Embrace your fears?

Befriending your  fear might just be the fastest way to move past it.  I figure if FEAR has so many other friends (like doubt and procrastination) why not embrace it so you can control its destiny?  In this video, I talk about some of my favorite tips on how to deal with fear and one specific TRAP that can keep you from moving towards your destination. Let’s avoid traps, please!

I also have a BIG announcement (when and why-yes there is a specific WHY!) about  my e-course SMART CREATIVE STYLE .  I believe HOW to show up for yourself  and how you earn money  COUNTS! This is not the time to be a cookie cutter creative! Authentic is NOT just a buzz word. As a creative we need to strive for originality and as entrepreneurs, we are the leaders of our own brands and our businesses! I agree with Tom when he says “Nobody knows your business better than you do!”  That means you need a course that helps you figure out what that looks like for you as an individual! No more batching and lumping everyone together. You are unique and so is your creative voice, it should be nurtured!

I had some fabulous help putting together this course and have had some incredible and humbling reviews. You can read posts by Gabriella Buckingham, Tory Higa from the last class, explaining what the course did for them. Chanel Christoff Davis even made a VIDEO montage  expressing her style!! How fun is that?

Part of the BIG news is that we are  planning on running the next course as a fundraiser for a dear friend and teacher from the course Khali Whatley.  Don’t miss this video!


Sign up for the Smart Creative Style email list of exclusive offers that I offer only to people on the list!


Who and What I am into this Week: What to Wear on Vacation

I am not QUITE there yetnext Saturday, so one more week and we head to Florida. Right now I am doing  the last minute hunting and gathering. I have this dress in my shopping cart and need to pick a color! Help! As you see I can easily of coordinate all three. Truthfully, this is one of my favorite things to do, pack up for a trip and make sure everything is interchangeable. All those years as a flight attendant finally pay off! I have this weird habit of picking a “summer” color and building all my summer accessories around it. (Don’t judge, I am flexing my creative muscles when I do this. That’s my story and I’m stickin‘ to it!) This summer I am leaning into navy, which will pick up last summer’s salmon choices. I also thought this dress looks cute in the chambray gray. Maybe should get all three colors!??


Boho sandal

TOMS Shoes

Birkenstock (can you believe these are so hot this season!?

Patagonia dress

Bags and scarves found in my Greatl.y Shop: I can’t resist this stuff!

 Blue and Salmon scarf by FashionABLE

Salmon Tote by Year Round Co.

Navy Tote by Year Round Co.

Japanese scarf bag by The Link Collective

Hallie Gray scarf

If you follow me on instagram , you may have seen that I have been buying a fair amount from The Art of the Accessory section of my Great.ly shop. Yup! That’s me, being my favorite customer (ACK!) BUT isn’t his bag cute AND lightweight?! AND it packs flat, a little folding and you are ready to go! Love it! I could do an entire blog on traveling and packing!




Meredith Walker on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

What happens when girlfriends come together with a good (and SMART) idea? Magic! Meredith Walker and Amy Poehler (Yes, Amy Poehler  the actress and funny lady)  met while working at Saturday Night Live (which I am sure is a mixture of  wild torment and wild fun) They became fast friends and as they talked  about the lively free moments of their youth they wondered  when and why they  started “holding back”  their personalities as they became women. Then they got the idea to help  girls (ok and grown women) maintain their sense of selves, to laugh, explore and embrace who they really are.

These ladies want to celebrate individuals who are changing the world’s by simply being themselves. 

Well, YOU KNOW I am all over that, right? This is a really enjoyable (lots of giggling) conversation. Grab a cuppa and have a good time. You JUST might see yourself somewhere in this talk!

Amy’s Smart Girls, it’s a show, it’s a movement, it is something that you need AT EVERY AGE! You can watch their YOU TUBE channel here. Some of their shows are Ask Amy, Smart Girls at the Party, Operation Nice and a Google hangout #SmartGirls. This is a REALLY good show/website to pass on to any adolescent girl you know (or to a mom of one!)


Here is a PINNABLE!


I love their motto “You change the world by being yourself!”


“We wanted to celebrate the non-celebrity,” says  Amy Poehler. “We wanted to embrace and highlight the cool period in any boy or girl’s life where they’re just so full of possibility and ideas and passion.” 



