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Inspiring Conversations with Brittany Morgan of B. Renée Arts & Crafts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Morgan.

Brittany, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Art has always been a part of my life since before I can remember. Both of my parents are artistically inclined so I grew up in a very creative household. From a young age, I was in extracurricular art clubs and creative activities.

One of my most fond memories was receiving sponsorship to attend ‘Louisville Children’s Art Classes’ in elementary school. I had no idea that my teacher recommended me and I was honored to attend the weekly classes to sharpen my skills.

All of the schools that I attended were based around magnets and I was always enrolled in the Visual Arts programs. My High School, DuPont Manual, prides itself on being a school of excellence and I was even more excited to be a part of the very selective Visual Arts magnet.

At that stage in my life, I prided myself on being the only African-American Visual Arts student that graduated in my class. I went to pursue my educational career at the University of Louisville where I received my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and a Bachelor’s in Pan-African Studies.

I’m currently a practicing Visual Artist who specializes in custom commissioned pieces of art. For the past ten years, I have created custom graduation caps for graduates all over the United States and surrounding regions. I’m most proud of having these works of art featured in Essence Magazine and many other social media platforms.

Although I ‘do’ love bringing the visions of others to life through my creativity, I want to leave an artistic mark that will ultimately change one’s life. In the fall, I will begin my journey to become an Art Therapist. I will be attending Edinboro University and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

Art has been and ultimately always will be a part of who I am. Being able to leave a little piece of my tangible self within each work of art is what I love the most.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Getting to where I am today has definitely been laced with challenges. Although my Parents nurtured my creativity and artistic abilities, being able to afford all of the opportunities that I was presented with was hard financially. Coming from a low-socioeconomic environment, being an art student was some sort of taboo among my peers.

I always carried a portfolio, art supplies in a tackle box of some sort, and any other item that you could think of. All of those supply items came with a cost and sometimes I had to improvise if I couldn’t afford a particular medium.

My Mom (in particular) attending college for art sympathized with the possibility that I may not be able to be a part of many of the art opportunities due to our financial circumstances. However, she made sure that I always had any and every supply item needed and necessary to pursue my dreams.

One of the hardest things that I have had to overcome was the sudden death of my Father the semester that I was scheduled to graduate from college.

Very sudden and very heartbreaking, one of my biggest supporters was gone in an instant. In an effort to give me some grace and realign my priorities, I graduated the following semester with the strength of my Father pushing me to accomplish ALL of my goals.

Life is no easy feat but with the perseverance and determination that I have acquired throughout my life, I know that all things are possible.

As you know, we’re big fans of B. Renée Arts & Crafts Co. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I started my own business over ten years ago and it has ultimately evolved into what it is today.

Becoming a member of a Black-Greek Letter Organization (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.) while in college and working for a small business that specialized in college textbooks really provided me with a special business sense that I carry with me to this day.

I began to create custom pieces (painted paddles, artworks, jackets, shoes, etc.) for other members of Greek organizations and used my skill set acquired from working alongside successful small business owners to create my own business.

At that time, I solely specialized in creating and selling to members of a Greek organization. It was pretty cool to be ‘that’ person that was sought after to create the perfect custom piece. After a while, I wanted to broaden my audience by creating custom pieces such as painted graduation caps for any and all upcoming graduates. This opened my eyes and exposed me to a different niche and demographic.

Because I create so many different pieces/items for all walks of life, I ultimately decided to create an arts and crafts business where I am free to do as I please creatively. Besides painting, I enjoy sewing, sculpting, crafting, woodworking, textiles, photography, and so much more. I didn’t need to be limited to one particular group or medium.

Being a custom, commissioned-based artist I’m never creating just one product but several different ones all at once. It’s exciting because I’m never just stuck working with one medium. No matter the work, the thing that set me apart from others is my craftsmanship and attention to detail.

I want the item that is being created for a customer to bring forth pride and reassurance that they chose the right art to execute their vision.

What does success mean to you?
Success is doing what you love every day to the point that it never feels like work.

The above statement is all based on one’s perspective. The “work” doesn’t have to be associated with a paycheck but reaping some type of enjoyment is what life is all about.

I couldn’t imagine my life without art. I was created to create and I’ve worked diligently to have art be a part of my career path.

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