On the Search for Failure

I’ve determined, after seven years, that I’m on the search for failure.

I’m also on the search for success. Grand success. Maybe not the kind of success that allows me fancy cars and houses across the globe, but success that allows me the items I desire: helping others; living comfortably, without worrying about paying bills, or deciding if buying underwear is more of a priority than groceries, as an example; being able to help my family reach that same level of comfortable; traveling when I want and to where ever I want; less stress and more health.

No where in there am I striving to amass a great wealth. I do want to be secure for my future, should I be fortunate to live to my 99th birthday, but again, I want the security in the points above.

For around a month or so, I’ve mentioned closing the custom & wedding side of S2 Stationery and Design. And I have. October 1st, closed that door. And I’m glad it has been closed. It’s left me with time to really focus on the things I want to focus on and most importantly plan for the ways I want to grow S2.

I’m no where near complete on my goals. They’re evolving and every time I write one down, another comes to me later. Not to mention, I have other things that pop up and show up and steer my path a different way, which I know shifts my goals a bit more.

This past weekend, I found myself discussing with very good friends my goals for both my business and personal life. We discussed pregnancy and relationships. We discussed it all honestly. What sticks from the two conversations was the statement I said several times in both:

I’m never going to be happy until I actually fail. Until, I can say, I did the best I could with the stationery and I failed and it’s time for me to be an adult and stop following this dream.

Chances are, I’m not going to fail. I know in my heart that what I’m doing is what I’m suppose to be doing. I know it’s hard to explain and for those who aren’t like-minded to understand or even begin to fathom, but I’m not going to fail. Mostly because I don’t see failing as a bad thing. I think even in the things that don’t go right, or that crash and burn, or realize that something I felt so strongly about doesn’t work any more and needs to be revamped or cancelled or changed, there is opportunity. There is growth. This is the natural flow of life.

I’m sure I will fail in little ways as this dream continues, but I wouldn’t quite say that this journey has been a failure thus far.

It is this reason that I struggle now. That I’ve been struggling for the past three years since returning from Japan. It is why, I’ve allowed myself to fall into this abyss of uncertainty and comfortable, yet uncomfortable, discomfort while working a job I don’t like and going through the motions of living a life that isn’t doing anything for me or my goals.

I have good friends at my job, I have made great connections and I’ve allowed myself to believe that I need this backup because at one time, I did. And I’m sure I need this backup a little bit longer, too, but the reality is that until I let go of the backup, I’m never really going to fail and because I’ve yet to really “fail,” I’m going to continue to stay annoyed and in this uncertain abyss because this doesn’t make me happy. This doesn’t make me motivated to grow or change or fail.

And so, all of this has led me back to the point of origin for S2 Stationery & Design. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to get back to the root – to the dream that launched this business idea and company seven years ago. Once that’s in order, I’m adding the passion project that I believe will be my legacy.

Once these things are ironed out, I’m sure my future will look bright, my pockets will be as well, and I’ll be living a life where failure isn’t something I’m seeking, it’s something I’m staring at and saying, “hello, where are you taking me next?”

I can’t wait to share all of this with you!

 

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A Call for Holiday Recipes!

That’s right. I’m on the hunt for holiday recipes for inspiration.

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Three years ago, I found a fabulous paper created by the Mr.Boddington’s crew and was immediately inspired. I used that paper to design my Hanukkah Latke’s recipe/greeting card that came with an envelope lined with that paper. And it launched a million and one ideas of what could be done with fabulous holiday specific recipes.

But then I sat. I did absolutely nothing with the ideas, aside from thinking about it and telling some friends.

And now, I’m trying to quickly collect them before the holidays are upon us. I tend to cut myself short, as you see. I’ve gone through my collection of cook books and cookie recipes looking for the best and most holiday specific cookie recipes, but I’m falling short. I’ve asked some friends. I even managed to find while organizing a recipe binder a cookie recipe collection printed in the Washington Post back when I lived in the DC/Northern Virginia area in maybe 2005. It’s so old, it’s turning yellow. Not to mention, the recipes didn’t really conjure the inspiration I am seeking.

