We love working and collaborating with other brands in the baby + kid industry, which is why we're so excited to share with you one of our most recent partners, Promptly Journals, who collaborated with Rylee + Cru's designer, Kelli Murray, for a collection of their journals! Learn more about this heartfelt brand and the owner, Jayne Swallow, by reading below:
We are so excited to introduce you and your company, Promptly Journals. Can you share a little bit about Promptly Journals and what made you get started?
I am a graphic designer and after my first baby I could not find a baby book or photo system I liked that I could commit to documenting her life. My mother-in-law had given me a handwritten journal of her memoirs of my husband as a baby and I was blown away at how special it was to have. I knew I wouldn't be as diligent in writing in an open journal and so I started exploring prompts I could include to help me remember all the details. Turns out I was pretty good at thinking out prompts as I did it for 18 years of a child's life. As I designed this journal for myself, it took a LOT of time, so I thought maybe I could sell a few to make the time worth it. I ordered 200 journals to start out, threw them up on a site, and they sold out in 4 days. After seeing that, I saw that I had created a product that was solving a problem for many other moms and have run with it ever since!
Your journals are so beautifully simple. Where did you come up with the inspiration behind each type of journal?
All the baby books out there all had butterflies and elephants on it, and I just couldn't take it - ha ha. So I set out to make one in a style I loved. I wanted it clean, beautiful, good typography and timeless, so it stood the trends after 20 years. I also wanted the materials it was made out of to be good quality and also timeless and lasting so it felt like a keepsake you'd treasure forever.
We love that you really are inclusive when it comes to the collections of journals you offer. What is your biggest hope for those who purchase a Promptly Journal?
I hope these journals make people's life easier. I hope it helps simplify the overwhelming recording process so people actually write their precious memories, stories, travels and feelings in it. I also hope it gets people off their phones and out of the digital world for a minute so they can connect with moments that really matter. There's a lot of research on journalling and how beneficial it is to mental health and happiness. I think we could all get behind a little of that, right?
What has been your proudest moment since launching your business?
My proudest moment was when we were asking people on Instagram to share feelings on the prompt from our Love Story Journal, "If you had one more day, what would you do or say?" This is at the very end of the book and is intended for your last days with your spouse. A girl responded with this..
"I'm so grateful for this prompt! I had my dad write in his lasts shortly before he passed, and as his last thing he would say to my mum, he apologized for not being able to be there anymore for her. He couldn't respond for that last little bit but he was also able to say, "I love you" one last time in the journal, so my mum can read it over and over again. I bawled when he told me that as I was writing the journal. But now that he's gone, I'm so grateful for that little piece of him and what he gave to my mum."
The fact that she used my product to capture those last moments of her dad's life leaves me speechless. I'm so glad she and her mum have that forever written down.
What does a day in the life look like for you?
I'm a mom of 2 little girls with a little boy on the way, so life is busy and great. I work 2 days a week and the other days I'm at home.
When I'm at work, I'm trying to do 30 hrs of work in 8 hours, chatting and laughing it up with the amazing girls on my team, designing, strategizing, and exploring new opportunities for our journal line, and interacting with our wonderful online community.
When I'm home, I am in a constant state of trying to balance changing diapers, cooking dinner, breaking up arguments, laundry, and cleaning all while taking the time to color, make a castle out of blocks, building a fort, playing hide and go seek, kissing scratched knees, and dancing with them to the "Greatest Showman". My favorite thing to do with my girls is to adventure out to things like the zoo, museums, the park, hikes in the mountains, and to travel with them! We're always trying to sneak off for the weekends to go explore somewhere new.
We’re so excited to be featuring your collaboration with our designer, Kelli Murray, on the Rylee + Cru site. What do you look for in artists or brands you choose to collaborate with?
So, I'm a designer and have dabbled a little in illustration. I know how hard it is and have a great appreciation for it. When I came across Kelli's work almost 3 years ago - I knew I had to have her do the patterns for the inside covers of the books. She is so talented and has the soft whimsical look that was just perfect for these journals. Aside from talent and aesthetic, I look for women that I relate with. After interacting and meeting Kelli, you can't not help but love her. She's so real, genuine, and full of nothing but good.
What is your favorite way to get inspired?
I find I am caught with inspiration most often when I'm offline. Some of my best ideas come to me while hiking or running outdoors. I also get a ton of inspiration when traveling or meeting people in person. I love experiencing things and people in real life.
What’s next for Promptly Journals?
There's always something around the corner! We have some fun new cover colors coming out this summer and a super big project that we're really excited to announce later this year. Stay tuned!
Where can our audience connect with you?
@promptlyjournals on Instagram
Kelli Murray Collab: https://promptlyjournals.com/collections/kelli-murray