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Decorative Artisan of the Month
Decorative Artist of the Month Archived
Decorative Painting Finishing School Mark Tillman
Decorative Painting Finishing School Donna Mock
Decorative Painting Finishing School Carmen Vergara
Decorative Painting Finishing School Lessandra Martins Melo
Decorative Painting Finishing School Anita Yeh
Decorative Painting Finishing School Sarah Hines and Mets Schilstra
Decorative Painting Finishing School Eulojio Ortega
Decorative Painting Finishing School Alison Ubert
Decorative Painting Finishing School Diane Kessler
Decorative Painting Finishing School Donna Flecchia
Decorative Painting Finishing School Joanne Ledbetter
Decorative Painting Finishing School Rachel Sejas
Decorative Painting Finishing School Cheryl Phan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Carrie Chimenti
Decorative Painting Finishing School Ann Simpson
Decorative Painting Finishing School Natalie Gorden
Decorative Painting Finishing School Marlene Mancilla
Decorative Painting Finishing School Diane LaLonde Hasso
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kim Bouy
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kathy Anders
Decorative Painting Finishing School Alyse and Amy Leventhal
Decorative Painting Finishing School Laurie Schrader
Decorative Painting Finishing School Carey Seven
Decorative Painting Finishing School Bryan King
Decorative Painting Finishing School Patricia Presto
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kass Wilson
Decorative Painting Finishing School Heidi Cinker
Decorative Painting Finishing School Shari Fry
Decorative Painting Finishing School Leigh Jones
Decorative Painting Finishing School Diane Beard
Decorative Painting Finishing School Ruth Giovannetti
Decorative Painting Finishing School Collen Drew
Decorative Painting Finishing School Melissa Loutos
Decorative Painting Finishing School Nathalie Nielsen
Decorative Painting Finishing School Susan Giugliano
Decorative Painting Finishing School Sarah Beth Cohen
Decorative Painting Finishing School Tracy Taylor
Decorative Painting Finishing School Janelle Tague
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kari Campbell
Decorative Painting Finishing School Ed Gonet
Decorative Painting Finishing School Bonnie Norling Wakeman
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kelly Weik
Decorative Painting Finishing School Janelle Tague
Decorative Painting Finishing School Gracie Reed
Decorative Painting Finishing School Allyce Lees
Decorative Painting Finishing School Terry Gavigan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Kate Perret
Decorative Painting Finishing School Jo-Marie Frigo
Decorative Painting Finishing School Deb Spertus
Decorative Painting Finishing School David Ryan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Clint Dunning
Decorative Painting Finishing School Roseann Bode
Decorative Painting Finishing School Wendy Digel
Decorative Painting Finishing School Lisa Butts
Decorative Painting Finishing School Catherine Coy
Decorative Painting Finishing School Pamela Coslet
Decorative Painting Finishing School Emily Quinn
Decorative Painting Finishing School Gary Riley
Decorative Painting Finishing School Bill Fisher
Decorative Painting Finishing School John Micheals
Decorative Painting Finishing School Faux Maison
Decorative Painting Finishing School Herb Shropshire
Decorative Painting Finishing School Gus Kyriakopoulos
Decorative Painting Finishing School Paul Minnihan
Decorative Painting Finishing School Jenna DeFalco
Decorative Painting Finishing School Sherri Grupe
Decorative Painting Finishing School Debbie Brown
Decorative Painting Finishing School Cynthia Davis
Decorative Artisan Dawn Bray
Decorative Faux Finisher Christine McIntyre-Hannon
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Anna and Scott Sadler
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Darryl Grant
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School B. Juliana Leo
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Leslie Nesbitt
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Signature Mural & Finish, Inc.
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Joanne Voll
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Barb Runyard
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Nathan Giffin
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Patty Henning
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Emma Wright
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Joseph Freer
Faux Finisher Faux Finishing School Dawn Rundle
August 2006 Simona Clinge
August 2006 Ron Bledsoe
August 2006 Sharon Taglienti
August 2006 Martin Riding
August 2006 Tomas Kyrgiakos /
Iowanna Azar
August 2006 Jenna DeFalco
August 2006 Alissa Murnane
August 2006 Rhonda Barber
August 2006 Laura Ross
August 2006 Nancy Schnell
August 2006 John Michaels
August 2006 Debi Vaninger
August 2006 Marsh Danner
August 2006 Beth Haynes
August 2006 Cassy Weddel
August 2006 Bruce Thalman
August 2006 Melanie & Stuart Kershner
August 2006 Lorie Wolff
Doug Diekman
Lori Tselikis
Joanne Voll
Linda Wetsch
Jennifer Rongaus
Natalie White
Dan Gangler
Sharon Damisch
Kay Reyes
Mary Johnson
Ed Hartfiel
Estelle Leptich
Laurie Ebert

 

Artisan of the Month
Sarah Beth Cohen

Working as a paralegal in Memphis, Tennessee, Sarah Beth Cohen enjoyed dabbling in decorative art when an opportunity arose. One afternoon, while she sat at her desk working, the wives of two of the Memphis Grizzlies decided to go antiquing where Sarah Beth had left her mark. “I had painted up the walls in the antique store. It was all sponging and ragging, whatever Home Depot or Lowe’s was selling at the time. The players’ wives saw it and hired me. I quit my paralegal job and went to paint for the NBA players. One of the players was Jason Williams, who was traded to the Miami Heat. His family lives in Orlando, so I went back to my condo on the beach in St. Petersburg and built my business in Florida with other NBA, NFL and NHL team members and their family and friends. I said to hell with working for lawyers and, although I did take on contract jobs with attorneys here and there, for the most part, I’ve been painting ever since.” In 1994, Sarah Beth started her business SBCMurals where she focuses on ceilings, walls, furniture and decorative art. Her other business is Zazu Designs and consists of gift items, room accessories and glassware.

