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Emily Ley

Founder and Creative Director, Emily Ley


Emily Ley is the creator of the Simplified Planner®—a minimal agenda designed for managing what matters most. She has been featured in Forbes, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Glamour, Good Housekeeping and HGTV.com, and has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product at the National Stationery Show as well as Top 10 Designers to Watch by Stationery Trends Magazine.

Ley also recently authored her first book, “Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy” and her second, “A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living,” in late 2017.

How did UWF prepare you for a successful career?

I really enjoyed my professors in the English department at UWF. They gave me the confidence and courage to think outside the box and to utilize my creativity to the best of my ability.

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement is creating a career that allows me the flexibility to be the kind of mom I want to be, and also writing and releasing my first book, “Grace Not Perfection.” As a former English/creative writing major, it’s a dream come true.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to venture off the “traditional” career path to create their dream job, like you did?

Don’t feel like you have to have the perfect plan right out of the gate. Try your hand at a few different things to find what you really connect with most. If you love your job, it’ll never feel like work. Also, be wary of putting yourself in debt to start an entrepreneurial endeavor. We’ve run our company debt-free for nine years. It’s hard, but totally worth it.

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