5 Years

Hello friends!

You've been warned! This is a long, wordy, photo heavy post!

I thought for this milestone birthday I would take a look back at the last 5 years. Let me say, going through photos and writing this up was very emotional. Neat and Tangled is so deeply intertwined with my family and friendships, and honestly myself, that looking back at photos transports me to different points in my life, professionally and personally.

For those of you who might be new to Neat and Tangled, or old friends who might not be familiar with the inner workings of N&T, I am Danielle, owner and one of the product designers for Neat and Tangled.
For the first 2 years I was a totally one woman show. But as we grew, I needed help, and my husband, Mike, lovingly gave up his free time to pack orders offered to help. Haha! This is us.
After that came Miriam and Elena, our other product designers and design team members. Miriam is also our design team coordinator, and great at keeping me motivated and on task ;)
The ultra organized, Heather Ruwe is our Little Tangles challenge blog organizer!
Next up was Sarah, my sweet friend, and our customer service manager!

We also have Marla, who does 99% of our packaging and is seriously superwoman. But somehow I don't have a picture of her!

I've also been known to recruit our kids...



We've also had a TON of incredibly talented designers share their time with us as part of our design teams over the years, but you'll get to see them all later this month!

As you can see, this is a pretty tight knit crew. I truly believe in surrounding yourself with people who understand your vision, and have the same good energy!

Now buckle up kids, I'm taking you on a ride!

This was me, and our middle child, Miles, in June of 2012 on vacation. I'll never forget working that week on getting the online store set up between beach trips, naps and ice cream. If you look on the table next to me you'll see my laptop, and below it a book about using Adobe Illustrator!
July of that same year I attended the CHA summer show in Chicago! I got to see a card I had published in Paper Crafts magazine on display in their booth. And I got to meet lots of new friends, including one of my very best crafty friends, Chari Moss.
Neat and Tangled was born that August! We released 6 stamp sets.

I can remember the excitement I had packing those first orders in our basement!
We would get products ready on our living room floor and kitchen table (still do sometimes!)
Over the years we have grown so much! Our logo went from this

to this

I started to learn hand lettering
thankfully it got better! 
I even did some pieces for a friend's wedding!
We started the Little Tangles Challenge blog!
www.littletangles.blogspot.com

We got pregnant with our third baby, a girl!
 She got an Amy Tangerine onesie from Jennifer McGuire, so I'm pretty sure that means she is destined to be a great crafter!
We started the sequin trend when we introduced them  in 2013!
Over the years we have also introduced stencil and die product lines!

We said goodbye to our first home, which was really, really hard.
And built a new one, in a new town, which was so difficult but now I understand was where we were meant to be!
We added a new dog to our pack! Gus, who is a lazy co-worker, but great at cuddling!

Sarah and I took a sweet little trip to meet current design team member, Cheiron Brandon, and craft our hearts out! I also rode the subway which was huge because, well, I hate germy places. 


And this spring we hosted our first in person card making event!
There is so much more I could share, but you'd be reading for days!

I can honestly say that I love making cards, I love making new products, and I love making cards with the awesome products we design. But what I love most is everything I've learned, all the growth I've had, and most importantly the friendships I have formed through this hobby and business.


I think it's important to mention that there have been tough times too, my fair share of tears, frustration and lost sleep.  That time Mike had surgery and insisted on trying to work one armed...
Lots of second guessing,  plenty of personal missteps when it comes to running a business and being a wife/mom/friend/daughter. And more spilled sequins than you can imagine! But with each challenge, I reflect, and I learn, and it has made this adventure even more worthwhile!

So if you are still reading, thank you! Thank you for your excitement and support! Thank you for sharing your creations! Thank you for being a part of this story!

xo
Danielle

85 comments

  1. Congratulations, you and your team are truly amazing!

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  2. So fun to read part of your story Danielle! I discovered you last year and am in love with your products ☺️

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  3. Awwwww...LOVE this post Danielle! Great big congrats on 5 years!

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  4. This was such a great read and it was SO nice to learn all about the beginnings. What an awesome company and I love knowing the story behind you guys and all your hard work! Congrats!

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  5. Congrats on the achievement on all 5 years with such Talented people! Such fun to read your whole story with ups and downs!

