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Conversations with Annabelle Carlson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annabelle Carlson.

Annabelle, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Even though I grew up in the church, I don’t feel like I had a relationship with God until about 4 years ago. In my earlier adult years, I had my share of behavior that wasn’t very Christ-like. Fast forward to marriage, kids, and a cross-country move to Tennessee, things shifted. We got plugged into a church and met friends that feel like family. God revealed what community, grace, and generosity are really like when they are centered around Him. No shame, no guilt. Just love.

I’ve always enjoyed having a creative outlet. Growing up, I loved to draw, paint, make crafts, cook… you name it. I even went to culinary school and was a pastry chef, once upon a time.

I knew one day I wanted to do something in the creative space that brought me joy, purpose and could help others. I honestly never thought it would be in the world of stationery, but God led me here. He put the idea on my heart the moment I started getting encouraging notes and cards from friends during a tough season. These notes were speaking so much hope into my life and I wanted to pay it forward.

I have zero digital art or graphic design experience so I’ve had to learn as I go. I’ve also had to learn how to navigate what it’s like to start a business with two young kids.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s interesting because God planted the seed for Notes Speak during a really challenging season. My marriage was struggling; our finances were thin.

It’s been a beauty-from-ashes experience where God took the hurt, struggle, and anxiety and turned it into something good. We’re still on the road to redemption and healing. It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road, but we’re blessed to have such an awesome God that walks with us the entire way!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I create minimalistic, faith-based stationery. I currently offer note cards, but plan on expanding to other items soon!

I’m proud of the fact that I help people connect with others and encourage them through pen and paper. Our words matter! We can spread God’s love and truth to others through the notes we write. Our words can speak into the lives of others and really make an impact on their day.

All of my cards and envelopes are made with premium 100% recycled paper and made in the USA. I hand-package them in certified compostable clear sleeves. The majority of cards are shipped in 100% recycled rigid mailers. I want to be a good steward of the resources God gave us.

I believe in giving back to my community, supporting local small businesses, and coming together to serve others. Examples are partnering with a local family-owned business to print my cards and donating a portion of profits to a program that helps serve my community.

I recently launched the wholesale side of my business and I look forward to growing that!

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
There are too many to list here! What I love are the things that trigger childhood memories- foods I eat, the nostalgic smells, changes in weather, or songs I hear on the radio. For example, when I smell Tresor perfume, I instantly think of hugs from my grandmother and her soft, wrinkly skin. Ha! Or, when I see someone with bangs I usually think of the time I cut my younger sister’s hair. I think I was six and she was three, so you can guess what her bangs might have looked like.

Contact Info:

  • Email: hello@notesspeak.com
  • Website: notesspeak.com
  • Instagram: @notesspeak
  • Facebook: @notesspeak
  • Pinterest: @notesspeak

Image Credit
Abby Sholar Photography

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