Asking for a Friend with Archer and Olive


Bonnie Kuhl of Archer & Olive is the queen supreme of pretty paper goods. To me the most beautiful thing about Archer & Olive is that it was born out of a pretty scary diagnosis and became not only a successful business, but a new way to see the world for Bonnie. I am so excited for to share her thoughts on success and failure with you today! Happy Friday!

Before we get started, what are a few things that you want us to know about you?

I'm a SUPER introvert. I love people, but can only hand out about once a week for 2 hours and then it's back to my house for recovery time. I started my own business (for many reasons) but one big one was to avoid going into an office every day. Which is kinda ironic because now I talk to more people than I ever did.

  1. Do you remember the first time you remember being emotionally affected by failure?

    That would have to be in first grade. My teacher pulled me aside to show me ONE math problem that I got wrong, and I proceeded to run out of the classroom and back to my house.

  2. What’s the biggest accolade you earned while you were in school?

    MVP Volleyball in 8th grade!!! Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it was team hustler? hahah!

  3. What does your day to day look like in your occupation?

    My small little business is going through a transition! I've recently hired someone to help with fulfillment, so my days have opened up to become more creative. I spend a lot of time dreaming about new ideas, working on customer relations, and spending time getting creative.

  4. What does your morning routine look like?

    This has changed drastically since having a child. Now I wake up, and give 100% attention to my son until the nanny arrives at 9. The morning is for answering emails and creating my instagram posts for the week. It's also my most creative time, so I make sure to do all my thought work during the morning hours.

  5. If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

    JUST GET STARTED! You have the dream, talent, and drive. You are NOT too young. Start NOW!

  6. Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?

    I'd love to have my books in Anthropology. I plan on creating other products which are also known for their superior quality. I'd love to hit one million in revenue.

  7. It’s a random Tuesday and you have the day off and no plans, what do you do to fill those hours?

    Spend some time creating! Running a creative business, I don't get as much time to just paint for fun as I'd like. It would be wonderful to spend the day painting for fun.

  8. If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one failure from the six months?

    Yes! I was told my products would be arriving on a Monday. So I promised my customers their products would be shipping by Wednesday. The products did not arrive until Friday. I had to send out over 500 apology emails. Everyone was super understanding, but it was a huge embarrassment, and cause so much stress.

  9. If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one success from the past year?

    (if this is posted after November, I can share, but.... MY BOOKS WE'RE CHOSEN TO BE IN THE TORY BURCH HOLIDAY BOX THIS YEAR!!!!!!)

  10. Who is the most ‘successful’ person you know?

    Personally, my husband. He is incredibly smart, driven, and accomplished. I firmly believe I would not be where I am today without his support.

  11. What do you think makes them ‘successful’?

    Someone who is an expert in their filed. Someone who never stops learning, who is respected by peers, and who is happy doing what they're doing.

  12. Describe your relationship with failure?

    I have always been a perfectionist who takes failure extremely hard. Owning my own business I have failed in 3489579458 ways, so it's something I'm getting better at. Failure is necessary for growth.

  13. Describe your relationship with success?

    Success obviously feels great, and at some point you need small successes along the way. However, if I only stuck with things when I had instant success, my company would not be here today.

  14. What parting words do you have for us?

    Don't let failure stop you! You might have to change tactics or direction, but keep pushing through! Learn from your mistakes, do better next time.

  15. One last question: where can I get a good slice of pizza?

    I really really enjoy Pinthouse Pizza (in Austin of course). Dang - now I want pizza.....

All photos by Chelsea Francis

All photos by Chelsea Francis

About Archer & Olive: Journaling has radically changed the way I experience the world around me. My self-discovery journey started in university when I received a life-changing diagnosis. After learning I had bipolar disorder and general anxiety disorder, I struggled to navigate each transition while prioritizing my own mental health. The overwhelming pressure to have it “all figured out” followed me wherever I went. It wasn’t until a mentor introduced me to the power of journaling that I began to fully embrace life with my diagnosis. Paired with doctor prescribed treatment, journaling helped me organize my thoughts, reduce my anxiety, and take control of my mental health. After experiencing my own transformation, I set out to share the empowering tool of journaling with as many people as possible through my paper goods studio, Archer & Olive. We design dot grid journals and daily agenda planners to help ambitious, purpose-driven people like you achieve your goals and exercise your creativity while giving you the tools to manage your mental health.

Chelsea Francis