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  6. Congrats on an amazing 5 years, Danielle! It really was great to read all through (although I bet you must have shortened it a lot!) Here's looking forwards to lots more!! Cheers!
    hugs Ashwini

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  7. An amazing story of having a dream and, through persistence, resilience, determination, laughter and love, making it come true! Thank you for sharing the journey (I think I had just started card-making when you launched) through words and photos! Great to know you're celebrating this impressive milestone and that you're inviting us the do so with you!
    ~carol

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  8. Huge congrats on 5 years, Danielle! I remember when N&T first started and I bought the whole first release. I still have them all and many more on top of that. Thanks for the wonderful products and inspiration over the years. Here's to many more!

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  9. This is such a wonderful journey. Thanks for sharing it with us :) beautiful pics. God bless you and wish you loads of happiness and success always.

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  10. What a beautiful story Danielle!! Thank you so mush for sharing your personal story with us 😊 I only came across Neat and Tangled a year ago, and I'm so glad I did. I love listening to your instagram stories that you've posting lately lol!! Keep them coming.

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  11. Loved every word and it was so wonderful to read about a vision taking shape and coming true! Kudos to you, the family and friends for making that happen!

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  12. What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Looking foreard to the next 5 or 50 years. 😀

    Suzette L

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  13. Thank you for sharing that journey, it is so awesome and congrats on taking it! I love reading stories where you take the leap and it works out so well, even though I am sure I can't image the work, being able to bring something you love to others is so awesome, here's to many more years!

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  14. I just love you. You're amazing and I'm so blessed to call you my friend ♡

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  15. Congratulations! I love reading about the people that run these awesome craft companies!

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  16. Congratulations on this huge milestone! N&T is the little stamp ( not so little any more) company that could!!! I love the awesome products and people behind it! So happy for you, Danielle and team!

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  17. I have been a fan of you and your company ever since it started. It's hard to believe it has only been five years! Thanks for all your terrific products. Here's to many more years of success to come.

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  18. Congratulations on 5 fabulous years, Danielle (and the team!) ... I enjoyed every word and each photo in this wonderful post ... and was transported into your journey! Thank you ... here's to the next five years ... and more! Anita :)

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  19. I liked reading about your first 5 years. I enjoyed your honesty very much.

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  20. It was great reading about journey of Neat & Tangled from the start !! loved seeing the pics,your kids n had fun spotting few of the renowned crafters !

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  21. You've persevered.
    You've made many people with your
    products - those who used them and
    those who received the fruits of
    someone's labor.
    Best wishes.

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  22. Loved your trip down memory lane, Congrats on #5!

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  23. Awww, I loved reading this. What an amazing journey!!! I have so happy for you and cant wait to see where the next 5 years takes you!!!!

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  24. Awww, I loved reading this. What an amazing journey!!! I have so happy for you and cant wait to see where the next 5 years takes you!!!!

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  25. Hi Danielle, I enjoyed reading every word of your post, and love all the photos of you, your family, puppy, and incredible stamping friends! A few years ago I discovered you via Jennifer McGuire's blog. She said you are one of the kindest people around and I know from my own experience with you and Miriam that she was 100% correct! I hope all the goodness you toss out into the world keeps coming back to you and blesses you and all you love. What a wonderful journey you're on!

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  26. I really enjoyed reading this! Congrats on all of y'all's hard work :)
    You have great stamps that I enjoy creating with, and I look forward to your blog for inspiration.

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  27. This post was such a joy to read! It's apparent that you pour your heart and soul into Neat & Tangled. I'm so glad you started this journey and company because I love your products!

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  28. Love this post and your products. Still patiently waiting for my order to arrive...in Canada. 🙄😂 Congrats on 5 years. Looking forward to this month's celebration.

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  29. A great read and an "in the trenches" success story! Great products, wonderful designs! Congratulations!

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  30. Wooohoo!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY Neat & Tangled! So thrilled for you Danielle, and am blessed to have become your friend and to have been a part of the N&T team! Loved seeing your memories from the past few years! :D

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  31. Congratulation on 5 years...loved reading about your journey and seeing all those wonderful photos.

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  32. What an awesome story, Danielle (my daughter's name is also Danielle!), and thanks so much for sharing it! I LOVE your products and it's wonderful to see a small business blossom!! Happy 5th birthday and here's to many, many more!!!