So I’m asking you guys! If you have a recipe you don’t mind parting with, that reminds you of the holidays, please leave a comment below and I’ll respond, or you can email me at info [at] s2stationery [dot] com.

When I say holidays, I’m all inclusive. Ideally, I’d love to have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkha, and Kwanzaa focused holiday recipes as we’re approaching that season. Honestly, though, we don’t have to stop there. If you have a favorite Ground Hogs Day recipe, send it my way. The same goes for Easter, Valentine’s Day, Passover, any holiday!

The deadline to submit holiday recipes is Monday, October 17th. That gives me some time to sketch things out and get some ideas on paper. Literally.

All recipes will be shared by name, even if not selected for a design, on this blog. Recipes used will be properly credited and the person who shares will get some free product with their recipe(s).

Again, to get in touch with me, please leave a comment below and I’ll respond, or you can email me at info [at] s2stationery [dot] com. 

So please, help inspire me, if you can! And ask your friends to share, too. The more recipes I can get, the better!

 

“When I get married, I’m totally having you do my invites.” – Why I’m Changing the Business Offerings of S2 Stationery & Design + When

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An advertisement I snapped a picture of just before leaving Japan in January, 2013. That was 3.5 years ago and this sign seems more relevant now than it did the day I took the photo.

I’ve been running S2 Stationery & Design for over seven years now.

Yep, you read that correct, SEVEN YEARS!!

And it’s time for a change.

You already know the story, the idea for S2 came to me while traveling around Italy a month after my father’s death in 2009. It was a series of signs that came to me and then a dream that resulted in this dance I’ve been doing since. A dance that has turned into a full-fledged and non-stop Merengue (the kind where you’re left gasping and wondering when the damn song is going to end) in 2012.

There are moments where I honestly believe that I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point. Then, there are moments where I don’t believe I’ve worked my ass off to get this point. Those moments are the most difficult. Those are the days and nights where I struggle to sleep because I don’t have enough money to pay this bill or do that thing with my friends, or to pay back someone I borrowed money from a few weeks prior. It is exhausting and I wonder if I should at that point pack it in and be an adult – find a 9-to-5 job that pays me well enough to stop the stress. Those are the nights that have and continue to leave me feeling stuck.

People like me love to talk about following their passions. As they should. We are following our passions that come across as outrageous and/or out-of-the-box, and that anyone who is looking for stability wouldn’t understand. What I’m doing is not for the faint of heart, but nothing about following your passion is glamorous or inspiring for that matter. That last point often gets glossed over when people choose to deal with the awe of tossing common sense for a passion.

Following my passion, has required me to become comfortable with asking for help (which I rarely did before), saying no (even to people I love the most), feeling lonely (I barely go out any more), gaining weight (stress beats the shit out of your body), and living in a space of doubt, so much doubt, that I’m continuously uncertain of my accomplishments.

Something that people who talk about following their passions never really discuss is the sticky space of what happens when, like me, you don’t have thousands of dollars saved up and have to work a job to help bring in money so that you can survive and afford the basic necessities. There are so many people, gurus of this “follow your passion” movement, who have taken office jobs to save money and then quit. They talk about this as though it’s a temporary solution that is magical. And it may have been for them, but as someone who has sat in this space for a while now, it’s killing me.

I found my current 9-to-6 job at a point where what I was doing was not working. Where I was bouncing from lots of part-time jobs that kept me from focusing on S2 Stationery and had me resent my decision to quit my job. Let me be a bit more clear -I was resenting the loss of the steady income I no longer had, not the job itself. Working for the last company I worked for was not all that pleasant and I know I made the right decision by leaving.

