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In Art/ Beach/ Design/ Entrepreneur/ Featured Artist

“Meet the Artist”-Summer Strauch

When you’re greeted with “Aloha,” you know it’s going to be a good day and a fun Q&A. In this “Meet the Artist” post, we introduce you to photographer Summer Strauch. The positive vibes radiate from Summer and you can feel them in her work too. We loved hearing about Summer’s creative process and more.

A little business…

CB: What/who inspires you in your daily work?

SS: Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of a surf legend, Paul Strauch Jr. I spent my childhood playing in the sand and deep in the ocean watching him surf. I feel myself by the sea. It gives me strength, serenity and fills me with ideas and creativity. So naturally, the beach is many main inspiration, however everyday something and someone new inspires me artistically. From local surfers in Bolinas, California where I have a beach house to the way the tide is moving the ocean and even my dad’s classic Hawaiian surf stories. And I’m so grateful for the daily inspiration.

CB: How did you develop your unique photography style?

SS: A contrast of both bright colors and muted tones, my aesthetic is focused on the ocean and surfing. Music inspires how I see things. It might have something to do with the fact that I worked as a Producer at MTV for 15 years! I see an image through upbeat and happy lyrics playing in my mind. They play over and over in my head until I capture a picture that speaks to it all and tells that exact poetic story. That is my creative process, so you can find music at the root of my inspiration and it has definitely helped me develop my personal photography style. I lean towards happy and fun songs because they best express how I see things. And I feel very lucky about that.

CB: Does having worked in the television industry help you set up a shot differently?

SS: I always had a love for photography. Although working with video and film cameras is quite different, setting the shot has similarities in all formats. For me, it’s all about the details. I remember shooting MTV’s House of Style with Bar Refaeli. It was the middle winter in New York City about 15 degrees and we were doing a segment on bathing suits in the Botanical Gardens. I wanted the viewer to believe we were in the desert, so we lit sternos and held them under the camera so it looked like the heat was rising. Every time I yelled cut, I wrapped heating blankets around Bar and promised my staff it was all worth the shot. The funny thing is I never had time to explore my own photography because I was so busy with the TV shows I was working on. It wasn’t until about a few years ago, that I decided to really get out there, take photographs and sell my work. Once I did it, I remember asking myself, ‘What took you so long?’ But you know what…better late than never!

CB: Any advice for people looking to make a living with their photography?

SS: I think everyone who has a dream of being a photographer needs to know ‘You can do it!’. Your vision matters, the way you see things is so unique to who you are and people want to see your story…I promise.

I think the biggest step you can take is to start printing your photos, and print them BIG. Once you see them in front of you, you start to feel it’s real and more importantly you start to own the fact that YOU ARE A PHOTOGRAPHER.

CB: In your opinion, what is the best part of taking a photograph?

SS: For me, it’s hearing what song comes to mind when I look through the lens. And then, seeing what I captured. Sometimes I am surprised by a dolphin jumping or pelicans flying in perfect formation over surfers below.

A little personal….

CB: What is your favorite vacation destination?

SS: Hawaii, of course.

CB: Your inbox..0 or 9,999?

SS: 9,999 or 83,554 to be exact…I focus on what I need to. Ha!

Be sure to follow Summer @summerstrauch and see more of her work at

In Entrepreneur/ Featured Retailer/ Uncategorized

Featured Retailer-The Market on Washington

Our retailers are THE best! We are so thankful for all of them-they choose to put our products in their shops and nothing makes us happier than to support our retail partners. Today we wanted to feature one of our newest retailers, The Market on Washington, in Clarkesville, GA. Here’s our Q & A with the owner, Jen Harkness.

CB: What is your favorite part of having your store?

MW: My favorite part of having my own store is having a place where I can truly be myself. I love not knowing what the day holds. I love having the freedom to create something new and exciting and express myself through our displays. I will never take for granted the feeling of waking up and actually be excited to get to work and create something that makes people smile. I have worked corporate jobs where I sat at a desk all day and could only dream about being where I am now, which makes me especially enjoy each little moment here, even if it’s as simple as bringing my puppy with me to the shop every day.

CB: Who/what inspires you daily?

