Friday, July 8, 2016

Welcome to Mandyland

Yesterday I had a completely different blog post here.  I had a post talking about blogging, find myself again and hustle.  After the events in Dallas last night I realized I know how I am, I know who I strive to be and I need to put more effort into getting there.

Let's recap my previous post, shall we?

Yesterday I wrote about my absence from Mandy Jean Chic and rebranding my etsy shop from SHOP Mandy Jean Chic to The Leather Quill Shoppe Express.  As many of you know my husband and I started a little shop called The Leather Quill Shoppe.  Currently we make handmade leather traveler notebooks and pens.  Thanks to everyones support and our hard work we have found great success.  Basically we are both working 2 full time jobs now and love it!  Building the shop had taken a #1 spot for me and Mandy Jean Chic had to take a little vacation.

Vacation is over!  In reality the vacation was over days ago but I had a really hard time getting back into Mandy Jean Chic.  Not because I don't love my little blog but have you ever quit talking to a friend completely by accident and when you thought about them it was kind of awkward.  That was completely how I was feeling.  I was finding it very difficult to post on here.  Why??  I was so consumed with my shop and working my full-time job I dropped everything that Mandy Jean Chic is. MJC is a place for fun.  A place to talk about fashion, makeup, shopping, crafts and everything I love.

After spending 8 months working with leather, dye and talking planners I haven't found the time to craft, shop (except online!) or wear anything except jeans.  Seriously ya'll, Girlfriend hasn't even gotten her brows done.

So yesterday I wrote about finding myself again and making time for Mandy Jean Chic because that is who I am.

Today, after the events in Dallas and with my emotions still running at a level I can't put into words, I decided I am going to live my life.  No more pressure on myself.  I try to "whole ass" (Thanks Ron Swanson for the quote!) everything I do.   I will continue setting goals for myself, blogging and running my business but the pressure is not going to run my life.  The pressure to be perfect, to change the world and live "my dream".

What is my dream?  Before yesterday it was to move back to a Americana town and open a retail shop.  Today it is to live my life and enjoy the journey.

Today, with sadness in my heart and tears in my eyes, I will continue being strong for my friends who are law enforcement.  I will continue to be strong for my husband and offer my support.  I will also continue being Mandy Jean and enjoy my life rather than trying to control things I cannot.

Who is ready to enjoy their journey with me?  Who is ready to take adventures and leave a legacy not of financial gains but of a written journey.  A journey that when you meet your maker says "I lived this life and I didn't waste a minute!"

Enjoy your day my friends.  Please say a prayer for the Officers in Dallas and around the world.  Pray they make it home safely to their family and continue to protect and serve.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Leather Quill Shoppe has Launched!!!

After a solid 2 months of work our shop is finally open!!  The Leather Quill Shoppe opened officially on Monday.  We create handmade leather traveler style notebooks called Leather Quills.

Our Leather Quills start out at $30 and we use high quality thick leather.  Each Leather Quill is handmade, dyed and packaged with love.

I invite you to take a peek around and sign up for our newsletter.  Currently we are running a coupon code for 20% off your order with code "LaunchDay".

I will be moving most of my traveler notebook content and bullet journaling posts over to the Leather Quills blog.  Mandy Jean Chic will go back to crafts, fashion, make up and everything I love :)

Thanks so much for your patience while I was working on the shop and your support!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Thin Blue Line Leather Quill Are Released!

Many of you know I am a Law Enforcement wife.  My husband and his family are very important to me.  They are brothers and sisters in blue.  When one falls the line doesn't break.  They stay strong.  

Over the last 10 years of our relationship the Law Enforcement community has been amazing.  We've met wonderful people, connected with new friends and unfortunately lost friends.  When I opened my shop I was immediately blessed by the community and their support.  In the next couple of weeks you will see The Leather Quill Shoppe opening and new lines of notebooks and binders being released.  The Leather Quill Shoppe will be our business for the love of Traveler's Notebooks, Bullet Journaling and Artisan Planning.  Shop Mandy Jean Chic and my blog will remain and go back to being more about what I love, use and enjoy sharing.  

The first release is our Thin Blue Line Leather Quill.  Leather Quill is our version of a Traveler's Notebook.  Today we released our first version, available in Pocket Quill (Field Note) and Leather Quill (Cahier Size).  Each journal purchased we are donating $5 to Under the Shield.  Under the Shield is a amazing group providing mental health to First Responders.  We sell 1000 journals and they get $5,000 and so on.  If we can get leather donated or dye donated we will adjust their donation.  We want to give back as much as possible.  If you would like to donate directly to Under the Shield CLICK HERE and you will be taken to their donation page.  Scroll to the bottom of the page.  

