Lily and Val | Vendor Spotlight
You are going to LOVE today’s vendor! Lily and Val is Valerie McKeehan’s creation of custom, hand-painted chalkboard art, chalkboard prints, and paper goods. They are beautifully designed with fun quotes and are so cute, so detailed…..so need to be displayed in your house! We hope you love her business and interview as much as we do. Check out her website, Facebook, and Etsy shop!
Tell us a little about your business/how you got started:
Hi! My name is Valerie McKeehan and I am the owner and chalkboard artist behind Lily & Val. About one year ago, I thought it would be fun to create a piece of chalkboard art for my own kitchen. I drew a “McKeehan’s Café” theme on the board and my love for chalk art was instantly born.
I heard such a great response from friends and family about this initial design that I started thinking it might be fun to start selling chalkboards on Etsy as a hobby. Since chalk art can easily ruin, I spent a lot of time developing a method to preserve my chalk designs by painting them with an acrylic paint. In June of 2012 I opened my Etsy store and began selling my quirky hand painted signs. Since that time, my store has developed into a full-time job offering hand lettered prints, note cards, and paper goods in addition to the hand painted chalkboard signage I create for homes & weddings.
Best thing about running Lily & Val:
The best thing about running my business is the creative outlet that it brings me. I get to create with my hands and express through chalk what inspires me whether that is a famous quote or simply my love of coffee! It is rewarding to create pretty designs that are in actuality nothing more than dust on a surface. I think that’s special.
Hardest thing about running your own business:
The hardest thing about running my own business is finding balance. It is extremely easy to get so caught up that I don’t make the proper time for the other areas of my life that need nurtured. Having such a great passion for what I do is a blessing, however, I need to constantly keep myself in check that I am taking the time to rest, spend time with friends, etc. Finding that balance with work can be quite difficult.
Favorite product/service to provide?
My favorite product to provide is my prints. I have had so many people that have been literally afraid to pick up the print because they thought it would smudge! Although they know it is paper, the look of it is so realistic that they do think twice for a second. I love hearing and seeing reactions like this to my products!
What advice would you give to teenage girls in the creative arts:
As creative women, sometimes it is hard to put your work in the public eye for fear of criticism or rejection. Our work becomes such a reflection of who we are and that is a scary thought. My advice is to not let these feelings of fear stop you from putting yourself out there. When you are true to who you are as an artist others will see that passion. Although you can’t please everyone, taking that risk is always worth it.
Finally, what’s your favorite type of indulgence? (candy, books, movies?!):
As crazy as it sounds my favorite indulgence is lip gloss!! There’s just something about putting on lip gloss that is a huge pick-me-up. When I’m having a really bad day sometimes I sneak away to Sephora and purchase a new one. I don’t think a girl can ever have too much lip gloss!
Photographs compliments of the amazing Amanda Kraft Photography!
May 30, 2013
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