We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Stanley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
There are quite a few things I’d like to leave behind as my legacy. First and foremost, I would like to be remembered as someone who lived a life for Christ. My faith is very important to me and to live a life that mirrors my beliefs is something I strive for on a daily basis. I would also like to be remembered as someone who was a kind, caring and compassionate person. So much of who I am and what I believe is rooted in being kind, caring and compassionate. From an early age, these characteristics have played such a huge part in my life. From baby dolls to people to rescuing our 3 little kitties, who I can’t imagine my life without. I believe in the importance of making others feel validated and that what they have to say is important. And always being there for others, with zero judgment or expectations. As Maya Angelou once said, “Your legacy is every life you touch.” I whole-heartedly believe that. I believe it is crucial to create a life where you leave something and someone behind that is better than when you encountered them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love all things paper, writing, design and structure. I believe those elements are what lead me to become a graphic designer. I design stationery, logos, brand and marketing materials, hand lettered and illustrated elements. I specialize in stationery, especially invitations. What draws me to designing invitations, is the excitement an invitation creates. An invitation sets the theme for your entire event. And as an invitation designer, I love the challenge of being able to create something that builds anticipation and excitement for a particular event. I also love the structure graphic design allows, I am a very methodical thinker and love being able to plan out my art. From the size specifications to the color, design style, balance, spacing and rhythm. I enjoy the “inner workings” of the creating process. I believe what sets me apart from other designers and what makes me most proud is my ability to connect with my clients. Being able to tune into a client’s needs and wants and executing a product that fits the aesthetic they desire. I believe my journey to where I am today can be compared to the Road to Hana in Maui, many twists and turns and some scary parts along the way. Within the past 10 years, I graduated from Lamar University, I have been an event coordinator, a graphic designer, and an art specialist/ teacher for the Alief Independent School District. I believe each of those roles helped me be able to work with many different types of people, learn patience, multitask, work under pressure, learn to take criticism, work in environments that are not always easy, be flexible, expand my creativity and to overall have fun and give myself lots of grace. I am grateful for my experiences and how they have formed me into the business woman I am today. I’d like people to know that whatever is important to you, is never going to be easy. There are many trial and tribulations along the way, but finding a concrete foundation of supporters will be what gets you through. Having the ability to be the teacher and the student and being willing to learn is so important. My brand is so much more than just my art. I believe it is a true reflection of who I am as a person. My story isn’t extravagant or a pulled up from my bootstraps type tale. I am just a Texas girl who dreamed of moving to the big city, get married and design invitations and become a teacher. I have done all of those things, with some heartache but mostly amazing memories and lots of lessons learned along the way. I am so proud of my brand and what I have cultivated through the years. I pride myself in customer service and treating my clients as if they are my family, and through that I have been able to build relationships among my community here in Houston and back in the Beaumont area. I am thankful for all I have accomplished and cannot wait to see what is to come in my business future.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh wow, there are so many places to check out in the Houston area! I am the worst at narrowing down my favorites, so I would probably create a list, similar to this, of our go-to places:
Lopez Mexican Restaurant (Houston) – Salsa and Chips are delicious, and their Cheese Enchiladas are the best
Lomonte’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria (Richmond) – Spaghetti or Fettuccine with a Caesar salad
El Vaquero (Sugar Land) – Best Beef Quesadillas and the Salsa and Chips are classic
Flying Saucer (Sugar Land/ Downtown Houston) – Grilled Cheese and Tomato Basil Soup
Tiny’s No 5 (Houston) – Turkey & Avocado Club
Star Pizza on Norfolk – The Best Pepperoni Pizza
Live Oak Grill (Sugar Land) – Chicken Fried Steak
Another Time Soda Fountain & Cafe (Rosenberg) – Milkshakes
Lucille’s (Houston) – Butcher Burger is amazing
Barnaby’s Cafe (Houston) – Anything you get here will not disappoint
Joe’s Oyster Bar and Grill (Rosenberg) – delicious crawfish and gouda mac and cheese…ask for Brad!
Mugz ( Richmond) – Peppermint Patty Frappe and Kolaches
Snooze (Cinco Ranch-Katy) Smashed Avocado Benny
Another Broken Egg (Sugar Land) – Huevos Rancheros & Beignets
Braman Winery and Brewery (Richmond)
Texas Leaguer (Missouri City)
Sable Gate Winery (Houston)
Flying Saucer (Sugar Land/ Downtown Houston) – Hummingbird Water
Places to Check Out:
Houston Zoo (Houston) – my favorite place in Houston…donate to the Rhinos, okay?!
Antiquing and Thrifting (Downtown Rosenberg, Pearland, and other places throughout Houston)
Museum District (Houston)
Cullinan Park (Sugar Land) – Such a fun place to take an afternoon tot hike
Astros or Dynamo Game (Downtown Houston) – make sure to stop by Lucky’s before or after
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Local Business Shout Outs:
Haute and Hangry : my favorite local food blogger + friend, Candice.
Captured by Chila : my amazing and talented friend, Lucilia, who is an amazing local photographer (and teacher).
J. Agency Group : my super talented friend and marketing genius, Jeslyn.
Down to Earth : my favorite local apothecary shop run by the most amazing team with the most amazing products!
Recognition Shout Outs :
There are so many people in my life who most definitely deserve a shout out! First and foremost, Christ, my husband, Reagan, my parents, in-laws, siblings and family: You’ve been my biggest support system. I am so thankful to have so many people who encourage my dreams, believe in me and who keep me humble.
Poppop, thank you for teaching me that there is nothing too big for me to accomplish. And encouraging me to embrace my creativity. From building furniture to art or cooking, you have always taught me ways to expand my skills and embrace my strengths and even my weaknesses.
Faye, thank you for always introducing me to new experiences, travel, art and design. For always encouraging to follow my passions and being one of my biggest supporters.
To all of my amazing friends, thank you for always encouraging me, making me laugh, and being my biggest cheerleaders! I could not be where I am today without your love and support.
And lastly, I’d love to give a shout out to my amazing clients! Without them Anna Stanley Designs, would not be what it has become.