Our Compose Prayer Journal (the one that started it all!) recently had its 8-year birthday. Around this time, we always feel a little sentimental and so today, in light of our new collection launch (including but not limited to the 8th edition of this little journal) we decided it was time to share a little bit of the business story on the blog!
In 2012, Val Marie Paper began, but it looked a little different thanwhat you see today! There wasn’t a prayer journal in sight–I originally designed wedding invitations.
Then, at the beginning of 2013, I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, Vivi. The next few months were really rough. I get first-trimester depression so this time was mostly just surviving and doing the least amount to get by. I had so many worries and knew I needed to pray more but was so unfocused and distracted.
That spring, I googled for two months to find this monthly prayer journal format in my head that I assumed existed, but when it didn’t, my invitation printer said he could print what I was envisioning. I had to print a minimum of 50, so I had to put it out there as a product and I hoped to at least cover my cost to print them!
Later that October, I excitedly sent the final files for the first Compose Prayer Journal to the printer during Vivi’s naptime–8 days after she was born! I was so excited about it just knowing what a difference they made in my life. I had been using the first prototype in June since earlier that year.
Vivi helped too! 🙂 The first 6 weeks with her, which I had always heard were some of the hardest, was the most peaceful and joyful time and I wholeheartedly believe it was because it was so covered in prayer.
Fast forward to today, and we’ve sold over 100,000 journals. This isn’t a company I can take credit for. God did this and I’m just so grateful He was willing to use me!!
Today, we release our updated collection of these paperback journals–still very similar to that original prototype. We’ve since become known for our larger spiral prayer journals, but our Compose Prayer Journal holds a special place in our hearts and that of our customers. It’s the first prayer journal many ever pick up! A $15 investment in 6 months of finally focused prayer. There’s not much to lose, but everything to gain.
It’s also the journal that is the most gifted! We see over and over that a simple hostess, teacher, or last-minute birthday gift often becomes a much-needed source of motivation in an unsuspecting recipient’s prayer life. 😉
I ordered about 13 of these little journals to give as gifts to friends and family because the yearly journal has changed my prayer life and my approach to prayer. Every friend I’ve given one to so far loves it.
– Chelsei N.
Along with the Compose Prayer Journal, you’ll see updated colors and covers on some of the journals that came next in our line-up.
As our business grew, we began to scale back, focusing on becoming a company focused primarily on encouraging people’s prayer lives. We discontinued several products that were helpful, but not focused on this primary mission.
What’s the next big step in this mission?
My legacy book on prayer. After 7 years of selling prayer journals, reading about prayer, and experiencing the fruit in my own life, I’ve written the book Pray Confidently and Consistently. This is brand new content because not only has our business grown, but I’ve grown. This book is a result of that. While I desire to make prayer accessible through our prayer journals, I don’t want to claim that it’s easy. This book helps pray-ers overcome the obstacles holding them back from a thriving prayer life. Whether you’re brand new to our journals, the gal that feels like she leaves too many blank spaces, or a faithful user who’s looking for a new challenge, this book is for you. You can pre-order it right here!
Although we’ve updated and added new prayer products over the years, like the ones you see in the shop today, my hope is still the same as when I published that very first Compose Prayer Journal--to help our customers find the focus and consistency in their prayer lives that leads to an outflow of peace, joy, and expectancy.