While there are multiple layers that create the fabric of my life, the common thread that weaves them together has always been and continues to be my ability to connect. Raised by a professional clown/performance artist mother and a blue collar, city of Chicago pipefitting father I learned both to juggle and to fix things at an early age.
I earned a degree in Graphic Design with a minor in instructional media communications and landed post graduation in the exciting new frontier of online advertising. As a young adult in the advertising world, I began to feel strongly that my ultimate dream would be to create a role where I would connect people with art.
I spent the next fourteen years saving money and working to build my experience and skill set. I worked in high-end art gallery in Chicago, and at a boutique placement firm to connect freelance creative talent into corporate marketing and design roles. Almost 14 years later I’m proud to say that I’ve flourished in this industry which afforded me the opportunity to earn the money to build my dream.
I chose to launch my own gallery the same year I found out I was pregnant with my first baby and, in the spring of 2005, we opened Studio b. To help me bridge the gap between my professional career and my personal dream, we ran the gallery seasonally April through November each year on weekends only. In my dual roles I had the opportunity to “connect people with commercial artists during the week and fine art on the weekends.” This became my mantra in action.
After our second child, our daughter, was born in 2007 I decided to pursue my own artistic dream, and got to work developing a line of simple but elegant quotable cards. Today, our line is featured in Paper Source, Whole Foods Market and more. Through organic growth and development of our large accounts we are now selling in over 150 stores nationally and have expanded sales into Europe.
So, what comes next for me… mother, corporate staffing executive, gallery owner, greeting card designer, and serial entrepreneur? I am currently embarking on an expansion of my business that will ultimately tie the gallery and the cards together through the creation of an artful products company. Through this work we will leverage over a decade of relationships with our gallery artists to create products that inspire “the art of living well.”
Through my story and my work I hope to inspire creative entrepreneurs, and tell you that anything is possible – if you dream it you can do it!