My Tote Design for West Elm! ♥ Video

Friends, I am so thrilled to share my work for West Elm + West Elm Phoenix with you today!🌵 I created this piece with the design team at West Elm to celebrate the opening of their new store in Phoenix at Uptown Plaza🙌🏼 My design is printed on tote bags that will are available as a gift with purchase in-store! 

Click below to watch:

Thank you to the West Elm team for this wonderful project! It is so wonderful to represent Arizona through this design💛

You can find a selection of my prints, pins, and greeting cards in West Elm's Scottsdale + Phoenix locations!

How Did You Start Your Business as an Artist?

Yesterday I was asked the question “How did you start your company?” Rather than reply to just 1 person, I thought I would share the story with you too! 

Somehow I have managed to create a business where I get to be myself every day, share my wild technicolor ideas, and have total freedom to be myself…but I didn’t set out to do this. 

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I was a 19-year-old college student, a little (okay very) sleep deprived from architecture school, wanting to create at night to relax. I’ve always loved to paint and make crafts, but never considered myself an artist at the time. 

In high school I had started long boarding and thought it would be fun to wood burn + paint my own skateboards. I became obsessed and eventually my tiny apartment bedroom was so full of skateboards I was like “Okay I’ve gotta start selling these so I have room to paint more.” Funny to think I wasn’t even focused on the business, I just wanted to be able to paint, paint often, and share my work with others.

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One Etsy shop later, I was going to school from 10am to 6pm, coming home to eat dinner and paint until 8pm, heading back to my campus’ architecture studio to work on class projects until 1am, and then coming home to paint some more. 

During my 4th year of my 5-year degree, I studied abroad in Copenhagen. Traveling overseas, I decided not to take my paints, which resulted in my barely painting the first semester of school. You guys may know this part of the story already, but the short version is that my friend Elsa asked me to take a watercolor painting class with her taught by one of our architecture professors. I think it took all of 1 week for me to be hooked on the medium. I found myself grabbing my bike after I finished at my internship, riding to old churches I had never been before, and sitting in the grass painting for hours without even realizing how much time had passed. 

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Coming to the end of the semester in May of 2014, I found myself with no summer job to return to at home in Arizona, and a desire to merge my passion of painting and another new interest, business. I had started watching business advice videos on YouTube in all of my spare time, and it really interested me. To this day, running a business feels like a really fun game to me where I get to try out new strategies, see how they work, and have a ton of fun sharing each part of the journey with you.

This desire to merge my passions turned into a Kickstarter campaign for my custom skateboard painting business, called "Studio Skate" at the time. Thanks to many supportive friends, family, and fans, a month later I had $1200 in my bank account, a list of custom skateboard orders to complete, and total fire to pursue this business. 

As I’m sure you realize, my career + art style look a whole lot different than custom skateboards today. I owe that to my spring break in March of 2015, when I hung out in my parents backyard in Scottsdale, admired all of the cacti, and created my signature “Technicolor Botanical” collection. A collection of 9 originals where everything…clicked. This collection helped me unite my hometown, the landscape I had learned to fall in love with, and my childhood obsession with rainbows. 

This is the cliff-notes version of my story, but what’s important to note, is everything that happened in the “in-between” spaces. Staying up until 2 AM painting new ideas, filming videos in my bedroom between classes, constantly consuming any business information I could learn, and always being open to the process. That’s where the magic really happens. The commitment, the excitement, and the persistence. 

I never really knew what I was chasing after, but I somehow created a space where I can share my creativity with the world + be the best version of myself. But trust me, I don’t take all of the credit.

Thank you for being here, following along, sharing encouragement, and enjoying what I create. Each positive comment, DM, email, like, and compliment keeps that fire going that I first came across in my college bedroom at 19 years old. 

Zonta International: Artisan Marketplace, October 6th-8th

Hey Arizona Artisans! 

I am very excited to share this opportunity for an artisan marketplace in Tempe, Arizona this fall. Earlier this year I began chatting with the team behind Zonta International's District 9 Conference about how we could share the wonderful work of our local Arizona artists at their artisan marketplace. 

Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta is committed to programs that support and promote the protection and human rights of all women and girls worldwide, fighting to improve women’s lives by increasing their access to education, health care, legal services and economic opportunities while supporting efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls in all its forms.

This fall, October 6th-8th to be exact, Zonta's District 9 Conference will be held in Tempe, Arizona at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. Can't picture it? The hotel is located on Mill Avenue, between 4th and 5th Avenue. 

We are now accepting vendors for this market, and would love to consider your work for this event! If you specialize in any of the following, we would love to hear from you:

- Exquisite jewelry
- Luxury handbags
- One-of-a-kind home décor
- Quality clothing, and beautiful handcrafted trinkets

The marketplace will spread across 2 rooms of the hotel. Please review the additional information below to see if you think your art or craft would be a great fit for this event!

If you are interested, wonderful! Here are the instructions to apply: 

1) Please download the application, available right here
2) Fill out the application with your information
2a) Please only fill out the top portion of application; Booth selection + payment will be handled upon selection
3) Email your completed application to both Cindi Williams + Paige Poppe (please send 1 email)
- Cindi: cindi.williams@conferencedirect.com
- Paige: hello@paigepoppe.com

All applications will be reviewed for consideration into this marketplace! Artisans will be curated to ensure that the selection is a great fit for this audience, and for vendors to be as successful as possible. 

Any questions? Please leave a comment on this blog post with your question + contact email address, and we will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible. 

Thank you so much for your interest! Looking forward to this wonderful event in the fall. 

Delivering Paintings + Products! ♥ Video

Having a work day full wholesale orders, delivering a painting, lunch date, and delivering products! Hope you enjoy this vlog from back in May :)

Click below to watch:

Thank you so much for watching!