Darcy Miller is a writer of books that help people make the most out of the very best moments in life. Her first book, Our Wedding Scrapbook (William Morrow, 2004), walks readers through commemorating every step of their romance. Her latest, Celebrate Everything (William Morrow, 2016), is packed with inspiration and how-tos for doing just that. She is also an editor who has been with Martha Stewart for twenty-five years. She started out answering phones and ended up helping countless couples plan their big days whether in person or in the magazine, or through her tip-filled speeches at speaking engagements or guest appearances on everything from The Today Show to Good Morning America.
What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?
I always strive to be creative, collaborative, and kind.
My whole business is based on creativity. My mom inspired me to always be creative. I’ve been drawing since I was three, made my first travel journal at four, and started my own line of “Darcy Miller Originals” in seventh grade, which were barrettes and earrings I made from beads and sold to a store on Madison Avenue. Today, after a career in the publishing/weddings/parties world, I’m growing my brand, Darcy Miller Designs, which includes projects and products that feature my illustrations. It’s all pretty much come full circle!
In terms of being collaborative, I’ve always been a people person who feels that part of creativity is being inspired by, and supporting, others. At home, I always tell my daughters we don’t always have to D.I.Y. but it’s good to D.I.T. (that’s my spin on DIY, which stands for Do It Together); it’s the process of doing something with each other that makes it special. In my business, I’m a big believer in collaborating in so many different ways; working with other experts, sources, companies and of course, our team at Darcy Miller Designs is very collaborative. I love supporting other companies, whether it’s a baker like Patti Page who makes cookies with my designs or Sugarfina, whose candies, customized with my artwork, were in my most recent product collection, Celebrate Love.
As for kindness, everything I do is designed to make someone feel good, whether it’s through a creative idea shown on my site or on my Instagram, or with one of my products. The soul of my book, Celebrate Everything!, is doing things for other people, celebrating the relationships in your life. It’s also important to the Darcy Miller Designs brand to encourage as much kindness as possible, whether that’s inviting people to events brimming with ways to make their gifts personal, or making cards for The Scarlett Fund (an organization that delivers those cards to pediatric cancer patients and their families) at a holiday event we’re doing.
Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?
My parents always told me, “Everything happens for a reason.” They especially told me that when I got waitlisted at my first-choice college, Brown. I wanted to go there so I could get a liberal arts education while also taking classes at RISD, the neighboring art school. I ended up going to the University of Pennsylvania, which is although is a great school, wasn’t what I set out to do. I took some classes at Wharton and started my own party favor business, which ended up giving me a valuable education in a different way. But, I still wanted to go to art school. I decided to work for a year after graduating from Penn, then apply. In that year I became one of the first employees when Martha Stewart was launching Martha Stewart Living, which ended up becoming my art school and much more (where I worked for over 25 years and still contribute as the editor-at-large for Martha Stewart Weddings). Ironically, my artwork is a big part of my Darcy Miller Designs Brand—despite the fact that I never quite made it to art school.
What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?
It’s an exciting time for Darcy Miller Designs! We’re growing in so many directions. We recently launched the first-ever product line, Celebrate Love, for which we designed, over 30 products in a couple months with partners like Lenox, Sugarfina, Levi’s, and Schwinn. Our expanding company has just moved from my craft room at home into the Darcy Miller Design Studio. Our team is growing and taking on new projects we’re excited about, but can’t quite tell you about yet—follow us on Instagram @darcymiller to stay tuned! And of course we live every day by our motto, Celebrate Everything!