MW: Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look! For me, it’s anything such as traveling, reading, taking a walk or simply browsing the internet. I have so many folders saved on my phone of color palettes I’m currently liking, textures I love, materials I would like to use and even notes of how I felt when I was at a particular place and how I can re-create that feeling for my customers. I recently went on a trip to Paris so I am especially into all things French right now, haha! My customers are also a big inspiration to me, though they may not even realize it. It makes my heart skip when they walk in and gasp over something new that we have created or when they comment on our new products and say what a wonderful job we are doing. Moments like that inspire me to work harder each season and to continue thinking outside the box for ways to surprise our regulars and new-comers with what we have in store for them!

CB: What is one trend (genre/product) you predict will be big in 2019?

MW: I think two trends: Clean Beauty and bold patterns!

I think that people are becoming more aware and conscious of not only what they are putting in their bodies, but also what they are putting on their skin. Our Beauty Bar is filled with lines that are all natural, clean and cruelty-free. We started small, but after noticing how often our customers were coming in to try new products, we have now expanded and offer lines such as Little Seed Farm, French Girl Organics, RMS Beauty, Lola Jane Naturals and more! I knew Clean Beauty was something I was interested in, but after seeing the products on our Beauty Bar become some of the best sellers in our entire shop I know it’s something others are interested in, too!

I have also noticed our customers gravitating towards bold patterns and fun colors lately. I think everything has been so neutral and filled with greys and whites in the last few years and now people are wanting to add some pops of color (which is great for me, as I am basically a human pinata and always adding color!) One of the reasons I was drawn to your brand is your use of color and patterns. After seeing the positive response from our customers over your accessories, I am even more excited for your collaboration with Toss Designs and the Bamboo Navy pajamas and cosmetic bags. I know they are going to be a hit!

CB: What is your favorite gift to give?

MW: Gift giving is my love language but I don’t know that I have one go-to gift. Instead, I pay attention to the people I care about and what they love and I try to giving something special and unique. I think you can feel that when you’re in my shop-there is literally something for every woman. When I buy products, I try to think of gifts and items that would suit different personalities. There are definitely products that are completely me, but then there is also a glimpse of my younger sister, my best friend, my mama and the other women dear to me. I think as long as you put a lot of thought into a gift you can’t go wrong.

CB: How did you get in the gift/retail industry?

MW: I have always loved working retail. I worked a 9-5 corporate job for a few years and needed a more fun, relaxed environment so I would also work part-time retail jobs during the holidays for fun. I knew I wanted my own store someday so finally when I was in a position to leave my desk job, I started working at a small home decor shop in my hometown so that I could learn the ins and outs of running a small business. After a year of working there, my friend and the owner of the shop said that she was closing the Clarkesville location to focus on her other store in Atlanta and her new baby. I have always tried to live by the “If not now, when? If not me, who?” mantra and I knew I didn’t want the opportunity to pass by. So, I went home that night, prayed about it and discussed it with my family. The next morning, I knew I was ready and so I leaped. It has been so worth it every day since.

CB: Outside of your store, what do you like to do for fun with your time?

MW: Well, I just got a new puppy, Winston, a wire fox terrier that is so cute and so full of mischief so he is pretty time consuming right now, haha! Other than him, I love to travel and have some pretty fun trips lined up for this year.

CB: Your inbox…0 or 9,999?

MW: Oh gosh! I can’t stand a full inbox so I clean mine out daily! I separate everything into folders and the only ones left in my inbox are things I need to follow up with that week.

We love our retailers and seeing their shops. Be sure to follow @themarketonwashington on Instagram to see the newest arrivals and more of this adorable shop. If you are in Clarkesville, GA, be sure to stop in and say hello!

The Market on Washington
1358 Washington St
Clarkesville, GA 30523
(706) 760-5003

In Art/ Decor/ Design/ Entrepreneur/ Featured Artist

Meet the Artist-Teil Duncan

We have been captivated with Teil Duncan’s artwork (another Instagram find) and had to share her with you in one of our “Meet the Artist” introductions. We love the story she tells with her paintbrush and wanted to know more about the artist behind the gorgeous work.

A little business…

CB: When did you notice that you had an eye and natural artistic talent?

TD: At a young age, my mom noticed the time I spent drawing, so she enrolled me in art classes after school for several years. When I reached high school, my art teacher, Mr. Robert Dozier, expressed a confidence in me and that lead me to pursue it even further.

