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Picnic Posse

8.14.2019

Family and friends are sitting around a picnic table on the shore of a crystal blue lake. The sun is shining. On a blanket spread atop the table is a feast of delicious finger foods: mini empanadas, thai chicken skewers, bacon-wrapped asparagus and cheddar cheese popovers. The wine is chilling in the ice, the kids are playing tag. You’re enjoying that deliciously dreamy summer pastime: the picnic. Any second soon, your golden retriever will bounce on the table and steal the kids’ hot dogs, a swarm of honey bees will make a beeline for the strawberry shortcake, a gust of wind will blow all the napkins into the lake, and out of nowhere rainclouds will appear and it will start to pour. Welcome to that fun and fearless free-for-all: the great American picnic! #outdoorlivin

Picnics are as much a part of summer as fireworks on the Fourth, damp beach towels in the back of the car, and whipped cream and apple pie. We love them so much here at Elūm we formed our very own picnic posse to share our path to picnic perfection!

1. PIQUE UNE NICHE.

That’s French for “pick a place” which is how picnics got their name. Picnics are all about location, location, location. Do you want sand and sea? Flowers, forests, or fields? Research what’s close by. Most cities have amazing parks and waterways just waiting to be explored. If you’re heading to the beach, don’t forget to bring a kickin’ beach umbrella. If you’re in a park you can usually find shade beneath the trees or under a pavilion, however sun at the beach can be relentless unless you’re packing cover. And no matter where we’re heading, we always keep it stylish and shady in a cool western-style hat.

2. MENU PLANNING.

We might not think a thousand year old mathematician has much to teach us about planning a picnic menu, but we’d be wrong. Turns out Omar Khayyam was the Martha Stewart of his day and his advice on what to pack for a picnic is still right on the money: “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” Omar is telling us to keep it simple. You can’t go wrong with a crusty French baguette, a selection of cheese and cured meats, fresh tomatoes and crisp white wine. Just ask @gilliehouston whose Instagram feed is loaded with simple and delicious outdoor treats. Picnics aren’t the time or place to toss salads so precut an assortment of fresh and crunchy vegetables and a pot of lemony dip. Olives, sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes can provide easy luxury and zing. And cherries, pears and peaches make perfectly portable desserts.

3. SERVE WITH STYLE.

Mix and match paper plates and napkins turn picnics into parties and outdoor feasts into festivals! Lightweight, biodegradable and instagram-ready, our Sprinkle City Appetizer Plates and Bright Birthday Stripes Dinner Plates and matching napkins are picnic perfect and outdoor friendly. Check out all are outdoor and party products here. Add to the good times with a retro cooler and picnic blanket.

4. THE ESSENTIALS.

We put our heads together and came up with our definitive list of items you absolutely must take on your picnic.

Bug spray. You know you are going to need it—especially when is starts to grow dark.

Sunscreen. You know you’re going to need that, too—especially before it starts to go dark.

“Ice, ice, baby.” As we saw earlier with Omar Khayyam, picnic wisdom can be found in unlikely places, and this is where the rapper from Dallas really comes in to his own. Vanilla Ice knows the secret to picnic success. You can never have enough ice! #vanillapicnic

Corkscrew. Because even though the internet is bursting with clever hacks on how to open wine bottles without a corkscrew, we don’t really want to try them unless there’s a fire extinguisher and first aid kit close at hand. In fact, we might just bring our wine in a can.

A cutting board and knife. Well, this one is pretty self explanatory.

Wet wipes. Because someone is always going to spill something. You know who you are!

A trash bag for easy clean up.

5. FUN-DAMENTALS.

We’ve eaten, we’re enjoying our wine in a can: we are ready to play! The posse knows picnics. We know that within thirty minutes of finishing a picnic, a particular brand of lazy restlessness sets in. We want to do something….just not anything too strenuous. Giant Jenga hits the spot. Or if there’s no one in the party willing to haul fifteen pounds of wooden blocks into the wilderness, then a rousing game of Uno or a very proper round of British croquet will do the trick. And last but not least, never forget that a little Old Town Road breezing from a battery powered watermelon always makes for legendary vibes! #wateryellin

That’s our posses’s idea of picnic perfection. What’s yours?

Summer Birthday

6.27.2019

Drowsy days by the pool, hot dogs and lemonade at the ballpark, sunburn and sandy feet at the beach: Summer is officially here! Over the next three months these lazy, hazy days will be filled with the birthdays of people we care about and love. Cancer, Leo and Virgo: you are the signs of Summer. Born on dew-drenched mornings, white hot afternoons and sultry nights, Summer babies we heart you! You are water, fire and earth. Your special day is approaching and we’ve got your friends and loved ones covered with our Summer Birthday Card Guide. Let’s take a look at your stars and match them with a few of our own!

