We are so excited to share our next “Planner-preneur” for 2020! In this ongoing series, we share an inside look at people from our community that have poured all their creativity and inspiration into a “planner-related” entrepreneurial venture. This time we are talking to Alicia Michelle Gonzalez of @aliciamichellexo
Alicia’s love of paper started early on in life but her passion for all things planning flourished when she found the planner community on Instagram. She was hooked on the decorative style of planning because it was a way for her to stay organized, be crafty and memory keep. Since those early days, Alicia has learned there are no limits when it comes to exploring her creativity. After finishing her term on The Happy Planner Squad, she decided to take her talents to the next level and open her own sticker shop on Etsy. And we are so glad she did. Her gorgeous hand lettering combined with fun color palettes and striking graphics have made her sticker releases a must-have.
Here, Alicia shares some of her journey with us from planner to Planner-preneur:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey into planning and the planner community?
I started decorative planning in 2012 as a fun creative outlet. I soon realized the benefits of actually planning my day to day and it soon became a necessity. It’s been really fun to see how planning has taken off and to now see actual planners “in the wild”. I also really love giving planners as gifts and seeing people stay organized in a really fun and creative way.
As far as the planner community, I was so scared to create an actual planner Instagram. At the time I joined, I followed only Erin Condren planners since The Happy Planner wasn’t created yet. Planners on Instagram seemed so organized and crafty and my planner DID NOT look like that. But, I eventually joined and found my home in the community. I’m so glad I did! This community has brought me friends, fun and tremendous growth.
Why did you decide to start a planner business, in particular stickers featuring your lettering?
When I was on The Happy Planner SQUAD, I felt so blessed to be surrounded by so many women in the community that I had looked up to. I was blown away by the fact that I was a “peer” of Jennie McGarvey of @ajmcgarvey, April of @momruncraft and so many others. When the time came to schedule our BOOTCAMP trip to California, I was faced with my fear of flying. These women that I looked up to for so long were so supportive of me and encouraging. It was extremely empowering and I was so appreciative. I wanted to do something to show my appreciation so I made them stickers to commemorate the trip. And they were so DIY. I bought the label paper from Walmart and printed them on my $25 printer but they LOVED THEM. Then a lightbulb went off. I just had to get around my own self-doubt which was a big problem of mine.
Can you share any upcoming products you are excited about adding to the shop?
I just released my favorite stickers I’ve ever created- Selena stickers! She means so much to me and my family and my culture. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud/anxious at the reception. Also, Spring is coming so you know that means florals and pastels and Easter!
How does your planning style influence or inspire the products that you create?
Most of the stickers I create are stickers that I’ve created for me. It’s a cool feeling to know that if I want something specific (and if it hasn’t been created or hasn’t been created the way I envision it) I can create it myself. Recently, because I’m so busy creating for my business, I have found that I don’t focus on being too decorative with my own planning. It’s more function with my own stickers thrown in. I don’t mind it though. It’s keeping my creative juices flowing and keeps me from purchasing thousands of sticker books!
What do you like most about your business and what advice would you give to a planner newbie or entrepreneur?
There’s nothing like getting a notification that someone has tagged your art being used in their planner. It’s an incredible feeling I hope never stops. For so long, I didn’t believe I was qualified to do what I’m doing now. But God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. And I’m so so grateful to be called to share my talents with this community.
As for advice, not every day is going to be sunshine and rainbows. Not every day is going to hold a win. Take the rain and thunderstorms as it’s meant to be- nourishment. The rain helps you grow. Learn from your mistakes and bad days and keep moving forward.