The MNY Spotlight

Meet Mary, Founder of Mary Catherine Studio

Introduce yourself! 

Hi!  I’m Mary Catherine – a CPA turned watercolor artist, stationer, and calligrapher who calls south Louisiana home.  I create artwork and stationery for weddings, celebrations, and life’s special moments, and find inspiration in the little things! My husband Brandon and I have been married for 9 years and we have a Mini Goldendoodle, Callie who keeps us on our toes!  We are currently building a new home for ourselves (and the studio!) and we’re having the best time in the process.

Mary, Founder of Mary Catherine Studio

Follow along on Instagram at @marycatherinestudio_

What motivated you to create Mary Catherine Studio

Mary Catherine Studio was born out of my *need* to be creative.  When I was working as a CPA, I loved my work, but always loved to create in my spare time – especially things that centered around entertaining!  Invitations, pretty gifts and gift wrap, party favors, and “day-of” details, like foil pressed napkins and custom stir-sticks, all made my heart skip a beat (and still do!)... So, a few years ago, after a crazy busy season at work, I picked up a “how to” book about pointed pen calligraphy, and the rest is history!  

You’re a watercolor artist, designer, and seem to have a love for home decor as well! Out of all your endeavors, which are you most passionate about? Do you have any other interests you’d like to pursue as well? 

My mom and I always laugh about my being multi-passionate and having to diligently prioritize my interests, because *everything* is so important to me!  Art, fashion, home, entertaining, travel -- I love it all!  My “day job” as an artist and stationer started as a hobby and is an absolute DREAM, and creating for my clients is definitely my biggest joy. But now that art has become a career, my hobby is home!  Interior design, stylish entertaining, and maintaining a happy home for our family is what I do for fun.  So much of my work is inspired by the interior design world, so it’s a natural fit, I think.  I love sharing our home with others and being inspired by women doing the same in their own homes! 

What is inspiring you in the art / design space at the moment?

So many things!  I love that fashion and interior design seem to be so in sync right now.  Chinoiserie, feminine details, and fun colors all having big moments in the design space *and* on the runway at the same time is so exciting to be a part of!

Mary, Founder of Mary Catherine Studio wearing Mestiza NY

Mary wears the Valentina Gown in Porcelain Jacquard

How do you interpret “invest in yourself?” and what are the types of things you do to invest in/ empower yourself?

I *love* the concept of investing in yourself, and one of the ways I do this is through learning from others!  Whether it be through a friendly conversation or an organized course or group, learning how other women have overcome obstacles and are achieving their goals is so inspiring to me.  Taking the opportunity to learn from other women in the creative world has been an invaluable investment I’ve made in myself and my business, and one that I will definitely continue to make. Also, wearing sunscreen every day! 

How have you developed your style and aesthetic over time, and has it changed?  

I grew up in a home filled with beautiful fabrics and textures, traditional touches, and thoughtful, edited design, thanks to my mom’s keen eye.  Both of my grandmothers had great style as well, and I’ve always kept in mind things that they taught me.  Namely, to always choose quality over quantity, and when in doubt, keep it simple.  I try to apply these rules to my work, my personal style, and my interior style.  It’s easier said than done in the more-is-more world of “grandmillennial” décor, but so worth it!

What is your favorite part of owning your own business? Most challenging? Most rewarding? 

My favorite part of running my own business is definitely creating for my clients!  There is nothing I love more than seeing big smiles and knowing that we’ve brought their design dreams to life.  I think that’s the biggest challenge for me, too!  I am a self-taught artist, admittedly a perfectionist, and definitely my own biggest critic, so remembering to give myself grace every now and then has been important for me!  

Why is it important for you to empower women?

Having spent 8 years in the CPA world before transitioning into my creative business, I am lucky to have had some incredible women as mentors and peers in both spaces. I know that many of them have encountered more than their fair share of challenges and have been offered fewer opportunities because of their gender, and it’s been both inspiring and exciting to watch them succeed anyway.  I owe so many of the opportunities and successes I’ve had to women in my life, and I can’t imagine doing this without them.  Girl power! 

What draws you to the Mestiza brand? How does your Mestiza piece make you feel? 
The Mestiza brand and its tradition of responsibility and service to others is so refreshing, especially in the luxury fashion world.  I was so touched to learn about the Mestiza Heirloom Project, too.  Alessandra and Louisa’s attention to detail – both in their garments and their business – is unmatched!

 I love that every Mestiza piece looks as if it was designed for a celebration!  My Valentina gown is timeless and so much fun to wear.  It’s sure to see many more special moments in the future!

What’s the best advice you could give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Put your heart into your work, work hard, and remember to give *yourself* as much encouragement as you give to others.  Remember that we’re all human and that everyone makes mistakes – don’t be too hard on yourself!  Never stop learning, don’t be afraid to grow, and trust your instincts.  And don’t forget to have fun! 

A snapshot from @marycatherinestudio_

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