094 | Creating strategic business plans with Emily Marks, Carina Paper Co

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This week we have a great episode in store for you – one that will definitely resonate with any of you who are hustling through a day job to fund your dream job. Emily Marks, once a forensic accountant, took the leap and left a stable job to pursue her passion. She is now the businesswoman behind Carina Paper Co., a stationery company inspired by her Italian heritage and from her heart as a new mom, wife, daughter, and friend.

On today’s episode, Emily gives us all the details on how she turned her side hustle into a full-time gig. She tells us the reason she left her job with a major accounting firm and how her former role actually helps her in business now. We talk about the importance of strategic planning, project management, and how being in a state of discomfort provides space for personal growth. Finally, we talk about the danger of overthinking things and why sometimes, you just have to go for it.


  • Emily’s pivot from accounting to stationery

  • Her business launch timeline

  • Planning ahead vs being in the now

  • How she deals with frustrating aspects of the business

  • The need to celebrate what we’ve accomplished

  • Growing into your strengths

  • The importance of prioritizing for future growth

  • When to take that chance

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“Getting the designs out of my head and onto actual products definitely took the longest time, but then all the details came together.” – Emily Marks

“I like to try to look at it like my biggest competition is myself.” – Emily Marks

“There’s enough people in this industry and in this world, and we all can make a good product, if you have something that resonates with people.” – Emily Marks

“You can’t focus just on today. You have to look at the whole, the last few months, and also give yourself a little bit of a break.” – Emily Marks

“Sometimes in that hustle for the next thing, we forget to celebrate what we’ve accomplished along the way… We need to celebrate the successes that we’re having right now.” – Katie Hunt

“I’m a firm believer that you only grow and you only learn when you’re uncomfortable because I think when you’re comfortable, no matter what you’re doing in life, it’s just status quo.” – Emily Marks

“As small business owners, we don’t always have a ton of time, or a ton of money, and so how do we balance the different needs in our business, and what we should keep on our plate as the CEO?” – Katie Hunt

“You have to make sure every time you’re reaching out, you’re reaching out with valuable information .” – Emily Marks

“Marketing is just an interesting beast, and I think it’s something that is always going to be a challenge for me because it’s not as systematic.” – Emily Marks

“Marketing is not a one and done type of thing, it’s constantly reiterating what you’re doing and changing things for the different ways that we can communicate with people.” – Katie Hunt

“Especially in the small business world, I think if we spend too much time thinking about it, I won’t do it.” – Emily Marks

“Let’s get stuff out in the world and see what happens, and then go from there.” – Katie Hunt

“My biggest piece of advice is, make sure the time is right for you, but just do it. Go out there.” – Emily Marks


Website: Carina Paper Co. | Facebook: @carinapaperco | Instagram: @carinapaperco | Pinterest: @carinapaperco

Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

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