We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Leal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After spending 5 years in a career that didn’t spark joy or passion for me, I hit an all time low in my life – emotionally, mentally, and creatively. I was forced to re-evaluate my life and identify what truly makes me feel alive. As hard as that season was, it was truly transformational and revealing for me. I realized that as much as I want to live a life that helps others, I also have a duty to myself to live a life that I love, because you cannot pour from an empty cup. I want to do work that inspires, excites, and pushes me to reach new creative heights. In doing so, I truly believe that a little goodness can overflow to inspire, excite, and push others in some way, shape, or form. I started my own business to find myself again – to heal, to dream, and to create. It certainly hasn’t been easy and the journey is still ongoing, but I’m growing and learning all the time!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am obsessed with all the pretty paper things! Paper crafting, scrapbooking, notepads, journals, and stationery were always things that brought me so much joy. And on many occasions throughout my life, when I was asked that common question, “If you could have any job at all in the world, what would you choose?” I have always answered that I wanted to have my own paper shop. I still can’t believe that I actually have my own online paper shop now!
Since scrapbooking is by far my favorite paper crafting activity, I started out by designing my own collection of scrapbook products – stickers, patterned papers, ephemera, etc. I truly believe there’s magic to experience in getting creative with colorful paper and documenting your favorite memories – whether it’s in a scrapbook layout, a bullet journal, a mini album, a planner spread, or any other paper medium!
I am most excited about creating vibrant paper products to help myself and others cultivate creative magic, even in everyday life. I have found that the simple novelty of colorful paper bits and pieces can inspire a beautiful day – or at least a moment in time – even when things aren’t going so great. There’s just something about new paper for your scrapbook, a brand new to-do list notepad, pretty stickers for your planner, or a fresh roll of washi tape that sparks joy in even the most mundane tasks. In addition to scrapbooking items, this year will bring a lot more new paper products for everyday life – think art prints, cards, notepads, sticker sets, etc.! I can’t wait to see the shop grow in 2022.
It definitely wasn’t easy getting to this point, but it’s been totally worth it! For so many years, I believed that my life was meant to go in a completely different direction when it came to my career. And when that didn’t turn out how I planned, I felt a huge sense of uncertainty, fear, and disappointment. It took a lot of self-discovery – and therapy – to gain the courage to face my disappointment, re-discover myself, identify what truly fires me up, and step out of my comfort zone to make changes. If there’s anything I want to world to know about my story, it’s this: You are allowed to create a life and a career that you love, even if it falls short of the expectations others may have set for you. In the end, only you can look back and be the judge of how well you lived your life. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so the only way to truly give your best is to make time for the things that fill you with joy. You have a duty to yourself to give your dreams a shot!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is such a fun question! I love planning out activities with my friends! I would say that perfect itinerary for a week long trip girls in the area would be as follows:
– Brunch picnic and mimosas at Agritopia Farm
– Shopping at Studio 223 in Downtown Gilbert
– Painting class at The Art House Gilbert
– Dinner at Sushi Brokers in Downtown Gilbert
– Breakfast at Egg N Joe in Gilbert
– Manicures/Pedicures at Modish Nails
– Shopping at San Tan Village Mall
– Dinner at Fired Pie at San Tan
– The Coffee Shop at Agritopia
– Shopping & creative workshop at Creative Kind in Phoenix
– Visit Ruze Cake House in Scottsdale for a sweet treat
– Dinner, drinks, and golf at Top Golf in Gilbert
– Brunch and walking the Heritage District/Downtown Gilbert
– Visit the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix
– Bowling, games, and dinner at Main Event
– Top Cup Coffee Shop
– Escape Room
– Movie at San Tan Village Harkins
– Stay at The Saguaro Hotel
– Lounge by the pool
– Dinner & dessert in Downtown Scottsdale
– Mythical Coffee Shop
– Mini Golf at Golfland Sunsplash
– Barnone at Agritopia Farm
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my wonderful husband, Juan – my best friend and my biggest cheerleader! There is no one who loves, strengthens, and encourages me better than you. Thank you for walking beside me on this crazy journey. Your support has truly helped carry me – whether it’s a pep talk, a brainstorming session, creative feedback, tech support, or even just listening to me as I vent or cry. I could not, nor would I want to do this journey and this life without you. Your belief in me helped me believe in myself, and there are simply not enough words to express just how grateful I am for you.
Karlee Jaramillo (Karlee K Photography)