How I Do It: An Interview with Jess Lively


Is there anything cooler than seeing a woman living ‘on purpose?’

Personally, I think not, and let it be said, Jess Lively is doin’ it right. This inspiring former jewellery biz owner (a business she started when she was 15), online entrepreneur, teacher and blogger lives and works from rock-solid intentions daily, and the good news for us onlookers is that she very generously shares the lessons she learns along the way so that we too can craft an intentional life.

What resonates with me most about Jess’ work is that there’s an endearing ‘realness’ to it, and whether she’s talking about career, creativity, life design or decluttering, she is always candid and true. (As a funny aside, I’ve misspelt her surname as “lovely” several times in typing this post – no mistake there!)

Pour yourself a cuppa and read on for stacks on inspiration and honest insights into how Jess Lively does it. 


Let’s kick off with a biggie. Why do you do what you do? 

Quite simply, I help people design lives and businesses with intention. I do this through consulting one-on-one, live workshops, my blog, and most recently with my new ebook, Wish I Knew.

What are three of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since starting your blog and business?

Oh man, that is a great question…

1 // To have faith in the process. In the 14 years that I’ve run my own businesses I’ve learned to have faith that all things, even the crappy ones, will lead to something better over time if I have faith and go with my gut. There were points when I really had difficulties (like with manufacturers for my handbag line) that were challenging, but the ultimately gave me great experience and expertise to share with my current business consulting clients. So there is always a silver lining if you look for one (even though you might not find it for a while).

2 //  To trust my gut. Over time I’ve learned to listen to my gut, not to what other people may tell me I should do. Most people thought I was crazy to start my accessory business full-time right out of college. Or, they thought I was crazy when I decided to close that same company five years later, because it was successful. But in each case – and through the many smaller decisions in between – I’ve found that my gut will tell me what I need to do. And the result will always be for the best use of my talents and intentions.

3 // Just keep going. Even if I change course or close a company, I have learned more than anything that success is built on the ability to just keep going. You won’t get it all right the first time, you will make mistakes along the way, what worked before may not always work. But if you can trust that you can just keep going, good things are in store for you along the way.


{quote graphic from Jess’ post here}

What’s been key for you in building your tribe online?

Hands down, I think this one is about service. I have truly tried to help people online through my content and that has been essential to my tribe online.

To lead, one must serve. And that is what I try to do to the best of my abilities at any given time.

I know that there’s rarely a ‘typical’ day in the life of a blogger/ entrepreneur/ lady of the interwebs, but can you talk a bit about how you approach your work? What does a week in your life usually entail?

For the past few months I’ve been working on creating a weekly priority list in each role of my life and in my career. I then list the 2 – 4 priorities I have for those roles and schedule them on my calendar or daily to-do list. This helps me stay focused on what is most important, but not always urgent on any given week.

This practice is borrowed from my favorite book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

I then spend my days consulting, at design meetings for a hotel brand/design project I’m working on, writing on my blog, sharing on social media, and completing those priorities on my weekly list.

Describe your creative process. How do you write/ create?

I don’t really have anything too special to share here. I really just create or find a photo I’ve taken for a blog post, edit it, add my title, and write a post. The topics I share mostly come from my life, my work, or any books I’m reading.


Routines and rituals for the soul: can you tell us about the little – or big – things that keep you feeling grounded, joyful, connected, inspired?

I actually just shared recently about my new morning routine (or Private Victory, as it’s called in The Seven Habits). My husband, Mr. Lively, and I have been committed for the past month to taking 45 – 60 minutes to develop our spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental lives each morning.

For me, that looks like 15 minutes of reading from a non-fiction book, 15 minutes of reading from a book about emotional wellbeing, a bit of self-reflection time, and 30 minutes of physical activity.

This habit has been pretty amazing to set myself up for a good day and has given me more peace and self-control each morning.

The not-so-hot days. We all have them. How do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?

I tend to get a lot of ideas and then want to implement them immediately. This leaves me with a feeling of overwhelm on a not-too-infrequent basis. To help myself when things feel really crazy, I have developed worry flashcards to look at all my concerns and turn them into action steps.

I highly recommend trying it if you find yourself stressed out about a bunch of things in different areas of your life all at one time.



I feel empowered, electric, alive, the most ME when… I’m helping clients one-on-one or in workshops.

I feel restricted when… I worry about what other people think of me.

I’m inspired by… Stephen Covey.

Living with intention means… finding the deep, eternal intentions which our intuitions want us to live by, and then taking action in those directions.

My current mantra/ affirmation is… just keep going.


To wrap up, imagine you’re sitting in conversation with yourself in 10 years time. What are you doing? What does your life look – and feel – like?

I’m learning to balance being there for my children as a mother while helping people design lives with intention.

I am an author and speaker, but I still share daily on my blog as well. I may have a video platform of some sort to help people, but my books and writings are a major method with which to help people.

I live in a great home with a little yard and a garden my husband cares for. We travel regularly, often spending a month or two in different locations and work remotely.

I feel more relaxed about who I am, my reputation, and how I spend my time. I am deeply connected to my spirit and have a strong sense of who I am.


