One thing that I love the most about being a planner gal is being able to look back in your old planners to see how you’ve grown and evolved over the years. Pulling out my very first Passion Planner brought back so many memories. I started using Passion Planner in August 2015. At the time I was running the highest volume Jamba Juice in my district. By no means was it the best time in my life, I was working 50+ hours a week trying to turn around an underperforming store while juggling to have some sort of life outside of making smoothies. When I found Passion Planner on Pinterest I fell in love with the layout and hoped that it could bring me some organization to the chaos of being a general manager. Once my Passion Planner arrived I quickly fell down the black hole of the planner community. I spent hours scouring Etsy for Passion Planner stickers, but to my dismay I couldn’t find any that fit my design aesthetics. So, I did what my innate graphic designer would do, I started to create my own. My first designs were printed on cardstock, cut out, then rolled though one of those Xyron sticker machines that put a sticky back on anything you personally press through the rollers. Hours, days, weeks went by without it ever dawning on me that label paper was a thing!
Designing stickers for my planner brought me so much joy; I actually looked forward to completing the tasks on my to-do list. After a couple months of creating my own stickers my fiancé, Ian, suggested that I open my own Etsy shop and start selling my stickers online. I thought that was a ridiculous idea, no one would want to spend their money on my stickers! After some persuading we picked up my first cutting machine, supplies, and created my social media accounts. I then worked enjoyably hard to create an Instagram worthy picture of my planner spread for the week. I posted it live for the world to see. Hoping for praise but ready for the criticism. To my joyful surprise, shortly after posting, someone commented on my picture asking where I got my stickers. I quickly whipped up an Etsy page with a very poorly done listing so that I could share my shop with this potential customer. Transaction complete.
I continued to work on designs and getting orders out while still working my 50-60 hour weeks with Jamba Juice. I would take pictures of my planner spreads and send them to Ian for him to post at ‘social media appropriate’ times. He actually ran my Instagram account for me for the first couple of months! My shop began to grow and I hit 500 followers in two weeks. I was ecstatic! I loved my newfound passion, but there was one big thing standing in my way. There was no way I could build my business and continue to work at Jamba Juice, especially once the crazy summer season started. Now, Jamba taught me a lot, I don’t think my business would have been as successful without the experience I gained from working there. I had been working there for seven years. I was their most experienced general manager and that was why they threw me into this monster store. While the confidence they had in me was flattering, it wasn’t a healthy way to live life. I had already survived one summer but I knew that I couldn’t survive another summer without burning the place to the ground.
I was meant for more, I loved being a general manager but I hated being micro-managed. I had wonderful ideas to bring this store back to its former glory, but in the end, it wasn't my business. Ian knew I was miserable working there, I was exhausted, burned out, and was actively trying to find a new job. After one incredibly difficult day I decided that I needed to find a light at the end of the tunnel. I knew that if I didn’t put in my notice now that I would be stuck working another extremely stressful summer with a company that didn’t support my ambitions. I came home in tears, wrote my resignation letter, and sent it off to my district manager, my regional manager, and my franchise owner. I finished out my time with Jamba but once my last day rolled around I still didn’t have a new job lined up. I was applying everywhere I could. It was hard to not feel defeat when even Michaels didn’t hire me. After two months of unemployment I decided to take on a part-time barista job with Starbucks hoping that I could move up to management quickly.
The second day into my new barista job my phone started blowing up and I was getting hundreds of Instagram notifications. I quickly checked my phone to find out that Passion Planner shared my very first Instagram post for their #PCW (Planner Crush Wednesday) and with the lack of stickers designed specifically for Passion Planner you can imagine the PashFam’s excitement! After that feature on Passion Planner’s Instagram my shop exploded and I realized, after those tough months of being unemployed, that making stickers was what I was supposed to do. The universe was sending me a sign. I continued to work for Starbucks while building my shop. I was offered to be a manager multiple times and turned it down each time. Yes, it was what I was originally hoping for, but it wasn’t what I was made for. After a year at Starbucks I realized that my time would be better spent growing my business than making lattes. I took a scary step and took on small business ownership full time, and it’s been a whirlwind ever since!
This small idea has grown beyond my wildest dreams. It’s grown from being just me to having two wonderful employees, Ashlee and Julia, who share my ambitions. I’ve made friends with the most amazing people simply because we use the same planner, who would’ve thought? Through the same community I’ve been able to inspire others to reach their goals, all while being inspired by them to continue reaching for my own. It’s been a rollercoaster of an adventure and I’m beyond grateful to share it with you! One of the quotes I wrote in my planner before I left Jamba Juice was, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know who you truly want to become.” -Steve Jobs.