Give a gift that gives back | Custom lettered ornament

Every year, I try to do my small part in giving back during the holiday season. Using my talents to bless others inspires me to keep going on this creative journey, it's my "why".

This year, I'm partnering with The Visao Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to equip vulnerable youth in Africa with essential tools and resources they need to become change-makers in their communities.

I met Liesel, the founder of the organization earlier this year as she attended my workshops and meetups in Westchester. I was inspired by Liesel’s dedication as she shared with me how she wanted to learn calligraphy/hand-lettering so she would be able to bring new ideas to the students at Camp Visao, a week-long camp for the youth in Sierra Leone. Liesel spearheaded this foundation, along with its many amazing initiatives to fulfill the critical needs these youth require in order to succeed at life.

One of the Foundation’s newer initiatives, is Tools for School - which, ensures that children from families below the poverty threshold have the basic school supplies they need to have a successful school year.

With your help, my hope is to be able to sponsor 10 school supply kits ($250), which are filled with items such as exercise books, pens, pencils, ruler, eraser, sharpener, and art supplies. The Foundation’s team on the ground will begin assessing the students’ needs in January so the necessary items can be collected, assembled in kits, and distributed shortly thereafter.

To learn more about these kits and the Tools for School initiative, please visit The Visao Foundation website. Thank you so much for your support!

How you can help

Head over to my Etsy shop and purchase a custom lettered ornament. $5 of each sale will be donated to The Visao Foundation’s Tools for School initiative - I’ll be taking orders until December 14th!

As a THANK YOU for your support, each ornament order will include a FREE 5x7" folded Christmas card that I designed, which you can keep or mail to a friend (envelope included; while supplies last). Card will be selected at random (see photos above for designs).

Musings | Let Your Heart Be Light

 Lettering by Lillian Liming

Lettering by Lillian Liming

Let your heart be light.

When I lettered this phrase from the well-known Christmas song to share on Instagram a few weeks back, I didn't think I'd still be reflecting upon these words well into the new year. 

Maybe it's because my heart has felt more heavy than light the last several months as I maneuvered through a broken friendship, establishing my business, and as of late, some health issues. 

On top of that, where I once found light and joy in connecting/sharing on Instagram, has now become more of a burden.

I've shared my thoughts about Instagram before so I'm not going to repeat myself, but as we entered the new year, I knew something had to change. It has all just become too much. Too much noise. Too much monotony. Too much wasted time.

I've let my heart become heavy for much too long.

I contemplated quitting social media altogether, as Shanna Skidmore bravely did so for a year, but I don't think I'm ready to quit cold turkey just yet. However, like Shanna, I'm a bit of a rebel in the sense that I just don't want to be doing what everyone else is doing when it comes to social media. Not only on the business side of things, but personally, as well. 

Being self-employed and working from home can get pretty lonely - I honestly just miss everyday real-world human connections. Instagram just doesn't fill that void for me as it once did. The community aspect has gotten lost in the vast sea of non-chronological, stranger-ridden posts. 

 Camogli, Italy | Photo by Lillian Liming

Camogli, Italy | Photo by Lillian Liming

January is all about setting goals, getting organized, and decluttering. I'm on a mission to declutter my heart and fill it with joy, light, and love. I know that sounds cliché, but who says we can't Kondo our hearts? If something in your life doesn't spark joy, then thank it for its service and get rid of it, amirite? ;)

Ok, I may not go as far as getting rid of Instagram, but it's time for a refresh. As we entered 2018, more posts popped up from people/sources I respected, echoing my thoughts (see here and here -- love Jonas Ellison's writing, do check him out!). They confirmed my intention for taking a break from Instagram for an entire month, but obviously, I didn't want to leave my friends and followers hanging. Hence, this blog post -- and hopefully, more posts to come. 

I hope to be doing more connecting with you here in 2018. Thanks for following along!

PS. If you'd like to receive updates (at most 1-2 times a week) from me, feel free to subscribe to my mailing list. If you're just here for workshop updates - feel free to sign up via the pop-up form on my workshops page. Thank you!

Stop Waiting for Perfect | Shop Launch!

Friends. 

I finally did it. I finally, finally opened my online shop

It’s been a long time coming and for those who have been following my journey from the beginning, you might be thinking - geez, what took you so long?

Fear

Fear is what took me so long. Fear that my lettering just isn’t good enough, fear that people won’t like my designs, think I’m a sell-out, just don’t give a crap. Fear that the drop shipping company/printing manufacturers will mess up and make me look bad. Fear that I won’t make any sales. Fear that people will figure out I really don’t know what the heck I’m doing and lose all credibility.

It’s been 6 long months of agonizing over different e-commerce platforms, testing products and manufacturers, triple-guessing my designs, and even scrapping the whole idea of opening a shop at all. 

stop-waiting-for-perfect-florals.jpg

But recently, I was encouraged to stop waiting for perfect and just put it out there - I got it so stuck in my head that I needed to have a full line of products before I opened. I kept coming up with excuses to push it off - like having proper branding, nit-picking every design, manufacturer, and product. But you know what?  Screw perfect.

If you expect perfectly packaged boxes, tied up with twine then my shop is not for you. If you expect nicely hand-written notes with each order, nope, not for you either. And that’s okay. 

Although I adore pretty packaged products, I had to make a few decisions and sacrifices for the type of shop I’d like to run - a shop that focuses on delivering a quality product in an efficient manner, but still allowing me to make time for my family and friends and traveling to see said family and friends. Most importantly, I want my shop to align with my heart’s desire - which, is to use my lettering and design for good. 

We don’t have to be perfect to help others and give back. With all that’s been going on in the world as of late, my heart has been heavy...it was time for me to do something about it. Even in the smallest way. 

It’s my hope to use this shop as a way to inspire hope and encouragement, as well as give back monetarily to worthy causes and organizations. I hope you’ll join me!

Without further ado, I invite you to check out the Shop - thank you so much for taking a look!