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  34. Congratulations on 5 years!

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  35. aww Danielle is lovely to know the story behind the production of some of the most beautiful products in the industry . You and your team are amazing!!! I'm not kidding I got tears in my eyes when I saw your little helpers and your family helping you out! I guess this is because I feel very much the same way here and I understand you very well ... and on top of that you got a furry friend to look after ! Happy 5th anniversary ! And congratulations for such amazing business ! X Bibi

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  36. What a beautiful post, Danielle! I love Neat & Tangled!!! Thank you for all of the creativity and energy you and your team put into your products/customer service! And thank you for all of the amazing inspiration over the past 5 years!!! Looking forward to all the great things to come in the years ahead!

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  37. This is such a wonderful post, Danielle! Love hearing more about you and how everything started. Also, what great pictures...I see many familiar faces. ;) Thanks for sharing! Again, congrats on 5 years!

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  38. Awesome story I loved every word, thanks and here is to another 5 years and more!!

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  39. Thank you for sharing your story on your journey to success. I always love to hear when a woman follows her dreams! Being the 7th of 8 children in a very different time, I didn't have that option, however, I raised my children to understand "the world was their oyster" if only they have the desire to work for it, it IS achievable! They are now both very honourable, hard working, dependable young adults, married and our daughter is a jewellery designer with her own business as well. (AND 2 little boys.)
    CONGRATULATIONS on 5 years of success and I KNOW you will have many more to come!

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  40. CONGRATULATIONS on 5 AWESOME years!
    ... and THANK YOU for taking us in, making us part of your FABULOUS family :)

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  41. Congrats on 5 years! I loved reading about your journey so far - and what great photos.

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  42. Well Danielle you are just the cutest thing ever! Your whole family is! It was so fun to read all about you and N&T! Congratulations on your fifth anniversary and here's to many more successful and fun years ahead!

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  43. Congrats!! And I loved learning more about you and your company!!

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  44. I loved reading this and I loved seeing our picture together in your post!! Congrats on 5 years! You're so amazing and I'm so proud of you!! Love you! 💜

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  45. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it and congrats on 5 years!

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  46. Beautiful post, Danielle! :) Congrats on on reaching 5 years! What a truly wonderful journey you have been on. You are absolutely incredible and a blessing to this industry. Cheers to many, many more years of success!

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  47. Congratulations, Danielle! It was great reading the story...I can say I'm one of the biggest fans of Neat and Tangled and it was so exciting to hear about the incredible journey you have had! Wishing you many, many more years of success... I can't wait to see what you have in store for the future. :)

    All those pictures in this post made me smile and your kids are the cutest!

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  48. Happy Birthday!! It was amazing to look and read about your journey! So exciting! So impressive!! So courageous of you!! Oh, by the way I love your stuff too!!

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  49. Loved reading this post! You should be so proud of what you have accomplished in five short (long) years! I can only imagine how hard it had to be. Love Neat & Tangled products---so unique and creative! Thank you for sharing your story with us here!

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  50. Congratulations on your anniversary ! What a beautiful story!

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  51. Congrats Neat & Tangled!!! Such a wonderful post, loved seeing the photos of how your company (and your family) has grown in the past 5 years. Can't wait to see what great products you will bring to us in future. I am thrilled to have been able to meet you, and be a part of the DT and wish you the best of success for many many years!

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  52. Congratulations...cannot wait to see the next five years' worth of products and design.

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  53. What a great "story" 5 years in the making!! Congrats on 5 years and I wish Neat & Tangled MANY more!!!!

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  54. Happy Annuversary! And congratulations on finding what makes you happy! Here's to the next five.

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  55. Congrats to an amazing milestone!! I absolutely enjoyed reading this story. Thank you so much for sharing! Looking forward to many, many more years of creativity. {{{inky hugs}}}

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  56. You've had quite a ride...I'm sure each moment (good or bad) has been worth it. You've created a wonderfully successful company that has your style stamped all over it. You must be so proud and, soe days, tired. I just love seeing woen like you succeed.

