Maddy Depaul (Paulsen), Owner of MP Design, loves anything and everything art. She aims to make this world a more creative place by teaching classes, creating custom pieces of art, and anything in between. She started a small business called MP Design while in high school, and 10 years later, (earlier this year) she left her full time job in the nine to five world to pursue her passion for art.
I had the pleasure of going to college with Maddy and it was so much fun to see her business expand over the years! I personally have her art displayed all over my home! Recently, I had the chance to chat with Maddy and asked her a bit more about her company and what sets her apart from everyone else. Lets see what she had to say!
1. What type of services does MP Design Provide?
I teach the ‘traditional’ style paint n’ sip classes, as well as the very popular “Paint Your Own Pet” class. Classes are hosted for occasions like bachelorette parties, celebrations, and public classes are held in breweries, hotels, and other similar locations.
As of late, I started offering LIVE wedding paintings! I sketch out a canvas and paint it during the ceremony and cocktail hour(s). It’s a really unique, entertaining, and fun keepsake for the big day. Paintings can be tailored to a certain style, photo, colors, landscape, etc.
2. When and how did you get into what you do?
I always have loved art. I cannot remember a day when I was not creating. I was fascinated by the weirdest projects, like making shoes out of paper and duct tape, painting hundreds of phone cases for friends at school, selling my beaded creations to my neighbors, and so much more. My entire family is full of teachers. (Not kidding- parents, sister, aunts, uncle, grandparents, etc., so I think teaching came naturally for me.)
My parents did an amazing job of being (or acting) fascinated with my weird art projects all of the time. Never did they say things like “what’s the point of duct tape shoes?” or “Maddy, you should try coloring inside the lines.” So to sum up this question, I have always been into art and I have had an amazing support system that has kept me creative.
3. What makes you different/unique?
Me. That sounds odd, but I think my brand is unique and different because I am unique and different. I believe that we are not losing our creativity as we age, but we may be losing our creative confidence, so I continue to push everyone to get a little creative. I think this is a really unique way to understand our creativity.
4. What do you love most about your business?
Hearing at the end of class or end of a project people saying things like “I cannot believe this, I love my art.” I love being my own boss. It’s one of the most unreal, freeing, and powerful feelings in the world. I also love the variety. Last week I did a live wedding painting, taught people how to paint their pets at breweries, and did a corporate private painting party at an amazing company. Every week is a new adventure!
5. What is the best compliment a client has given you?
The best compliment I have received isn’t something I can write down. The best compliments people have given me are to continue to show up for me. My aunt Naomi is amazing at this. She is constantly ordering art from me, commenting on my business social media page, telling her friends about me, and showing up for my business. Repeat customers are one of the best compliments as a small business owner. If you’re ever looking to support a small business, by simply commenting and sharing a post you like online can REALLY help small businesses out.
6. Tell Me a few things we might not know about you or your business?
Hmm.. this one is hard. This question is hard because of how visual my business is. Almost everything I do gets posted on social media, but one thing that comes to mind is my journey. I started selling my arts and crafts at about ten years old. Of course, they weren’t super amazing, but my journey started about 15 years ago. I sold knit goods for about $35, (spent $32 on yarn and spent about 10 hours), so needless to say, I didn’t just start making a full time income right away, good things take time I guess… tons of it. My journey has been a crazy adventure and I am so thankful to be on it.
7. Where are you based out of and where do you meet with clients/ where do you hold your painting classes?
I am a backpack artist, meaning I hold my painting classes where others are. I travel to breweries, hotels, schools, churches, community centers, homes, etc. I do most of my custom art at home in St. Louis Park, unless doing a live art.
8. Favorite place in Minnesota?
I love Northeast and I love Duluth / The North Shore.
9. What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy cooking, golfing, breweries, and relaxing away from my email.
-All Photos Provided by MP Design-
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