Olivia Lin

Owner + Hand Letterer - Atiliay

Atiliay is a paper goods company that gives back specializing in greeting cards created from my brush lettering and in-person brush lettering workshops.

What inspired you to start your business?

My business actually began as a fundraiser! I had started sponsoring The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery in Motherwell, South Africa through a non-profit called Food4Africa (I met them in SA on a 2007 TOMS Shoe Drop) and was thinking of ways I could get my friends and family to help support this school. I came up with the idea of offering Valentine's Day Grams--cards I made with stamps I hand carved that people could have mailed to their loved ones. I asked for a $5 donation that would go towards providing meals for the school. With that first fundraiser I was able to secure over a year's worth of meals and was also featured in DailyCandy! After that experience, I knew I wanted to continue to do this as well as expand to support other non-profits and that was when my business began.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

I think what I struggled with most when I first started was my own mindset and internal dialogue--doubting my abilities, being unsure if I could make, having imposter syndrome, and struggling with seeing my own success.

I cannot say how important it is to believe that your success is inevitable and to believe in yourself 100%. You hear it all the time but there is a shift when you TRULY believe it with every ounce of your being! Having that positive abundant mindset along with clear goals and taking action changed everything for me.

It's something I still continue to work on everyday and while there will always be ups and downs, if you can always fall back on these beliefs, you will accomplish what you set out to do!

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I am a huge animal lover (currently mom to 3 kitties and 1 pup, all rescues) and have been vegan for 10+ years. I am very passionate about living a life that doesn't harm others and our planet.

As I mentioned before, I would LOVE to become an amazing hip hop dancer :) I have taken a few classes but hope to take more in the future. I have found that staying active and working out has been something that keeps me centered in my business and is a fun outlet!

I am also interested in all forms of arts and crafts and try to learn things outside of the mediums I typically work with! Recently I have taken up ceramics and while it has been challenging, I have been enjoying making little pots for my succulents that I have managed to keep alive!

Image Credit: Olivia Lin, www.atiliay.com, @atiliay