I know this sounds dramatic, but I feel the same way I felt a few years ago when I was working for a big corporation in NYC. While I haven’t reached the point of crying for the 30-minute duration of my commute, the unhappiness has resulted in overeating, not exercising, not wanting to get up in the morning early enough to do work I need to get done for S2, etc. And I’m fed up with it. Honestly, I’ve been daydreaming about quitting and all the ways it can happen.

Now, the part of me that wants to maintain my car and apartment, fight this and that’s why I do eventually get up and get dressed and go to work. And that part reminds me that I need to motivate myself and do the work that I need to do. And this same part reminds me that it’s time to create goal deadlines to get out of this situation.

All of this leads me to changes…and you may be thinking that you’ve gotten to this point and still don’t understand the quoted bit in the post’s title, “When I get married, I’m totally having you do my invites.”  Let me explain…

When I started S2, I was a diehard fan of creating wedding invites. I wanted to spend a ton of my time working with brides and catering to their needs and whims in a design capacity. I have been told so many times, I’ve lost count, the quote above, and finally after seven years, I’ve decided that I don’t want to hear it any more. Primarily because it’s not true. Every single person who has made that statement has in fact, not used my design for their wedding, nor have they even reached out.

Now, before you accuse me of sounding bitter, note that I’m not. I’m actually quite gleeful that I’m shutting down the wedding invitation design side of S2 Stationery & Design. In fact, I’m shutting down a lot of the custom design business. And I’m quite glad.

It’s been seven years since I started this journey and while I’ve enjoyed every single customer I’ve worked for and every single project I’ve commissioned, as I take stock of both myself personally and my business professionally, I’m letting go of the things that are not worth my time. I’m saying, “NO!” to the stuff that isn’t fulfilling me anymore. I’m saying no to even the thought of a promise that isn’t there.

The next stage of S2 is taking shape and has been vaguely discussed in other posts that I haven’t followed up on, and is being ironed out now, but there is still a ways to go. I’m sure I’ll do some commissioned work and maybe even the occasional wedding invite during this time (I’ve had a few people say, “crap, but I really did plan on using you when the day came!), especially if it is aligned with the work I’m transitioning to, but I’m no longer holding out on promises and work that does not nourish me or my creative pursuits.  This isn’t about the money, or lack there of, either. No, this is about the nourishment. Finally! Right now, the nourishment is found elsewhere and I’m excited for this change.

I’m finalizing some creative projects now, but in Quarter 4, starting October 1st, S2 is moving away from the custom work you’ve known. I’ll still be making stationery sets and individual greeting cards. I’ll still have these wares at markets, but the real work – the work my soul has been longing for the past two years begins. I’ll do my best to keep you up-to-date in a more consistent fashion as things change over.

More soon!

S2 Eats + Awareness Project: Entering New Waters

In the next coming months, I’m going to launch a HUGE project. And I mean HUGE. And it involves food. If you know me, or have gotten to know me, then you shouldn’t be surprised by this at all.

This past Saturday, I found myself in a magical place. It felt like a home actually. It is a shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, named Archestratus, that is part cookbook and cooking related books book shop and also a cafe/restaurant. They host Blue Plate Dinners every Thursday night and a monthly Cookbook of the Month Club. The owner, Paige, is incredible and so nice. We got to meet her yesterday and talk to her and well, can we say “friends?!” all together?

I told her quickly about this project I’ve been working on and said to her pretty confidently as we continued talking, “when my project is ready, I’m calling you.” She was completely for it. And I now know where most, if not every event I host in NYC for “CIC” will be located.

I should also mention that I was with a friend of mine and a teammate for a project I’ve been working on as part of a program called Do Tank in NYC. Sana is her name and she is a fellow food lover. We talked and walked around the books and carried a ton to a table and shared food while talking to Paige. Sana is going to end up being a much larger part of this project than even I am aware of right now. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know yet what her role will be, but she will have a role. It may even be in the form of representing Pakistan.

