…building a business: make new friends

One thing you will find when you are in any type of business is that it is important to make friends with people that are doing the same thing you are.


Some of you may embrace this and think “Of course!”. You want to draw from others’ creativity and inspiration. You think “more is more” (Theresa!) and love talking shop with others that understand where you are coming from. You can discuss new techniques, creating, marketing, sales, etc and lean on each other for support. This is important especially if you are doing something creative and you are the only one on the payroll! It can get isolating and overwelming. You need the communication with a like-minded person.

I know Marian aka Miss Mustard Seed is an awesome mentor to many of us chalk painters 🙂 IMG_2975

I also am in love with Christina from Greige Design‘s ideas & images, Theresa from Stifel & Capra and Sue from The Treasured Hunt just to name a few!

I have met so many wonderful, creative & savvy business women in my painting travels & have learned from them immensely. Just by observing & taking note.


(These amazingly beautiful grape tomatoes were a gift from the garden of a creative client & friend, Sharon.)

I do want to recognize that making friends in your industry can initially be a bit threatening. We all have an ugly, little or big monster living in us as humans called Envy. Envy rears his head when we compare ourselves to others that we encounter in our businesses and/or personal life. A bit of competition & ambition is good, but when it turns into making us feel less than because we are not keeping up with someone else it is just distructive.

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(Me and my ceramics teacher from Pig Pen Pottery. I can’t help but ENVY her studio-barn & kick wheel!)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because their glass is full it does not mean your glass is empty; their success is not a reflection on your success & it does not mean you are unworthy if you are not in the same place.

Your ideas and personality are going to lead you in a direction. It may be to mentor or open your own shop or to become a vendor or sell or create for friends or give or write about your task. It may make a international splash or it may just be noticed by your family & loved ones. You can still learn from those that are going before you or next to you and use them as inspiration.


If this is difficult at times because of Envy, keep your loved ones close as your cheerleaders. These are the people that see how hard you are working & the heart you are putting into your craft.


Fiona cleaning the card catalog I found at Chartreuse.


DH loading the Budget truck.


My M&D helping backstage at my Home Show presentation.


My DF meeting me in the pouring rain.

These are the people will help you load the Budget truck, fix a broken piece and purr up next to your newly upholstered seat cushion, approving of your fabric choice.






  1. Hi Christen,

    Thank you for sharing this post today. I’m in marketing, and it’s definitely competitive. I’ve never really looked at it that way, and your post gives me reassurance about my instincts. I just started chalk-painting, and found your tutorials on YouTube inspiring and instructional (and real, and funny!). I’m in Greenville, SC, found the Annie Sloan paint (and brushes and rags and wax and…!) at a great shop called Vintage Made Modern. And now, I’ve discovered your beautiful website and blog.

    Thanks for your creativity and thoughts. Sharing is caring.


  2. Pamela Alexander says:

    What can I say Christen? Beautiful post!!

  3. Christen,
    The “envy thing” that cripples so many people. We are all at different places in our own lives and different people trade off different things to get where we are. To get what someone else has may require a price we can’t or won’t pay.
    Some of us just started sooner and may fall behind later.
    Run your own race.


  4. Ah, this was a much needed read for me today. I got a nasty comment, (my first), emailed to me today about a piece I worked really hard on and am very proud of. I am ashamed to admit it’s been on my mind all day. Love the reminder to lean on loved ones as ‘cheerleaders’. They SO are! And it does help tremendously to grow from the experience and advice that others in this business so graciously share. Thank you for being one of them.


  5. Pam Alexander says:

    What can I say Christen? Beautiful post!


  6. I was just wondering what size are the brushes you use?

  7. Robin Foutch says:

    I love your candid comments. You remind me of the way I approach life and business. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I think it is important to enjoy the journey of our life and I know that we all at times compare ourselves to others and come up short. I agree with Rick that we are all at different places in our journey and I believe that if we share our talents and realize that God blessed us with them then we can bless others with them. That is what life is all about, family, friends, loving and supporting others!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for your honesty. I feel the more we share and support others the more we will have what we need. Robin

  8. Hi Christen, Just wanted to stop in and let you know that I really adore your blog! I’m a painting fanatic myself and just getting my business off the ground here in Louisiana! I look forward to meeting new friends in my field so I really enjoyed your post! I LOVE seeing all the beautiful talent out there so keep up the good work!

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