Alumni Spotlight: Mallory Coats of MalWest Design
When it comes to making a shift in your business, how do you create your own artistic journey, and build a business you love at the same time? Mallory is here on our blog today talking about exactly that. As the owner of Malwest Design, she recently launched MalWest Market and today she's sharing a bit about her journey thus far.
Read on to learn more about Mallory, Malwest Design, and Malwest Market!
Do you consider yourself a maker, an artist, or a designer, or a mix of them all?
Only recently do I consider myself a mix of designer, artist and maker. I'm a trained designer so that is a label I feel most comfortable with but an artist is a title I always hoped I could be one day. Finally, a maker is the most foreign to me but perhaps something I've been striving for all through my artistic journey without knowing it. Through the launch of MALWEST market I am happy to be able to describe myself as a mix of all three!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m old school so I like to flip through magazines for inspiration — usually ones on home interiors or landscape design (unless I can see those places in person.) I draw a lot from nature in my work and other aspects of my environment. I try to marry modern and vintage so, fortunately, I have a wealth of inspiration living in the south.
How did you learn to do what you do now?
I've always taken art classes since I was young and even minored in studio art in college. I thought my fine art background would always be a hobby and something that led me to graphic design (which I studied post graduate) but now it has come full circle where I'm doing a little bit of it all and teaching myself the maker aspect as I go.
What is one of the favorite pieces you have ever created?
Probably my Gossamer Alphabet Series is my favorite piece in the collection. Not because I think it's the most beautiful or will be the best seller, but because of the story behind it for me and MALWEST market. It's evolution was the most unique and the set signifies the start of the collection for me. I also really love lettering and hope to do more.
What is a highlight of your year so far?
The highlight of my year has been the process of making MALWEST market a reality. With the help of my amazing mastermind, I was able to be held accountable for my goals and given great feedback along the way. It has been a long time coming but [attending the SCF January Alumni Retreat] was the final push I needed to get my ducks in a row and priorities straight.
What does your future look like? Do you have a new collection, a product launch, etc?
More collections to come for MALWEST Market! I can't wait to see the feedback I get and develop pieces I know people can use and love.
What was your experience like with the Society for Creative Founders Conference?
I attended the 2017 Spring Conference in Pensacola, FL. My journey since the conference has been so influenced by the work we started while at the Lee House. It has been a slow transition for me behind the scenes (I also had a baby in there!) but I have been busy setting up a foundation and transitioning my business into one that works for me while serving my customers and clients.
I still refer back to the booklet and information we had at the conference. I draw from things we learned or items shared every day and I feel like I only just started! Even still there feels like a wealth of knowledge available to me through SCF but it's a delivered in a way that I don't get overwhelmed.
If you could offer ONE piece of advice to a fellow creative, what would it be?
My best advice for work and life is to invest in relationships. Surround yourself with people who push you, challenge you and are willing to go out of their way for you. Join a group, share and contribute and you'll find that your work and that of others will be better for it!