Today we’d like to introduce you to Maggie Miller.
Maggie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a visual artist + textile/surface designer and author, Art found me during a very difficult few years in my life, art was my outlet towards healing. I believe that it is by no accident, only divine intervention that I delight in the process of creating from what I see in the natural world, a butterfly, landscapes to beautiful skies and everything in between. It is my way of interacting with all things and the creator.
My creativity took off to another level in 2000 during a difficult time in my life. It was a season which was very scary, painful, and filled with many failures, disappointment, shattered dreams, and illness. Though there were some great times as well, this part of my life was filled with some bittersweet memories. The paintbrushes, canvases and paint became my saving grace, and my own form of art therapy to help heal from a very difficult time in my life.
There was a lot of healing from emotional and physical pain that took place. I discovered art and how to create it in a new form. It allowed me to be free and express myself in ways I could not before. Discovering the art of making soap and my own body products also expanded my creativity and I was hooked! Some might look at my struggles and feel sorry for me and all that I have been through, but I have a different perspective. I feel so very blessed to have experienced so much pain and sorrow, heartbreaks and the many joys as well. I have grown so much in the past few years, especially in 2013. I have a newfound strength and have grown so much closer to God, in the process and has helped me grow as a human being.
As I have continued to grow my business I entered the world of writing publishing my first book this past May, titled “The Seasons of Our Lives: An interactive journey of Self-Discovery and Healing Through Creativity” is a creative interactive devotional book wherein I share my story along with paintings that it has inspired through my prayers and devotional time. Within my book I include prompts and blank pages to encourage readers to write or be creative with drawing to help them navigate through their feelings and help them express themselves through the creative process.
This has truly been a labor of love.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted, health issues for me have been one of the many stumbling blocks in getting things done, but it’s also why I needed to work for myself, keeping a 9-5 job is just not doable with my health challenges and working for myself affords me the time off I need when my health issues cause me problems.
Being a creative has its challenges, one needs to be able to handle the business side of things other than creating, I had to make systems that worked for me to try to keep a schedule and connect with other artist and networks which met my needs and my personality that help me to run my business. A lot of my connections are through social media and I have had to learn to navigate social media, as an introvert/extrovert personality type there are challenges. I had to learn to get out of my comfort zone and meet people, I’m not one for small talk, I like in depth conversations with people and let’s face it, people hide behind the monitor or phone and they don’t know how to have conversations anymore that mean anything and that for me is a challenge.
There have been months when the well was dry no income coming in and I had to learn to diversify my product line as an artist, thinking outside of the box and my love of textiles and surface design has allowed me to be able to translate my visual art into collections from soft goods, jewelry, textiles and stationary.
Maggie Miller Art & Design – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a visual artist, textile/surface designer as well as a soap maker. I offer through my company a lifestyle collection created from original artwork, textile and surface designs for home decor and accessories and a small collection of natural bath and body products that I create. My clients range from the film industry, interior designers and my loyal customers.
My Eco Philosophy aligns with my love for God and passion for taking care of our planet that God created, so that we can enjoy its bounty by being conscious of how we take care of our homes and body with sustainable products. All of this contributes to a Sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
I offer many design options that will enhance client’s health, comfort and lifestyle. I look for creative ways to use re-purposed materials, and recycling in my artwork and furniture is one wonderful option of conservation. Dents and dings are left intentionally on recycled pieces as I’m not creating or producing new furniture pieces rather, giving new life to weathered pieces. Creative reuse of furniture and accessories brings new life and sentiment to items that are already part of a collection or piece that may have been passed on to you.
Pure clean simple organic soaps and bath products are meant to soothe, cleanse and heal your body mind and soul. Keeping ingredients organic and pure as possible, help you have a wonderful experience and great skin results.
What sets me apart is the attention I give my clients and attention to detail, I listen to the needs of my clients and as my tag line states my goal is to naturally nourish the minds, body and soul through my art and collections I offer.
What I’m most proud of is my Bar of Hope Initiative. My love of people and sharing whenever and where ever I can is deeply rooted in my faith and family values. I have had the privilege of painting a custom chair and handcraft some custom soaps for a Gala for A Friends house and had the opportunity to tour the facility and see all the great work that is being done there to help the children who have been placed in their care. A Friend’s House is an organization which cares for abused, neglected and abandoned children in the court system.
I have also worked with http://rainbowvillage.org creating hand painted chairs for their gala and have personally seen all the work they do to help families and their children in need.
I created the Bar of Hope initiative to continue to be able to help the organizations I care deeply about in my community who give of themselves to those less fortunate and who need encouragement and guidance.
For every painting and or any product from my lifestyle collections that are purchased $10-$5.00 will be donated to A Friends house. The monies from every sale will help supply food, clothing, school supplies, the ability to organize field trips and the day to day care of the children. It is my long term goal to continue to grow this initiative and be able to offer scholarships for continual education for the children.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I was raised by a single mom with three kids and our journey like so many was not at all easy growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in New Jersey. We did not have a lot, but my mom always managed to make our day special. She encouraged me to be the best I could be and to be happy doing what I love. I struggled in my 20’s all the way to my early 30’s to figure out what success was to me, what was the definition of success really in my life.
When I was dealt some difficult cards of life challenges, I learned what the real meaning of success was, from a coma, to learning how to walk again along with other painful experiences I learned it was not all about money, success, prestige, it was living a life inspired doing what I truly loved as I would discover, that would be creating art and encouraging others through art to find a place of solace and comfort and joy when life seems to give us lemons and how to make some great lemonade out of them.
I believe that every single day holds the promise of a new beginning, my life experience has taught me that every day holds a new opportunity to live a life I love, to laugh out loud until it hurts my belly, to live life with purpose even when things don’t seem to go as planned and trusting that God is in every itty bitty detail. To me this is what success is and the criteria I look for.
I don’t sweat the small stuff and I live in gratitude.
- Address: 675 Metropolitan Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30310
- Website: https://www.maggiegmiller.com
- Phone: 770-320-9429
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maggiemillerartist/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieMillerllc/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggiethemaker
- Other: https://www.maggiegmiller.com/book
Maggie G Miller