Last time we talked about closet minimalism, I ventured on a six-month shopping ban.

And, I did it! Sort of. Mostly. We’ll get there.

The reasons I gave for instigating the ban, I now realize, aren’t the full truth. While my motivations for culling a streamlined, thoughtful closet are still very real ( less stuff, increased consciousness, easier decision making, yada yada ), the shopping ban forced me to come face to face with a pesky truth I’ve struggled with for a long time: negative self-esteem.

The truth is, shopping ( or rather, consumerism ) presents us with a false solution for wholeness. It promises happiness, but the reality is fleeting. Caroline talks about the connection with negative thought patterns + consumerism more eloquently in this podcast. And as much as I hate to admit it, I must somehow believe buying that new dress or cute pair of shoes or whatever is going to solve my dissatisfaction with my Roman nose and frizzy ass Medusa hair.

Maybe you don’t struggle with this, and that’s great. But it was me, IS me.

All along, I think I knew the root of my constant shopping was the elusive promise of feeling good about myself. Sometimes it even worked! But inevitably, I’d buy those trendy skinny jean overalls that looked so cute on the model ( ugh, whyyyy even? ), put them on, take one look in the mirror and end up in shame spiral fueled by self-loathing and hits from the Cheetos bag.

Deciding to reduce your closet or build a capsule wardrobe will NOT magically bring happiness. Neither will expanding your closet or buying lots of new things. You can’t really be happy unless you do a few things first. Accept who you are, right at this moment. Define your why. And be hella grateful for what you have. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

That being said, I’m owning up. During my shopping ban, I purchased one pair of sandals and a new jacket + pair of shorts for our upcoming trip to Tanzania + Zanzibar ( !!! ). Were these items “needs?” Kinda sorta not really. They were more “wants.”

But we’re all human here. Mistakes happen, so let’s just keep striving to do better + forget that skinny jean overalls thing ever happened.


“Nothing is going to make you happier than you decide to be right now.” ( Caroline Rector, Unfancy )

1 comment   /   closet minimalism, minimalism, style

C + C


Navy + Gold Letterpress Wedding Invitation | Hollis Anne

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with a couple who have serious style + killer taste. They also happen to be my friends ( because style + taste are my two friendship pre-requisites ).

Before I left my job to go back to design school, I worked with Chris for several years, and since then, he’s become a dear friend of mine. In fact, he has me to thank for his marriage to Cecilia, because without the necessary prodding of myself + our other co-worker, he may not have had the balls to ask her on a second date. Chris, YOU’RE WELCOME.

I absolutely loved working on their simple + modern 4-piece wedding invitation suite. Throughout the design process, I kept referring to J.Crew catalogs for inspiration because they encapsulated everything I wanted this suite to feel—classic and understated, elegant yet unique. We ended up choosing a navy blue + gold palette, and added lots of subtle accents, including edge painting the invitations gold ( see here ). The calligraphy took me many attempts to nail, but I love the way the lilting letterforms add a bit of quirkiness.

To finish, I letterpress-printed the suite on a C + P machine on super thick ecru Crane’s lettra paper, then Cecilia’s mom made the liners for those gorgeous navy blue envelopes. The full wedding suite should be revealed in my needs-to-be-updated portfolio soon.

Also, I photographed their wedding reception!

Here’s a small snippet of the lively, laugh-filled + joyous evening. So much love for these two.

CCWedding2015-010_1CCWedding2015-013_1CCWedding2015-027_1CCWedding2015-035_1CCWedding2015-052_1CCWedding2015-059_1CCWedding2015-089_1CCWedding2015-095_1CCWedding2015-003_1CCWedding2015-098_1CCWedding2015-001_1 CCWedding2015-146_1 CCWedding2015-144_1CCWedding2015-101_1CCWedding2015-186_1CCWedding2015-168_1 CCWedding2015-190_1CCWedding2015-211_1CCWedding2015-195_1 CCWedding2015-217_1 CCWedding2015-229_1 CCWedding2015-233_1 CCWedding2015-244_1 CCWedding2015-255_1 CCWedding2015-269_1CCWedding2015-324_1CCWedding2015-320_1 CCWedding2015-331_1 CCWedding2015-378_1 CCWedding2015-369_1CCWedding2015-341_1 CCWedding2015-348_1CCWedding2015-402_1 CCWedding2015-406_1 CCWedding2015-410_1 CCWedding2015-428_1 CCWedding2015-441_1 CCWedding2015-454_1

2 comments   /   design, hand-lettering, letterpress, photography



Failure | Hollis Anne

I don’t know about you, but I’m in dire need of this reminder and a plate of nachos right now.

There are a number of things I could tell you that I’ve failed at these past few weeks—meeting deadlines on design projects, investing in relationships and paying a 3-month overdue parking ticket ( MADISON PARKING, YOU ARE THE WORST ), to name a new. For me, it’s difficult not to personalize failures, both large and small. When I mess up and fuck up, when I’m forgetful or hurtful, and whether it happened on purpose or without me realizing it, the voice inside my head has just one default setting: “I am a failure. I can’t handle this. I’m not good enough.”

I’m working to recognize that pesky, twerpy ego for what it is, and shift towards a gentler, “I have experienced failure.” It is one of the hardest and most important distinctions to make. It involves separating your ego from who you actually are ( Eckhart Tolle anyone? ), and it is not easy. And if you’re having one of those weeks where everything seems to go awry and off the rails, then it’s really not easy. But as much as it sucks, failure is inevitable. If you’re not failing, then you’re not changing, and you’re most definitely not growing.

If you’re like me and needing a big virtual hug today, may I suggest this post and the always-wise Oprah? I promise you they’re both worth the read and the watch.


“Do not be overwhelmed by challenges, because your life is bigger than that one moment. You are not defined by what someone says is a failure for you. Failure is just there to put you in a different direction.” (Oprah, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1:01:25)

5 comments   /   life, process