It’s happened! atly joins as a sponsor!


( Insert Pharrell Williams HAPPY song here)

COULD I just be any more excited?!!  I am jumping up and down on the insideok, on the outside too. Much to the embarrassment of my teenager. We have a new sponsor and YOU ALL MADE IT HAPPEN! You have been showing up faithfully to Smart Creative Women and you follow me on social media and you filled out my survey…..and we have brought a sponsor on board who supports all our efforts as creative women.

I am thrilled to say they are a fabulous fit! atly.com has jumped into the  online education space in such a beautiful way! They are focused on women sharing and learning skills. I love this quote from their website:

“We believe that education yields independence and provides untold opportunities for a brighter future.”

Hello!? We believe that too! Passionately in fact! There are so many opportunities at atly for you to TAKE and TEACH classes on the platform. Tom and I BOTH are jumping on board at the end of June when they have their grand opening to offer new courses. (Yes, Mr. Marketing is teaching his own course!!)  The back end of atly.com is as lovely as the front and they have worked so hard to make it really, really user friendly so you can get inspired to learn AND  get inspired to teach one of your skills!

I am so amazed by the fact that we partnered up with someone whose mission lines up with Smart Creative Women!

SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT: TELL A FRIEND! Share this post on your own social media. When you come across something that can really ADD to someone’s life, it is a such a gift to freely share it. You never know who is going to need a class or this message at this moment! Head over to atly.com and see what it is all about! Are you as excited as I am!??

atyly long




Who and What I am into this Week: NYC Roundup

6a00d83451b62369e201a511bfcaf2970c-800wi  Papaya

My trip to NYC was a bit of a whirlwind, but all in a good way! I got a late start as I had to see my stepson graduate from High School on Sunday (so proud and happy) and then I hit the National Stationery Show and then skimmed through Surtex. I DID not get to see everyone I wanted to see at Surtex, total bummer. Everyone that I have talked to felt like the buyers were qualified and that it was a good show. I think that is good news for everyone.

I did round up some fabulous guests to bring on Smart Creative Women-always fun for me to do-now just to work around everyone’s schedules! Here are some quick highlights. I met Anahata from Papaya Art. She had set up an easel and painted LIVE in their booth! Ack! That is a brave, impressive (and smart) thing for an artist to do! I love Papaya because they are a brand that really evokes a mood.


Bella Pillar

I sat down and spent some quality time with Bella Pillar. I met her several years ago when I had a booth across from Magnet Reps booth and we hit it off. We were able to discuss fashion illustration in an in depth and nerdy way. I love to be able to sink it to conversations like that! She is surprisingly shy and I have been trying to get her to come on the show for sometime (hint:Bella-come on the show!!) Her work is as charming as ever.

bando  Ban.do

I got to hang out in the ban.do booth. I love this brand. It is so happy, quirky and fun. I feel like I know who they are and what audience they are going after.  I know that sounds simple, but it is not the easiest thing to do! I love following them on instagram (they just reached 40k followers!)


Ashley Goldberg

Enjoyed some new looks over at Surtex. Ashley Goldberg had a  really fresh looking booth. She is an example of what I talk a lot to my clients about-she does extraordinarily well on Esty (as in: She knows what her audience is buying) Surprisingly she does not have a designated website. In other words, even though having a website is a general rule of thumb, she did not let the fact that she does not have one stop her from earning money as an artist and showing up at Surtex to grow her business. You can see her art on Flickr and Etsy.



I found Nottene’s folder in the press room and it appealed to me. It contained a mini Q and A about herself and I thought it was a new take on the obligatory “bio” write up. It contained just enough to make her memorable and interesting. I also recognized her style and art on the great.ly site. There is something to be said for editing down your offerings when initially launch.


Kelly Ventura

You know I love my watercolor and Kelly’s work is just lovely. She also had a simple, no gimmicks press kit (looking at them was eye opening) She even included testimonials of people she had worked with.  I looked her up when I got home and her website is clean, modern and easy to navigate. I thought her booth reflected her look online so it was really a nice complete package!

