Folks We Love with Amy Tangerine
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you've come to arrive here.
I was working as a fashion stylist in Atlanta, GA after college and wanted a way to keep warm while still being able to pin the clothing on the models, so I learned to crocheted and began making arm warmers. Stores started ordering them and I got some press in WWD and Lucky Magazine. In the Spring, I was asked what I would make next, so I decided to hand embroider flowers on ribbed tanks. After Cindy Crawford was photographed wearing one in Glamour Magazine, I thought maybe this was a business. All of the items in the first collection were stitched by hand. We upcycled men’s tee shirts into women’s silhouettes. It was really cool to be able to think of an idea, create it with some stitching and then see someone wearing it with a smile. I was offered a job with a company that put mine under their umbrella and relocated to Los Angeles. After being here for just a week, I was let go. It was a big turning point in my life, but it gave me the opportunity to take a step back and evaluate what I was going to do next. I freelanced and then through some awesome contacts started my tee shirt line back up again. We sold to over 250 boutiques and department stores and operated out of a little live/work loft in Santa Monica. In 2007, I discovered scrapbooking. I think my soul had been searching for something because I was feeling consumed by my small business and a shift in the economy. I realized that although I loved a lot of what I was doing, I wasn’t making enough time to be creative just for the sake of it. I finally took the time to walk into a scrapbook store I had been driving by for so long, took one class and got immediately hooked. I loved every aspect of it - not just the supplies and photos - the bonding of women sharing their stories and spending time on a hobby that they loved. Plus they were so welcoming and warm. Scrapbooking has taken me all over the world, as I’ve had the opportunity to teach workshops on every continent (except for Antarctica). I love the creative community and being able to share on various channels like my blog, YouTube and Instagram.
Who's in your family? Ages? Names?
My husband JC and I did things a bit unconventionally. We met on April Fools’ Day 2009 and moved in together after 5 months. We found out we were pregnant in 2013, bought a house, had our son Jack, and then got engaged. We threw a surprise wedding for our family December 26, 2017. Jack was the ring bearer. He’s 4.5
How did you choose your kids names?
Jack was named after his grandfathers. JC’s dad is named John, so we chose that for his first name, but knew we would always call him Jack. His middle name is Archibald, named after my dad, Archie.
Culver City, CA
Founder & Creative Director, Amy Tangerine
How did "Craft a Life You Love" come to be?
It was a passion project that I had wanted to do for a long time. A couple of my friends had self-published and had a great experience, so it was awesome being able to get their advice on the process. I met with an editor who told me that I would never write a book until I wrote a bad first draft, and after I did that, I could just hand it over to her. I hired her as my editor, a book layout designer for the interior pages, and a cover designer. It was super helpful for me to have an expert lay out the flow of the book. I just wanted the book to inspire enough people to hopefully recoup the costs and what I put into it, but the return was so much more than I could have ever dreamed up. I released it on Amazon in January 2017, and I received a couple emails from publishers offering to publish it. I got an amazing literary agent who put the book up for auction, and a couple months after release day, it was picked up by Abrams. I worked on another section for the book, called Crafting Your Passions. The revised and expanded edition is out and available now! I wanted to be sure there was value in it if people already had the first one. I’m a big believer in putting things out into the Universe just for the sake of it. The book experience shows the value of pursuing your dreams, even if you have no idea what the outcome will be. This has definitely surpassed my expectations.
What is your favorite part of your job?
It feels weird to say this, but I really feel like the luckiest person to be able to do what I love on a daily basis. Sure, I have bad days just like everyone else, but I get to be creative and find different ways to express it and share it with others. One of the most rewarding things is seeing what people do with stationery and scrapbooking supplies I have designed. When someone tells me that I have inspired them in some way, it’s one of the best feelings ever.
What advice do you have for working mothers?
The sooner you can be free of guilt, the better. I joke that I never felt guilty before I became a mom, but I think it’s true. Learning to navigate and be present, knowing that I am happiest as a provider for my family, is a work in progress. It’s ok to give yourself grace and take it all in stride.
Do you have any tips when it comes to balance?
I actually have a new theory on balance. I’m a Libra and the concept of balance is something I have focused on my entire life. At different points I have definitely felt like I achieved a state of balance, but it wouldn’t necessarily last and outside circumstances would throw it all off. Well, I recently decided to basically say F balance, it’s more about Harmony. I came up with an acronym for it, which has been my guiding principle through struggles and times when my anxiety is at a high.
The basics of what I am calling the Harmony Principle:
Happiness - Head in this direction, what will make you happy?
Align with your values
Redirect if necessary - it’s ok to change course
Money - know your worth
Original - there’s only one you, surround yourself with authentic and original people
No - know when to say, “no thank you”
You - It’s all up to you. You have the power within you to craft a life you love
What is your favorite book?
I have to pick just one?! The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion was amazing. I just finished The Room on Rue Amelie, written by my friend Kristin Harmel (a mama too!) and just loved it. I am also a huge fan of Kevin Kwan’s books - most recently Rich People Problems.
How do you unwind?
By doing something creative or fulfilling at that moment. Sometimes it will be reading a magazine or a book, or just doing some journaling. Right now I am obsessed with making traveler’s notebooks and documenting the day in my Hobonichi. I also love playing with watercolors.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
It’s great when we all get up early enough for a little breakfast at home, then a hike in Temescal Canyon. Usually we will get lunch somewhere after. The afternoon would ideally be spent at home with Jack playing games or working on art projects or Legos. JC is a great cook, so he’d make dinner and we might have some friends over and hang out in the backyard.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
I put them into my calendar on my phone in hopes I will transfer them into a little journal I have for Jack’s sayings. Here are some recent entries:
His favorite song to dance to for a while has been Can’t Stop the Feeling, and he randomly said one day while not listening to the song, “But how does sunshine get in my pocket?”
“I don’t have back teeth, I only have side teeth and front teeth.”
My stomach growled and Jack said, “sometimes tummies make that sound because they’re hungry… and sometimes they make this sound when they are full…. BURP!”
What is something you wish you had known before having kids?
The importance of pressing the pause button when you can.
Where do your passions lie?
In making things and making things happen.
interview contributed by Kacy Byxbee, editor, Your Zen Mama