On a mission to help women simplify and enjoy their lives.

In 10 short years, Emily started a family, shaped a sisterhood, and connected with a community of women… all while growing and leading a multi-million dollar business. This is Emily’s story about how one product launched a movement for women to live their lives, simplified.
Emily Ley University of West Florida graduate and creative force behind Simplified
Excerpt from Emilyley.com | April 11, 2016

I sat in the preschool parking lot checking my email waiting for Brady to come out. In my inbox was an email from HarperCollins Christian Publishing. “We’re hooked on more than just your products, Emily. Your message speaks to a huge need among women. The idea of simplifying our daily lives, of giving our best to the things that truly matter, and of offering ourselves that elusive standard of grace rather than perfection resonated deeply with some of the women on our team. I think it beautifully reflects the rest and peace that God offers His children, and the ways in which you are a conduit of that through something as simple as a daily planner are remarkable.”

Cue ridiculous tears and confused looks from my then four-year-old climbing in the car.

I was an English major in college. Writing has always been my first love. The opportunity to write a book was a dream I dared not dream. It was too big, too impossible, too rare an opportunity. But, God. He knew better. He met me in the busiest, messiest, most circus-filled season of my life with blank pages and an incredible opportunity to fill them with heartfelt words from a girl who gets it: who’s fiercely fighting for what matters for herself, her people and her calling.

+ Emily Ley and Her Family
Emily Ley | UWF Graduate '05


By Mark Gause

In 2005, Emily Ley graduated from the University of West Florida (UWF) with a bachelor’s degree in English/creative writing. Two years later, she earned her master’s degree in public administration from UWF. 

No surprise, Emily became a business owner the following year.

In 10 short years, Emily wrote her own story, literally. Not only did she start a family, but she created a community of women and a multi-million dollar business. How? She built a lifestyle brand with help from a little blue box, a big box retailer, and some out-of-the box thinking. 

+ Emily Ley at Her Home Office
An entrepreneur, wife and mamma of a son and twins, Emily is the creative force behind Simplified® by Emily Ley—a brand of planners and organizational tools designed for busy women—mothers, college girls, teachers, and businesswomen. 

Emily is a phenomenon. Her success or “secret sauce” can be credited to her personal style and a powerful presence on the Internet. From a growing library of online videos to compelling social media content, Emily has found that digital marketing gives her a forum to engage and encourage women in a very genuine way. She has become a sister to many and like a true Southerner, she has never met a stranger. 

In writing about her life and sharing her own story, Emily is helping women with theirs. Her words come from the heart and radiate feelings of comfort, confidence, love and joy across page after page and chapter upon chapter.

Emily is the author of three books, Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy and A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living and When Less Becomes More: Making Space for Slow, Simple and Good. As a graduate in English/creative writing and a mom, the publishing of these books is a major milestone and blessing. 

when we pare down life to its simplest parts, we're left with room to enjoy each other, to rest, and to truly savor life with all our hearts, minds and spirits - University of West Florida graduate Emily Ley quote
+ Sisterhood is a blessing and one of this entrepreneur’s best assets.
University of West Florida graduate Emily Ley work and life balance

Still, if you ask Emily, she’ll tell you that her greatest achievement is creating a career that allows her the flexibility to be the kind of mom she wants to be. It’s a lifestyle that she craved and quickly recognized that the corporate world wasn’t going to afford her. In lockstep with her busy lifestyle, The Simplified Planner® by Emily Ley was designed for managing what matters most. 

If you share an entrepreneurial mindset and are looking to venture off the “traditional” career path, Emily will be quick to advise you not to feel like you need the perfect plan right out of the gate. She will encourage you to try your hand at a few different things to find what you really connect with most.

As Emily strives to do, she sums this up in the simplest of terms. “If you love your job, it’ll never feel like work.” 

True to form, Emily’s oldest son Brady has starred in a really cute video to introduce her book at Target and her life has been the subject of commercials for Gerber and ShiptLife. Emily has also appeared on The 700 Club and was featured in Forbes, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, and HGTV.com. 

As a former English/creative writing major at UWF, there is no doubt that Emily has figured out that passion beats polish. For her and most women, life is a balance of grit and grace. Sure it’s a bit messy at times, but that’s okay. That’s what makes it worth living and writing about. And why her words and work resonates with women around the country.

My time at the University of West Florida helped me to build the confidence and courage to embrace creativity and risks. For that, I’ll be forever grateful for my UWF family and professors for believing in me. Thank you.

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