Anyhow, this idea that I’m vaguely sharing with you now has a ton of moving pieces and a few people, all whom I trust with my life involved. I have a cousin helping with logo and branding design, my brother and his best friend involved in videography, another friend and past roommate willing to help with web design, my mentor as a board and planning member, and my Mom, too – she’s cooking. I’m sure I will bring on many, many more people, both trusted and untrusted. That is how you bring about change, after all.

This project has been in the works since the summer of 2014. That is the summer that Israel and Palestine were at war and the summer of the massive influx of migrants traveling from Central America to the US to get away from heavy gang violence and crime. Those migrants were children, many of them traveling alone, whose parents probably took loans out that they still cannot afford to get their child(ren) across the border to saftey. With both of these instances, for the first time in a long time I looked at the world and thought, “what the fuck is going on?” It may also have been the first time that I truly felt as though I needed to get involved. That my voice needed to be heard in a constructive manner. It was also a point when I realized that no matter what I do in life, my life has to be used to help stop the injustice of others.

Now, I’m not promising to change the world completely. No, that requires collective force. I am, however, proposing to use my stationery company, design skills, and extensive communication background to help shift and shape appreciation, acceptance, and change. This is daunting. It cannot be neatly designed. I am bound to offend many. I hope to impact many more.

To get this started, I’m sharing a collection of photos of foods that I’ve recently created over the past few weeks and months of putting “CIC” together. I have a long road to go, but food is the of the main focal points of this project. From this post onward, one a week will be dedicated to a recipe – some food(s) I’m devouring religiously, experimenting with as I develop and perfect, and/or am inspired by – I cannot promise that these recipes will coincide with exactly what I’m working on, but they will help build connection for when it is ready to be released into the world.  (SOON!)

Saturday night, as I walked around Archestratus, I thought about my life and the wild ride it’s been thus far. I thought about how food has always been a focal point in my life. I carry a lot of weight because of my relationship to food, both good and bad, but this project isn’t about that. No this project is about the nourishment food brings us all, across cultures and countries and religions. My unofficial slogan for this project is: “Even the most immigrant hating Texan eats tacos.” This project is about that element that brings us together even in our fear, differences and hate.

Walking around Archestratus allowed me to remember my abuela Herminia, who was a strong and rebellious female who created change in her own way. I thought about being a three and four year old helping make Honduran tamales with her and my mom. By helping, I really ate most of the ingredients and would annoy her, but my abuelo always had extra as backup. I still help my Mom make tamales every Christmas and the legacy continues. If I ever have children, they will learn and my soon-to-be three year old niece, will learn soon.

This is what life is all about. It is about the changes we make individually as well as collectively. It is about passing down our histories, cultures and family stories. It is about connecting over the pieces that make us all human. I hope you’ll join me for this journey. I hope you’ll help me share these stories and cultures and histories. I hope you’ll help shift your conscious as well as the greater conscious. Most importantly, I hope you’ll enjoy this.

To learn more and stay up to date, you are invited to sign up for our the newsletter on the Awareness page of the S2 Stationery website. (Scroll to the bottom!) You’ll get the good, juicy bits when you do…think of it as the fond at the bottom of a pan of caramelizing onions, or from a roasted chicken. Yum!

Until next week, keep your stomachs a bit empty, your hearts full, and your mind open to expansion and food. And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!!

 

 

 

S2 Weddings: A Bridal Book That Makes Me Proud

Welcome to the S2 Weddings category. Part of this new revamp of the blog is that I’m going to put different topics under different categories so that I get to play around with all the aspects of my stationery and communication business, but also so that you know when you don’t want to read a post. For example, if you care about traveling, then you might not be interested in a wedding post of mine. But if you’ve stumbled on to my site while looking for wedding invitations, then you would care about my wedding posts. It’s a work in progress, so we’ll see how it goes, but I hope it goes well.

