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



Hollis Anne | Headshots

We’re in the thick of August. That means we’re enduring Midwest humidity ( big hair, don’t care ) while trying to squeeze in the last bits of summer into a far-too-short 31 days. Endless glasses of rosé, weddings, trips to the sunflower fields + farmers market, ice cream cones, breezy evenings at the Union Terrace, walks around the neighborhood at dusk, kale caesar salads, weekends at the lake, sunroofs open and all that sweet, sweet summer stuff.

There’s also a lot going on behind the scenes over here that’s making summer extra busy, most importantly—a new website! I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this project without the array of talented women in my life. If I can offer you one piece of life advice, it would be this: befriend women who are authentic, lovely human beings AND make you feel good.

My friend Anda took new headshots of me last week. She’s infectious—the kind of person you feel happier just being around. There’s no one I’d rather have shooting me than her ( because let’s be real, getting photos taken of yourself is already awkward enough ).


These headshots are for the new site, which I’m in the beginning stages of concepting ( !!! ). As always, designing for yourself is the WORST. I swear I’ve asked myself, “Is this me? Does this feel like me? Is this reflective of my design aesthetic?” far too many times that I feel dangerously close to an artistic existential crisis. Luckily, my friend Jamie is building + developing the site while also acting as life coach. She’s keeping me sane by thwarting my artistic indecisiveness and reminding me that, perhaps, making my site mobile friendly is the most important priority.

So like I said, surround yourself with good people. And enjoy these last bits of summer, friends.


P.S. You can see a preview of all my headshots over here.

P.P.S. My summer anthem on repeat right here.

2 comments   /   life, process




I’ve always felt the “where does the time go?” question is overused in conversation, and yet…

Can you believe it’s almost August 1st? Where has this summer gone? And why have the mosquitos turned my ankles into ITCHY RED CANKLES?!?

I find myself saying this over and over to friends, family and random strangers who will listen to me. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling for me, the quick passing of time. The only way I’ve been able to ease the terrible daily anxiety it gives me has been to slow down.

This, however, is not an easy task when you work for yourself. I’ve found if you let freelance life control you ( as opposed to you controlling it with appropriate boundary setting and organizational skills ), it swiftly becomes a neverending to-do list. That’s why I just resigned from working with my biggest client. It still feels slightly insane to me that I’ve given up a steady, monthly paycheck, but my gut knows it was the right decision. Not only will this free up time to take on work I’m super passionate about, but it will make it easier to create time to relax. Yoga, cooking, reading, running, being—all the things I’ve relegated to the bottom of the priority list for the past few years.

Poorer but happier? I’ll take this better balance.

Slow down with a few of my favorite recent links, and make it a lovely week, friends.

I’ve been eating this salad on repeat.

Science proves these eight things can make us happier. I’m finally going to commit to #8.

After spotting them at a boutique in Portland, these gorgeous earrings are on my wish list. And speaking of wish lists, these, this and those*.

The Myth of the Ethical Shopper. A depressing but necessary read.

An interesting article on gut bacteria + mood. As a result, I’m back on my daily probiotic.

The Low Information Diet. I’m finding this more important than ever.

This Netflix documentary is on my to-watch list this week.

The manfriend and I have decided this country is our next travel adventure. Eeep! That blog post makes me soooo excited for January 2016.

Best. GIF. Ever.

*Rachel reminded me to get these before the inevitable winter-long waitlist.

“What you seek is seeking you.” Rumi

5 comments   /   life, random