CB: How did you develop your unique style and how would you describe it?

TD: Over the years of practice! I think a style can only emerge after dabbling in your craft for a long period of time, emulating artwork that you love, until one day your artistic “fingerprint” naturally develops.

CB: How or what do you to get started on a piece?

TD: I usually reference a photograph. Whatever subject I am thinking of taking on, I like to take advantage of the lighting and capture it in various angles. I refer to the photo with my paintbrush, then take many liberties manipulating the color palette and layering intuitive marks to build interest.

CB: Is there any advice you have for people looking to make a living with their art?

TD: Yes. Don’t hurry the process. Take the time to experiment. Don’t force something to work for the sake of gaining a social media presence. Put in the private hours of grinding and development. Seek out respected artists for feedback and affirmation as to whether this is a path worth pursuing for you specifically.

CB: What or who inspires you in your daily work?

TD: I love browsing through other well done artwork. Not only witnessing successful paintings is inspiring, but to see any craft pushed to its utmost potential is moving for me. A well-decorated space, a delicious meal, a song with a captivating beat; that pushes me to sharpen my product to its fullest potential.

CB: Is there any piece of work that has been especially meaningful to you or you are most proud?

TD: I am currently excited about my latest works on paper: my last figure collection and Charleston collection. The acrylic medium took on a different form on paper rather than birchwood and brought a new pulse of energy that makes me want to create more!

A little personal…

CB: What is a favorite book you have read recently?

TD: I just read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom for the fourth time. It’s worth reading every few years. Talk about inspiration!! It’s a story that took place during the holocaust of a family overcoming the darkest circumstances through their faith in Jesus. Highly recommend.

CB: Where is your favorite place to vacation?

TD: Hard to say. Probably Cashiers, NC. Something about that place tugs at my heartstrings. I love the mountain air, the antiquing, fireplace at night, coffee in the morning. Pockets of charm everywhere and only a few hours away.

CB: Your in box…9,999 or 0?

TD: Shamefully 9,999-in my personal email that is. Business email, 0-no thanks to me:-)


Find more of Teil Duncan’s work and her new, coffee table book, on her website and be sure to follow @teilart.

In Entrepreneur/ Featured Retailer/ Gifts

Small Business Saturday-Local Retailer

Small Business Saturday is a big day in the world of retail. After you’ve made it through Black Friday online and in stores, make sure you rest a bit and get back out to your local small business stores and buy from them! We are one of the little guys and want to support other small businesses. With the recent launch of our new gift line-available for retailers-we wanted to feature one of our newest local retailers, Laurel & May Market located in Milton, Georgia. This cute bakeshop and gift boutique is the perfect backdrop for coffee with friends (or business meetings), a place to browse the carefully curated gifts and enjoy a treat! We have found ourselves there when needing a break from the studio. Today, we are so happy to feature a local spot-and the ladies behind it all, Jenn and Gretchen. We hope you are inspired to head to your local your mom-and-pop shops and support your local economy this holiday season…Shop Small Saturday!

A little business…

CB: What is your favorite part of having your store?

L&MM: We love being able to put everything together. Everything we buy and make is carefully selected and then thoughtfully merchandised to create the feeling we have in the market.

CB: Who or what inspires you daily?

L&MM: Just being in our space with our friendly customers and our great staff is inspiring. It’s always nice to catch up with people or to see people’s reactions the first time they come into the space-it really means a lot to us.

CB: What is one trend you predict will be big in the new year?

L&MM: In our shop, trending items are the more unique items you can’t find just anywhere. We are really hoping to have your new gift line take off, along with a few companies that are really doing awesome things in their space like Ladyfingers Letterpress, The Blackberry Patch and Olivina to name a few.

CB: What is your favorite gift to give?

L&MM: That is a tough question, gift giving is so personal and we think it’s more about the thought and care you put into the gift than the item itself. We do lean towards warm, cozy gifts like bath fizzies, lotions, candles, etc. Life is stressful so these are always welcome gift ideas to help decompress at the end of the day.

CB: How did you get in the gift/retail industry?

L&MM: Our love of shopping! Gretchen handles the baking side of our shop along with buying the gourmet foods and cheeses while I handle most of the gift items buying and all the stationery items. We both love the space we are in, she loves the kitchen and everything baking, and I love paper, printing and all things creative.