Without further ado, let’s talk about this STUNNING bridal book I put together for a custom client. This book has been in the works for over a year now, or maybe exactly a year. I delivered said book the week before Christmas 2015, so I did make it within the year mark, but it took a lot of back and forth with the customer, only because I was trying to hand deliver it versus mailing it, and because it stumped me.

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I love books. I’ve always been an avid book lover and I’ve also attempted to make my own books. I shared a post a few years ago now, about rediscovering my very first book that I made completely by hand using card board and ribbon to bind it together. I still have no clue how I did that, or how I instinctively knew to put it together in that manner, but I did. It still wows me!

I’m not a book maker per se. I would never tell a customer, “yes, I’m a book maker.” See, there are talented book makers in this world, not accidental book makers like me, but that does not mean that for the right client and project, that I won’t step into the real of book maker. It is an art. And I do have a way with making books. So I am capable and interested. And when this project along, it seemed natural to job into it and offer my book making services and skills.

We had discussed a modern looking book for these cards. The theme of my client’s daughter’s wedding was modern art. Her daughter had a degree in modern art and loves it and is a superb artist herself. Keeping in theme with the bridal shower invitations the customer ordered through Vera Wang, I adapted the laser cutting art into my piece. I also should note that we designed the insert cards to look like Pantone chip cards using the colors she selected for the bridal shower. These cards were mostly color with 1/3 of the space left white for “advice for the bride.”

When I went into organizing the book, I did my best to coordinate the colors in an order based on how many there were for each card. Of course, the control freak tendency of mine wished that there had been some order in how these cards were given out, but that was the least of my worries. No, see the bulk of my worries and why it took me so long from late January to December to get this book done correctly was that I was afraid of messing it up.

I knew that much like a Pantone swatch book, I needed to get the proper binding tool and get the holes punched just right not to mention get the modern design cut correctly.

So I simmered wondering how I was going to get this done and then wouldn’t you know, last spring, I received a free Cricut Explore Air machine in exchange of a review on Amazon. This happens all the time and my review at the time was spot on. (I should go and write an updated review based on how this book turned out!)

With minor adjustments to the scan of the invitation, I used the cricut machine to cut out the image to the sizes I wanted and then using several layers of paper, both a pale cream cover weight paper and a metallic opal standard weight paper that matched the shower invitation put the designs together.

It took me several versions of this. Gluing each piece together alone took time and resulted in glue everywhere and spots on the paper. Being a control freak type-A designer, I always think that customers will see the same imperfections that I do and so I go over and over and over a piece until I get it correct, or at least correct in my eyes.

I am incredibly proud of this piece. I am stunned by it’s beauty. I am amazed that I made it with my hands. I didn’t want to deliver it. I wanted to keep it for myself. It’s one of those pieces that you love for ever and ever. It’s the piece that you know will bring you respect in the design world. It is one of those pieces that you know your customer will love having in their home and will proudly share who made it for them. It is that piece that communicates your goals, mission and aspirations for what you do. It is the piece that has a bit of your heart and soul in it.

Photos of the book are below. This is a pricey piece. It does require a lot of elements even though I use a machine for some of the work of it. Hand punching pieces of paper requires a lot, okay?

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Those who are interested can reach me by leaving a comment below or sending me an email to info [at] s2stationery [dot] com.

And for those curious – my customer emailed me and told me that she was on vacation, but she absolutely loves the book. “Sara, it came out great!”

Celebrating Choice, Protecting Women’s Health AND Rights – S2 Stationery Awareness Project “Women’s Choice” Statement Cards

The past few weeks that have seen the attack on women’s health issues that has left me enraged, personally. This week alone, Texas has completely cut off all funding to Planned Parenthood. Not only is this disastrous for women in Texas, it sends a message to women across the entire United States that their health and well being is not a concern for this Country.  Let us be clear here, without women and proper health for women, this country will die. Women are necessary for life. It’s time that we command the respect we deserve and demand the full rights of our own bodies, whether or not those who oppose agree.

