doubt one of my favorite memories. I have a penchant for a good cappuccino and count the minutes to Friday play-dates and driveway happy-hour every week. I married a super cute frat boy, save all my Real Simple magazines and have an unhealthy fascination with my label maker and cake pops respectively (you bake, I’ll eat!).
Ten years ago when I was choosing a major in college, I gave in to my heart and followed my gut. I majored in English despite my lack of an answer to the “what will you do with that degree” question. All I knew at the time was that I wanted to explore this passion I had for telling stories and creating art. Besides, Barbara Walters had an English degree! That “create my own path” mentality took me through grad school, on to become the Executive Director of the city Ballet and into the world of philanthropy.
After being swept off my feet by my high school crush, married in my hometown and whisked off to South Florida to start our new life together, I found my true passion and answer to that “what will you do with your english degree [and fancy, expensive masters degree]” question when working with a Women in Leadership & Philanthropy program for one of the nation’s largest universities. I met women determined to do it all and be it all. I wanted to be one of them. I wanted to break the mold and create my own “every day,” and spend my time doing work that really made my heart sing. I wanted to give and serve others more.
I decided it was yet again time to create my own path. My entire dream boiled down to one simple thing: I wanted to do the work that lit my heart on fire. And I wanted to be a mom. A really, really, really good mom.
With little design experience and no formal training, Emily Ley Paper was created. Handmade cards plus a lot of late nights turned into a stationery and product brand represented by English Paper Company and sold internationally. Making Brands Happen, my partnership with one of my very best friends, luxury wedding market consultant and Editor/Publisher of Southern Weddings Magazine, Lara Casey, was founded soon after.
When our sweet Brady Ley was born in February 2011, my world changed forever. Life as a working, entrepreneurial mama is nothing short of life’s greatest circus. The beautiful image on the header of this blog was affectionately named crazy town during the design process. Illustrated by Ashley Brooke Quintana, each building on this little street represents a piece of my heart and the places you can find me.
The entire mission of Emily Ley products and paper as well as Emily Ley Creative and this blog is to connect, empower and inspire women to simplify, to dream big and to wholeheartedly commit themselves to a standard of grace not perfection. It is possible to do it all. It’s almost never easy, but it’s always worth it.