One secret to being successful is staying organized. But staying organized doesn’t necessarily mean bulky filing cabinets, manila folders, or plain-Jane binders. We are obsessed with staying organized, while keeping our office pretty! Which brings us to the fabulous Design Love Planner! This planner truly does it all – keeps your notes and appointments all in one place, while keeping you and your office fabulous. Here at BFFF, we love a good stationery piece and this is definitely it! While obsessing over this perfect planner, we had the chance to chat with Marissa of Design Love Co. and ask her a few questions in this office tour, exclusively photographed by Christine Williams.

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How did you come about the idea of the Design Love Planner?

It’s actually kind of an interesting story! I was never planning on making a planner until I was looking for one for 2014 and I wanted a fresh start so it needed it to be a good one that helped keep my life organized. In the past, I always felt like I was using multiple stationery products to accomplish one thing, which didn’t make sense so I decided to change that. I took a book binding class a few months before then (which yes, has got to be THE nerdiest thing I’ve done to date) and I kind of fell in love with the art and process so I woke up one day and said “hey, I’m a designer and I know how to bind books so why don’t I just make my own planner.” Design Love Planner version 1 was born! After I made my first planner book I got asked to make one for multiple friends and family members so I decided to give Etsy a shot and got a couple produced. It worked, and I sold out in May! I knew then that I had something really good and I had never felt more complete doing the work that I was doing. I loved every single day of what I was doing so I simply knew I had to continue and also grow my business.


What were you doing before your success with Design Love?

While I was finishing my degree I worked for a few companies doing design work because I was working towards my 19 year old dream of becoming an Art Director at an ad agency. To say the least, life had other plans for me. I quit my full-time job a year ago to start my own graphic design company called MOOI Design House where I worked on various branding and website projects and I even got to work with some awesome bloggers in developing their brands. While I was doing client work, I was working diligently on my first custom planner.


Obviously you know a thing or two about staying organized. What tips do you have for others on how to stay organized?

The first thing I always say is get a planner that works for you. Figure out how you like to plan your days, weeks, months, and then look for a planner that accommodates your structure. Another thing I also mention in the introduction of the planner is not to fall behind on your own schedule. Take some time out every Sunday to write out your schedule for the week or the month. Things are bound to come up, but you probably have a pretty good idea of the tasks you have to finish and a few of the meetings and lunches you have to attend. I also recommend taking your planner with you to meetings so you have your entire schedule in front of you if you need it. Organization takes commitment and you have to get into a routine of sorts. Learn to stick to it. It’s kind of like going to the gym, but this should be more fun!


What is your favorite part of what you do?

My favorite part about what I do is that I get to love what I do. I know that may seem a bit cheesy but I actually wake up every single day with a huge smile on my face because of what I get to do. I enjoy all the parts of my business. I especially love fulfilling my orders because I leave handwritten notes for all customers thanking them. It provides me with the utmost joy that I have the ability to give someone a product that is going to better their lives and help them through their busy work schedule. My most favorite part about this job is the fact that I get to meet some truly wonderful, influential, and inspiring young women. Also, of course because I get to work with ink, typography, and paper every day!


What do you look for in a good stationery piece?

Honestly, visuals come first. It has to visually draw you in. Next, I feel the paper. I run my fingers over it and test its durability and weight. I like stationery that has a presence. I’m not a big fan of ‘flimsy’ paper that can be used to trace things. My favorite stationery has some sort of shiny foiled pieces that scream elegance and charm. Love that!


You mention on your “about” on the website that you love travel. Being a successful, busy gal, how do you manage to find time to travel?

Yes! Travel! That’s a big one. Over the past few years I have become somewhat obsessed with seeing the whole world. I’m not sure where it came from but I want to taste, smell, and see everything! I think travel is actually a really integral part of my life that helps me do what I do so successfully. What I mean by that is, when I travel I become a much more relaxed version of myself that allows me to let things in that I would not necessarily see when I’m in ‘work’ mode. I get so much of my inspiration from the places I travel to because I spend a lot of time looking for cool new things to inspire my work. I think every creative individual needs that. There is nothing worse than running out of ideas or being overly stimulated by the same environment. Your mind needs fresh air sometimes. I do work wherever I go though. That never stops. I may take a little longer to respond to emails but it would drive me crazy not to do a little work. I personally make sure everything is always intact so I have “work hours” while I’m on trips where I sit down and work for 2 hours and then I go out and do travel things.


Do you have any further plans for Design Love that we can look forward to?

Oh yes! Lots of it! Starting January 1st 2015, I will continue to introduce new products. As the deadline nears I will be able to share more about the kinds of things we will have for everyone but for now my lips are sealed!


Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years with Design Love?

This is my favorite question because that is my very own little happy place that I go to when things get a little crazy. I want to be able to share this vision with a team and work in a wonderful studio where we will constantly work on new products, host fun events, and maybe even have a little storefront- the excitement tickles me!

Photography for Best Friends For Frosting by Christine Williams

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