The Evolution of LimeLife Planners
Posted on January 01 2015
This post has been a LONG time coming. We've had people ask how the business started and where our name came from. Well here you go! The evolution of our Limelife Planners. The last two years have been the biggest changes to the planners and to our business. It's been a roller coaster and we've learned some expensive lessons along the way, figured out what people want, what they don't want, and a TON of other things. Here are all my planners from the very beginning.
I've (Tasha) always had a pen and paper addiction. Ask my mom, as a kid I would "play" with pens, pencils and paper. So no surprise that I love paper planners. I can't use my phone, I need it in front of me. And if I don't write it down, I will not remember.
So that brings me to the beginning. 5 planners ago, I asked my dear friend Leslie if she would design me the monthly pages (at the time I had basically no design skills...okay, lets be real - I had none) and she was a freelance designer. I told her I would just print them myself, take them to staples and have them bound. She of course agreed (because she's the best graphic designer around). So she made me all of the monthly pages and I "designed" some notes pages. We decided to make the planner 5.5"x8.5". I then cut tabs out of cardstock, BY HAND, and wrote on them with a sharpie. The tabs were all me, I wanted tabs badly. I needed to be able to quickly flip to the month. But the best way we could figure out was to just make them myself. My cover was literally a piece of cardstock and I printed my photo and my logo separately and used adheisve to put them onto the cover, then I had Staples put that piece of acetate on the front to protect it, when they spiral bound it. At the time, we loved it.
A year flew by and people had seen my planner. So this time around I had to make more than one. Leslie revamped the 2012 pages. I made one for myself, my mom, and about 3 close friends. Leslie was not on board with the spiral-bound planner at the time. She was a three-ring binder girl at heart, so she printed the pages and punched them for her binder. I however could not and would not cross over; I had it in my head I wanted it spiral bound. This time I designed the cover and printed as a piece of cardstock and again used the piece of acetate on the front.
When it was time to plan the 2013 planner we were getting smarter, and more popular. This time we had several people that wanted them. Leslie also made files for the tabs, I printed them on cardstock and then cut them out by hand again (instead of writing on them with a sharpie). Leslie also had the bright idea to make the right side of the page fold out so that we could make the monthly boxes larger. I don't have a photo of it, because I didn't make mine like that. I wasn't crazy about having to fold out the page every time I needed to see the month...which turned out to be the consensus of everyone. But we tried it, and learned from it. That year we sold about 20 of them. We had things we wanted to do for the planners but we just couldn't do it and keep the planners affordable if we were only making a small amount of them. We always joked about needing a rich Uncle to make this business really happen!
That year FLEW by...and now we had TONS of people who wanted them. Leslie wanted to make the planners 7x9 this go round so that the monthly boxes could be larger without having to mess with folding pages. I was very hesitant...will they be too big? Will people like them? BUT I trusted her, and I went with it. As long as I had tabs, I was happy! :)
We FINALLY found a company that would do the tabs for us. Oh happy day! I was over the moon when we got to give the lady all the details of these and they were going to be exactly what we wanted. We had to order at least 50 of them. And we were oh so nervous for that expense. Let me just tell you, they were so expensive... and we were completely funding the business without any outside support (the way we still do it today). But we did it, and jumped in with two feet. We ordered 50 tab sets and made some other huge decisions; laminated covers this time around instead acetate, the larger planner, custom covers, and added horizontal weekly pages. Leslie also designed meal planning pages and I did some photography log pages that I'd been wanting for my photography business. We sold 50 right off the bat and were blown away! (With no website, Facebook page, or company name at this point.) We made the decision to order more tabs. And they all sold, too... 106 total that year! That was in October & November. Once we were done with that round we called it quits for the year, but decided on a timeline for the next year.
In December Leslie came to Ohio and we held a very formal business meeting... 8pm on a weeknight, in our yoga pants, at Average Joe's with beers. That's the night "LimeLife Planners" was officially born. That name was all Leslie's suggestion (she owned a graphic design company called Yellow Lime Studio, so this was a spin off from that name)... it was perfect! We made a Facebook page, a logo, business cards, website, and tons of other work had to be done. In June we launched our Facebook page and flew to 3,300 fans in 30 days! We were hoping for a few hundred...here it is December and we are so close to 5,000. We made some changes to the tabs, ordered aluminum coils in varying sizes, designed tons of different planner options, as well as add-ons, and decided to also offer notebooks, covers, stamps, and other accessories in addition to the planners. The number of planners we have sold this year continues to blow our minds. Just a few short years ago we were hand-cutting tabs! From cardstock!
All along we have wanted to do planners the way we like and use them. We know there are a lot of other planner companies out there, but we also don't like how a lot of things are done with their planners. The last few months have been a whirlwind but we have felt so blessed by every minute of it. We cannot thank you all enough for your support. Please continue to share our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. We cannot wait to see where next year takes us! 2015 is going to be big for Limelife.