Lala Letter #4 - Cutting Corners
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2018 by Bella Gonzalez
“Don’t cut the corners!”
We heard that every morning on our mandatory 30 minute warm-up run at the gym. We literally ran in circles, or should I say squares, around the standard size gymnastics floor. When we got lazy we would cut the corners, but our coach hated it and said we were only cheating ourselves. But there was one girl on our team who never cut the corners. I was perturbed by it, yet admired her. While it seemed meaningless, I knew it was the right thing to do.
Prior to my career as a stationery and planner designer, I spent a decade of my childhood as a competitive gymnast, hence the story. It’s kinda *punny* because I now manufacture planners that literally have a corner cut out to allow for a stack of sticky notes… But I will let you know, this planner is far from corner cutting.
Today marked a big day in the world of Lala Letter.
My first bulk order of manufactured planners was delivered at my workshop and “excited” doesn’t even begin to cover the way I felt when I saw the pallet of boxes. I truly had an out of body experience; the small dream that inspired me three years ago was finally fulfilled beyond my wildest imagination. How insane is that? It did not happen overnight—blood, sweat, and tears were all involved. But as I looked at those planners today, I thought about my customer. I thought about you.
Who is my customer? What life does she lead? Where will she take this planner? These are the questions they came into my head as I looked at the almost perfect planner I had created. I thought about the days when her planner would be chunked in her backpack, the times when she accidentally spilled coffee in the library, and the first impression that planner would leave on her and those around her the first time they see it. It’s in these moments where the planner cannot just be good on first glance, it must be great year round; it must account for any situation, and maintain its usefulness throughout. I looked at that planner and knew I could not cut any corners for the sake of selfish convenience because this planner is bigger than me, this planner is for you.
I found very small, almost unnoticeable, mistakes made in the manufacturing process of the planners. Mistakes that one might not even call mistakes — but I knew were not aligned with my initial vision. I promised my customers the highest quality products that could ever be produced; but as they were, I only felt 98% sure of that. Those 2% ate away at me. We all have our own 2% in life, and for the most part, it’s okay to let it go. Perfection is not the goal, quite frankly it is impossible. But giving my passion my all is possible, so I decided to do something about it.
Today I put my to-do list aside.
Instead, I went to Walmart, bought seven bottles of Scotchgard, enlisted my stepfather’s machinery expertise, and began working by hand on the 2%. Today, tomorrow, the next day, the day after—whatever it takes. No corners will be cut on this planner (except the die cut ones with the sticky notes, hehe :). I want you to have the most quality product that reflects this incredible brand. It’s authentic, it does good, it’s keep your voice at the forefront, it’s fun, and it was literally made for you.
As I spent hours today working on the laborious and seemingly meaningless 2%, I heard the distant yell’s from my gymnastics coach and this time I was the girl not cutting the corners. And it felt really good.
I can’t wait for you to receive your new planner. With each planner I hold in my hands, I can’t help but wonder what you will think about it. I just hope it serves you well and you grow to love it as much as I do.
p.s. pre-orders ship early next week, get excited!