Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Meet Erin Condren

Erin Condren Logo

I have been a long time fan of Erin Condren's personalized products.  From my stationery, business cards, desktop calendar, and life planner, to my living room acrylic tray and FUNctional Family system, I am a heavy user of all things EC!  I am lucky to live in the same city as Erin, and have had the opportunity to meet her in the flesh.  The vibrance, style, and joy reflected in her designs is truly a reflection of the woman herself.  Erin is an example of someone living the "good" life as I see it.  I was thrilled that she agreed to let me interview her for VeegMama.   

VM: For those who are new to Erin Condren, tell us about your company and the products
you offer.
EC: EC products are colorful, fun, and PERSONALIZED!  We offer loads of designs to choose from--some of these products include life planners, notebooks, address books, wedding planners, stickers, stationary.... the list goes on!

VM: Your company motto (and logo) is "Enjoy!"  I love it!  What's the story behind it?
EC: It is my goal to give each and every customer the ultimate EC experience from start to
finish. I want them to truly “enjoy” each and every step- from customizing their order to
receiving their happy package on their doorstep! What I unanimously hear from my
customers, from my friends, from people who have been buying since 2004, is ‘Oh my gosh,
this made me so happy.’ I always love Christmas Eve thinking ‘Wow, tomorrow morning so
many people are opening up packages that are just going bring joy and happiness.’ There is
no greater joy, and I say that to my team sometimes when we’re exhausted, or if there is
someone nasty on FB that maybe was disappointed. The power of social media is such a
blessing and a curse. It does hurt us all if we do let somebody down. But then I think how
many thousands of people have said ‘Wow, you have no idea how happy this made me.’ So I
think that no doubt, the best thing we do is just make people happy.

VM: You clearly live in full color, and are someone who is living her joy.  What suggestions do you have for doing just that in one's everyday life?  Can you share one of your "secrets to success?"
EC: I do my best to live FULLY in the moment. This means when I am in the office, I maximize my time by setting goals for each day and making daily lists. If I can accomplish my work goals, I can “put the phone down” when I get home and fully engage in my family life. I’m not saying I don’t check emails from time to time during a little league baseball game, but watching my 11 year old twins grow up overnight, I just don’t want to miss a beat with them right now. Having a business partner really helps so that we can take turns on vacation days and have uninterrupted family time that I live for.

VM: How do you balance being a mom and having your own business?
EC: Coffee, a very supportive husband, and many late nights! It really comes down to maximizing my time-- many of my products are built around time management to hopefully help other moms with their hectic schedules!  There is no “luck” in a successful business. It is endless hours with a business that never sleeps. It really doesn’t get any easier as you grow, it’s just that the challenges change and new obstacles appear. I work just as hard now as i did when I was getting it off the ground from my home. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE WHAT I DO, but it is very difficult to make that jump from having an “idea” as an entrepreneur to becoming a successful business person. If you are going to make that jump, be ready to make many sacrifices to maintain a balanced work/family life. (Still trying to figure out that “perfect balance!”)

VM: If someone is new to your company, which product(s) would you suggest they try out first?  Also, what are your best sellers that we should all have?
EC: The life planner is our best seller! Strange to think that I've become known as a "calendar company" when I started with Holiday Cards & Stickers. I love to see that in this day of high tech apps & technology at our fingers tips, hundreds of thousands of people still prefer using "old fashioned" Life Planners to schedule their busy days…and find they are more productive and successful as a result!

VM: What trends do you see in personalized products these days?
EC: Customers are in need of products that offer a variety of ways to cater to their individual lifestyle and schedule. This means offering them customization options beyond the outside aesthetics to enable them to get the most out their product.

VM: Your FUNctional Family system debuted earlier this year (love mine!).  Can you give us a hint at any other new products to come?
EC: Honestly, I feel like this “party” is just getting started! We launch my custom built new website platform in 2013 and the sky’s the limit! We have plans to release a phone APP, a “home” collection of wallpaper and fabrics, and an even MORE customizable Life Planner among so many other things!

VM: I am on a quest to live the "good" life in all aspects of the word.  What does the "good" life represent/mean to you?
EC: To me, the “good life” means cherishing every moment with my family and friends and making the most of the time I have with them. I am so blessed to have a loving, supportive husband and my twins!

VM: Can you share your favorite quote?
EC: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams…live the life you have imagined!” –Henry David Thoreau

Thank you, Erin.  To view Erin's products, click here and read more about her below.

Portrait of Erin Condren at work
Erin Condren is a true Southern Californian- born and raised!  After graduating from UCLA, Condren moved out to the beach and has never left- now residing in the South Bay with her husband and two children.

After years in the apparel business, designing and manufacturing for major US brands, Condren began designing her own clothing line. That same year she was surprised with a TWIN pregnancy, complete with months of bed rest and complications that thankfully ended with the delivery of a boy and a girl just one month premature.

Erin found transitioning from working 12-hour days in a sewing factory to becoming a “stay-at-home” mother of two quite challenging: a lot of the same chaos, but with hours of “downtime” when the kids would nap and go to bed for the night.  She also knew it took two incomes for her family to live life at the beach, so she was determined to find a new career with the option to work from home.

As a busy mother, Erin began utilizing her creativity making note cards and gift labels for friends, birthday gifts, new babies and hostess gifts…recipients loved them!  A friend encouraged Erin to sell her designs for the first time at a “home shopping party” in 2004, and the grass roots-viral marketing plan was a huge success!

After a year of mentoring her at-home business, Al Marco of Marco Fine Arts became business partners with in 2007, and together their companies collaborate in a state of the art printing facility in El Segundo, CA. Erin’s business has evolved from the initial shopping party to a flourishing internet retail business, along with licensed collections and partnerships with Target, Shutterfly, and TinyPrints.  Her business provides customers with personalized note cards, gift labels, baby and moving announcements, holiday cards, calendars, and so much more!

Features on “The Ellen Show”, “Rachael Ray” and countless magazines and celebrity endorsements, Erin and her team continue to create “happy packages” that ship all around the world each day!