Monica Lee – Featured Artist

Monica Lee

Monica Lee

Monica Lee has a passion for people, creativity and business. As an illustrator and licensed artist she has crossed paths with many creative women over the years. She has managed to combine these passions into a web TV show called Smart Creative Women.

“As much as I enjoy making art, I found it to be a bit isolating,” says Monica. “I ended up combining my gift for gab and my genuine interest in how women run their businesses. I love how women carve their own paths on their own terms. This is how Smart Creative Women was born.”

Smart Creative Women is a web show where Monica Lee interviews today’s most inspiring and creative women. “I found myself introducing people to people all the time and sharing other people’s success stories.”

“I would say to a girlfriend who was going through a rough patch, ‘Hey, check out what this gal is doing! She’s rockin’ it, and so can you!’ I finally developed a platform where I could share stories and encourage other women to be bold and believe in themselves. And I do not have to repeat myself, you can just hit replay!” laughs Monica.

The web show is not only for artists but for any woman who wants to use her creative talents to their maximum potential. “I am intentionally bringing on a mixture of creative guests.”

There are resources and interviews that advise women how to think differently about themselves and what they have to offer. “I am thrilled about how quickly the show has grown and how well-received the interviews have been.”

Monica was a shy young girl whose military father moved every three years. “I had no choice but to make friends constantly. I have always been a visual person, and I lived in a house of extroverts. I never even considered myself that outgoing until I entered college.”

After college, Monica became a flight attendant, which enabled her to travel and enjoy people’s stories even more. She eventually started freelancing in illustration and licensing her artwork.

“My art was keeping me busy enough to stop flying, but I was surprised at how much I missed people energizing me. I found myself constantly looking forward to industry events and conferences so I could talk to other creative women!”

She has found her perfect sweet spot now, mixing art and being the host of Smart Creative Women. “I adore an energetic crowd of women and hope to do some speaking in the near future, but I also like to tuck back into the quiet of my studio and pull out my paintbrushes. It’s the perfect mix for me.”

Monica Lee Products

Courtney Cachet – Featured Artist

Courtney Cachet

Courtney Cachet

In 2004 Courtney Cachet started her first business in the design world with $500 and her dining room table. She knew she had a great eye and a knack for scoring good deals on everything from fashion to home decor and figured she would give it her best shot without risking what savings she had (which wasn’t very much at the time).

She knew people had to like her before they liked anything else she had to say, and that was where she had an advantage. She has always been a people person and a jokester and had an ability to talk to anyone about – well – just about anything.

She appeared on a few home decor shows and then became a contributor on NBC in Miami. Around the same time, she got engaged. Just as her career was taking off, Courtney was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and everything came to a halt. It was a turning point in her life, both personally and professionally. More than anything, it gave her the drive to chase her dreams after having such a health scare and realizing life is too short and too precious not to do what you love to do.

After getting back to good health in 2005, Courtney’s career took off at lightning speed. She is now one of the country’s leading influencers in style and design with a focus on living a luxurious and meaningful life. She has designed celebrity homes, appeared in international magazines like Vogue Italia, Us Weekly, The Wall St Journal and Better Homes & Gardens and appears on television regularly with roughly 1000 appearances under her belt.

You can find her not only on TV and newsstands, but also all over the internet. She is a Huffington Post contributor and has several products in the global marketplace, including on Expressionery.com. She finds her inspiration through her travels and just walking around New York, where she grew up as a child. She loves big, bold color and elegant styles equally.

Currently, Courtney is working on several lines of products, corporate partnerships and more. As one of the most successful media personalities in the design world, Cachet is a living and breathing example that The American Dream of success is attainable by all of us, no matter what obstacles come across our path.

When she’s not working, Courtney can be found in her happiest place: Her New Jersey home with her family: husband Aaron and children, Brooke (5) and Ford (4). Her motto and tag line is evident in all she does: “Fabulous Lives Here.”

Courtney Cachet Products

Bonnie Marcus – Featured Artist

Bonnie Marcus

Bonnie Marcus

Bonnie Marcus launched her stylish stationery company, Bonnie Marcus Collection “where fashion meets paper” in 2002, while seven months pregnant with her first child. Whereas most moms-to-be take time to relax before the baby is born, Bonnie ambitiously decided to launch her own company!

As a noted wedding and special events planner in New York City, Bonnie served as the Director of Special Events at the prestigious 92nd Street Y, where she planned lavish weddings and special events for celebrities and notables. Bonnie’s upscale clients were looking for something unique for their invitations, but the designs available in the market ten years ago were very traditional, so Bonnie custom designed chic, trend-driven invitations for her clients. Bonnie’s prior experience in the fashion industry, working with top designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, helped her to combine her knowledge of event planning with her passion for fashion, and her successful stylish stationery collection was born!