CANCER
June 21 – July 22

Ruled by the moon, drawn to water, creative, tenacious and deeply loving, Cancers are the nurturers of the zodiac. Family and home is everything. You are loyal and giving and sometimes generous to a fault. If you’re hurt you withdraw into that world famous shell. Summer will find you at the beach, with warm sand beneath your feet and waves tickling your toes. Your horoscope promises a summer of special events, travel and personal growth. An old friend will come back into your life, finally giving you the chance to meet your squad goals. Famous Cancers include Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Chris Pratt.

If you’re sending a card to the Cancer in your life, it’s good to remember their ruling color: white. Cancers are healers, gentle-souls and givers. Touch their hearts by sending a simple but beautiful card with a handwritten message inside.

LEO
July 23 – Aug 22

Leos are the best kind of trouble this summer. Passionate, charismatic and playful, you will be first in line to sing karaoke, belly-flop into the pool, and hit the dance floor doing the Triangle. You are the life of the party and the queen (or king) of hearts. Hogging the limelight can be your downfall, and occasionally you need to remind yourself to share it. June and July will find you following your passions: traveling, eating out, and hitting the movies. Your horoscope predicts family love! And if you’re considering shaking up your workout routine, August is a good month to get started. Famous Leos include Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lopez and Barak Obama.

The Leos in our lives crave laughter and fun. Their ruling planet is the sun and their element is fire. You bet we have them covered on their birthdays!

VIRGO
August 23 – September 22nd

With their feet on the ground and their head in the clouds, Virgos are the perfect storm of dreamers and doers. Helpful, kind, thoughtful and modest, you make the kind of friends who want to keep you around for life. You’re stylin’. You organize the most magical parties and love getting lost in a good book. Summer will find you combing flea markets for vintage treasures, hiking nature trails and walking your dog in the park. You’re a perfectionist, which is both your strength and your weakness. Sometimes you work yourself too hard. This summer will bring you closer to your family and present chances for you to heal old wounds. Famous Virgos include Beyonce, Zendaya and Keanu Reeves.

Virgos are drawn to beauty and whimsy, and with Mercury as their ruling planet they’re always looking at the stars. Make their day with a unique birthday card with vintage charm.

Happy Birthday, summer signs! We wish you the most amazing and special day this summer. #zodiaclove We don’t want to forget our fall, winter and spring babies so here’s our quick take on what’s in store for you this summer.

LIBRA. Hang on to your hats, this summer is set to be lit! Expect the unexpected and be prepared to use all of your amazing social skills to get by.

SCORPIO. You sexy Scorpios are on target to have some serious adult fun this summer! Keep an eye on your financials and be sure to invest in some racy lacy lingerie.

SAGITTARIUS. This is your summer of love. Connect more deeply with your partner by planning a special getaway. And if you’re a single Sagittarius, there’s never been a better time to mingle!

CAPRICORN. Smart and sassy Capricorns can expect to go on a journey this summer. Taking time to meet new people along the way will bring surprising delights and some insta-worthy moments.

AQUARIUS. A dynamic new person entering your life will make this summer unforgettable. If you can meet the challenges of the summer and roll with its changes, you’ll emerge stronger than ever in fall.

PISCES. This is a life-changing year for you. Your hard work and dedication is finally paying off. Take time to kick back, hang with your entourage and smell the roses!

ARIES. This is an important summer for someone you care about deeply and you’ll need to support them. You and your bank account can expect some extra love in July.

TAURUS. Exciting changes are coming this summer. Embrace them, but keep the details off social media until you’ve given everyone in your circle the heads up.

GEMINI. This is the summer to chill. Relax and take some well-deserved me time. Recharge your creativity with summer must-reads and day trips with family and friends. A party invite in August is not to be missed!

Whatever your sign have a fire summer! Enjoy the heat, stay cool, and don’t forget to keep those memories alive with our Zodiac Daily Journal (available exclusively at Anthropolgie). #elumzodiac We have all the stars in our eyes!

Unofficial Summer Tour

5.23.2019

Memorial Day weekend just passed and you know what that means: Summer, we see you. We’re coming for you! White shoes, Mai Tai’s, convertibles, cook-outs and drive-ins: we will be chilling, grilling and killin’ it this summer. Come join us for our Unofficial Summer Tour where we test drive the latest warm-weather trends, fashions and destinations and pick out the best of what lies ahead in June, July and August. Grab your flip-flops and a cold one and let’s wade right in!

Shetland Shindigerry

Lonely Planet has just released their Best Places To Visit in 2019 and we’re thrilled to see the Shetland Islands on their list. Wind-swept cliffs, ancient stone cairns and secret coves tempt the outdoorsy dreamers in all of us. And did anyone say “Up Helly Aa”? Turns out Shetlanders love nothing more than drinking ale, dressing up as Vikings and setting fire to longships.

