Photos C/O Mari Sabra
Growing up I really wanted to be
A fashion designer or a psychologist
My most-used emojis are
All of the hand gestures, x eyes, and the laughing kitty
My go-to order at a coffee shop is
Iced latte with skim, no sugar
I don’t know how I ever lived without
An iPhone and a studio space that is separate from my home
One thing people don’t know about me is
I have a degree in Psychology that I received prior to attending art school
My real life hero is
My dad — he works harder and is more selfless and giving than anyone I know
What I love about my work is
Freedom. Being able to create whatever I want, whenever I want.
The hardest thing about my work is
Not second guessing myself, making bad decisions, and managing the business, since I’m currently wearing all the hats.
How I got started with my current career
I went to art school and began freelancing in textile design shortly after graduating. I opened an Etsy shop, created some art prints to sell, and made wedding invitations for a few friends. I was asked to do invitations for some styled wedding shoots that were featured on major wedding blogs. From there things started grow. I received more requests for custom wedding invitations and got awesome press! I kept adding to my Etsy shop as much as I could and it just went from there.
My typical day looks
I wake up at about 7, head to my studio by 8, make coffee and read a few of my favorite blogs or look at pretty pictures on Pinterest for inspiration. Then I try to tackle the majority of my inbox. After that I start painting or designing whatever projects are in process.
Every day is a little different. I tend to my Etsy shop a couple times a week and walk to the post office in the afternoon to send out orders (I also usually walk to get an iced coffee for a much-needed afternoon pick me up). My mom helps package and organize inventory a couple times a week. I try to leave by 5 or 6 and my boyfriend and I make dinner together almost every night. After dinner I’m usually still on my laptop at home catching up on more projects and e-mails! It’s never ending but I love to work and stay busy!
I used to think success meant
Making a lot of money.
My current definition of success is
I think being inspiring is being successful. I want people to take away something from what I’m doing and be inspired by it in some way. Financial and business growth is still important to me, but inspiring happiness, inspiring others to create, and the freedom to do what I love is most important.
An example of when I had to push through my insecurities/fear of taking risks was when
I decided to take my stationery line to the National Stationery Show in NYC, the largest trade show for paper goods. So much anxiety came along with this decision. I had to spend a lot of money and wondered, how am I going to get everything done in time, will it be a success, will people like my line? I have a support system with friends and family, who helped settle my nerves immensely.
I know my work/life balance is out of sync when
Balance is important, but I’m happiest creating so it doesn’t always feel like work. I try to use one day of the weekend to do something fun with friends and I save my time off for big vacations each year!
The last time I created something I was proud of was
I created two greeting card collections with Hallmark. I was so proud of how the designs turned out, and that a company as big as Hallmark noticed me. It was a great, confidence-boosting experience.
I wish I could tell my younger self
You can do anything you set your mind to. With hard work, passion, and dedication there is nothing that is out of reach.
The legacy I hope to leave is
That I was an inspiring and adventurous creator. That looking at my work made someone’s day, or inspired someone to pick up a paintbrush and try something new.