We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Mercer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When I was younger I never thought of myself as creative. However, I can look back now and see that I was always doing creative things and drawn to the creative process. I fell in love with painted furniture and decided to give it a try. My family and friends told me I had a gift for it and it began my creative career. I started as a furniture artist and retailing a chalk style paint line in a booth that I rented at a local consignment store. That led me to finding a whole creative community that I didn’t even know existed.
I have met so many creative friends and peers on-line and in persona and have been inspired me to try so many different types of art. I learned that I could join groups on-line and learn new techniques and new mediums of art and my world was open to so many creative possibilities.
I now paint and teach on canvas, furniture, and art journaling. I have own my own brick and mortar, M&M Mercantile that will be 3 years old on June 1st. We have just relocated to The Mill on Etowah and are excited for what the future holds. We offer art, home decor and gifts. We also teach paint parties and workshops. Our heart is to create community while painting, shopping and creating. We want to inspire creativity through art!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began as a furniture artist and it is still what I love to do the most. I love to take something broken, old or even headed for the dump and transform it into something beautiful. My pieces are one of kind, that you won’t find anywhere else. I often paint with bright colors and realize it may not be for everybody, but with time I know the right person will be ready to take one of my pieces home.
My furniture painting led me to retail chalk/clay based paints and I now carry two paint lines along with many other products that will help others be inspired and create one of a kind projects. I have a love to inspire and teach others and help them realize they have the ability to also create!
It has not been an easy road as an artist. It is often lonely and I can find myself feeling like I’m not good enough or having the imposter syndrome. I have had to learn not to compare myself to other artist. We have all been created differently and my art and work will be different from anyone else’s. No one else can offer what I offer.
I’m excited and proud that I have been able to open my own brick and mortar where I sell and teach art. We also premiere other artists and makers in our store and I’m thrilled to be able to help support other’s dreams. I love collaborating with other local businesses and supporting the community!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My store is located inside The Shoppes at The Mill on Etowah is located in Downtwon Canton, so that would definitely be the first place I would bring them. The Mill and Downtown Canton has a little bit of everything. Fantastic food, drinks, shopping and outdoor concerts. Local on North and Goin Coastal are our favorites!
I also love downtown Alpharetta and shopping and eating at the Avalon. The shopping and food are incredible and such a fun place to hang out with friends.
I would then head north for some great stops along the way. Gibbs Gardens is a must to relax and soak in all the beautiful flowers and gardens. From there I would head up to Blue Ridge for another great shopping experience and wonderful restaurants. This little town offers a quaint little get away with beautiful mountains for your backdrop.
I would also book a Sunday morning Yoga and brunch at Bentree Lodge and Vineyard. The atmosphere and attention to detail are like no other. You stress will disappear as you pull in the driveway.
There are so many wonderful things to do in North Georgia. You really need more than a week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shout out to two people in my life. First, my husband, Mcallister. He has supported my dreams and supported my creative career every step of the way. He has believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. There has been nothing. he wasn’t willing to do to help me keep moving forward.
Secondly, I want to recognize my dear friend, mentor and business coach, Cara Lockwood. We met online and became fast friends, She has encouraged and pushed me to try new things, to keep pursuing my love art and creativity and helped me believe I could actually turn this into a career. She inspires me daily with her grit, tenacity and love for art.
They both have truly been the wind beneath my wings!