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Sunshine Post :: Amanda Catherine Designs

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello, dear readers. Inherent in the mission statement of The Bright Side Project is the unspoken belief that to “Do What You Love, Love What You Do” is an absolutely essential component in creating a happy and healthy lifestyle. Every now and then, we will ask our contributors to answer a few short questions on the ideas of happiness, creativity and sunshine. We hope these rays of light help inspire you to find the sunshine in your day, today and everyday.

Today we are honored to introduce you to Amanda from Amanda Catherine Designs.

Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

My name is Amanda Helmer and I am the owner and lead designer of Etsy shop, Amanda Catherine Designs. Currently a senior at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I am studying art and architectural history. During the fall of my junior year I opened my shop after seeing a need for fashionable decorative posters for those who wanted to decorate without spending a lot of money. The response has been so exciting!

We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

I have always believed in this philosophy, however, like a lot of people I wasn’t sure that’s how it would turn out for me. It takes hard work and I spent many months before opening asking questions and researching. While it is an incredibly fun business to have, it is still a business and takes work. Thankfully I have a great family and a boyfriend who was so supportive when I decided to start AC Designs. I am so grateful that my fun hobby has become a full time job!

Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

Living in Chicago, there is inspiration everywhere. I get many of my ideas from fashion, whether it be patterns I see or interesting color combinations. With it being summer, I will be spending time at the Lincoln Park farmers market. For me, it is the most relaxing place to be. Walking around with my puppy, talking to the vendors, and buying fresh, locally grown produce. For a little while I feel like I have a break from the city and that is beautiful for me.

On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I read. When I’m not at school, with friends, or taking a spin class (my other favorite thing to do) I am reading. Anything and everything. I also love looking through cookbooks and dreary days are perfect for that.

At this very moment, what are you most grateful for?

My family and my boyfriend are at the top of the list. I am so grateful to be in a school full of incredibly talented people. My parents, for making it possible to move to Chicago and study here. That was a dream of mine since I was ten years old. I still walk down the street some days and can’t believe I’m here.

While I wish I could say that I wake up every day focused on these things, grateful for every minute, that wouldn’t be completely true. I struggle with worry, a lot. I lose sight of what is important many times because I am too focused on the next day or even year! I have recently started an exercise in the mornings as soon as I wake up. I make a mental list of 10 things I am thankful for or positive things going on in my life. This has helped so much in starting my day with a positive out look, instead of the stress I used to feel when I opened my eyes. I find now that I can’t stop at 10 things! There is much to be grateful for.

Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Amanda Catherine Designs!

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