We are thrilled to announce Emily Ley, Founder of Simplified®, as our next Holiday Tastemaker. Simplified® is a brand of planners and organizational tools created for busy women. Emily has been featured in Forbes, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, Glamour, and Good Housekeeping and she has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product at the National Stationery Show as well as Top Ten Designers to Watch by Stationery Trends Magazine. Emily is the author of bestselling books Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Livingas well as a brand new title, When Less Becomes More, that releases this week!

For her Tastemaker Collection, Emily was paired with Dogwood Hill artist Holly Hollon who created the adorable coastal artwork that features pelicans, palms and seashells – all nods to Emily’s coastal hometown of Pensacola, Florida. Pineapples, which can be found in the crest Holly created, are a symbol that Emily frequently uses in her brand to symbolize “southern hospitality.” Holly also found a way to incorporate a tiny rainbow in the artwork since rainbows are a significant icon to the Ley family.

When Emily and Holly first begun discussing this collection, Emily shared with her several of her favorite Dogwood Hill products featuring Holly’s artwork such as this Ginger Jar moving announcement and this Naples Save the Date. We love seeing how Holly took all of this into consideration when creating the final product! We believe the end result not only personally reflects Emily, but also exudes the bright preppy feel of the products in her Simplified® brand.



We hope you will enjoy learning a little bit more about Emily from our interview with her below. We have included additional images of her beautiful tastemaker collection at the bottom of this post, but you can shop the full Emily Ley Holiday Collection on our website.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Enjoying a “snack dinner” with my family by the fireplace Christmas Eve, while watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

Dream Dinner Date:

Seafood and great wine on the beach.

Favorite Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas:

A Lafco candle or beautiful notepad and pen set.

Most Memorable Read:

Recently? Where the Crawdads Sing. Of all time, wow… I was an English Major, so I have many favorites. Anything by Jane Austen.

Favorite Hometown Eatery:

Angelenas. Our friends and neighbors recently moved home (like we did!) from NYC and opened an authentic Italian restaurant. It’s incredible.

What Inspires You Most?:

My kids. Time with my family. Watching my little ones be wild and free. I’m often inspired to live more like them.

Prized Possession:

My “Family Yearbooks” (yearbooks I make from photos throughout the year every holiday season).

Most Sentimental Christmas Tree Trimming:

A frame holding a photo of me and my grandmother. I miss her dearly.

Go-To-Hostess Gift:

A “Pensacola” themed notepad from Artesana (my favorite local gift boutique) or a sweet turkish hand towel tied with a ribbon.

Hidden Talent:

My kids are pretty impressed that I can recite the alphabet backward very quickly.

Starbucks Order:

My husband and I co-own a coffee shop, Concord Coffee, so we often brew at home! For me it’s a cup of light roast with French Vanilla NutPods and one stevia

What did you dream of being when you were a kid?

A children’s book author. There’s still time, right? 🙂

What is your number one tool of the trade?

My Simplified Planner. Yes, I make them for a living, but I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. It helps me keep everything organized.


Photography: Mary Margaret Smith Photography

Card Image Photography: Holland Williams Photography

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