These most excellent gatherings are known as, you guessed it, Up Helly Aa’s. We don’t know about you but we’re suffering from Game Of Thrones withdrawal pains and there’s just something about the Shetland Isles that hits the Seven Kingdoms sweet-spot. We’re in!

Just Kiddin’ In The UK

On our way home from the Shetland Isles we’re stopping over in England because…romper and bonnet! Seriously, we are adoring British baby clothes this summer. They are just so delightfully proper! Plus, Baby Sussex just arrived. Need we say more?

Color Scheming Back At The Office


We are artists and designers here at Elum. We think color, we speak color, we dream color. And we’re not shy about giving colorful opinions either! This summer is all about the spice draw: cayenne, turmeric, vanilla and saffron. Lela Rose’s gorgeous SS19 collection just about sums it up.We are showing the spice trend some major love with our Zodiac Daily Journals for Anthropologie. Yes, we added pink to the mix. No, we can’t think of a pink spice offhand. Wait a minute…how about Baby Spice?

Spice Girls Summer

The Spice Girls have regrouped (minus the lovely Posh) and are ready for their World Tour.  We can’t wait to see them perform their greatest hits this summer. It’s what we really, really want. Say You’ll Be There!

Stranded At The Drive-In

While Grease just might be the most perfect summer movie of all time, there’s plenty of new movies coming out to get us out of the house and chowing down on popcorn this summer. We can’t wait to see Lion King (did someone say Beyoncé?), Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (did someone else say Brad Pitt?) and Rocketman.

As Elton John is the creative genius behind both Lion King and Rocketman we’re giving him our vote for Man of the Moment. Elton is also touring this summer. In his own words The Bitch Is Back!

Foodies Forever

We like to eat around here. A lot. We spend an embarrassing amount of time drooling over takeout menus and Instagram posts. If someone shouts “Tacos!” it will clear the building. Interestingly enough, an anagram for Elum Design is “glide menus” which we do pretty much everyday when we’re at our desks and lunchtime is approaching. So let’s glide those menus and see where they land! First off, we’re eating anything Julie Sherman @saladforpresident is preparing. We are also totally ready to share sushi with @brunchboys. In fact bring it all on: burgers and fries, bbq, pizza and tacos, tacos, tacos! #didwementiontacos

Adult Beverage Browsing

What to drink with all that food? Cocktails or beer? Wine or shots? Questions, questions, questions. Let’s start slow and build our way up. Summer drinks are all about the fruit so we are loving the ideas of Fernie Brewing Co’s The Reel Peel IPA.

We’re also craving Sangria loaded with strawberries and oranges and kicked up with brandy! Our shot of choice this summer is ice cold @patron chased with a wedge of sweet keffir lime. And we would be remiss in our duty if we didn’t mention our summer cocktail of choice: the Vegas-ready Mai Tai!

Party Central

Have we mentioned we love a good party? Shrimp on the grill, string lights twinkling, sound system breaking out the Marvin Gaye: summer is all about hanging outdoors with friends. Cookouts, barbecues, pool parties, garden parties: we cannot wait! Our Summer Tableware Collection will be dropping soon and you betcha we’ll be using it to dress up our picnic and patio tables!

It’s shaping up to be an epic summer! What are your listening to, what are you eating,
what are you dreaming about this summer? Let us know!

What Moms Want Most On Mother’s Day

4.29.2019

We’re thinking about our moms here at Elum. Mother’s Day is fast approaching and we’re asking the question: What’s the best way to make Mom smile on her big day? We’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day in the US for over a hundred years. On May 12, a hundred and fifty-million of us will call home and say, “Hi, Mom!”. About a third of us will buy flowers (pink roses and carnations are our blooms of choice) and a fifth of us will take Mom to brunch or dinner, which explains why it’s Mother’s Day, not Valentines, that is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. What can we say? We love our moms! At Elum we wanted to find out what moms really want on their big day. What makes them happy? What really touches their hearts and fills them with joy? So we asked. We talked  to all the moms we know and listened (moms love it when we do that!), and are now proud to present the Six Things Moms Want Most On Mother’s Day.

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

1. A thoughtful gesture, card or gift. Every mom we spoke to values thoughtfulness over the monetary value of a gift. Moms love a pretty card with a handwritten message inside.

“Mom, you’re always there for me. You’re my home port in every storm. Love, Jess.”
Or “Mom, you cook the best pancakes ever—tender and sweet—just like you.”