To purchase your Thin Blue Line Leather Quill CLICK HERE.  If you share your Thin Blue Line Leather Quill online please tag us @leatherquillshoppe.  

Thank you so much for your support! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Attention Traveler's Notebook Addicts! Help Us Create The Ultimate TN!

Hello My Friends!  Ever since starting my shop I have been on the journey of Traveler's Notebooks.  I am obsessed with them!  There are so many things I love about them that I decided to launch my own line!!  At you will find my line of TN lovely called "ChicDori".

With the launch of The Leather Quill Shoppe coming soon we decided that we wanted to create the ULTIMATE TN!  I believe it can be done but I need some help.  If you are a Traveler Notebook junkie like me I would LOVE it if you would take a brief survey below.  As a thank you for your time (and if you put your email below.  I will not be signing you up for any lists!) I will email you over a 20% coupon to my shop that will be good on leather products!  

Ps.... All my traveler notebook love will be moving to @leatherquillshoppe on Instagram.  Make sure to follow us there to get secret coupon codes, enter into giveaways and see behind the scenes fun.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Creating New Habits and Routines in Mandyland

I wear many hats in my life, creative entrepreneur, coach, wife, daughter, branch operations manager, crafter, dreamer and master of nothing but student of life.  Having a full time job, social life and my own businesses ( yes that is plural!) I sometimes feel overwhelmed, that I am not accomplishing enough and so on.  We all feel this way sometimes. 

I am a creature of habit.  I like consistency and change is hard for me.  I am not going to lie or say change is easy because in Mandyland it is not.  I dislike change more than snakes.  I don't like flying by the seat of my pants, so to speak, or not having a plan.  

Recently I decided to get back into my bullet journaling roots.  My planner journey started with bullet journaling.  Recently one of my Besties, Anne Samoilov, introduced me to Boho Berry.  I have been a fan of her bullet journaling, instagram and channel ever since.  Her and Anne inspired me to bust out my bullet journal and have another go.  

I purchased a *Rhoda journal and *Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen and went to town.  I started created my journal for February but really wanted to start tracking my habits and daily tasks.  

Inspired by Boho Berry I created my tracker and added my habits.  Each day I will check off my habit or routine.  

Rule of thumb says it takes 21 days to create a new habit and this tracker will help me stay on tasks.  

Let's break down my habits and routines

Morning Routine
Out of bed no later than 6am
Ship pending orders
Respond to Etsy Emails 
Feed Dogs
Get Ready for Work
Listen to Podcast on Way to Work

Evening Routine
Make Dinner
Respond to ALL Comments and Emails
30 Minute Clean Time
Blog Post Scheduled for Following Day
Video Scheduled for Following Day
Take Instagram Pics for Following Day
Bed by 10:30PM or 11 PM Max

New Habits
Journal Nightly
Creative Climb- More Info Coming Soon!!
Say "Yes"-  Every day I want to try and say "Yes" to something I would normally say "No" to.  

Tips for Creating Habits and Routines
1.  Be true to what you can do and accomplish-  You don't want to create a habit of waking up by 3am every morning and being in bed by midnight.  Your health is more important.  Be aware of your limits.  
2.  Stick to them-  21 days to create a new habit.  Remember that!  
3.  Look at your goals.  What routines or habits can you create to help you achieve them. 
4.  It's ok to start small.  If creating one new habit is all you can do, that is perfect!!!  

What is a habit or routine you want to start in February?  

*Amazon Affiliate Link

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Start of My Capsule Wardrobe Journey

Ya'll I am so over my closet.  I am so compulsive when it comes to shopping for clothes.  I love looking at the #ootd and searching on Pinterest but when I look in my own closet I grab the same t-shirt and jeans EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Why am I fighting the fact that I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl?  Why am I forcing myself to wear clothing that I really don't like and the only thing that happens in the end is I feel super uncomfortable.

Can I get a AMEN?

I wasn't planning to do this blog post right now but I am doing it.  I took these pics of my closet about 5 minutes ago.
seriously......  I could atleast make a effort to hang things up properly :/

Oh.... it gets worse :(  I have so much stuff that I never wear and it just sits in my closet. 

note to self... you cannot make shoe storage from foam board.  

I am going to do a massive closet clean out this weekend.  Everything that needs a repair, doesn't fit, I really don't like, I've never worn is out.  Gone. Done.  Removed.

Let's answer some questions about Capsule Wardrobes.  I've seen blog posts and videos about them but I never really considered them until tonight.  Tonight I decided I need simplicity in my life.  Besides, if we decide to build our tiny home or purchase our RV I can't move all of my clothes into it.  Downsizing is starting on Saturday.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A Capsule Wardrobe is essentially a wardrobe of pieces (you decide on the number) that all or most are cohesive.  I am not going to stick to a number but more of a does it fit and do I love it rule.

