Mohawk Blog

On The Wire: Designer to Watch, Emily Ley

Sarah Schwartz
Emily Ley

Today, guest blogger, Sarah Schwartz, editor of Stationery Trends and The Paper Chronicles, introduces us to Emily Ley, creator of the Simplified Planner.

Starting in 2010, in every Winter Issue of Stationery Trends, I have showcased a cavalcade of 10 Designers to Watch. There are no strict criteria to my selection process, rather I just know a perfect fit when I see it — and I sense that each person in every year’s special 10 is on a most interesting and American-made upward trajectory. Today it’s a real treat to share another of these special personalities with Felt & Wire readers.

It is not too big of a stretch to say that Emily Ley reignited the planner category. Not only did her Simplified Planner help organize and prioritize busy womens’ lives — making Emily a social media sensation in the process — it elevated planners into a must-have accessory, even in our digital age.

Emily Ley in her office
Emily Ley

What is your favorite social media outlet & handle?

Instagram, @EmilyLey

How did you get into stationery & paper design? 

I loved being creative. I worked in a very corporate environment and I desperately wanted an outlet. I also wanted to be a mama more than anything in the world. Somehow, I knew I was going to create a job that let me do both. And here we are. I started designing wedding invitations after my own wedding and things snowballed from there. After the birth of my son, Brady, I created The Simplified Planner as a tool to help me wrangle everything I had going on.

The Happy Stripe 2016 Daily Simplified Planner
Emily Ley

What role do you see paper playing in your work?

Paper is huge for us. It’s the core of our flagship product, The Simplified Planner. That blank day is a fresh start for thousands of women around the world. I’ve really had so much fun working with Mohawk to get their paper into our Simplified Planners. Quality is everything and not only do we want our customers to have quality products from us, we want them to live quality days on them.

Which Mohawk paper is your favorite and why?

Mohawk Via. All day long. And Carnival – so many colors!!!

Snapshot of Emily Ley's office shelves
Emily Ley

What recent release of yours best represents your personal style?

Our most recent Simplified Planners. The Gold Pineapple is my absolute favorite. Our 2016 Daily Editions launched September 9!

Can you give us a sneak peek of a project you are developing? 

YES! Dapperdesk. My husband and I have dreamed of working together to create a brand of top-of-the-line desk and office accessories for the “well-suited man.” The Dapperdesk 2016 planner is in the works. Here’s a little inspiration for the line. Yes, that’s Don Draper.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

My kiddos. The beach. Reading. Visiting my hometown – Pensacola. At-home wine date nights with my husband on the porch.

What blogs, books and  publications do you find yourself getting lost in?

Harvard Business Review. Inc Magazine. Fast Company. Fiction books on my Paperwhite. Have you read Where’d You Go Bernadette? So funny! Such a great escape from business and parenting

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