Our October Teafluencer is one of those rare people, both artistic and yet orderly. Those qualities, along with being a mother of three, led her to create Preserve Journals, beautifully designed products that allow your family to create a precious, one-of-a-kind heirloom and cut down on the clutter. Part of her secret to getting it all done? Tea, of course!
Harney: Tell us a little about you. Where are you from, educational background, where you live, family, etc.
Lucy: I’m a British transplant living in Texas! I was born and raised in London, England (where I learned a love for tea and rainy days), completed high school in Florida and earned a BA in Graphic Design in Kentucky. I met the love of my life in Texas, and we are raising three children together in a small town just south of Dallas.
Harney: What did you do professionally before you started Preserve Journals?
Lucy: My professional career began in marketing. But it evolved to encompass stationery and product design, brand development and lifestyle photography. I believe each job I have held throughout my life— from managing a frozen yogurt shop in college, to lifestyle photography— equipped me with the tools and experience I needed to start Preserve Journals. I’m very thankful for the professional opportunities I’ve had. They taught me valuable lessons and gave me the confidence to start a business of my own!
Harney: Describe Preserve Journals, and tell us what inspired you to create this product?
Lucy: In a nutshell, we are a brand for intentional families seeking to enrich their traditions. As a mother of three, I became frustrated and overwhelmed by the sweet cards and notes I received from my family. I didn’t have a good way of storing them, so they were getting lost. I was looking for a way to both simplify our celebrations, but also make them more meaningful. So I created a Celebration Journal™— an heirloom book that replaces greeting cards. Families make entries in this beautiful keepsake journal instead of exchanging greeting cards. It creates a meaningful family tradition while preserving memories for years to come. Our Celebration Journal has open-ended entry spreads to record all your children’s sentiments, and ideas to help them get started. My favorite part of using a Celebration Journal is that I don’t have to do anything! (Because let’s face it, moms have enough to do already!) My family makes entries for me year after year, and as a result I have a beautiful book that is already one of my most cherished possessions.
Harney: Besides being the owner, are you involved in product design?
Lucy: We are a small, family owned and operated business. I am the owner, but I also wear many other hats, including product designer! I am the only person involved in product design from start to finish. In 2018, I designed our Celebration Journal from scratch. It was a product that didn’t exist on the market, never sold before. Being the first person to design it was a challenge, but also a privilege I embraced and thoroughly enjoyed. That said, one of my favorite parts of running Preserve Journals is when I get to wear my designer hat. From our one-of-a-kind product, to our website and social media graphics, I love being responsible for all things design related!
Harney: Preserve Journals recently celebrated its second anniversary. What have you learned these past two years? What have been your biggest challenges and biggest surprises?
Lucy: Our second birthday as a business felt like a milestone worth celebrating! The past two years have taught me resilience, persistence and patience, though I have by no means perfected those virtues! We did pre-orders for our first round of Celebration Journals through a Kickstarter campaign, and since then it’s been a slow and steady process.
One of my biggest challenges is managing my varying roles and responsibilities. There are some days where I work less and spend more time with my family, and vice versa. I don’t know if it’s possible to find true balance, but I do think one can find peace and contentment in the intersection of entrepreneurship and motherhood.
What has surprised me the most about starting my own business is how I’ve been forced to examine areas of my life I would have otherwise glossed over. I never would have expected that, but what a gift! For me, entrepreneurship has necessitated healing from personal trauma, positive mindset shifts and, most importantly, spiritual growth. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, in the best way, and I am so thankful.
Harney: What do you love the most about your business?
Lucy: My passion lies in creating beautiful, special things for others. I love knowing that something I’ve created makes a moment more memorable, and that our products are cherished. What started out as a small idea to create something I needed personally in my own life has turned into a business that enables families to find more simplicity and intention in their celebrations. I love knowing that our products are serving families in a beautiful, meaningful way.
Harney: What’s next for Preserve Journals?
Lucy: Our next step, and one that we’ve planned from the beginning, is a Celebration Journal for fathers. We are thrilled to be launching our Fathers Collection this fall! We are also launching a small Holiday Collection that will include some beautiful seasonal items. Beyond that, we have concrete plans to expand our product line to serve other markets and customers in 2021 and beyond. I’m very excited to grow our business and expand our product line to include more items that are beautiful, functional and promote simplicity and mindfulness.
Harney: What advice do you have for someone who has a dream of starting their own business?
Lucy: Entrepreneurship is very trendy right now. There are a lot of voices telling us to follow our dreams and make our own path through life. This advice may not be for everyone, but my best advice would be to pray about it. Ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance. Examine your motives for starting a business. Ask Him to direct your steps, give you a clear vision and lay out a path for you.
Harney: We have a pretty good idea how you feel about tea, since at the bottom of your website is this statement: “Powered by prayer, Harney & Sons tea and Spotify.” Thanks for the shout out! What role does tea play in your life? Do you have any rituals?
Lucy: Before I sit down at my desk each morning, I pour myself a hot cup of tea. Something about the warm mug in my hand is energizing and gives me the boost I need to start my day. (And the caffeine doesn’t hurt either!) I also unwind with a mug of herbal tea every night before bed. For me, tea is one of the bookends of my day.
Harney: Do you have any favorite flavors or types of Harney & Sons tea (or anything on your list to try?)
Lucy: My favorite Harney & Son teas are English Breakfast (my everyday morning go-to), Paris for an afternoon pick-me-up and Victorian London Fog for when I want something special. I also love Yellow & Blue as a calming evening tea. I’m eager to try Anniversary Blend (perfect for marking a special occasion), Mother’s Bouquet (a delicious-sounding herbal blend), and Tower of London.
Want to see more of Lucy’s designs and order your own Celebration Journal to create your family heirloom? Visit her website and check out her Instagram and Facebook pages. We appreciate Lucy’s time and talent and love of Harney tea! All photography was provided by Lucy.