Female Founded Business Spotlight...
It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a female-founded business spotlight, so I promise that the first feature of 2021 is really, really good. 😊 Enter: Kristen Tirney, an artist based on the Main Line in Pennsylvania, who happens to sell her work in so many of my favorite places, like my home town of Fair Haven, NJ and our happy place in Vero Beach, FL!
I have been a huge fan of her work for years, (as you can see in the pink and green flower painting of her’s in the shelves of my previous apartment bedroom and a tray I have of her’s that I’ve had for years and is now in my current apartment!) and there’s just something about her style and the colors that she creates that makes me feel… calm and at peace.
When I was sharing our apartment design process, Kristen and I connected about doing a custom painting. I think it took me about three seconds to tell her that having a custom piece of hers in our apartment would be a dream come true!
As you can see in the painting she did for me and the below images of others she’s done, her work is full of movement and texture. I’m honestly in awe of everything she’s created, but when it came time to tell her what I would like in the painting for our apartment, she had me pick out which pieces of her previous work I loved best, and send her the fabric that I wanted it matched to (Schumacher’s ‘Citrus Garden’). I also settled on a size, which I consulted our designer, Adnan, about, and we went with a 36″x36″ canvas.
The images above showcase the final product… I literally gasped when Kristen emailed me a photo of it before I picked it up. It is perfect— just the right combination of navy, soft blues, and a touch of emerald and olive greens (all mixed and created by Kristen herself!). We were originally going to put it above the bar cart in our dining area, but I loved it so much that I snagged it for my office instead! 😉
We’ve stayed in contact over Instagram and have always wanted to meet in person, so we first met when I went to pick up the painting at her house in Wayne, PA before we moved into our apartment (I was in the area and thought it would be easier than shipping it!).
Then, a few weeks ago I met Kristen for a cocktail in Vero Beach (her parents have a home close to ours!) and we sat outside for two+ hours, sipping frozen drinks and chatting about all the things we have in common and how she runs her business. I casually asked her a few interview questions for this post, and learned that she started out as a graphic designer working in TV and then changed paths to elementary teaching, and then eventually returned back to her love for all things art and design to begin her career as an artist.
She has always had an eye for design, has three adorable little kids, and almost never uses a paint brush in her paintings (she likes to pull obscure objects from around her house… I love that tidbit about her!). She continues to run the full business herself– from communicating with clients for custom commissions to selling her work in the cutest boutiques and galleries along the East Coast.
After our drinks (we didn’t want to leave!), she followed up with some more information in her own words, which you’ll find below. Enjoy reading through it all, as she’s inspiring, dynamic, and sweet with a strong side of savvy business prowess!
Is there a motto that you work by?
KRISTEN: While I don’t have a motto or a quote I follow in my work– two resounding elements that helped me develop my business are patience and persistence… I realize these sound more like opposites but when paired together you can find great success. I believe in persisting with an idea and pushing forward with confidence but in a patient way. There is a respectfulness to having goals and working towards them but with patience and gratitude for all of the steps that help get you to that goal. I believe anyone can do anything they set their mind to but it’s about how you work to get there that can gauge how successful you may be.
How would you describe your style or technique?
KRISTEN: Another thing about me as an artist is how I constantly hope to evolve and grow in my style and technique. I am so happy to have created the #ktaswirl that is so versatile and become increasingly popular but I challenge myself to find new ways to make that style grow through textures and color. I also get excited to find ways to create beyond what I’ve already done… the textured florals have been one of my favorite new styles that I can’t wait to develop even more.
Here’s a look at some of Kristen’s work…
Would you ever take us inside your studio?
KRISTEN: I am very private in my process and I do feel like my studio and how I paint is my little secret garden that I’m not sure I will ever be comfortable sharing publicly.
I strive to create paintings that make people wonder, the type of painting someone doesn’t just notice as they walk by but one they see and feel the need to stop and study for a while…. maybe with a cocktail in hand and some Ella Fitzgerald in the background.
Here are a few of Kristen’s pieces that are currently carried at Serena and Lily!