When it comes to gifts, moms really appreciate ones that are meaningful or caring: an old family photo made new again by a beautiful frame, a mom and daughter day at a local spa, their car washed, anything made by hand by their kids.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

2. A connection. If you can’t be with Mom on Mother’s Day, call her, FaceTime or text. Moms want to hear from you! Tell her what you love most about her. Relive your memory of the family vacation to Disneyland. Make Mom laugh by letting her know you haven’t forgotten the time she burned the Thanksgiving turkey, or the time she threw your brand new jeans in the trash by mistake. Make her cry by telling her that as soon as the bell rang after your very first day at school, the one face you couldn’t wait to see at the gates was hers. Moms want to feel connected with their kids on Mother’s Day. Show her the bond of love and family is still strong.

3. A day off from “Mommy” duty. We heard this most from moms with babies and young children. Their dream Mother’s Day is a day off from cooking, cleaning and running the household. They would really appreciate sleeping in. And while they love breakfast in bed, they would love it even more if you washed up after yourselves! #keepingitreal Clean the skillet and the stovetop—and why stop there? Nothing says, “I love you, Mom” more than cleaning the entire house!

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

4. Grandchildren. It’s a universal truth moms adore grandkids. If you have kids, this is a no-brainer. Bring your babies over to see Grandma. You don’t have to plan anything special. Bring cookie dough and sprinkles and let Mom and the kids bake cookies together. Or ask Mom what her favorite movie was when she was a child, and sit three generations of your family down on the couch and watch Black Beauty, Wizard of Oz or the Sound of Music. If you don’t have kids yet, we have a message from your mom. “What are you waiting for?”

5. Time. Mom just wants to spend time with you on Mother’s Day. We heard this answer over and over again. A beach day, family movie night, a potluck dinner, a day of shopping followed by afternoon tea: the most important thing to Mom is spending time with you. As we get busier and busier with our lives, Mother’s Day gives us the chance to slow down and appreciate the people who are most important to us. More than anything, moms want their families together on Mother’s Day

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

6. Love. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someonedeeply gives you courage.” We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure that Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu was thinking about how fiercely mothers love their children when he wrote that saying way back in 500 BC. No one loves us like our mom, no one protects us like our mom, no one celebrates our triumphs and takes the weight from our shoulders like our mom. Moms encourage our first smiles, hand-hold us through our first steps, bathe us thousands of times, kiss away hundreds of boo-boos, pack uncountable lunches and take all the photographs that will come back to haunt us decades later when we bring home a date.

A mom’s love is fierce, tender and everlasting. And the number one thing moms want this Mother’s Day is to feel their love is returned.

An EGGcellent Party

4.17.2019

In the spirit of Easter, we decided to have a dEGGcorating party! We gathered all the ladies (plus Scott & Ryan) and got down to business. Check out some photos below from our EGGcellent party and get inspired to have your own!–Who said decorating eggs was just for kids?!

Each person was equipped with a bunny headband (made by us of course), a plethora of eggs and all the kits, markers, paint, dyes, washi tape you can think of. (Gloves are recommended if you prefer not to look like your egg when you’re done)

We taped up our very own Pinterest board on the wall for some inspiration–which also doubled as some really cute decoration! (Thanks Haley!)

Our egg dyeing station had pretty much every color under the sun! Check out Real Simple’s article on what you need and simple directions to follow on how to dye an egg. (This one is great for kids) Bustle has more intermediate ideas if you are feeling ~fancy~.

For a more abstract look, you can dye the eggs with whipped cream! Follow My Baking Addiction’s article on how to do it–it’s super easy to follow. (this is where those gloves would come in handy!)

And if you’re not feeling so creative, fear not! We’ve got you covered with EGG DECORATING KITS! Our dapper bunny is a great classic choice.  For a more trendy look, this unicorn decorated egg is inspired by Coachella–and even though Coachella trends will come and go, this guy will never go out of style. #timeless You can get our kits at your local TjMaxx, Home Goods, or Marshalls!

If you don’t feel like using any of these methods or if you want to mix, feel free to go freestyle and create your own one-of-a-kind design!

No matter the outcome, the most important thing is that you had fun
and if there’s one thing that we know how to do here at Elūm, it’s just that. Happy Easter!

 

Elūm’s Spring Fling

4.11.2019

We love spring here at Elūm! April in Paris, fresh horizons and alfresco lunches: bring it on! We’re breaking out the flip-flops, cranking our office windows, waxing our surfboards, chilling the rosé and getting giddy with it! We’re declaring our First Annual Spring Fling! What are our artists and designers dreaming up this spring? What colors are they rocking? What foods are they craving? And what exactly do they get up to when they leave the office? We need to know! So we corralled them into the lunchroom, plied them with fish tacos and donuts (we know from experience they won’t talk if they’re hungry!) and asked. Read on for their light-up-social-media replies.

 

What colors are rocking your world this spring?