CB: What are some things on your holiday bucket list?

L&MM: We have been going strong all year getting our market up and running so we both would love a little bit of down-time where we can just unwind, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the holiday season. We are incredibly grateful for everything we have done this year and want to start 2019 stronger than ever!

CB: Always a source of laughs at our studio…your inbox-0 or 9,999?

L&MM: We try to keep it clean, but it’s closer to 1,999:)

Happy Shop Small Saturday!

In Art/ Decor/ Design/ Entrepreneur/ Featured Artist

Meet the Artist-Chambers Austelle

In this “Meet the Artist” series, we’d like to introduce you to Chambers Austelle. Chambers caught our eye on Instagram where we first saw her art. Her style and perspective are unique, making her portraits stunning. You definitely want to take a moment to look and study her pieces. We wanted to know more about Chambers and share her art with you!

Down to business…

CB: Regarding your art, how did you develop your unique style and how would you describe it?

CA: In college (CofC) my concentration was photography and I lived in the darkroom. Funny enough, I never photographed people. The images I would capture however were all about telling people’s stories, whether it was their home, personal items or a place. After I graduated, I switched my focus to painting. (Why? Working in a darkroom with film is incredibly expensive and I had always felt like I would end up being a painter, so I put all of my energy into painting) At first, I had no idea how to translate my ideas and thoughts through this new medium. I painted any and everything I could think of. At one point, I painted a portrait and everything kind of clicked, and I started painting in a way that was more of a personal investigation. As far as my style, it’s hard to explain how it developed, other than through practice, because so much of it is innate.

CB: When did you notice that you had an eye and natural artistic talent?

CA: Creating has always been a part of my life. I think you start realizing something is there when other people start telling you. As a child, you just do, and never really think about it. I’ve been lucky to have an amazing support system that always encouraged me artistically.

CB: What or who inspire you in your daily work?

CA: I am visual in every aspect of life. I notice everything and am often inspired by random pairings of objects and things I see throughout the day.

CB: Is there any advice you have for people looking to make a living with their art?

CA: First and foremost, believe in yourself and surround yourself with people that share that faith and encourage you. Reach out to people who you admire, do your research and remember, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ Perseverance is key!

CB: How or what do you do to get started on a piece?

CA: It really all depends on what has inspired that piece. Sometimes I start with a color scheme, other times the background or the subject.

CB: Is there any piece of work that has been especially meaningful to you or you are most proud?

CA: I think I’m most proud of new body’s of work. It sounds cliche`, but no matter how much you create, it’s always scary pushing the envelope and trying something new.

A little personal…

CB: What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

CA: That’s easy! Green. Bean. Casserole!!

CB: Your inbox…9,999 or 0?

CA: Ha! Not 0, so I guess I’ll have to go with 9,999 (It’s 453 exact:)).

See more of Chamber’s work at her website.

In Decor/ Design/ Entrepreneur/ Featured Artist/ Featured Retailer/ Uncategorized

Meet the Entrepreneur/Artist Series-Shelly Kennedy

Today we are featuring Shelly Kennedy, artist and shop owner. Shelly Kennedy is a published stylist, decorator, and artist. Starting in 1997, Shelly grew Drooz studio {} as a wholesale art business for 10 years- selling decorative accessories to stores, designers, mommies and Hollywood celebrities all over the world. Her custom decor has accented the homes of celebrities such as Rachel Ashwell, P.Diddy, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Dylan McDermott, Courtney Love, Kate Hudson, Johnny Depp and John O’Hurley. She now works from her studio – painting, designing, and crafting… focusing on licensing and creating original and custom work. Her exclusive designs have been sold thru wonderful retail partners such as Garnet Hill, Layla Grayce, & Land of Nod. Her work has been seen on the set of television shows as NBC’s FRIENDS, Modern Family, and Extreme Home Makeover. Along with creating traditional wall art, her designs have adorned such items as rugs, piggy banks, nite lights, dish sets, birthday hats, necklaces, growth charts, pillow and placemats. Her designs have been seen on the pages of People Magazine, Country Living, InStyle, Better Homes & Garden, Coastal Living, Rachel Ashwell’s “Shabby Chic” as well as many other magazines and decor books. With a love for beautiful spaces and entertaining her homes & studios have been featured by This Old House, Design Sponge, Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion. She lives in her hometown of Skaneateles, New York with her husband, 2 teenage children, and her French Bulldog puppy, Lewis. A self-professed chronic nester, she can often be found renovating her 1896 farmhouse, mixing colors & mixing cocktails, and spending way too much time on social media. Over the years, Shelly has worn the many hats of RETAIL. At the age of 16, she landed her first job as a “shop girl” at a florist/giftshop in her hometown. After catching the retail “bug” she also worked as a Sales Rep for a giftware group in the Midwest, a Merchandiser & Display artist, as well as a Buyer for a chain of gift stores in Chicago. She then managed her own wholesale art and giftware company for over ten years.

