Mermaid of the Week: Whitney English, founder of Day Designer (daydesigner.com) and
operator over at the Whitney English blog. (whitneyenglish.com)
ML: First, congratulations on the success of Day Designer. Not only does your product sell well, but you even had a line in Target last year. Pretty damn good for a gal from Oklahoma. Tell us about the moment you made the deep dive for your dream.
WE: I’d been working on a planner product for over a year. I knew that I had a pile of dusty planners in the corner of my office that WEREN’T working, and I was trying to figure out what would make my planner product different, and what would make it work. I also had a bunch of sticky notes floating around my office–I would scribble random notes and lists throughout each day.
I moved forward with these observations, but the real lightbulb moment came when I was on thesaurus.com one day, searching for an alternative name for “planner”. It was one of those crazy moments where everything falls into place.
The word “designer” jumped out at me, and I realized the differentiating factor in my planner could be a DAILY format, not just a weekly, like most traditional planners. There weren’t any daily planners on the market at that time–or at least, any that were pretty. It was the “aha” moment I was looking for, and everything in product development moved forward differently from that point on.
ML: You’re so right. We should be designing our lives, not just planning them. Sounds so much lovelier. You really were at the forefront of the ‘designer designers’. And so worth the money, I might add. So work is such a big part of our lives, but what always brings a smile to your face?
WE: The TV show “Modern Family”. Fresh flowers. A yummy kombucha drink (my current fave). New skin care products (I’m a total product junkie).
ML: What’s the biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur and what did/do you overcome your fears?
WE: The biggest challenge is feeling like SO MUCH is expected of you, at least at first. You’re the accountant, customer service person, shipping department, graphics department–everything. A huge learning curve for me has been learning to hand off EVERYTHING–a little bit at a time. I still have days when I feel like people are coming at me with questions, but they are a lot less frequent than they used to be.
ML: Tell us your favorite tool(s) for enlightened living (presence, intention, action).
WE: I’m a big fan of reading, as much as you can, as often as you can. God is my main plumb line, but I’m currently in the middle of both Rising Strong by Brene Brown, and A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer, and both are increasing my self awareness and perspective on the world. I want to be one of those people who generously loves everyone, and I’m grateful to be alive in a day and age when the resources to learn about doing that are at my fingertips.
Thanks for swimming by today, Whitney. Wishing you continued success.
Instagram – whitneyenglish (instagram.com/whitneyenglish)
Facebook – the Day Designer (fb.com/thedaydesigner)
Twitter – whitneyenglish (twitter.com/whitneyenglish)
Periscope – my new fave – (periscope.com/whitneyenglish)
This week, I’m hanging with all my favorite fictional characters: Macy, Ramona, Georgia, Taylor, Kelly and Marlo (the main characters from all of my novels!) as I’m busy writing The Mermaid Club. Since it’s set on a fictional island in the tropics, I’ll admit I’m enjoying the warmer locale in my mind.
If you love mermaids, be sure and follow my mermaid board on Pinterest.