“It’s just good people all around, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?!” Yes, yes it is. Jen of Anthologie Press shares her favorite part about The NotWedding experience, and we couldn’t agree more. Jen is one of those good people who delights and inspires you with only a couple words, and sometimes no words at all. Her designs truly speak for themselves and the work and passion that she puts into them jump off the page. Jen’s life isn’t necessarily about balancing her “beautiful mess,” but more about embracing it for what it is — and we think that’s a wonderful way to live. It was a pleasure working with Jen at our very first Denver NotWedding.
“Jen is an absolute joy! With her eye for creativity, a DIY mentality, and the talent to wrap it all up, she is the perfect choice to help add the exact touches you need for your big day! Love her!”
The Denver NotWedding Team
Describe Anthologie Press in five words or less
Non-traditional, tactile, unexpected, eclectic, storytelling
What is the happiest part of your day?
Making my morning latte, finding a new font, packaging an order, cooking with my love, cuddling our pups. A little of everything important to me, balanced as best as I can.
Who or what inspires you?
My dad, the entrepreneur, who took the leap 25 years ago and built an amazing family business from which I learned my work ethic. My mom, lost to cancer, hoping she would be proud of what I have created. She was a librarian, so I think my deep love of words, of letters and typography originated through that passion she shared.
Since my work is so tactile and layered, I am always looking at the world around me for new textures, new patterns, new materials I could print on or emboss or die cut. Nothing is out of the question! Wood, metal, fabric, cork, old book pages. Of course I have a deep love of paper and use it in all of my projects, but I also like looking beyond the expected and including materials or elements that may surprise you.
My love of the written word and reading leads me to explore different times and places, and I find so much of my work is inspired by the eras and settings of those pages. Vintage luggage tag escort cards, a suite that looks like a stack of old love letters and mementos, a pirate’s treasure chest.
And so, fittingly, stories. All of your stories. I use my craft to tell those stories, and in the end I want my work to be a collection of yours, mine and all of them. An anthology. Thus the name, Anthologie Press.
What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?
Let me just say that I don’t have this figured out and I never will (I even hope I never will — that would be boring!), but here’s that word again: balance. Or the constant striving for it. It is such a line to walk between going all-in with your dreams and passions and goals and also making sure all the people (and pets!) in your life are getting the attention and time they deserve. It’s ALL important. Just when one is going well the other suffers. Those moments when all is perfect are fleeting. I don’t mean to sound like a downer here, because it’s such a beautiful mess that I am so happy to be navigating. But I guess that’s my point and my lesson learned since starting my own business…try for it, be aware of all parts of your life that need attention and try not let any of them down, but forgive yourself when you do because it’s just not possible to be all things all the time. I think I spent my first several years of self-employment chasing this secret of balance, but once I learned to just embrace the mess and be okay with doing my best every day, life got a lot easier.
Some words to ponder from one of my favorite authors, Liz Gilbert: “To say that someone has found the secret to a balanced life is to suggest that they have solved life…which is a wonderful description of nobody, ever. Balance, when we do find it, is a breathtakingly temporary condition. That’s just how life is on this planet — messy, fast, out of control, unpredictable…My life seems happiest…when I just surrender to the madness, and embrace the glorious mess that I am…and also when I embrace the glorious mess that everyone else is, and the glorious mess of the world itself. The world is like a dropped pie most of the time. Don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. Then carry on.”
What is your favorite part of The NotWedding experience?
I know it’s what we all say, but it’s so true. The people. The connections with talented vendors in your city . The creativity and collaboration. The shared excitement over taking our design to a higher level and being able to display our craft without limitations. The support felt from the incredible NotWedding team. It’s just good people all around, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?!