This week on our #welldesignedlife series, we are excited to have Val Woerner of Val Marie Paper with us! We adore her prayer journals and the authenticity she strives to share through her blog and social media as she navigates her life as a wife, mom, and business owner!
Let’s start off with an introduction! Tell us about yourself. Roles you play and what you do.
Hi y’all! I am Valerie Woerner. I am a South Louisiana girl, married to my best friend, Tyler and mom to the sweetest 16 month old, Vivi Mae. My business is paper (wedding invitations, prayer journals and now a marriage field guide) and my heart is to help women find peace and joy through our products and by sharing inspiring posts.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in life so far?
Personally, I am so proud of the life that we have created for our family. Our life is full but not so busy that we can’t breathe. It has taken a lot of effort to have margin in our life but so incredibly worth it!
Professionally, launching the very first prayer journals! We did a photoshoot for them on a very hot September day in Louisiana just two weeks before I gave birth, launched products a week later and shipped out the first 100 orders two weeks after Vivi was born. It reminds me how when we are passionate about something, we can do far more than we think we are capable of!
Tell us about your big dreams. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and why?
I would love to continue what I am doing and grow our product line as well as our giving back. I want to use Val Marie Paper for God’s kingdom whatever that may be so I don’t have a clear plan of what that looks like and that actually excites me!! His plans are so much bigger than mine are.
What are some struggles you’ve faced in achieving your dreams so far? Have you learned anything from them that you want to share?
Currently, time and focus are such a factor for me! I have lots of ideas and work mostly while my little girl is at school for a few hours or during nap times. I like to think if I had 8 hours straight to work, I would accomplish so much. That’s where the focus comes in. I know there would be distractions even with that much time so finding focus would be super important too. In the past, I struggled with knowing my ideal client. I would take on projects that weren’t right for me. Clarifying this helps so much in making sure I am using my time wisely.
Do your dreams look different now than they used to? If so, what changed about them?
From 5 years ago, yes! I was a wedding planner at the time and had no clue my own faith story would be such a huge part of my business. The last few years, the dream has remained the same but become more refined. God definitely took the reigns when He prodded me to create the prayer journal for myself. I wasn’t looking to sell a ton, just to cover the cost to print the minimum I had to order, all so I could have my own. 10,000+ later, I am still in awe at what He is doing.
What three daily things can you not live without?
Quiet time with my Bible and prayer journal – without it, I am not the best mom or wife or business owner I can be
Dark chocolate Hershey kisses – I am trying to break this habit! I eat way too many right now. ; )
My day designer – I feel cheesy to say that, but it’s true!!
What is something you strive to be intentional about? How do you design it into your life?
Living a life with margin. I read the book Margin by Richard Swenson and it changed my life. Margin is basically leaving room to breathe. Not filling up our calendars, homes, closets but leaving space. We are really intentional about this when it comes to our home. We joke that people probably think we haven’t finished decorating. And I also strive to do this with work. I am really strict about the work I take on now.
How do you create balance in your life?
My husband and I both own our own businesses so it can be very easy to work at night. When we were dating, we’d go on dates and then head home and hustle for a few more hours on our new businesses. That season taught us a lot about burn out and over commitment and made us super cautious about bringing that into a marriage. We say no to a lot and only have one night of the week with an ongoing commitment. This year, my focus is on creating some sort of balance during busy seasons. I always get sick after a launch day or Christmas shipping season because I don’t take the best care of myself during those seasons.
What does your daily routine look like? Is there anything that helps you feel most successful at the end of the day?
5:00 or 5:30 – Wake up, put on makeup and clothes (even if it’s just yoga pants), have my quiet time
7:00 – Get a head start on emails. I knock out the ones that need a short reply first. This helps me to not get overwhelmed by the number in my inbox.
8:00 – Wake Vivi if she’s not up playing in her crib already. M-T-R, she goes to school so I get her ready and drop off to school. Wednesdays are our ship days which Vivi loves to be a part of. I have an assistant, Savri, that comes and packages all the orders for the week while I work on random requests and wedding orders. Fridays are a little more laid back. I just work during naps!!
9:30 – Work at my desk. Emails are 80% of my job. Grab a quick bite. Do a quick tidy.
2:00 – Pick Vivi up. She’s usually tired from a day of playing and takes a nap right when she gets home! Perfect to let me wrap up my day!
2:30 – Finish emails. Write to-do list for the following day.
4:00 – Go for a walk with Vivi
What checklist(s) do you live by?
My to-do list in my Day Designer and my powersheets!
What do you wish you had more of in life? What about it makes it so special?
Coffee dates with my closest friends. It is so hard to prioritize right now but I know it’s needed!
What do you wish you had less of in life?
Distractions or roadblocks. For example, I would love to go work out but there are just so many roadblocks to actually making this happen that it happens a lot less than I would like.
Are you willing to share a story with us about a time in your life when things felt out of control? How did you get back on course?
Oh goodness! This past Christmas season was completely out of control. We had way more orders than I was prepared for and USPS wasn’t the most reliable since they were so busy too. I was so stressed out trying to make sure everyone got their packages on time and correct. There was about two solid weeks of working all day and then after Vivi went to sleep till 11 PM and early mornings (instead of my quiet times unfortunately). I was getting heart flutters from stress and felt physically and mentally exhausted. I honestly didn’t get it back on course but hung on till our last ship day managing to survive. It has taught me a lot about what to do for next year though so I’m hoping for a smoother 2015 holiday season. : )
Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Val! P.S., if you would like to learn more about these fab journals or connect with Val, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and blogging at ValMariePaper.com