“All the yellows!” shouts our senior designer, Shannon L. Another of our senior designers agrees. “Yellow,” repeats Polly G with feeling. While Olga G, one of our graphic designer admits, “I’m still stuck on mustard.” Kristi C, our creative director, is also feeling the mustard, along with “Blush pinks and dark blues.” Colors are fighting words here at Elum and production artists Jael P and Scott H are willing to go to war for shades of blue. Meanwhile Shelby H, our lovely product development lead, is all about “Emerald green”. You go, girl! No color is left behind on this watch!

Spring cleaning or spring planting?

Kristi C declares, “Both! Purging paperwork, clothes and items I do not generally use in the house. Planting lots of ferns, podocarps, succulents.” Meanwhile Haley F, one of our senior designers, declares herself for spring planting. “We just moved into a new apartment with a large screened-in front porch and you better believe it is about to be a jungle out there.” We believe you, Haley! We also believe the five artists and designers who declared themselves ready to clean house this spring. We know your instagrams, #elumdesigners. We’ll be waiting on those before and after pics!

Fashions, homewares, style trends: what are you obsessing over this spring?

We opened a can of worms with this question. “Shoes!” shouts production artist Mikaela L. “Fitness!” counters Scott H. “Typography,” declares senior designer, Polly G. “Lots of matte black ceramics,” says Kristi C, “mixed with gold, silvers, terrazzo stone patterns and pops of fun bright colors.” I think it’s safe to conclude that we’re obsessing about a LOT of things here at the moment!

 

What are you listening to?

In no particular order: NPR, Michale Bublé, Odesza, La La Land, traffic updates and podcasts!

 

More importantly, what are you craving for lunch?

Poke!” declares Jael P.  Shelby H counters with, “Smoked salmon on an everything bagel” which pretty much has everyone in the office nodding their heads. When Mikaela L declares, “Pizza. Always,” we burst into spontaneous applause. There’s no arguing with the classics!

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you head to this spring?

Australia, Bali, the Serengetti, Budapest, Chile, and our local Anza Borrgeo desert: that’s six out of seven continents. We’re still trying to figure out why none of our designers has Antartica on her list. Any idea why? #coldestplaceonearth

 

What’s your favorite piece from Elūm’s spring collection?

At this point the crew starts getting rowdy. “Paradise Palms Weekly Desk Planner,” shouts Haley F. “I love those inside pages!” Scott H has his own opinion. “Subtle Gem Weekly Eats. It helps get the hard decisions out of the way and is ok to have at home as a guy.” Meanwhile Shannon L declares herself for, “Smokey Stone 3 Pack Journals. So. Pretty.” While Kristi C gives a shout out to our “Lustre Wash Padfolio.” This could go on all day! We’re pretty passionate about stationary here at Elum.

Paradise Palms Weekly Desk Planner

Subtle Gem Weekly Eats

Smokey Stone 3-Pack Journal

 

Final season of Game of Thrones or live action The Lion King?

Turns out we’re also passionate about GOT. Eighty percent of us are iron-throning all the way, baby! Haley F sums it up by declaring herself, “Team Khaleesi!” Badass boss girl on a dragon? Yep, we’re down with that!

 

“Valar morghulis” or “Hakuna matata”?

Based on our answers to the last question you’d think we’d all be “Valar morghulis”, right? Turns out our artists and designers are a free-thinking, confound-the-stereotypes sort of bunch. While we do understand that everyone must die, we much prefer to live by Elton John’s Lion King philosophy, “Hakuna matata”. No worries. #swahiliwisdom

 

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

“Going to baseball games and eating stadium pretzels and garlic fries and taking my dog to the beach!” Shelby H tells us. “Sunshine!” says Haley F. “Being outside!” agrees Mikaela L, while Olga G adds, “Good weather to hike!” The final word, however, goes to Jael P who melts our hearts with her answer, “Getting married!”

We wish you and your partner all the best for your spring wedding, Jael! Here’s wishing you sunshine, pizza, the color yellow, trips to all seven continents, and hakuna matata! You remind us what we’ve known all along: Spring is for celebrating love!

#BalanceForBetter

3.08.2019

We are committed to empowering women and girls at Elūm. We believe the world needs more women scientists, engineers, designers, programmers, creators, entrepreneurs and leaders. #BalanceforBetter. We believe in girls on top, women supporting women, female-led brands, Chaka Kahn, Malala Yousafzai, and She-Ra! We say a woman’s place is wherever she damn well pleases! We’re excited about a future where a women is free to love whoever she chooses and can choose to do whatever she loves.

To celebrate International Women’s Day we sat down for a chat with our very own boss girl, Melissa Foster. Melissa is our co-founder here at Elūm. She is passionate about encouraging women to fulfill their potential and support one another in the workplace. And as a mom to two daughters, she is actively engaged in raising kind, fearless and gutsy girls.

