My Stationery Story

July 9, 2021


I’m  Ernese (er-niece). Belize born & California raised. An administrative girl by day but I’ve also been a freelance lifestyle photographer since 2005 (Paula Young Photo). In 2018 I was strongly considering stepping away from photography. As a suggestion from a friend I started shooting my love for stationery to get out of my creative funk.  After heavy prayer (because God is my BFF) and consistency online being my authentic true stationery loving self. I felt freed! I was even offered opportunities to collaborate and became an affiliate for one of my favorite planner shops. BUT! My website and blog were not getting done. Sadly I had to make the hard decision to temporarily remove myself from all online responsibilities to focus solely on this site. So here we are: a plant Mom photographer who loves stationery.  But first let’s get into where this stationery addiction started. 

The beginning: Stationery has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother used to bribe me with Sanrio (link sanrio here) visits for every good report card ( I had a rebel phase ). Growing up I was always more excited for the “Back to School” stationery trips than the clothes shopping.

When I realized I was an addict: In middle school I had a friend named Grace that was just as stationery crazy as I was and she introduced me to Sanrio . I’ll never forget the day she rolled in her keroppi backpack with everything in his green tones inside. As she unzipped her backpack it felt like everything she pulled out was in slow motion. She had it all, folders, paper, magnetic pencil case, erasers, pens, pencil ect. At -that- moment I knew that stationery had a special place in my heart. I was an addict. . . for stationery and there was no turning back (lol). Stationery school shopping became an experience. In high school Sanrio was VERY popular by then and by the time college rolled around I still had lots of love for the Sanrio stationery brand. Even to this day I still have pieces of the collection that I will never get rid of.

Agendas and planners, Oh my!: It wasn’t until corporate work life started where I needed to invest in a planner. I always saw my Mother with a planner growing up. Who could forget the “Day Runner” or ” FiloFax”? But they never really spoke to me growing up. So I did my research and at the time Simplified planner, Erin Condern, Day Designer and Happy Planner was HUGE. Simplified and Day Designer were heavily sought after and always sold out, so I did more research and decided to go with Erin Condren. Although I loved the personal touch of EC I just couldn’t find planner peace. I also tried Happy Planner and I just wasn’t motivated to plan. 

Luxury decisions: Finally I was influenced by social media and with the help of Youtube, I found my unicorn planner (your dream planner). After sleepless nights of unnecessary research I decided to invest in a luxury planner. Originally I wanted the Louis Vuitton desk agenda (that I ended up just buying recently) but decided to go with the large ring agenda, at the time the name was called the “GM agenda” (my favorite name). I have no regrets with buying the large ring agenda first because A5  (size of the  inserts) agendas are my jam! I have huge handwriting and it just works perfectly with my chicken scratch. 

Minimal planning search: I can’t lie and say I didn’t struggle with finding the right inserts that understood my life, because I did. Badly! But, lesson learned. I tried Etsy and personal shops, after shop, after shop… THEN I found Cloth & Paper ::mic drop::. I was overwhelmed in a good way. C&P was fairly new to the stationery world at the time so I just watched from the sideline for a while, just buying items here and there because by this time I was striking out with other shops. The more items I ordered the more I loved this shop. Everything from packaging to product made me want to keep buying. I never thought minimal planning would be my “thing” but it is. I prefer to apply my own color and decor myself when planning. Perhaps this is why other planning systems didnt work for me. Minimal planning helps me to be more productive. After my Cloth & Paper experience I became more open to trying other minimal shops. 

These days I am loving: Planner inserts, sticky notes, pens of all nib sizes, note pads and planners of course. All things stationery here. This blog is my happy place where I speak to the stationery addicts like myself. No judgment, just feel good documented moments that take me back to my childhood. Join me on a journey to the Young Lifestyle.

See you next week!