Dara Deshe founded Simply Framed in 2014 with a mission to make custom framing more convenient and affordable. Today, our management team is led by women, and we’re proud of our commitment to female empowerment.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked a group of trailblazing female artists and interior designers to answer the question: “What is the top piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs looking to start an art business?” What they had to say about what they have learned—from taking risks to financial planning—is a collective, meaningful starting point for women on the rise.
“Most of the time, owning and running my business feels like a spiritual practice. I spend a ton of energy centering and aligning with my values. I think a lot about integrity and being authentic. And I go with the flow, knowing that things don't always unfold as I imagine they will. Hang on tight and keep plugging away at it.” - Jen Garrido, Jenny Pennywood
Loom F Limited Edition Art Print by Jenny Pennywood in our White Gallery Frame.
“Believe—really, truly, deep down—in yourself, your unique vision, and that you will succeed. The right mindset is half the battle! Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Be prepared to power through days, weeks, months, or maybe even years before your business starts to gain traction. But never doubt that it will happen, and keep putting one foot in front of the other until it does.” - Cattie Coyle, Cattie Coyle Photography
Beach Days No. 9 by Cattie Coyle photographed by Alyssa Rosenheck for LTW Design, featured in House Beautiful.
“What I’ve learned is that it’s not about money. You have to have other benchmarks. I’m doing the work I really want to do. That’s meaningful for myself and the community. For me that’s a success—I get up every day and I go and create. Why? It’s not because, ‘Oh, I have to make this sale.’ It’s because I’m creating a legacy, and I’m having an impact on the community. That is success to me.” - Malene Barnett, Malene Barnett Inc.
Portrait and makeup by Keys Rebelle. Ceramic pieces by Malene Barnett.
“Take risks! I will never forget sitting around the dinner table with my dad, who had always followed a pretty traditional linear career path, and telling him that I planned to leave my career in architecture to work full-time for myself as a photographer. ‘What if it doesn't work out?’ he asked. ‘How will I know if I don't try?’ I replied. He shrugged and had to agree, and eight years later, I haven't looked back.” - Jamie Street, Jamie Street Photo
Cyanotype print by Jamie Street.
“My top piece of advice would be to spend time creating a solid financial plan and learning about online marketing. Many of the entrepreneurs I've met in the art world started for the pure love of it and for the creative aspect. In my experience, at least two-thirds of the time spent on the business should be focused on finances and marketing in order to have a really thriving, sustainable business.” - Alessandra Salituri, Citizen Atelier
Art curated by Citizen Atelier photographed by Team Woodnote, including Chanel Grenade by Magnus Gjoen in our Black Gallery frame.
“Starting a business—and art-making itself—can be isolating, so find your collaborators early! For me, this took many forms: the team at Simply Framed, fellow creators and entrepreneurs on Instagram, my mom-friends group text, my website designer, and former colleagues from my years in the museum world. Together, they form my strongest marketers, my original customer base, and my creative fuel.” - Sally King McBride, The Letter Nest
Portrait by Eileen Meny. Sally King McBride's Construction Alphabet in our Natural Gallery frame.
“Start TODAY. There are plenty of reasons to procrastinate—kids, partners, housework, errands, the list goes on! If you are scared or have questions, ask those who have gone before you. I have been blown away by the generosity of spirit in other female artists and creative entrepreneurs. You will not be alone.” - Evan Mooney, Evan Mooney Art
Peace Flag commission by Evan Mooney. Portrait by Whitney Wasson.
Learn about more inspiring woman artists and entrepreneurs by following our Spotlight Series on Instagram!