Hi, Melissa. Thanks for talking to us today. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the stationery business?

I grew up a very artistic kid. I loved to draw mostly, but there were so many creative outlets that I would explore, from creative writing and interior design to graphic design and even fashion design. I knew I wanted to become a business owner so that I could run my own show, so I got my BA and started in Advertising. It was when I took a job in a small printing boutique that I became a true paper guru. We were always flooded with the latest paper samples and I received one from a small batch company in Colorado that was all handmade cotton rag. It was thick, fibrous, and soft like a sponge. This began my love affair with paper, and led me to discovering letterpress. At the time it was a forgotten medium that could bring handmade paper to life.

A few years later when a client approached me to design a letterpress-printed wedding invitation, I got lucky. From that one event I caught the eye of one of the most high profile wedding coordinators in San Diego. She introduced me to an inner circle of strong women in the wedding planning industry and I instantly became flooded with business.

What were your goals when you co-founded Elūm?

My goals were simple; to reintroduce letterpress in a way that people had not seen it before and to make them swoon over paper the way that I did. If it worked, I would get to do art, be creative and feel good every day.

Were you ever given any advice that you took to heart and now guides you?

Yes. Failure is the best way to learn. With every failure along the way, I would look back through it and find out where and how things went wrong. Then I would implement a solution for moving forward and just keep on growing.

Have you experienced challenges as a woman running a business?

About three years into my business, I gave birth to my first daughter. I had a play room set up for her in the adjacent office and I was ready to bring her into the shop with me each day. I felt so fortunate, as a business owner, to have the luxury of doing this. But it immediately became very clear that my attention could not be divided. When it came to my daughter versus work, my daughter was my priority every time. It was extremely difficult for me to juggle being the kind of mom I wanted to be all while in the midst of getting my business to the next phase. I began a very real and hurtful internal struggle between my innate yearning to be with my baby and the practical need to continue on with Elūm so that I could support my family. It was more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting her own business?

It’s so different today with the social media aspect being such a tremendous part of it all, and the competition seems more fierce than ever because of it. Just keep your focus on what you are trying to achieve and push on. And when an opportunity arrises, always say ‘yes’ and figure out the ‘how’ later.

How important is it that women support and encourage one another in the workplace?

It’s paramount. Throughout my career my greatest mentors and business supporters have been women. They are the ones that kept me sane through it all. Just one conversation with a fellow business owner and I felt heard, acknowledged, and not alone. And one lunch with my former boss and mentor (and the best negotiator I know) and I am recharged for my next challenge. Women are so critical of themselves and this makes it all that much more important that we make it a point to reach out and support one another.

As mom to two amazing daughters, how do you raise your girls to be strong and empowered?

I don’t do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves. By the time they could talk, I had them voicing their own orders to the waiter. And if they needed a straw or a fork, they would have to ask for it. It is also very important to me that my daughters know they have a voice with me and with any superior for that matter. It’s okay to be upset about something, but I encourage them to come to me with a solution rather than complaint. I explain the importance of communication and that if they are having trouble in math and can’t finish the homework, to email the teacher and ask for assistance. This is a skill set that they will utilize throughout their careers.

We volunteer a lot. I want my girls to feel the incredible joy that comes from giving back, and they do. I also stress that when they have a ‘friend’ issue to go directly to the source and to actually TALK it out. Not text. Talk. And to be vulnerable. Trusting and supporting your girlfriends means telling them when they have hurt you, saying you are sorry when it was your fault, and cheering them on when they succeed at something. It can literally change the trajectory of your own self-confidence. And recently I hosted a “Healthy Sex Chat” for my fifteen year old and some of her girlfriends. We had a Sociologist specializing in Intimacy and Relationships come speak to our girls about such things as body image, disempowering messages to girls/women through media literacy and song lyrics, sexual consent, and the importance of desire, thus normalizing female desire and pleasure. Let’s just say, it was AWESOME.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be” —Maya Angelou

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women?

Really listen to the encouraging words you receive along the way. It can be a knee jerk reaction to deflect praise, but if you really take it in you can use it in combination with what you love doing and let it guide you to where you are meant to be. Oh, and go sit with your boss at the lunch table every once in a while . . . she gets lonely.

We’ll sit with you anytime, Melissa! Thanks for inspiring us and starting the conversation today. Now let’s hand it off to our visitors.
Add your voice to the conversation and let us know what you think. And always remember to celebrate and champion ourselves as women.