I love how Jess shared above: “I help people design lives and businesses with intention.” A mission that’s beautiful in its simplicity, no?

We’d love to know: what’s YOUR intention, summed up in a sentence or two?

Think about:

The way you live your life

The way you run your business

The way you show up in your relationships

Your intention could capture one or all of these. Add some love in the comments below!

Flashcards image from here. 

In Spaces Between on The Chronicles of Her

Late last week, fellow Gold Coast blogger Carmen from The Chronicles of Her got in touch to ask me if I’d like to be interviewed for her magnificent site, which of course I was thrilled about!

If you’re yet to check it out, The Chronicles of Her is a mash up of fashion, insightful interviews and personal style posts (Carmen is S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G – you’ll see!) and it’s very clear that everything that appears on the site is carefully edited and expertly curated.

I love doing interviews because they force you to hold a magnifying glass up to your life (and site) and I really enjoyed answering the questions Carmen sent through, which covered everything from where I find inspiration to blogging advice and tips for healthy living.

You can check out the full interview over on The Chronicles of Her – and if you like it, leave a comment over there to say hi!

Huge thanks to Carmen for featuring me. x

The Ultimate Guide to Your Dream Wedding: Invitations

You might remember me featuring Peace, Love & Letterpress previously on In Spaces Between, but if not, let me introduce you to the woman behind this gorgeous Australian company, Bec Connell.

Based in Victoria, Bec’s career trajectory has seen her dabble in graphic design, fashion and hospitality over the years, but it was in discovering (or more appropriately, falling head over heels in love with) letterpress printing that she knew she had truly found her passion. After convincing her husband Jase, who does the behind-the-scenes stuff for the business, that letterpress was the way to go, Bec purchased her first ‘Heidelberg’ Letterpress (affectionately referred to as “Mike”) in 2008 and the rest, as they say, is history.

I asked Bec if I could pick her brain about wedding invitations as firstly, I adore letterpress, and secondly, I know – only too well! – that finding the perfect stationery for your wedding can lead to a whole lot of head scratching and deliberation over fonts, wording and all the rest.

I have no doubt you’ll find her responses as useful as I did. Make sure you head over to Peace, Love & Letterpress when you’re finished to say hi and check out Bec’s beautiful designs!

Bec, I’d love to hear a bit about the Peace, Love and Letterpress story. How did you get lured into the wonderful world of wedding invitations/ stationery?

I am a romantic, I LOVE love! I adore weddings… but I have to say that it wasn’t really my intention to get into weddings. It all started with the love of letterpress printing. With a background in graphic design, I’d always loved using different print techniques and the first time I ran my fingers over a letterpress printed card I was hooked! I bought my first press shortly after and learned the ropes from retired printers. The business started with greeting cards and personal stationery, but quickly grew to include custom designs and invitations.  Now weddings are most of our business.

Where do you find your inspiration? Any favourite blogs or sites you frequent on a regular basis?

I find inspiration from all over – fashion, wallpaper, all things vintage, photos from our travels, food. Cookbooks always inspire me as well, even though I don’t like to cook! I love fabrics, I’m big on mags and am a blogoholic. Favourites of the moment are Oh So Beautiful Paper, Design* Sponge, Grey Likes Weddings, Lotti Loves and I adore all interior blogs (especially Scandinavian ones).

Wedding invitations really set the tone and feel for a wedding. What are some of the big trends you’re currently seeing? What themes or ideas are you personally loving?

Whimsical wording and handwriting/calligraphy are very popular at the moment. I’m loving couples veering away from the very traditional wording and adding a touch of their story and personalities to it.

When it comes to the wording for wedding invitations, what information needs to be included?

Wedding Style Guide have an eBook available called Very Inviting – it is a gem if you need some help with wording. You may also like to include an additional information card with the invitation which could include things like suggestions on accommodation, a map of locations, gift registry information, dress code etc.

How far out from The Big Day should brides be looking to order their invites?

This varies depending on the printing methods and design you are after. For a custom letterpress suite, I like to begin the design process anywhere between three to six months before you would like to send them out.

And when should the invitations be mailed?

Traditionally six to eight weeks before the big day – but because people are so busy these days it’s starting to extend out from anywhere between eight to 12 weeks.

Do you think ‘Save the Dates’ are a necessity, or are brides embracing alternative ways of notifying their guests of their nuptials? I’ve seen ‘Save the Date’ videos and email/ online invitations – are these becoming more popular as a cost-saving measure?

‘Save the Dates’ of any kind are a great idea, especially if you are inviting a lot of guests that will have to travel. I think the format depends on how much detail you want to provide to your guests.  As a paper person I’m always for sending (and receiving) things by good old snail mail, and I think this is the best option if you are suppling guests with details like accommodation suggestions. In saying that there has been some very cool save the date videos floating around the web lately and I’ve LOVED them!

While we’re on the topic of budgeting, what are some costly mistakes to avoid when ordering wedding invitations?

Remember the number of guests you are inviting is not the quantity of invitations you need. Some will go out to families and a lot will go out to couples, so do your guest list and work out who you’ll group together on an invitation before you finalise your numbers. Ordering double what you need is obviously costly, but finding out you are short and needing extras printed can also be an expensive mistake. Make sure you check and double-check your proofs. It’s always handy to have a fresh set of eyes look over it as well.

