Woman he’s a wearable art artist, painter and S house whisperer too. Mona Groban calls it artrepreneurship. She is an incredibly talented artist and savvy entrepreneurial businesswoman who recycles and upcycles as she makes a living as an artist. “I’ve been an entrepreneurial gal since the get go,” she said, as she explained her philosophy. “Entrepreneurship is about taking ownership of one’s life. It is said that most people only own about 3 percent of their lives. The military, job, church, spouse, family, organizations, government all own a greater percentage of our lives than we do. Taking ownership of one’s life occurs rarely and is very hard work. As an individual, it is of utmost importance for me to own as much of my life as possible. To be able to make the decisions as to when, where and how I will earn my income is at the core of most of my decision making. Her friend and client BJ Gallagher, a noted inspirational author and speaker, tells the story of this iconic personality in Hendersonville, NC: “She bought a cluster of run-down cottages and transformed them into vibrant art studios, one of which she uses herself while renting the others. She has created a lively gathering place for local artists to work, play and inspire one another. Some refer to Mona as a house whisperer because she has the magic touch with real estate. “A few months ago she bought a piece of bargain property on Carolina Beach, NC. There was an old mobile home parked on the property which the seller promised to have towed away. Mona said, ‘Oh just leave it. I don’t mind.’ Then she spent two weeks transforming the drab, dreary old trailer into
By Liz Mitchell
a colorful work of livable art -- painting it inside and out with whimsical patterns and designs, installing new counter tops and appliances in the kitchen and filling the rooms with brightly painted furniture and outsider art. It is now a magical artist’s beach retreat that she rents to writers, artists or people who simply want a beautiful beach-front place to rent for a week or longer. “But transforming Carolina real estate is just one of Mona’s many talents. Her primary business is MonaPaints! She goes to the Goodwill store where she stocks up on gently worn sweaters, jackets, T-shirts, sweatshirts and more. She hauls her treasures back to her studio, cuts them up, and creates totally new pieces of wearable art. She often paints the garments, trims them in colorful bits and scraps, and gives them her trademark fabulizing treatment. She sells her gorgeous garments, as well as hand-painted purses and shoes, via Facebook and Etsy to her thousands of fans all across the country. “Mona Groban is the most unusual artist you’re likely to find with that combination of incredible creativity and business savvy. Mona makes almost all my clothes and last summer I commissioned her to come to California and fabulize my car,” Gallagher said. Anyone love spiky pumps, walking shoes, sandals, hand painted vegan clogs or maybe want a painted mannequin, a lamp, pillow or martini glass? Mona does walls, doors, you-name-it and she probably will paint it. Please visit her web site for more views of her fabulizing: www.monapaints.com.