Shortly after her launch, Bonnie’s glamorous, fashionable designs were featured in “O” the Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Modern Bride, Entrepreneur and even on the Today Show! Celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Marcia Cross, Angie Harmon, Katherine Heigl, Brittney Spears, Molly Sims and Christina Aguilera are all fans of the collection and have used Bonnie’s designs for their special events.

Some of Bonnie's products:

Some of Bonnie's products:

Currently in her tenth year of business, Bonnie has expanded beyond the world of invitations, and you can now find her chic, fashion-forward designs on melamine plates, tote bags, check books, note pads and even “couture” chocolate bars! Bonnie has been recognized as a pioneer for women in business and is a winner of the prestigious “Make Mine a Million Dollar Business” contest from American Express. Bonnie is an established partner of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and proudly donates a percentage of her proceeds to research and education.

Bonnie’s greatest accomplishments are her three little boys (ages 9, 8 and 4), who successfully balance out her very girly stationery business with dinosaurs, karate and superheroes.

Bonnie Marcus

View Bonnie's products at Expressionery.com

Sparky & Marie – Featured Artist

Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie

Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie

Sparky & Marie is a new, fun and fresh creative brand energized by all-over prints and iconic graphics inspired by everyday living – flowers found in the garden, trips to faraway places, colors from a vintage silk scarf and textures found on a hike through nature. Sparky & Marie designs come from the heart with the hope of bringing happiness to everyone lucky enough to discover them!

Michelle Beilner is the creative mind behind the Sparky & Marie brand. Named after her beloved grandparents, Sparky & Marie is the result of Michelle’s passion for graphic design. Michelle realized her love for art and design after a 3rd grade field trip that introduced her to the art and architecture of her native city, Chicago. She went on to study Graphic Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Her first job – over a decade ago – was designing catalogs, logos, print collateral, websites and signage for a high-end Chicago-based fashion company. The love of her college sweetheart took her away from the Midwest and over to sunny Los Angeles, California where she continued her career designing custom stationery for an innovative boutique in Beverly Hills.

After much success creating invitations and greetings for celebrity clients such as Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Jami Gertz, Paul Adelstein and Kat Von D, Michelle moved on to start her own graphic design business. Her experience helping small businesses develop brands, designing websites, creating visual identities and fueling several prominent interior designers in the Los Angeles area has prepared Michelle for a successful launch into licensing in products ranging from stationery to shower curtains. Her designs have appeared on products in boutiques and major chain retail settings.

Secret Garden Folded Notes & Mom Floral Flat Card Set

Secret Garden Folded Notes & Mom Floral Flat Card Set

Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their bossy Jack Russell Terrier, Fitzgerald.

Laura Kelly – Featured Artist

Laura Kelly Designs

Artist Laura Kelly

Laura Kelly is a creative and crafty artist and designer. She is an official Sharpie® Guru and proud member of the Sharpie Squad. Her art is created with Sharpie pens to create bright, bold and simple designs that uplift the human spirit.

Laura Kelly lives in a world as whimsical as her art. Surrounded by people who share her aspirations to generate joy, happiness and empowerment in a vibrant, organized environment, she fills notebook after notebook with playful drawings inspired by everyday images: a child chasing a butterfly, a bouquet of flowers, a pair of cowboy boots, a swirl here and a curl there. Suddenly, a new collection is born.

When she is not busy drawing, sketching and dreaming, Laura stays busy crafting, painting, gardening, molding clay, decorating, baking, traveling, shopping and seeking out new adventures. She gets the greatest pleasure from creating projects for kids and has been featured in Southern Child Magazine. You can view her projects on her blog or watch her videos on her website.

Laura grew up in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, immersed in books and art, and daydreaming of fairies, gnomes, dragons and castles. She began teaching elementary school in North Carolina and found artistic inspiration in her students’ vivid imaginations. “When they told stories of make-believe, I found myself believing the magic of my childhood was recreated,” she says.

The birth of Laura’s oldest son opened a door that would soon lead to a promising new career. Unable to find a suitable birth announcement for her newborn, she designed one herself. “The design was of a baby and his puppy in the bathtub,” she says. “When I sent them out and got such a great response from friends wanting me to draw their kids and pets, the Paper People collection was birthed, too.”

Laura currently licenses her work to companies in a variety of industries including gift, stationery, gourmet food and home décor as well as bank products. She is extremely active in her community schools and volunteers with the Girl Scouts. She is also an active member of the Greeting Card Association, Craft and Hobby Association where she has served of the Trend Team and as a delegate to the National Stationery Show. Laura is also a member of the Buttons Galore Design Team for 2012.

Currently Laura is working on a few craft books and several new collections for her licensing portfolio. She is thinking about taking up sewing now that she has fabric lines in all of the major fabric chains.

For more information about Laura, visit her at www.laurakellydesigns.com or view some of her products at www.expressionery.com.

Laura Kelly Products

Some of Laura's stationery products