From Kathy

I first met Shelly at a branding/gifting event in New York around 2005. At that time, Clairebella was a juvenile products line and baby products were the focus of the event. I was a huge fan of Shelly’s work and was really excited to get to meet her in person. Shelly was very gracious and we have kept in touch a bit throughout the years. It has been fun, following her on Instagram as she opened her brick & mortar gift store.

Q & A

CB: How did you get into the industry?

SK: I’ve been in the giftware industry for over 20 years! My first job out of college was for a rep group in Chicago at the Merchandise Mart. I had the entire Chicago and North Shore market. It’s then that I got the bug big TIME for consumer goods, creative gifts and decorative accessories.

CB: Is there any part of your work that has been especially meaningful to you or you are most proud?

SK: Currently at the shop I am very proud of my line of greeting cards-I love hearing the customers laugh out loud as they browse the card wall (most of the cards are pretty sassy and mildly inappropriate!) I try to fill a void in the “normal ” greeting card market-congrats on getting your drivers license, braces off and getting rid of that shitty boyfriend. Sympathies for the loss of your wisdom teeth, cat, and bad habits. It makes my day when a customer says “OMGosh-this is PERFECT! I NEED to get this for…”

CB: Regarding your art, how did you develop your unique style and how would you describe it?

SK: I originally developed art for babies and nurseries. Bold, bright, crisp lines, saturated colors-classic images with modern twists that look and feel carried through when I branched into teen art, home decor and gifts

CB: Is there any advice you have for people looking to make a living with their art?

SK: 1. Create daily. Sketch.  Keep notes, document your ideas well (I have journals over 20 years old filled that I still flip through from time to time) 2. Document finished work well. So much of the work of an artist is sold and given away-keep good records of everything! Makes sure you are building your portfolio along the way-invest in good photography 3. Research! Research! If you are looking to get into licensing-find companies you like-do they design in-house? Or license out? Who do they work with? Do you like the quality of their goods? Do they seem to promote /support their artists?

CB: What is your favorite part of having your store?

SK: It’s my HAPPY place. And I think (I KNOW) it’s becoming the happy place for others…(last year a very good customer was browsing in the shop. She looked a bit “down”-she explained that her best and longest friend had just passed and that she consciously drove to DROOZ because she knew just being there would make her feel better)

CB: What or who inspires you in your daily work?

SK: Just trying to stay FRESH and ahead of trends! It motivates me to always be thinking of my next idea, finding the next big thing-no time to rest!

CB: When did you notice that you had an eye and natural talent for this field?

SK: Always. I’ve always loved it! Even as a little girl playing with Barbies I have more fun creating bedding, artwork and lamp shades for my Barbie dolls (vs their clothes)I love color, design, interior design-all of that has played heavily into the development of my brand. Seeing my art and designs as components of an entire room or special event. The look of my art flows through into my own home, decor and shop selections. Bright, bold, fun, not too serious. Sassy. New and vintage, classic and vintage.

CB: How does your background as an artist influence the items you pick for your store?

SK: I’ve always been drawn to the small mom and pop companies-brands developed and grown by the owner; with their creative drive, blood, sweat and tears! I like supporting the little guys. I’m a little guy 🙂 Examples: Hester and Cook; Pure Home Apothecary; Curly Girl Designs; Clairebella. For my shop, I try to find unique, small batch, handmade items. I like trendy, current and relevant-but I try really hard to find things that aren’t commonly found in our area. I like pretty and practical-form and function!

CB: What is your favorite gift to give?

SK: I think a gift should be something you wouldn’t consider buying yourself-a true luxury item! A facial, a massage, a bottle of reallllly good Tequila or a box of super decadent dark chocolates

CB: What is a favorite book you have read recently?