And finally, as a “happily married” who has been through the wedding planning process (and come out the other side smiling!), do you have any advice or words of wisdom to impart to brides-to-be?

On the styling side of things, gather together images you like and create a mood board or folder (I loved the Kikki K wedding planning folder) of the look you’re after. When making decisions look at these images and work out what fits in with the overall look and what feels best. This process will also help you explain to florists, stationers and photographers what look/feel you are hoping to achieve. Most of all have fun with it. The lead up and planning is so exciting and is such a lovely part of it all. Make sure you enjoy it and don’t sweat the small stuff!

Big thanks Bec for all your wonderful, practical tips! And lovely brides-to-be, the inspiration doesn’t end there…

Beautiful wedding stationery resources:

Rifle Paper Co.}

Rifle Paper Co.’s products feature the whimsical designs of Florida-based Anna Bond, often including hand-painted illustrations and lettering to compose a style that feels both nostalgic and timeless. Most of Rifle Paper Co.’s goods are printed on soft, heavyweight paper stock and all stationery products are coupled with classic pointed shaped envelopes.

{Inspired Goodness}

Graphic designer Kimberley Canale infuses vintage elements and found objects in her work, preferring to work with time-honored techniques. She favours engraved invitations and calligraphic envelopes, while finding creative ways to make mass-produced products feel chic and timeless.

Oh So Beautiful Paper}

Oh So Beau­ti­ful Paper show­cases fab­u­lous sta­tionery design and is ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing a resource for read­ers seek­ing inspi­ra­tion and design­ers for their per­sonal sta­tionery projects, from wed­ding invi­ta­tions to busi­ness cards to cal­en­dars and sea­sonal hol­i­day cards.

Love vs. Design}

Love vs. Design offers modern vintage wedding stationery and cards, available in three different printing options to fit everyone’s budget: DIY Ready-to-print PDF, Digital Printing and Letterpress. Love vs. Design also offer printable templates that can be downloaded instantly for free or for a small fee.

{Hello! Lucky}

Hello! Lucky are a specialty letterpress printer and design studio and have been creating wedding invitations, greeting cards and personalised stationery since 2003.

{Ruby & Willow}

Established by Kate Holland in 2005, the Ruby & Willow philosophy is simple; to create a beautiful product that reflects not only the tone of the event, but your personalities as well, all whilst providing an  enjoyable and seamless experience.


Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods.

A few more fabulous vendors + a helpful guide:

+ Bespoke Letterpress Boutique 

Oscar + Emma

Betsy White (be sure to check out their gorgeous blog too)

+ U + U

+ Alee and Press

With Love Fine Wedding Stationary 

+ Wedding Paper Divas

Benign Objects: Vintage style printed hankies

+ Wedding Invitation Ideas Lookbook via Invitation Crush

Well, didn’t that turn into a gigantic post! Hope you enjoyed it!

There are also a plethora of fantastic Etsy stores out there that sell creative invitations, so have a dig around and see what takes your fancy. Finally, if you have any suggestions or think I’ve missed some of the big ones, please feel free to add a link in the comments. I want this to be a growing list that continues to be added to over time, so please feel free to share away or pimp out your business if you work in the wonderful world of wedding stationery. x

Other posts in my Ultimate Guide to Your Dream Wedding Series that you may have missed:

Wedding Guest Attire: Decoding the Dress Code
Finding the Perfect Photographer
Budget and Venue
Table Setting Inspiration
Wedding Blogs

Top Images: 1. Jason Permenter 2. 100 Layer Cake 3. Style Me Pretty 4. Alee and Press 5. Style Me Pretty 6. 100 Layer Cake


In Spaces Between in the Gold Coast Magazine!

Time to spill that secret I’ve been talking about!

A few weeks ago, I received an exciting email from the beautiful Aimee Ley, editor of the Gold Coast Magazine, asking me if I’d like to be part of a blogging feature the magazine was running in their September issue. It took me a minute or two to get over the initial shock of being asked considering my little ol’ blog was only just turning two months old, but (of course) I was absolutely thrilled and knew that it would be a heap of fun! 

A First Time For Everything

Given that this was my first ever “photo shoot,” and I was asked to bring a selection of clothes and props, I packed way, way too much a few of my current faves in a big bag and trotted off to Bella Amante Studio in Currumbin, where I got my hair and makeup done (a bit differently to my normal look – always good to shake it up a bit!), laughed my way through a photo shoot and sat down and did an interview with Aimee.

The below is the result of an incredibly fun few hours with a gorgeous group of people (I should also point out that although I wish I’d had 5000 followers in 6 weeks, it’s actually 5000 visits!) What also blows my mind is the fact I’m featured alongside the bloggers behind some of the amazing sites I read daily, including  Daydream Lily, Unknown Pleasures, Oracle Fox and Girl With A Satchel.

Sending a gigantic thank you to Aimee and Kirra from GCM who I’m so happy to now call my friends. The best part of the day was definitely connecting with these two lovely ladies!