My guest for Happy Hour #118 is Emily Ley. Emily is the Founder and Creative Director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts. She is also the creator of the bestselling Simplified Planner—a daily agenda for what matters most— and author of Grace Not Perfection. Raised in Pensacola, Florida, Emily graduated from the University of West Florida with degrees in English, creative writing, and public administration. She later became the executive director of the city ballet. From there, she worked in nonprofit management and public relations before launching her brand in 2008. Following the success found at its online home, the Emily Ley brand quickly grew to be carried in retail outlets across the United States and around the world. Emily has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product at the National Stationery Show as well as being named a Top 10 Designer to Watch in 2015 by Stationery Trends Magazine. Emily lives with her husband and three children in Tampa, Florida.

Emily shares about growing her business from the ground up, all while remaining a debt-free company. She talks about difficult learning curves and decisions that she has had to make to maintain the company values – including a recent decision to cut down on wholesale to be able to better connect with the customer.

Because of the recent release of Emily's first book, we chatted about the book writing process, how her book was born and the painstaking decisions of a cover design. And Emily also shares some of her family's easy and totally doable holiday traditions.

I loved getting the chance to get to know Emily. I know you're going to love her, and feel inspired by the way that she has grown her business, while staying true to her initial goals and values.

{You can listen to the show HERE. And of course, I would love if you would share with your friends. Just use the FB & Twitter links at the end of this post!}

Links from the Show

Emily's Book: Grace Not Perfection

Ballet Pensacola

University of South Florida: Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Program

The Lifegiving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson + Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist+ For the Love by Jen Hatmaker + Wild and Free by Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly

Walk in Love

What Emily is loving: The Profit, Scarlet and Gold and naps

Music from Austin Stone Worship

Connect with Emily

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Connect with Jamie

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


Out of the Spin Cycle


In Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load, author and speaker Jen Hatmaker takes the words and deeds of Jesus, adds the humor of a Mom life, and offers messages of grace and encouragement. Covering issues like worry, marriage, priorities, money, and the comparison trap, this dynamic Bible teacher brings Jesus's message alive in 40 short, to-the-point devotionals for your busy life. This is a devotional for you–the woman inside the mom–the dreamer, the learner, the world-changer. Put aside that to-do list and discover how Jesus can lighten your mother load.

Lily Jade


Lily Jade makes incredible bags at incredible prices. Normally, full grain leather premium totes would retail for hundreds more, but thanks to their unique e-commerce model, they able to get their gorgeous pieces into even more women’s hands. Every bag comes with a removable, washable 14-pocket organizer to protect your investment, and to organize your gear. Not only that, the heart of Lily Jade is to give back, supporting all women, and especially moms. Make sure to check out Lily Jade here.

Jamie Ivey