Everything that doesn't fit will be sold on depop or taken to Goodwill.  If you are interested in my depop look for @mandyjeanchic.  This goes for bags, jewelry, shoes, clothes and so on.  Nothing in my closet will be safe.

Ideally I want my wardrobe to fit on one bar in my closet.

Also, most create a capsule wardrobe by season.  I will be creating a Capsule Wardrobe for basics, office and for seasons.  I have to start somewhat small or I will become overwhelmed and over think my decisions.  My closet will be looked at in 3 categories.  #1- basics #2- Office Chic #3- Seasonal

The end result will be a wardrobe I love and a revamped Chic closet.

I am going to take ya'll on this journey with me.  I really want to simplify my life and I feel like I have way to much "stuff"

My first step is this weekend I will be doing closet clean out #1-  Getting rid of everything that doesn't fit, is damaged or I truly just don't like.

I am also going to create 7 pinterest boards.  One for each category and one for each season.

Next week I will update ya'll on how my clean out went, links to my pinterest boards and my next steps.

Have you created a capsule wardrobe?  Do you want to take the challenge with me??  Let's simplify our lives together.

Monday, January 25, 2016

First Craft Show of 2016

Our shop has been a huge success.  We are so thankful and blessed for everyones kind words and support!  A couple of weeks ago we decided to do a craft show at the Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque.  We had about 2 weeks notice.  Thank goodness we were sort of ready and didn't have a ton to prepare for.  Everything I did to prepare are things we can reuse at other shows.

Our booth fee was $50 for 8 hours.  Not bad!  We arrived at the Nativo Lodge around 7:15 am and I immediately fell in love with the hotel.  Could this hotel be anymore Mandy Jean?

These metal chandeliers caught my attention immediately.  I love how oversized they are and the rustic look makes my heart sing!  

Craft Shows are hard work!  After sitting down for a few hours I kept finding myself gravitating to these chairs.  I think we need one!  I love the carpet in this hotel!  I never would have picked it out but a rug in this print would be FAB in Mandyland.   

The show was in the second floor meeting room.  All day I stared down at this magnificent and interesting piece.  I am not a statue or knick knack kind of girl but if I could get this shrunk down to about a foot that would be great! :)  

Before I get into final accounting, how we did, expenses and such I would like to say that I am THANKFUL we brought ChicDori's and binders.  If not my profit would have been -75 after the booth fee, lunch and my pen, HA!!!  

I wanted to add a little height to the table.  We purchased wood crates at Michaels and Brett distressed them.  I thought they looked so cool with the journals and binders in them.  Depending on the show we can add more, change the configuration and so on.  

While I love seeing all the leather products played out on the table we should have considered purchasing a couple photo or plate stands.  After this show we ended up purchasing 3.  Next show this will help to prop a few ChicDori's up to add a little height.  

The black cloth really made the products stand out and the colors look vibrant.  We will continue with that.  

I wanted to add some texture to the table so we brought a few pieces of suede with us and LOVE it!  Again, I used a box to hold my stickers.  The only thing I forget to show ya'll was my signs.  We can do that at a later date :) 

We learned a couple things at this show.  #1- When people touch leather they buy leather.  It was interesting as people walked by they asked if they could touch the pieces.  75% (ish) of the time they purchased.  When someone is shopping online they only see the leather.  I think this makes a HUGE difference.  #2- Packing product in crates is so much easier!  We seriously were able to load and unload everything in one trip.  Think about how you are going to pack your products.  

 We had so much fun at the show and honestly we did well.  Some craft shows you make a profit and others you don't.  I thought I would share a actual accounting with you.  I want people to see our journey and if it empowers you to take your art to a show, that is great!!

Booth Fee- $50
Breakfast- $9.75
Expenses total: $59.75

Sales- $284.00

Income after expenses: $224.25

After this show it has peaked our interest in doing a few more this year.  Our goal is one per month.

Once my creative entrepreneur blog is set up I will be shifting this content over there.  I am almost done!  I cannot wait to launch the blog and products.  This last 6 months have been some of the best of my life and I cannot wait to take you on the journey with me.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

First Craft Show of 2016. Come hang out!

Hello my friends!!

We are heading to our first craft show of 2016 this month!  On January 23rd we will be at the Trash to Treasure Trunk Show from 9am-5pm at the Native Lodge.  If you are in the area stop by The Leather Quill Shoppe booth!

We will be there with our Chidori, leather binders, printed inserts, planner goodies and a few not yet released products!!

If you are not in the Albuquerque area don't worry!  Our shop is on Etsy too!  Visit to view our handcrafted leather binders, Chicdori Planners and more!

Here are some of the items we are taking with us!