Meet Mackenzie Odell

Mackenzie began working with watercolors and hand-lettering in December of 2015 and has been in love ever since. It all started with a line of Christmas prints she designed to help bring the true meaning of Christmas into her own seasonal home decor. From there, she was hooked! One of her greatest joys is creating pieces that serve as a daily reminder of encouragement! She loves making pieces that draw you in and welcome people to reflect, smile, and see the world with a different perspective. She currently lives with her husband, Shaun, in metro Detroit. She loves living in Michigan and getting to experience all four seasons! When she’s not creating art, you'll find her working as a pediatric speech-language pathologist, singing along to the radio, or spending time making her home a place she loves!

Why did you choose to partner with Yellow Door to sell your artwork?

I have always loved popping into Yellow Door for unique and special art to give as gifts. Once I started my calligraphy and watercolor business I dreamed of one day being able to be included among this great group of artists. When a space opened up I jumped at the chance!

How long have you been creating your artwork?

I have been playing with watercolor and hand lettering since November 2015. I fell in love with the way the watercolors moved and the practice and precision that comes with hand lettering.

What makes your artwork unique or distinctive?

My art and calligraphy cover a wide range of styles, colors, and overall aesthetics! I love creating different products and versions of a piece that will speak to a variety of clients.

What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up?

I always loved art but didn’t ever think it was something I would do as a way to make money. I dreamed of being a teacher or a doctor. I ended up becoming a speech therapist to combine my love of teaching and science. I currently own my own private speech therapy practice in addition to creating art.

What inspired you to start creating your artwork & how did you turn it into a business?

During the Christmas season of 2015, I saw a need in my own home for artwork that was festive and reminded me of the reason my family celebrates Christmas. I literally turned to my husband one night and said: “I’m going to paint some Christmas pieces and sell them.” The business grew slowly from there! I started making prints, helping friends with custom wedding suites, and writing on chalkboards. I finally set up my Etsy shop in 2017 and things have been rolling ever since then!

What do you most love about the creative process?

I love sitting down to a fresh piece of watercolor paper, a blank piece of wood, or clean slate board. The idea of creating something new from nothing excites me and I love watching each stroke of the brush or pen add to the dynamics of a piece. I think my favorite part of the process is being able to sit back and enjoy a finished piece for all of its elements (and even flaws) that create the unique and one-of-a-kind original.

What do you least love about the business side of creating & selling art?

I am going to be honest, the business side of creating and selling is not my strong suit! Pricing and putting a value on my art is the hardest. I truly love bringing truth, beauty, and encouragement into people’s homes and my biggest wish is that I could give it all away for free. But through this process, I have learned so much from my sweet husband, Shaun, who has a great mind for business. The business side has become something I dread less because it means he and I get to collaborate and bounce businesses ideas off each other.

What do you enjoy doing besides making art?

I love to sing and participate in a worship band at my church. Singing brings me so much joy and is another creative outlet. Being outside is the best and I especially love the snow. I’ve been skiing since I was little and I actually enjoy the cold breeze on my face! I also love mentoring high school and middle school students and get the chance to spend Wednesdays and Sundays getting to know them better! During the day I am a speech therapist and currently, own my own private practice for pediatric students.

Quotes you love or live by:

Create something beautiful every day

In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take

Any other trivia you’d like to share about yourself:

My dad put me on skis at 18 mo old, I cried that I couldn’t ride the “big swing” (chairlift) but after that I have loved it ever since.

You can find more of Mackenzie's darling watercolors and calligraphy wares at Yellow Door and online.

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