Stationery Academy | Lenae Photography & Video Portraits

In July I had the most amazing opportunity to attend and speak at the Stationery Academy. If you have ever heard me share the story of my business you know that my experience attending Stationery Academy in 2011 (read about it here and here) played the most integral part (i.e. life-changing!!) of where my business is today.

What I Love About Creative Conferences

Creative Community. In the creative business-owning world we can sometimes forget the big picture. We see nothing beyond our own struggles and our own failures; we get stuck in our own little world, playing our weaknesses against everyone else’s supposed strengths. (Thanks to social media we see only what people let us see and that is rarely the failures and hardships.) The beauty of community is that you realize, maybe for the first time, that you are not alone!! There are women out there, super successful women, with the exact same pitfalls and insecurities and fears as you. And even more beautiful than that realization is what happens next. Encouragement. And accountability. And truth. A wonderful pushing to go after that which is hard and scary.

Learning. I went to school to do this. I know the ins and outs of gorgeous typography and page layout. But no one taught me how to run a business. That was on me. And I was a terrible business owner. Thanks to a ton of super gifted and gracious women I can now say I am no longer a terrible business owner. I have learned core elements of running a strong business and how to put those into practice daily by simply putting myself in situations where I could learn from others.

Growth. Not the growth that we wrongly value in social media followers and likes. Real growth. Growth as an artist. Growth as a friend. Growth as a business owner. My first creative conference was Stationery Academy and it was there that I met real life business owners and made life-long friendships, both of which have encouraged true growth in all of those areas.

Stationery Academy | Lenae Photography & Video Portraits

What I Love About Stationery Academy

Stationery Community. There are so many creative businesses out there that are so amazing. But when I first started down this road of owning a stationery business, I found no resources for this specific industry. There were photography business books, event planner books, floral designer books but no great resources for me, the stationery designer and online boutique owner. Stationery Academy was so specific to my world that I walked away with more knowledge than I knew what to do with. Literally it took me about a year to implement all that I learned.

Unique Strengths & Gifts. Sometimes it can be hard to identify our strengths and our unique style and aesthetic as creatives. We feel like we have nothing of real, unique value to offer the world so we sometimes make the mistake of trying to be like someone else. Finding myself in this creative community finally helped me see that I do actually have something unique to offer. I was reminded that I see the world in a way that no one else does and though that may just seem normal and even boring to me, it is so special to the world.

Always Learning. It can be so discouraging to feel like everyone else has it together and we are the outliers who are constantly struggling and will seemingly never figure it out. However, being a part of this specific creative community has allowed me the freedom to say, there will always be challenges and there will always be something new to learn. We will never have it all figured out perfectly and that is part of the joy in this journey.

Stationery Academy | Lenae Photography & Video PortraitsStationery Academy | Lenae Photography & Video Portraits

So while I may have been at Stationery Academy to teach about branding (and you know I LOVE branding) my favorite part of Stationery Academy were those moments spent one-on-one with women. Hearing their hearts for their business, for their families; hearing their struggles and working through solutions specific to their journey. What a joy it brings me to come alongside women and bring encouragement and wisdom. Thank you Stationery Academy for having me. You are a blessing to my business and to my creative stationery-loving heart.

Jennifer Faught, Whitney English, Natalie Chang, and Nicolle Spitulnik you are an absolute incredible blessing to me and it was an honor to come alongside you to encourage and teach these women.

A special thanks to Lindsey McClennahan of Lenae Photography for the pretty images above!