Behind The Artist: A Visit with Marnie Vollenhals

Behind The Brand” visits with artist Marnie Vollenhals about her collection of limited-edition original paintings on recycled/reclaimed canvases. Her artistic vision is one of “simple design,” but her business savvy and creativity run deep. Discover the beauty of this artist, mom and entrepreneur who is the picture of art appreciation.

When was your brand born, and what was the initial inspiration?

I started the company in August of 2007. My inspiration was basically that I wanted to get my simple style of art out into the industry.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting?

My biggest challenge was not knowing what I thought I knew. I worked for a company prior that was in the same industry, but doing it on your own, with no help…that was my challenge.

What is one thing you would have done differently?

I wish I had even done more research at the beginning…in many areas. You can’t do enough.

What do you feel are the three biggest keys to your success?

  1. I always try to get my art/work into as many venues as I can.
  2. New styles are always being developed by me, I try to also follow seasons as much as possible.
  3. I totally believe in myself and love what I produce.

Describe a typical new product development cycle for your business?

Honestly, I usually keep an idea in my brain for months. Being an artist, I’m picky about color and when I create…it has to be perfect.

Do “green” or eco-friendly concerns influence your business decisions, and if so, how?

I have always had a “ green “ concept my entire life. I grew up in California and I was raised totally green, by the food we ate, my mother made my own clothes until I was in 7th grade, we had our own garden in the backyard, and I was taught to reuse everything. Even now that I live in Texas, I’m known as the thrifty, handy, eco neighbor. So in my business, I use the same tactics as what I am used to. I email all of my invoices, I use recycled papers for art cards/bio, and my products are completely made of recycled/reclaimed materials.

What is one new trend you’re seeing in the marketplace?

Things that are simple. From furniture, clothing, décor, and basically everything that goes into his or her own lifestyle. Whether these items are expensive or inexpensive, simple style fits into every home.

**What types of marketing have been most effective for your business? **

I do a lot of emailing to companies to let them know about mine. Even my blog that I started last year has brought in some business for me. I also donate 2 paintings a month to different charities for children and the local ones I attend the event….they LOVE that. And last, to my new rep in LA, Calif., Brandi at THEA SHOWROOM …she is amazing. It really helps to find a good rep that loves your product as well.

How does your business make use of the Internet?

Most of my business is from the Internet. I have two Web sites- & and a Platinum member on The Giggle Guide™ - Three times the advertising!

What is the biggest challenge your business faces today?

Keeping my simple style and creating my own look

What is one change/addition that’s had a positive impact for your business in the last year?

Having people realize that they are getting a Limited Edition Original, it’s made of eco-friendly materials, and at a fabulous price.

If you had one piece of advice for someone entering the children’s market, what would it be?

Love yourself, love your creativity and you will love your business. That will give you Success!

About J.AustinRyan

J. Austin Ryan delivers a unique line of art for baby and kids. Artist Marnie Vollenhals has brought modern, retro, mod and classic style into her images. Bright colors, fun images, and hip details are what make J. Austin Ryan simply cool. All art is hand painted and signed by the artist herself, completely handmade.

More To See