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Ten Most Romantic Couples Of All Time

2.01.2019

We are hopeful romantics here at Elūm. We love heart-shaped boxes of candy, candlelight dinners for two, skinny-dipping by moonlight and cozy nights by the fire. A good love story will melt our hearts every time. Whatever version of A Star Is Born we’re watching we know to keep a box of tissues handy. And if it happens to be Titanic or The Fault In Our Stars you’re going to see the ugly cry. The great love stories move us in inexplicable ways. They make our hearts flutter and our souls soar by confirming our most fundamental hope: that somewhere out there is the person, that man or woman, who is meant to be our one and only.

As Valentine’s Day approaches we’re sending out a special Valentine to the Ten Most Romantic Couples Of All Time. We love the way you love: deeply, fiercely, unfailingly. You rock us with your stories, inspire us with your devotion, and bring tears to our eyes with the everlasting beauty of the love you create. #romanceforever@elum

1. ROMEO & JULIET

Teenagers, born into rival families, forced to keep their love on the down low, and given some of the most beautiful words ever written to say to one another. “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” Romeo says upon seeing his love from a distance. “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” It does not get more romantic than that. #swooning

 

2. PRIYANKA CHOPRA & NICK JONAS

In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 handout photo released by Raindrop Media, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas celebrate during their mehndi ceremony at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, India, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (Raindrop Media via AP)

The first time the Quantico actress met the youngest member of the Jonas Brothers he got down on one knee. Catching a glimpse of her at a Vanity Fair Oscars party, he rushed over, set down his drink and said, “You’re real. Where have you been all my life?” Two years later they were married in India in a week long celebration involving palaces, elephants and an epic dance off. #stillhoneymooning

 

3. PENELOPE & ODYSSEUS

The original homegirl, Penelope waited for her husband to return from roaming the earth for twenty years. She raised their son, fought off a hundred-and-eight suitors, and generally kicked a lot of ancient butt. You go, girl! You’re so fierce we’re not entirely convinced Big O deserves you!

 

4. MILEY CYRUS & LIAM HEMSWORTH

Because when their house burned down last year in the California wildfires, all that remained was love.

 

5. ELIZABETH TAYLOR & RICHARD BURTON

When the most beautiful woman in the world set her violet eyes upon the handsome Shakespearean actor with a voice of gold, she was dressed as Cleopatra. He bought her a private jet and 68 carat diamond. They married twice and divorced twice but loved one another to the end. “I love you and I always will,” Burton wrote to Taylor in one of his final letters. “Come back to me as soon as you can.”

 

6. PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE

Setup on a blind date by a mutual friend, the Suits actress blew the prince away. “I walked into the room and saw her and I was like: Okay, I’m really going to have to up my game.” Within a couple of weeks he’d whisked her away on a camping trip to Botswana where they got to know one another under the stars. He proposed a year later and the rest is history. Royal wedding. Baby on the way. #truelifefairytale

 

7. HELEN OF TROY & MENELAUS

“The face that launched a thousand ships.” That’s our Helen. Girl was married to Menelaus when she was kidnapped by a dude named Paris and hauled four hundred miles west to the city of Troy. Menelaus waged war for ten long years to get wifey back. Brother had some serious perseverance and a giant wooden horse. #bewaretrojanhorses

 

8. BEYONCE & JAY Z

This megastar and mega-talented couple renewed their wedding vows in an intimate ceremony last year. Their ten year marriage, with its well-documented brush with infidelity, is testament to the true nature of longterm love. Jay Z told David Letterman in a recent interview, “We did the hard work of going to therapy. I like to believe that we’re in a better place today, but still working, and communicating, and growing.” #goingthedistance

 

9. VIRGINIA WOOLF & VITA SACKVILLE-WEST

The iconic feminist writer and celebrated beauty and poet began an affair in 1925, which produced some of the most scorching love letters of all time. Woolf wrote to her lover, “Throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head. They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.” #whitehotpassion

 

10. MICKEY & MINNIE MOUSE

 Because even after ninety years together, these cutie pies can’t stop kissing!

Did we miss anyone on our list? Who is your favorite loved up couple of all time? Happy Valentine’s to you and your sweetie from your romance-ready BFFs at Elum! And don’t forget to get your love a Valentine’s card this year. Head to our site for a selection of cards!

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Elūm’s Holiday Traditions

12.19.2018

We love the Holidays here at Elum. We’re senders of cards and gift givers, candy cane connoisseurs and mistletoe mamas. If someone shouts, “Party!” we’re there. If gift wrapping were a martial art everyone in our office would be ninjas. Black-belted, ninth dan merry-making ninjas! We love sparkles and sprinkles, goofy dancing, questionable holiday sweaters, hats with antlers, Bing Crosby, sugar cookies and hot toddies! More than anything else we love sharing and creating special moments with our friends and families. We’re filled with so much festive spirit right now we gathered the gang together, supplied everyone with rum-soaked eggnog and figgy pudding, and asked about their holiday traditions.