Being an entrepreneur I decided it was time to channel this anger into action. Normally, I’d be inclined to donate money to an organization, but decided I needed to go further. Donations are great, especially when one of the largest organizations is under attack and can and more than likely will lose much needed funding, but I, personally needed to do more. This naturally gave way to the launch of S2 Stationery Awareness Projects, which I wrote about on this blog yesterday afternoon.

I’m pleased to announce the first project under this division of S2 Stationery & Design – “Women’s Choice” Statement Cards! More details about them are below, as well as the links to buy on Etsy, and a little bit of information about the mission of this project. If you know anyone interested in these cards on a large scale, please contact me via my website. Let’s make positive change happen!

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Women’s health is not something that should ever be taken for granted! The United States, while definitely one of the countries that allows women many freedoms, continues to play with our freedoms, emotions, and health. It’s time to take control of our bodies, our health, and have our voices heard!

Ever a feminist, Sara Stroman, the S2 behind S2, decided she could no longer sit back and allow the rights of women to be taken away without some action. She didn’t have to look much further than her stationery business to find her “action.” Working with a good friend, who takes witty to many different levels, Peter Budka, she designed the six cards you see below. Each is printed on the bright color, heavy card stock you see photographed. You can order them individually or as a set. They come with a Kraft paper envelope. They can be traded or shared or given away. Hey, you should give them away! Mail them to your Senators and Congressmen even! These cards are meant to share your voice no matter your age or gender.

Single cards are $4.75
“Have you heard of women’s liberation?”
“When life gets tough for men”
“Smart women plan for the future”
“My dream guy…an elected official protecting the rights of women.”
“Not barefoot, uneducated and confined to the kitchen anymore”
“Are men afraid to make decisions?”

Set of 6 cards is $ 21.00

50% of every sale of every card (single or set) goes directly to Planned Parenthood to help them continue their much-needed work. $2.38 and/or $10.50 may not seem like a large donation, but every amount helps! To be as transparent as possible, every time a purchase is made, a donation will be made through S2 Stationery’s Fearless Fundraisers webpage.

I’m hoping to raise $1000 or more from your orders! So we ask that you share these cards via social media and obviously, snail mail.

I’ll be promoting these pretty much forever, or until change is made. The donations will also be a forever thing as well. Please note, that on the Fearless Fundraisers page, I had to select a date; that will continue to be adjusted as the project continues.

Again, if anyone would like to help get the word out, please contact me via email info[at]s2stationery[dot]com.

About S2 “Awareness” Projects – Often times, we think our differences are larger than they really are. I’m interested in finding that space and opening your heart to the similarities. By all means, your story IS your story, but that doesn’t mean you’re all that much different than me, or the person next to you. Let’s find those spaces and talk about them and make a difference, together.

 

Launching “S2 Awareness Projects” – Stationery for Social Change

When I started S2 Stationery & Design six years ago, I wanted to work with paper and share that love of paper with the World! I wanted to also share my love of writing and importance of letters, words and sincere sentiment. I didn’t realize how quite difficult that would be.

See, there are people like me, the kind who love, absolutely love everything about paper. They love cards of all kinds – witty, snarky, funny, emotional, handmade, etc. They also love beautiful things – design, paper, quality – and don’t mind paying a higher price for that experience and they want to share that experience with their loved ones. Then there are the other people – the kind that may love paper, but they definitely don’t like paying over $2.00 for a card. They also don’t care about the design details – the elements that make them stand out. These are the people that may shop at Target and CVS for their cards. They may not be writers, but they on occasion like to send out a card to a loved one. This group also likes to send out photograph cards at the Holidays that they order online and spend maybe less than a dollar per card.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve mailed out Holiday photo cards before, especially after a big international trip. They’re fun. But they’re also impersonal. That being said, one of the similarities I find between the two groups of people above is that they both suffer from not having enough time and/or good enough reason to write. Everyone loves getting handwritten cards and notes in the mail, regardless of the paper quality, but nobody has the time to write said cards and notes. So we end up with a group of people that are both admirers to a degree, but have no way of connecting, nor motivation to connect outside of modern technology – email, text, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and whatever new app has appeared.

