Why I'm Here

A few months ago, my life changed suddenly and drastically. 

After working for a year as a Product Designer at my full-time job, I was called into my boss' office and laid off with absolutely no warning - a month after I had moved my whole life across town for my job, and the day before I left to go on a week-long vacation overseas. 

I was shocked and angry. But as I drove home that day, with the slow, seeping realization that my life had just changed completely - I was overcome with a strange feeling of peace. Real peace. I was angry and confused, but I was not worried. 

The universe had just shoved me into the reality I had already been working towards for the last 2 years of my life. I had been planning to give my leave in August, but my lay-off was in April. It was a few months earlier than I had planned, with a little less savings than I had planned, but as I made the phone calls to my boyfriend and my family, I was met with nothing but support. "If anyone can do this, it's you."

My boyfriend and I left the day after my lay-off, and standing in the fields and pastures and high places and castles and moors of Scotland, in this beautiful, free and completely thrilling moment of my life, I made a promise that I was going to whole-heartedly follow my dream. That I was not going to give up, and that I was not going to fail. 

3 months later, I have been consistently making the salary I would have made at my full-time job, but now it's completely through my work for Paper Raven Co. 

And that is why I am here. This awful, unpredictable thing happened to me. And because of my business, it didn't crush me. I did not allow my lay-off to be a source of self-doubt and depression; instead, I made it into a springboard for growth. I am free. I am happier than I have ever been.

Being able to do this full-time has led me to questions about my community and how to really connect, and that is my goal for this blog. I want to share my humble knowledge with you, bring you into my studio, and answer your questions. I want to share my successes with you, and the moments when I am feeling doubt (because we all do and it's a real thing). I want this blog to be a source of inspiration, and a fun and happy place to come to.

If you are working on your day-dream, keep going. Do not give up. You never know when life will unexpectedly flip upside-down, and being able to rely on yourself and the work of your own hands is an incredible sense of accomplishment.

July 07, 2016 — Erin McManness



Dylan said:

Your story and work are both truly inspiring. As a person stuck in that middle place of still needing my full-time design job but wanting to move towards my own thing, it’s important for me to find people like you that show dreams can be reality.


Jen said:

I’m soooooooo happy for you girl! What an incredible blessing you’ve been given to live out your dream. You so deserve it :)

Jessica Baskin

Jessica Baskin said:

So happy you followed your heart and pushed yourself forward. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story and I love your beautiful work! Keep it up!

John Kosmakos

John Kosmakos said:

Well spoken.


Debb said:

Beautifully written, Erin. Thank you for sincerely sharing your experience. You’ve an amazing talent, truly a blessing.


Leela said:

Yes yessssss!! Most of the time when we don’t get what we “want”, it’s actually a stroke of luck :) <3


Heidi said:

I am so incredibly happy for you. Your familia was right, if anyone can handle it, it’s definitely you! Congrats on being able to live you dream, love you!


lynne said:

So happy for you Erin!
You got this!


Courtney said:

Thanks for sharing, lady! ? I think it was a huge blessing for you, and you handled it like a total Boss Lady! I remember you posting how miserable you were before, so you were always destined for this path! Cheers to hard work and perseverance!

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