“Let’s get it done . . . so we can have some fun!” This is a key mantra of Erin Condren, founder, and chief creative officer of Erin Condren Design. Erin Condren is a lifestyle brand that fuses function with fun by creating colorful, high-quality paper planners, notebooks, stationery, and more.
Condren built her brand from the ground up in 2001, after having newborn twins who left her with little sleep but mountains of determination and a passionate, entrepreneurial spirit. Following a career in the apparel industry, she began printing notecards on her desktop printer from home in California, with her first personal product being her twins’ birth announcement. The encouragement and support of friends and family motivated Condren to begin selling her stationery at home shopping parties.
In 2005, as the company evolved, she launched the initial version of her website, ErinCondren.com. During these early days, Condren packed and shipped each box herself, hustling to build her brand and continue to contribute to the household income. Her bright and whimsical designs were widely accepted, and even from the outset of her business, her products were in high demand, resulting in incredible organic growth in her company.
In 2006, Condren hired her first employee, and it was also the year erincondren.com was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Erin Condren brand has strategically and gracefully navigated partnerships with such brands as Staples™ and was featured on Rachael Ray, Family Circle Magazine, and The Today Show, over the past decade.
In today’s digital age in which everyone has a computer in their pocket, Condren took a great yet intentional risk to create a business around paper products. She believes that there truly is power in writing things down. “It’s not only a way to truly show commitment and dedication because it takes longer, but it also can’t be as easily erased, and it’s a lasting reminder of your dedication,” Condren said. “We’ve seen so many customers achieve incredible things through their Erin Condren LifePlanners™ – from getting into college to losing weight, buying their first house, paying off student loans, having a baby, to landing that dream job. I really don’t think these powerful accomplishments would be as prevalent without them writing them down.”
Texas Connections: Flagship Store
Being a vertically integrated company and producing most of her paper products in-house, Condren’s burgeoning business quickly outgrew the initial distribution center in Los Angeles. After searching the country to relocate to a larger facility, Condren’s business partner landed on Austin as a business-friendly area. Their new state-of-the-art distribution facility opened in
“Texas has always been a strong community of core Erin Condren customers, and moving our production facilities out here and then opening our flagship retail store at Domain NORTHside in 2017 was a natural next step,” Condren said.
“Texas has truly become my second home, and it feels wonderful to put down roots. I’m so excited to be a part of this Texas community. Y’all really have captured my heart!”
Since everything is truly bigger in Texas, the Erin Condren flagship store is an incredibly large space, designed for customers to connect and collaborate. A large white tree grows throughout the store, from the center of the bottom floor, throughout the bright and colorful space. The walls of the store are lined with brightly colored items, lively colors, and thoughtful design inviting customers to engage with the products.
The back wall is the dedicated space for Condren’s signature item and a personal favorite, the LifePlannerTM. With several customizable, interchangeable covers to choose from, guests can also select the layout of the planner, the color of ring binding, and a few other detailed choices to accommodate their needs and preferences. Along the wall with the LifePlannerTM selections is the quote “Plan for tomorrow celebrate today.” A rainbow-colored staircase leads to an upstairs area perfect for intimate gatherings such as events, workshops, and private parties. In the past, the store has hosted goal-setting workshops, flower-arranging classes, birthday parties, graduation parties, and other special events. The upstairs space is intentionally designed to be a mix of celebration as well as inspiration. Condren enjoys stopping by the store as often as she can to connect with the community and see what people are loving and buying at the store.
In addition to the comprehensive LifePlanner™, Condren has many more products, including PetitePlanners for meal planning, wedding planning, budgeting, and wellness. Condren’s compassionate heart is seen throughout her work, particularly with her treatment log journal she designed in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The online description of this treatment log states that it “is designed to inspire and support those battling breast cancer with six weeks of trackers for drain levels, chemo, meds, symptoms, moods, meals, and more. Designed with insight from cancer survivors, the inspirational quotes, gratitude spreads, and journaling pages help to remind you that you are brave, strong, powerful, and supported.”
Additionally, to aid in the back-to-school organization, and make it more fun, Condren has designed planners for both teachers and students. Her student planners are designed for children ages 5 to 9 and come with an abundance of stickers to brighten their pages as they learn to organize. Another PetitePlanner designed in a philanthropic spirit is the “I am Enough” journal, in conjunction with The Kindness Campaign. This journal has 70-plus prompts to help strengthen self-image, self-awareness, and empathy, designed for ages 10 and up. Lastly, the Erin Condren Gratitude Journal aspires to evoke intention. This journal is designed in a petite style, reminding owners to “start each day with a grateful heart.”
The cherry on top of these lovely products is the stunning accessories! From washi tape to an entire rainbow of pens and markers, these accents make productivity fun. Sticky tabs, metallic clips, stretchy page holders, and inspiring quotes around each corner are hallmark elements in Condren’s repertoire. Additionally, the sticker options are endless! Condren even offers a sticker club, where subscription members receive a sticker bundle four times each year. Her “seasonal surprise box” contains $60 worth of Erin Condren products for $35, plus free shipping. In case a customer is overwhelmed by the adorable possibilities and in need of some inspiration, the Erin Condren website is chock-full of creative ways to utilize her products to organize, increase productivity, and brighten up the most mundane of projects.
Since opening the flagship store in 2017, there are now four retail locations, with the most recent opening in California at the Irvine Spectrum Center in November 2019. The Erin Condren community, with more than one million social media followers, has ignited and activated engagement through shared testimonials, meet-ups, workshops, and planning parties.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and momentum behind its premium products and positive lifestyle brand, the Erin Condren brand continues to expand. With such a bold and inspiring past, the future looks bright and colorful for Erin Condren.