Spotlight: Erin Ryan and Thirty-One

harrisburg newborn photographer

Who are you and what do you do?
Isn’t it funny that this is one of the harder questions to answer when you really stop and think about it? I am Erin Ryan, and my official title is Independent Director with Thirty-One Gifts, leader of the ShamRockers, my team of consultants…. but, what I’m learning about life is that this answer is just who I am on a paper, in an email signature, just that canned response you give when someone asks. Who am I…. I’d need about a week of your time, dozens of coconut milk chai stingers, a few airline flights complete with running through the terminal barefoot, and a glass of wine or two to really let loose and share the deepest, darkest, parts of me. There would be lots of laughing, eating, tears, and of course a ton of hugs would be involved. Sadly, we just don’t have that kind of time. I’ll sum it up by telling you this: I’m a girl gets the chance to encourage the women I meet every day to believe in themselves, and believe in who they are and where they are going – and when I’m lucky, I get to watch them find out who they are in the process.



Tell us about Thirty-one. What makes it so amazing?
Because who doesn’t love a bag that matches your outfit!? No, in reality, there are some bigger things at play in the world of Thirty-One that I hope everyone reading this gets a chance to learn more about. We consultants get so much support and encouragement from our Home Office team and from the owner of the company herself. It’s only through this support that you can truly believe the mission of the company, which is empowering women not only to allow themselves to dream about what could be, but also giving them the resources to build the dream… and celebrating them every step of the way, big and small. The bags are incredible, but the people you can reach through these bags are what is the most amazing part.
How long have you been a consultant? Can you tell us about your team?
I have been with the company since March of 2012, which is CRAZY! Prior to enrolling, I wasn’t much of a “girly-girl”, and worked full time in my career as a Pastry Chef. Emotions and fashion were definitely not my strong suit (and, let’s be real, they still aren’t). Life happened, as it does, and my dad got sick that same year, diagnosed with ALS – a terrible thing to watch happen to anyone you love. I found so much support in my business, from customers and hostesses to fellow consultants, and it became my happy place! I was able to kind of just step out of life for awhile when I went to someones house to help her earn some free bags. I was able to walk away from working full time in September 2014 to be more flexible, to make sure that I was able to spend time with my family while I still could. I have so many people to thank for helping me make that really, really hard decision! I loved my career as a pastry chef, but it just wasn’t allowing me to live a life with no regrets, and I wasn’t able to consciously choose where I was spending my time and energy.
The morning after these photos were taken, my dad passed away.

It was an awkwardly heartbreaking and freeing day, to finally see him and his body at peace, to miss him but to be so excited he no longer was struggling. I’d always known how lucky I was to have fallen into Thirty-One when I did; over the years I’d come to acknowledge that Thirty-One was placed in my life by someone who knows a LOT more than I do, in preparation of the coming five years of emotional turmoil. Without Thirty-One, I had friends. I did! Lots of ’em. But with Thirty-One, I have sisters. I have strengthened bonds with the girls who were in my life prior to me owning this business. I have fallen in love over and over again with these women I meet as customers, hostesses, and team members. Women I would have never noticed or met before! I have begun to believe that I do have the power to create my life and future. I have 36 incredible, inspiring, encouraging and life-changing women who are proud to call themselves ShamRockers, and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to lead them to their dreams.

Our mission as a team is to teach others that they have the power to make their own luck in life, and these ladies lift me up even amidst their own struggles and personal stories. Sometimes, I stop and think about my team, and realize that the only reason some of them have found this journey is simply because I chose to take that step four and a half years ago. That is the true meaning of “mind-blowing.” These women are my family, and the ones I lean on when I am weak – which we all know, as women, can happen. A lot. More than we are proud of, sometimes. For the first time in my life, I am not ashamed of it, or to ask for help when I need it.

What’s your favorite bag? That’s right, pick ONE!
Silence. I have no words. Just one?Ā I am going to go old school here and talk about the City Weekender – my very first purchase from the company as a customer, a few months before I enrolled as a consultant. I can’t have just one favorite! That’s like choosing your favorite kid out of all of them… but, you only have one firstborn, and that bag ended up becoming a gateway to a new perspective on life, and where I want my life to go. Plus, its adorable, and functional! I bought it to use when I started traveling to see my “new” boyfriend, the plastic bags weren’t cutting it as overnight bags. I am a very, very lucky girl – not only did I get Thirty-One thrown at me right when I needed it, but I found Jon Ryan in the same way, just a few months before I heard of Thirty-One for the first time. Let’s just say that 2012 was a very monumental year in the life of Erin!
What bag(s) would you suggest for a new mom? Why?
Right now, I am obsessed with the New Day Tote! It’s got so many pockets (some zipper, some are open, some cinch shut! So many pockets!), it’s made from a wipeable fabric, it can hold a ton without feeling huge, and IT ZIPPERS shut at the top! You’ve gotta have a zipper, right?! The longer straps make it easy to hold and carry while you’re also juggling kids, groceries, whatever you’re juggling (because you’re never free handed!). That being said, it can transition from diaper/mom bag to a toddler bag, to a general multi-purpose tote after the kids have grown, so you aren’t stuck with a diaper bag you’ll never use again! I love mine for the gym, beach trips, weekend packing and for keeping my paperwork and binders organized at seminars & trainings! I just love pockets. šŸ™‚
How can we book a party?
My favorite words in the world! Booking a party is the best way to get your favorite products and gifts at a discount, and you get to have fun while you do it. I help you from A to Z, mailing your invitations for you all the way up to being there for you and your customers after the party is just a memory. It’s so easy to party, and there are so many different ways to do it! While I specialize in home showings I do also love meeting new friends online, on-the-go at Panera and Starbucks, or in the parking lot of the dance studio or day care. If you’re thinking about hosting your own show or learning more about Thirty-One or my team, please reach out to me! We can chat about which way this amazing opportunity fits into YOUR life the best, and go from there!
I can be reached via call or text atĀ (717) 982-1451, or you can email me atĀ I encourage you to visitĀ www.makeyourownluck.orgĀ to learn more about Thirty-One or connect with me on social media!

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