SK: Latest: Profit First by Mike Michalowicz; Old Favorite that I’m always flipping through “12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women” by Gail McMeekin. Great stories and motivation and lots of little inspirational quotes through the book on the sidelines.

CB: Your inbox…9,999 or 0?

SK: 9999! omg.

at the store…

additional creations…

in her home…

Find more of Shelly and DROOZ follow them @DROOZANDCOMPANY.

2 In Art/ Design/ Entrepreneur/ Featured Artist

Meet the Artist-Sam Sidney

Today we’re talking to Sam Sidney. We first discovered Sam when she ordered our wallpaper through her talented interior designer, Wendy Mauro. Have you seen Sam’s work? Her refreshing style and aesthetic is something we just had to share. Our “Meet the Artist” series has been inspiring for us (and we hope YOU) to try something new! Everyone has their own unique technique and medium in creating art, take some time to find yours. We love her advice on being true to yourself and to do what you love! Be sure to follow her @samsidney and her see more of her work here.

CB: What or who inspires you in your daily work?

SS: I am inspired on a daily basis by home, my family and especially my children. Our house is full of light and color. Its an open clean space and I have created a small studio space in the center hallway of my home. I must pass my desk hundreds of times during the day. There’s always a stack of fresh white paper on top and jars of colorful markers. It’s impossible to not take a seat and do little drawing. My children love drawing as well, so sitting down at the kitchen table to draw is something that happens more often than not.

CB: When did you know you had a natural talent in this field?

SS: Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be an artist. My parents are both very talented and creative. My dad is an  illustrator and an excellent photographer. My mom is a wonderful knitter and always busy with her hands, creating something. They always instilled in me the importance of the arts. I grew up outside New York City and we would head into Manhattan nearly every weekend to see off broadway shows, visit art galleries and go to antique markets. My grandmother had a booth at the Antique Garage in Chelsea and we would visit her often on weekends. From a young age, I was taught to see creativity all around me.

CB: How or what do you do to get started on a project?

SS: I usually have a project or 2 on my list. Sometimes it’s hard to get started especially since I work from home. It’s easy to be distracted by laundry, walking the dogs or tidying up. Once I sit down, I get lost in my drawings and time just goes. I am always humbled when I get a new order. It makes me so happy that people appreciate my work.

CB: Is there any particular piece of work that has been especially meaningful to you?

SS: I recently drew a pair of fish for a local designer. Her sons love fishing and travel all of the southeast fishing. They commissioned a Spotted Sea Trout and Red Fish. This was so outside of anything I have done before. But I was up for the challenge and truly love how it came out. I have another fish drawing on the list; a large 32″ piece of a shark and I am really excited to get started.

CB: Is there any advice you have for someone looking to get into this field?

SS: As silly as it sounds, my advice would be to do what you love and keep working on it. I have tried other mediums like photography and painting and it never works. Drawing is what feels right to me, so I know that is where I belong. I would also say to not get caught up in trying to be famous or the most popular and just chug along. People will love you for who you are and sometimes slow and steady really wins the race.

CB: What is the most fun project you have been a part of?

SS: This summer I had a pop up shop with the amazing design company Pencil & Paper Co. They are based in Nashville. It was fun collaborating with another southern style brand. I am a huge fan of their aesthetic and style. I created 40 original drawings which were for sale over a week. It was challenging to create all the drawings but exciting to follow the sale and see them sold one by one. It was exciting for a company which I admire to think the same back.

CB: What starts the fall season for you (pumpkin spice latte, apple picking, sweaters)?

SS: I grew up in New York, so of course fall is one of my favorite seasons. I have so many memories as a child going apple picking, trick or treating with a turtle neck under my costume and coming in for hot cocoa after playing outside. Living in Charleston, South Carolin, falls are a little different. I am counting the days until sweater weather. I am thinking just a few more weeks. The first weekend of October we usually start decorating for Halloween which is definitely one of my favorite holidays. I can’t wait to wear some boots, sweaters and jeans. Hoping its not much longer.

1 In Art/ Design/ Entrepreneur

Meet the Artist-Shell Rummel

In follow up to our “Meet the Designer” series, we’d like to introduce you to Shell Rummel in our first “Meet the Artist” interview.