I have super exciting news next week! So keep your eyes open. Smart Creative Women has been wheeling and dealing to try to bring you fresh and inspiring content! In the meantime I have been hard at play on my Pinterest boards and would love it if you would follow me over there: http://www.pinterest.com/monicalee/      I am not sure I have ever asked you to do that before, come play with me!!!!


Great.ly founder Sarah Bryden-Brown and her passion for connecting makers!

Last week, I told you about Great.ly and what this global online marketplace was doing for talented creative makers like yourself. Now I get to sit down with Great.ly’s founder Sarah Bryden-Brown and get  ALL THE DETAILS!

You HAVE to tune in to this one!!

First of all it is a terrific way to shop and help all your favorite bloggers who spend a lot of time scouring the globe for interesting and gorgeous items to make some income! And it can give you the opportunity to be one of the makers that gets introduced  to a global marketplace on a larger scale. Hooray!

I have told so many creative women (makers) to try to get their goods into the hands of bloggers who have spent hours and hours cultivating and gaining the trust of their audiences. Great.ly provides and easier  way for you to do that! You provide wholesale (time for you to think this aspect through) items into a Makers studio and then Tastemakers  market your items in their boutiques and on their platforms. You make, they sell and you both benefit.

In this interview, Sarah answers all the questions that I could think of (and you know I can think of ALOT!) She discusses how the idea originally formed, whom she has brought on board, what it means to have  certain items “exclusive” to a tastemaker.

AND in case you did not read last week’s post, I have my own boutique on Great.ly! You can shop via my boutique here. This means so much to me. I LOVE finding out just how talented the audience of Smart Creative Women is so it is a complete, full circle moment for me! This is a fabulous opportunity to bring your sexy, talented self to a new and exciting marketplace.

I am thrilled to have a site like this be introduced!  It really does connect the dots for people who love building communities and for people who to love to create! Tune in so you hear it all from Sarah herself.

You know my MANTRA: TELL A FRIEND, YOUR SISTER, YOUR MOM people who like to find unique items for their homes, for their children and for themselves!


I am trying NOT to get obsessed with the site, but admittedly, I am completely smitten! Come check out my boutique! 


And isn’t this press just  lovely? Check out this article featuring artisans from Great.ly on Elle Decor.




Who and What I am into the Week: Greatly

greatly1  shoe print by Monica Lee, vase by Jill Rosenwald, pillow by Ellie Bradley, girl with glasses print by Monica Lee

Oh boy, have I got some fun news for you! There is a new website in town and you need to check it out. Great.ly just launched and it is an online shopping experience  that gives “tastemakers” an opportunity to curate “makers” goods. When I first heard of this, I knew this was going to be a GOOD thing. I have a fabulous time telling everyone how talented you are and now I get to do it in my own curated boutique! I am very fortunate to have fallen under the “maker” profile as well. I KNOW how hard it can be to market your own creations and now I can help you do it through my shop! I am so excited about promoting and buying from artisans and owner operated businesses instead of big box stores (soul crushing.)

I am sure you have about 100 questions which is why…..next Tuesday I am interviewing the founder of Great.ly, Sarah Bryden-Brown. Yup! While I was in NYC for Surtex and the National Stationery Show, I nabbed an interviewed where I asked her all the in’s and out’s of her brilliant idea.  I believe it will be very good for bloggers and good for creatives! We all work so hard, let’s work together seamlessly at what we do best!

I even added a couple of new prints of my own into my boutique but I really want to be carrying art exclusively from the Smart Creative Women community! More on that later!


ginger jar print by Monica Lee, removable wallpaper by Chasing Paper, pillow Luru Home,  blue palm print by Monica Lee

Here is the skinny overview: 1. You must be priced for wholesale 2. You need to submit and be accepted (don’t let that scare you) 3. The curators get a percentage of the sale for marketing your work. So when you shop through my boutique (http://great.ly/t/monicalee) then I get credit for the sale and it helps me keep Smart Creative Women going, even if you click around to shop the site in general!


I am already getting to share some of my favorite makers goods, like Jenean Morrison’s darling coloring books and wrapping paper and Vana Chupp’s chic and custom cuff and necklace!

You will all get to hear it all first hand next week!!! In the meantime, check out my boutique! http://great.ly/t/monicalee

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