Name of Business: Marla Beth Designs, Inc.
Length of time in business: 1 year
Number of kids and ages: 2 boys- 12 and 14.
Before starting this business, what was your career? Stay at home mom!
What is your business? I transform spaces with my uplifting ‘happy art’ and signature sparkle. A mom turned entrepreneur, I specialize in creating large-scale custom abstract art, working with clients from concept to completion, while also offering a full online store of mini 4”x4” original works.
Why did you start your business? I decided to turn my love of painting from hobby to business once the pandemic hit. Not only did I a need a break from home schooling madness, founding Marla Beth Designs was also my way of finding the rainbow lining of quarantine. It’s been an absolute joy bringing a little sparkle into homes and businesses throughout the New York metropolitan area.
What do you love most about what you do now? I love it when clients – and even strangers – tell me that my work makes them smile. Bringing bright, whimsical, and colorful paintings to life uplifts my mood and it’s exactly what I want to do for those around me as well.
What did you have to do to start?
I began by posting my paintings on social media. The response I received was overwhelmingly positive and led me to start working on commissions for family and friends – bringing bright, sparkly artwork in their home. It made them smile and made the four walls they were suddenly stuck in feel a little less gloomy.
What has made the biggest impact on you? With many camps and extracurricular activities cancelled last summer due to the pandemic, I decided to start a socially distant, COVID-friendly art class for some of my neighbors’ children. On one occasion, rather than wearing my usual plastic face shield, I was in my rainbow-colored cotton mask. One of my "mini artists" said to me, "Next time, can you please wear the shield so we can see your smile?" At first, I just took it as a very sweet compliment, but then realized the deeper meaning. The pandemic had taken away so much of the nurturing that teachers, therapists, and friends give our children. It dawned on me how much my smile meant to these kids. It’s something that I will never forget. How has the virus impacted your business? Marla Beth Designs was my way of coping with the pandemic. I took what many of us consider to be one of the most difficult times and sought to find the silver (or rainbow, as I like to think of it) lining of COVID. I reinvented myself and refocused on my art. I wanted to be something positive for my family. It was important for me to show them something real and tangible, constructive and encouraging, that would help reassure them that everything will be okay. What are some alternative careers you would have liked to have? Anything in the medical field/clinical setting, working with patients or in a lab Other fun details about you: -I cant cook and drink too much iced coffee. -Im really good at puzzles and 90's trivia -I have a huge FunkoPop collection -Fav TV- 90 Day Fiance -Pandemic Binges -Schitts Creek and Arrested Development What do you think is important for other moms to know? There is an unspoken bond in this town – we have a shared love for our neighbors, value a good education and understand the importance of building friendships. This sense of community was a huge source of strength for me as I started my journey with Marla Beth Designs. The support that I’ve been shown every step of the way has been nothing short of incredible.
What advice would you give to other moms who are trying to reinvent themselves?
Being that “super” mom as we all try to be (but are anyway!) comes with a price. We wouldn’t change a thing, but our identity seems to slowly slip away. During last year’s quarantine, we all had to become everything that was taken away from our kids: the teacher, the nurse, the therapist, the playmate … For me, I had to be so many different people at the same time but none reflected anything about who I was. So, I went back to my painting and was able to create things that DID reflect who I was. There wasn’t much “reinvention” of myself but more of a “going back to my roots” - Who was I before I was “mom”? I’d love for other moms to think about their “pre mom” hobbies - it can be the silliest thing or the most impressive thing. But, going back to that place can renew one’s sense of self and purpose. Try to create- anything! It can be art, food, writing, decorating… but it will make you feel like “you” again. And let me know what you tried!! Your website? www.marlabethdesigns.com Your Instagram? @MarlaBeth_designs