How to celebrate 30 in style: Rachel Emma Studio

Patchwork is all about celebrating what deserves to be celebrated, whether it’s big or small – and we think turning 30 absolutely deserves to be celebrated. There’s a special brand of life wisdom that comes with 30 revolutions around the sun, so we’re asking our favourite creative people to share said wisdom as they turn 30. Today we chat to Rachel of the eponymous Rachel Emma Studio all about the revelations of her 20s, and how 30 is shaping up to be pretty bloody fantastic:

Quickfire round: what’s your name, where do you live and what do you do?

Hello, I’m Rachel and I live in East London with my husband Jake, cat Ceci and fire bellied newt Isaac (he basically ignores us so he’s more of a long term lodger). My business is called Rachel Emma Studio, and I’m a paper artist and wedding designer, a podcaster and an educator for small businesses.

What do you feel you’ve learnt in life so far?

The idea and practice that’s changed my life the most is just to START things. To keep making imperfect steps towards my goals instead of waiting to be ready, or waiting until all my ducks are in a row. I also very much believe in leading by example, and treating others with the compassion you hope to be treated with – and that includes self compassion. I think the biggest difference between being 29 and 19 for me is that I’m a lot nicer to myself now, learning to be my own pal was a huge turning point in my 20s – phewww what a relief!

Another huge thing for me has been building resilience. I used to think I had to grow a thicker skin to be “successful” in business and life, but actually I don’t think it’s that. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone hasn’t necessarily given me a thicker skin (I still feel soft and schmooshy), but it taught me a lot of resilience. As someone who’s always lived with anxiety, proving to myself that I can do hard things and still be more than ok has been a total game changer.

How would you sum your 20s?

Hard work, fun, tiring and transformative.

What are the good things about entering your 30s?

The vibe I’m very much going for in my 30s is more time and space, more fun and more freedom. My 20s were great but I do feel like I sacrificed a lot to build my business in some ways, and in my 30s my priority will be to reap the benefits of that.

How do you plan to celebrate your 30th?

My husband’s birthday is a week before mine, so we’re having a big joint 30th party at the local pub. The best thing about that is that he has loads more friends than me, so I’ll look popular by proxy without the hosting anxiety.

What’s the one big gift you’d really love?

What I really need is a new laptop, because it would speed up everything in my life so much (no more hours wasted a week waiting for illustrator to load!), but what I would LOOOOVE is a holiday somewhere with a white sandy beach, I’ve always wanted to go to one of those!

Main photo and this photo by Ro Photographs

Lucky for you Rach, we’ve got templates to help with both of those – if you’re looking for a new laptop, here’s our template; and if you’re looking to go all-out on sandy beaches, here are our alternative honeymoon fund templates.