Watercolor LAB Instructor Abbey Holden l Abbey Holden Studio
Minneapolis native Abbey Holden is a fine artist known for her serene landscape paintings and playful textile designs. Abbey paints and designs textiles full-time in her Wayzata and Minneapolis, MN studios using a unique blend of oil paints and mediums that are completely non-toxic and natural- allowing her work to be created from the highest quality materials while also remaining safe. Her work has found homes throughout the United States both residentially and commercially. She also calls the quiet, lakeside town of Wayzata her home, from which she gains constant inspiration.
Can you tell us a bit about your business and how you got your start?
I’m primarily a Painter, then Textile Designer and Illustrator. I create commissioned oil-painted landscapes for various homes, Interior Designers and commercial spaces. I also create patterns to be used on home fabrics, wallpapers and apparel.
I’ve always known this would be my career so I studied Fine Art in college and ended up working with a Womenswear company out East as a Textile Designer for a few years. When I wanted to come home to Minnesota, I started my business and have been painting and designing on my own ever since!
LAB is founded on three key values: connect, create and collaborate. What are your three values?
Reflect, Express and Cultivate Peace.
How did you get connected with LAB?
I have taken LAB classes in the past with friends and family and loved the idea of teaching a class! I love what LAB stands for and values.
Do/did you have a mentor?
Before I started my business I reached out to a handful of women with similar careers who generously gave me advice:
Kristi Kohut taught me to create constantly, to be okay with failure and to love the process.
Caitlin McGauley taught me to say yes to opportunities, be open to learning from each opportunity and to put my work out into the world.
Megan Gonzalez told me the importance of pricing my work fairly and not underestimating myself. She also told me to reach out to anyone I’d like to work with and to not be afraid of being left unanswered because something will come of your efforts.
Lastly, my Dad. He continues to help me with pricing and any random financial questions I have - which are a lot.
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business, what would it be?
Work consistently, put your work out into the world, reach out to people for advice and enjoy the process!
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
Get outside! Taking a walk, exercising or visiting a museum always allows me to shift perspectives and think a bit differently.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I would love to be an Interior Designer or Architect. Anything creative and home-related.
What do you think is the best kept secret in business tools or resources?
Shanna Skidmore - Financial Planning for Creative Entrepreneurs. She is a genius.
Anthropologie Home and Wit + Delight because they do no wrong.
What I am watching:
The Office, over and over.
What I am listening to:
Always podcasts - NPR’s Fresh Air and WBUR’s Modern Love will forever be my favorites.
What I am reading:
Love Lives Here by Maria Goff.
Where I am traveling:
Monterey, CA for inspiration!
Favorite place to meet/collaborate in the Twin Cities.
Bachelor Farmer Cafe - a sunny space with beautiful design!
Three Instagram accounts you love to see in your feed.
Amber Lewis (@amberinteriors)
Bodega LTD (@bodega_ltd)
Kate Holstein (@kateholsteinphoto)
If you could take one LAB – creative or business – which would it be?
Photography LAB! I know next to nothing when it comes to a camera.