What’s your favorite part of the Holidays?

“Christmas morning is my favorite part of the holidays,” says Kristi C, our creative director. “Seeing my kids’ faces in the morning, so excited that Santa came to visit them. They can’t wait to open up their stockings and gifts.” Jael P, one of our production artists, looks forward to, “Staying in a cabin and heading to a cold place where it snows! Plus it’s the only time of the year when my brother and my dad help in the kitchen!” Tim P, our production designer, says his favorite part is, “Snuggling under warm blankets and watching terrible holiday movies on the Hallmark channel.” Judging from the way everyone is nodding, watching bad movies just might be Elum’s guilty holiday secret! Haley F, our senior designer, sums up the most important thing about the Holidays. “I know it’s cliché but getting to be together with family is by far the best part of the Holidays. I haven’t lived in the same timezone as my family for almost a decade, so when we can manage to all get together—even for just a day—it’s pretty special.”

Do you have any family holiday traditions?

“PJs all day!” declares production artist Mikaela L. Senior designer, Shannon L, keeps the laughter going by telling us, “General consensus in my family is that I’m a terrible cook. I bring the cheese board.” Our warehouse manager, Ryan M, chips in with, “Christmas nights at dive bars!” And Tim shares that universal holiday tradition of, “Getting awkward phone calls to out-of-town family over with by dinner.” Lindsey C in logistics tells us about her grandma. “Every Christmas Eve my grandma will make French onion soup. Christmas Day we will drink a bunch of wine while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This will be our first year without Grandma and I’m hoping I can pull off the soup as well as she did.” We all agree that simple family traditions, sharing food with loved ones, presents under the tree, are the things that create holiday magic.

What will you be cooking this Christmas?

“Our menu is always a mismatch of childhood favorites and new recipes we want to try,” says Haley. “Nothing says Christmas like pizza rolls and bourbon.” Lindsey tells us about her mom’s, “Roast Beast, which is a giant peppercorn-encrusted prime rib with all the trimmings.” We spend a moment in awe of Lindsey’s mom, then Nancy Z from logistics tells us, “My family loves hot pot during Christmas” and we all decide we’d like that too. And when Jael pitches in with “Honey glazed ham, a poppy seed cake and cheesecake!” and our co-founder Melissa F adds, “Noni’s cracked crab” we burst into spontaneous applause. Can you tell we’re all food crazy here at Elum?

What’s Elum’s holiday party like? Give us the lowdown!

“Sparkly & Boozy!“ declares Haley. “Super fun!” agrees Kristi. “We do a white elephant exchange, have a yummy dinner and we usually go dancing late night!” This year will be production artist, Scott H’s, first ever Elum holiday party and he tells us he, “Can’t wait!” When he asks Tim about the last Elum holiday party, Tim replies, “It was so good that I have a hard time remembering.” Lindsey helps him out, “That party was a HOOT! Tim was VERY festively dressed in a Christmas sweater. Everyone in the company is fun-loving and thoughtful. It’s wonderful to be able to unwind with such a great group of people.”

What Elum goodies will you be giving as gifts this year?

“I will be gifting Big Stack notepads to friends and family,” creative project lead, Shelby H, tells us. “They are very useful and a wonderful locally made product.” Lindsey agrees. “My family is addicted to Big Stacks. They’re the PERFECT notepad and the only way I’m guaranteed to not lose my shopping list. I’ve put one of them in everyone’s stocking as well as some Weekly Eats list pads.” Shannon will be gifting our “Letterpress journals. They’re a great practical but fun gift.” While Tim will be sending folk, “The Feliz Navidog card…’cause my son likes dogs.”

What are you wishing for in 2019?

“New experiences that will lead to new happy lasting memories for years to come,” says Melissa. Kristi adds, “Healthy Elum babies—we have two new babies at Elum that will be born in 2019! Some relief from the natural disasters happening around the world, and to spend more quality time with friends and family.” Cheers to all that! Haley and Lindsey dream of traveling. “Somewhere tropical,” Lindsey tells us, while Haley says, “Every year I try to make a bucket list of hikes, road trips and vacations— plotted at the beginning of the year to look forward to!” Our inside sales manager, Sara C, is looking forward to, “Spending more time in my garden and a full edible garden in the spring!” Tim is also thinking about gardening. He’s wondering if he can plant a tree “that yields cash and ribeye steaks!” We all laugh, and leave it to Nancy to sum everything up. “I wish good health and happiness for all the people I know.”

We raise our glasses and wish you health and happiness. We wish you time spent with loved ones and time doing what you love. We wish you all the joy and magic of the Holidays and all the wonderful possibilities of the New Year! From Elum’s family to yours.