I met Shell a few years ago through our licensing agent.  We have never actually met in person, but have developed a long distance relationship through phone calls and emails. I have found a kindred spirit in Shell, and it is so refreshing to connect with other women that want to share the journey and lift each other up, instead of compete.  Shell has been a great cheerleader and I consider her a friend. It goes without saying that she is extremely talented. I am excited to introduce you to Shell, her fine art and her product line. Be sure to visit her website and follow her on social media.


Shell is an artist and designer. In addition to having extensive experience as a working fine artist, she self-produces a home decor product line that includes textiles, pillows and wallpapers that she offers to the Interior Design Trade. Additionally, Shell licenses her artwork under the Shell Rummel Brand to manufacturers for use on their products such as rugs, bedding, bath textiles, stationery and wall art. This well rounded knowledge of the business of art allows Shell to have her hand in all parts of the process from creation (painting a work of art) to designing (envisioning patterns on product) to working hand in hand with manufacturing partners to bring a finished product to life.

CB: Do you have an artistic style that you prefer and how did you develop your own unique style?

SR: My style has evolved naturally over time as I have been painting professionally for over 20 years. Watercolors are my chosen medium, not surprisingly, since the unpredictable quality of painting with water suits my love of fluid, organic shape and line. But I think I am best known for allowing the looseness of the medium to do its thing, while also controlling it in subtle ways. This juxtaposition of raw and refined qualities has become a part of my signature style, both in my fine artwork as well as in the products my brand designs.

CB: Is there any particular piece of work that has been especially meaningful to you or you are most proud?

SR: I am always proud to see my designs brought to market, either via licensing partners or our own studio efforts, particularly when my artistic vision for a product is honored. My artwork is at the center of every facet of my business, so my most meaningful professional moments can always be traced back to my art. In 2002, I was painting mostly tree themes art and was beginning to be well known in certain circles for this genre. But I was longing to experiment and stretch a bit, and found my eye always being drawn to the lines of objects, the way they flowed, in the ins and outs, the edges of things. I began a large series of modern organic “line” paintings that were a strong departure form my usual tree themed artwork. Hesitantly, I entered one of my new line paintings into a juried all membership art league show. The painting was titled, Non Linear Discovery and represented for me, at that moment in time, the importance of being my most authentic self, hearing and listening to my inner voice and honoring those instinct. To my surprise, I won the Best in Show award. This proud moment taught  me that departures from the usual are not only okay, but also essential to growth.

CB: Is there any advice you have for people who are looking to get into this field?

SR: Stay true to your own authentic voice and vision…you are in charge of the road you walk on. Be patient with yourself and with the growth of your company…It takes time and there is nothing wrong with a long journey…enjoy it! Take the time you need to replenish your own creative force. Be generous and genuine in your support of other women business owners…it only strengthens you!

CB: What or who inspires you in your daily work?

SR: Inspiration comes from many unexpected places, but more often than not, there is a connection to elements found in nature. My love of the ocean often makes an appearance in my work through color palette, line and texture. I paint what I feel more so than what I see and nowhere is this more evident than in my modern, coastal-inspired artwork, which tends to abstract natural elements into organic pattern and shape. My design aesthetic is a direct reflection of all that catches my eye, and my collections pay homage to all that resonates deeply with me.

CB: How have different social media platforms (ex: Instagram, Pinterest) helped or hurt your work?

SR: I was introduced to Twitter in 2009, in its earlier days, when one was limited to sharing a thought or idea in a concise 140 characters. I was fortunate enough to connect with a large group of artists, poets, photographers and musicians, and through this supportive friendship circle I honed my own unique online voice. Being part of this eclectic group gave me the confidence to share my artwork with a broader audience, which ultimately inspired the directions of my design business and helped shape my developing design aesthetic. I think that is social media at its best. I spend most of my current online time on Instagram curating my stream with content that aims to add beauty, inspire others, tell a story or make a connection. I share my art, products and creative process in ways that feel right to me and enjoy seeing the same from others.

CB: Where is your favorite place to vacation?

SR: It’s no surprise that I love vacationing by the ocean most of all…the slower speed, the natural beauty and the quieter rhythm of being near saltwater inspires the majority of my art and design work.

You can see more of Shell’s work and products by visiting her website,