If you’re a Fort Mill native, then you may have seen the beautiful interactive mural that local artist Caroline Simas has created on the outer wall of Crossings on Main. We visited the mural for ourselves a few weekends ago, and had so much fun snapping pictures in front of the mural.
Caroline is the founder of ‘Multiple Blessings’ which has a studio/boutique located in Charlotte’s Dilworth Neighborhood. She is a mother of four (two boys & two girls) and enjoys giving back a portion of every sale to local ministries.
You recently painted a beautiful interactive mural on one of the outer walls of Crossings on Main, what was you favorite part about creating the mural?
It was hard because we had to pressure wash etc before we could paint the mural but my favorite part of creating the mural was painting the butterflies. I also loved that the mural was interactive. It invites the community to participate and I love how people are responding to it.
Is this the first mural that you’ve painted?
This is the 2nd outdoor mural, but when I had the business (The Creative Palette) I created 100’s of murals in homes, from nurseries to even the bathrooms. Painting murals outdoors is completely different, you have different paint, different weather etc.
How much planning goes in creating a mural of that size?
I learned from my mistakes from the first outdoor mural I created. For the first I didn’t sketch or do planning in advance. This time I planned detail well in advance. For both murals, my assistant Lesile (or my ‘Angel Assistant’ as I like to call her) was so helpful. She did a lot of the grunt work for the first mural, but for the second she helped me paint by filling in the letters for the mural.
In addition to painting murals like the one in Fort Mill, you also create artwork using watercolor, gouache, mixed media, abstract, pen & ink etc. What would you say is your favorite medium to work with, and why?
My favorite is watercolor. I love the imperfect beauty of it. It’s beautifully messy. I like how the water and the paint flow together. The answer could change, but watercolor is my passion for now.
Tell me about your faith-based brand, Multiple Blessings.
The first business I had was The Creative palette and I also worked with a woodworker who created children furniture that I would paint. I also made hand-painted custom baby linens for awhile.
I started MB after I had two boys and was having 2 girls. I created custom greeting cards and was taking those murals that I had painted and matching them with scripture and I fell in love with that process. When a friend invited me to bring them to a show, the cards sold out on the first day of the show. After that a local shop contacted me. My greeting cards were sold in 250 stores across the US.
I’ve done exhibits at trade shows since then in Atlanta and New York and it just grew and grew and I created other stationery products that went along with the greeting cards (note pads etc).
2004-2007 After awhile I found myself getting more and more away for the creative side and was just focusing on the business side.
Since I already had relationships with other companies… I went onto license my art with different companies from 2007 to Dec 2012. By that time I was working with 12 different manufacturers.
In December 2012 Courtney Davis Licensing Agency approached me, and they are the best agency in the country and they represent 12 artists in the US. They handle all the contracts/negotiations for me so I can focus on the creative side.
Now I focus on designing products for gifts & home decor and I feel truly blessed to wake up everyday and do what I do.
What do you enjoy most about having a studio & boutique in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood?
I love it. For a long time, I did this from my home studio. This space has been such a wonderful place. I love that I get to share the space with Fashion & Compassion a local non-profit. The house was built in early 1900’s and I love how the floors creak and crack, and that every room has a fireplace. I also love being surrounded by people that have that same mission.
We (Multiple Blessings and Fashion & Compassion) share a 2 room boutique downstairs (underneath my studio) and it’s open to the public on Mon-Fri from 9-5. Every purchase gives back a portion of the sale to organizations such as Charlotte Young Life and Education = Hope and the rest goes back into the business.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today?
We have something we call a ‘Party with a Purpose.’ People can contact us to use our space for free, as long as the guests are willing shop in the boutique as that really blesses both Fashion & Compassion and my mission as well. You can bring your own goodies. You just have to call in advance to set a date.
I also offer small group workshops for adults and kids and there is no experience necessary.
You can follow along with Caroline & Multiple Blessings through the social media links below.
Note: All photos (with the exception of the two pictures of myself) are via Caroline Simas.