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  57. Reading your words made me emotional too. Knowing what is behind the brand I love makes me love Neat & Tangled even more. Thank you Danielle for sharing your story, I wish you all the best and many many successful years to come. Happy anniversary from a big fan of yours from Hungary, Zsofi

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  58. Happy Birthday! Such a fun review!

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  59. Congratulations on your anniversary! What an inspiration you are! Thanks for sharing this with all of us! So wonderful to see how far you have come in those 5 years. 😘 Hugs & congratulations!

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  60. Congratulations on your success this far. I love supporting small businesses run by women. My only regret is that I don't have an open ended bank account to do so more often. I'm 47 and have never owned a home. That is still a huge goal and dream for me and I know someday I'll get there. I applaud you for reaching your goals and your blessings are well deserved. Wishing you many many more years of success! Warm Wishes is still one of my faves in my stamp stash.

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  61. Congrats Danielle! You're a rock star!
    Thank you for believing in ME two years ago! :) HUGS!

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  62. Fabulous story :-) Congratulations, and I applaud you :-)

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  63. I still have stamps from your first release, Danielle, and have LOVED watching Neat & Tangled grow. Congratulations on your first amazing 5 years with many more to come. Massive love to you!! ♥

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  64. Oh what a great journal, congratulations on your success!!!! Wishing you many more years of fun!

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  65. Congratulations Daniella. You are a great inspiration to many. Reading your story again and again in a great motivation. love reading it.
    Your kids are cute darlings. Neat & tangled stamps are so simple and beautiful. Wishing you many more success dear

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  66. Congratulations on Neat &Tangled 5th anniversary, Danielle! Here'sto many, many more years of success.

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  67. What an incredible journey, Danielle! Thanks for sharing! Just think - so few have been as brave as you! So inspiring - I wish you and your wonderful company much success going forward! Happy Birthday!

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  68. A big congratulations on 5 years! I enjoyed reading your story and learning about the trials as well as the successes and sense of satisfaction in having this business.

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  69. Thank you for sharing this sweet and touching journey. The photos emphasized just how personal this adventure has been. I have loved Neat and Tangled since if first discovered your company a few years ago. LOVE your sentiments and FONT (good job, you are amazing!) and I join so many in wishing you well...personally and in your business! Your products have been a blessing in MY life. God bless you and your loved ones! ♥

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  70. Congratulations on 5 years! I love your products!

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  71. Congrats on all your success, I know you have put the work in and then some!

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  72. Thanks for sharing your story I am new to learning about you and your product first time blog reading.congratulations on your success and Birthday hope you have many many more years of success.
    Prayers for you father.
    Have blessed day!

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  73. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary Danielle; You guys are a super team. I recently discover N&T and love your stamps just adorable. :-)

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  74. Loved your story; thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary and best wishes for your continued success.

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  75. WOW! FIVE years of blood, sweat, and tears filled with Cherished, Precious, Treasured Memories! Congratulations on N & T's Fifth Anniversary Birthday Celebration! Wishing N & T Much Success, Happiness In Future Endeavors!

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  76. Congratulations on 5 years. I really enjoyed reading your story and how your company has evolved. I am also so impressed by the relationships stamping and crafting has built and love being a small part of it by buying and loving your products!

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  77. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am just a crafter but I so appreciate being able to put a face and human experience to the stamps that I love so much. Many blessings to you and your family and of course to Neat and Tangled!! Veronica in Canada 💜

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  78. Thanks for sharing your story with us! I loved the learning to letter videos you used to do on Periscope~ it was so appreciated :) Wishing you the best in the years to come :)

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  79. I'm working back on my emails and loved your journey in the crafting world.... Love it!!! Keep doing what you love, it shows in your product!

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  80. Congrats on 5 year. Thanks for sharing your story, loved to hear how your company evolved. Wishing you all the best is the coming years. Love your product.

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  81. Congrats on your 5 years and your journey, sounds like you've learned along the way and that is what is important!

    Lori

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  82. Happy Birthday! Hooray for you! Love this die!

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  83. Happy 5th Birthday to you and your crew! You've done an amazing job and I hope you have many, many more birthdays. Great job:)

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  84. Happy 5th Birthday and it looks like an amazing maze of time! You are doing great and have an amazing team and support people (and dog) around you!! You are a very blessed woman!! Congratulations and wishing you even more success in all the coming years!!

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