In the end, people want to connect. They are dying to connect. Many people are hurting because they cannot connect. They feel too stressed, endlessly busy, pressured to conform, and an entire host of other ailments and they connect in a not-so-connected way. I wanted to fix that. I wanted to swirl into the Stationery Town like the Tazmanian Devil (I admit, I’m kind of that way) and shake the Town down to it’s core with my fine papers and envelopes and stationery sets. I wanted to help connect people and make a living doing that and then proudly wave the banner of success to everyone. To some degree I have, but to many degrees I have not.

Six years that have included a trip to Japan to learn paper making, quitting more than a few jobs, almost losing my apartment and car one too many times to count, asking friends for way more help than I’ve done ever, learning to appreciate all that I have and not focus on all that I don’t, losing some friends in the process, becoming more comfortable with me time and saying no, working from more Starbucks than I’d like because of free wifi, constantly being on the yo-yo of doubting myself for these decisions and then loving them, sleeping way too much than I should, gaining more weight than I’m comfortable with, taking a month to care for my almost-two-year-old niece, constantly being inspired and creating new products, and I’m sure quite a few more things that I’m forgetting to mention, I’m taking a detour on this Stationery train ride and I’m taking a long stop in an area that I’d equate to the Mid-west of America. Which is quite appropriate given that as an 11 year old, my family moved from NYC to Ohio to allow my brother and I a chance at a normal childhood that was safe. (It makes sense to me and will to you as this rolls out.)

Where I’m headed project wise is NOT safe. And I’ll never be my 11-year-old-self again, but I’m slowing down all the engines to focus on one project and making sure that it works well and that it does what I think the world needs, connect us to those we love most and even those we don’t love, but who we could stand to love and appreciate more.

S2 Stationery is my heart. It will always be in the picture. (It is not going anywhere – the Etsy shop with the handmade papers and stationery sets will remain during this break – it just will not be the main focus.) This business courses through my veins. It makes me happy and sad; frustrated and joyful. If I ever had a life purpose this is it. However, as with all things, sometimes you need a break – you need to step away from things, see the big picture and move forward, even if that is a leap and it is scary. The things that matter the most do inspire fear, but they also create great things.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you all to S2 Awareness Projects!

S2 Awareness Projects combines stationery, politics (to a degree) and social justice.  S2 Awareness Projects share the topics and conflicts that makes S2, aka Sara Stroman, tick to make changes. These are the things that others care about, but often aren’t sure how to go about them. S2 Awareness Projects help you share your feelings, thoughts, and inspire you into written action. (We hope!) S2 Awareness Projects are transparent and will 100% of the time will raise money to donate to the cause inspiring the project and make donations on your behalf. S2 Awareness Projects is a way to make a difference, connect us and our differences and raise our voices without raising our pitchforks and/or guns.

Some, if not many, will not always agree with me or my values, but I’m willing to risk that for this project. In the end, my values and your values don’t have to be the same and if they’re not, you’re welcome to go elsewhere, however, that is not the point of this project – I want to bring people together, not tear them apart. If you’re not willing to be open-minded or hearted, this project is not for you. As much as this is a risk for me, it is a risk for you – you may grow from this project and that is always risky business.

The official slogan of S2 Awareness Projects is: “Often times, we think our differences are larger than they really are. I’m interested in finding that space and opening your heart to the similarities. By all means, your story IS your story, but that doesn’t mean you’re all that much different than me, or the person next to you. Let’s find those spaces and talk about them and make a difference, together.”

Tomorrow in this space and on Etsy and social media outlets (facebook, instagram and twitter), I’ll be announcing the first S2 Awareness Project.  Hopefully, you’ll be excited about this as much as I am.

Until, Tomorrow!

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