Sarah Beth’s businesses are flourishing and as such she believes training, product knowledge, and sharing of ideas and techniques are an important part of her career. Attending University of Memphis and Memphis College of Art, Sarah Beth graduated with a double major in fine art and paralegal studies. She grew up surrounded by art. Sarah Beth says, “Both my dad and papou (grandfather) were artists.” Over the years Sarah Beth became restless, needing to delve back into classes, new products and training. That’s when she found SALI and the local Golden Palette chapter. “A whole new world opened up that was both exciting and challenging. I met amazing artists like Jeff Raum and Jeff Monsein who shared ideas and guidance at my early stages, there was always someone to call when I was in a bind, and the fellowship of artists was enriching. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I decided to open a SALI chapter, which is now called IDAL, in Memphis. I went to every paint store and got the names of every faux finisher I could find in the Memphis tri state area, had a meeting of the masses, and soon a board was formed and Decorative Artisans of the Mid South came to exist. My business took me outside of Memphis often and I travel all the time, the board members got busy and the chapter didn’t flourish as I had hoped.”

Even though the chapter did not work out, Sarah Beth met a few artists who had taken classes with Kathy Carroll and was told to call on her for product information. Kathy helped to re-introduce Sarah Beth’s love of new products all over again. “Kathy led me through tried and true recipes, new products, and I got my creativity back. It’s been a lot of fun and a welcomed challenge. She would tell me to try new products that have opened my options. She is always there to answer my questions and help me through whatever I need.”

When at a client site, Sarah Beth ran into a bit of a snag that Kathy was able to offer help. “I called Kathy because I was going to be on the ceiling and the client didn’t want to spend the money on a glassy Italian plaster, but wanted the same glossy look. I was trying to find a way to get the high gloss without waxing and buffing and Kathy told me about Bella Cera Wax. She told me what to do and I was floored. It was amazing, one of my new favorite products. A class with Kathy is coming up very soon.” With the travel opportunities Sarah Beth has and Kathy’s exciting classes that may arise any time.

Sarah Beth’s business is based out of Memphis, Tennessee and even though she does local residential and commercial projects, the majority of her work is out of state. Her business is strictly referral based and as such she is a strong believer in good customer service. “Customer service is so important to me. I believe in karma and there are so many opportunities if you are willing to work for it. This is what I love to do and what I live to do. I get repeat business because I make sure my clients know I am honored that they have chosen me to work with them and I show my appreciation with a card or flowers to say, ‘Thank you.’ I treat my clients like family, and with that, build a relationship that has lasted through new births, new homes, moves, and so much more. If you respect the customer, then they will respect you. I want my new clients to have seen what I can do and trust that I am the one for the job.”

A personal family story carries over into Sarah Beth’s business. “My father is a Holocaust survivor. He is my hero. My dad has taken something that was so horrific and saw the best that he could and overcame it. I feel that it was the hand of God. It was faith, humanity, and love. I view it similar to that movie Pay it Forward, that each one of us have a chance to make a small difference in someone’s life with goodness. That’s kind of how my dad survived. If I can sort of keep the karma going, these good things keep happening to me.”

As Sarah Beth’s karma maintains its forward momentum she attracts business wherever she goes. “I was in Destin, Florida, in this bar to grab a sandwich. I was the only girl and a crew that said they were from Shawmut Construction. They build commercial property, restaurants (like PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, and Tommy Bahamas, among others), hotels, and casinos. Two weeks later I got a call from the project manager. He said they had someone who initially did not finish a job and to re-hire them it would have been a crazy amount of money. From that one meeting and phone call, I had the job for the next six years and traveled to every new opening around the country.”

Moving back to Memphis to take care of her parents, Sarah Beth was working on a marketing strategy to stay busy when an idea hit her. “I started calling on people outside the paint and decorating businesses. One lady called me back about the generic voice mail message to set up lunch and show my portfolio. I must have left thirty messages. So when she called back saying, ‘you’re that one!’ I just said, ‘yes I am.’ She was with a world wide national firm that was working on Harrah’s Casinos and Paula Deen’s Restaurants. They opened a lot of doors all because I took a chance. I have both large commercial and residential business from that one random message. It has also allowed me to see how a lunch and learn can be very beneficial and educational to those that may not exactly know what a decorative artist does.”

ACBL (the American Contract Bridge League) was building a museum and the board insisted upon using Rosewood to showcase their artifacts, but it was exceeding the budge they had in place. Thinking back to the lunch and learn they had with Sarah Beth they remembered a key component she had said. “In the lunch and learn I explained I could make anything look like anything and showed wood samples.” The contractor hired Sarah Beth for several museum projects. The first one was in Tunica, Mississippi for the Tunica Visitor’s Center and the Tunica River Park. “The Visitor’s Center is going to be a blues museum. The first step was to move a historical building to Tunica and because of travel they had to redo a lot of the roofing, facia, and random siding piece that were damaged. There was 100-year-old rotted weathered wood that I had to replace and make the new plywood look like part of the original building. It was take your aggression out on wood day with chains and blow torches. We added a deck on, which I also made look old and weathered. There was a green door inside the original building that they wanted all the cabinets and doors to replicate. All the railing had to look old and rusted as well as the air ducts.”

After that project was complete Sarah Beth moved onto the next project, which was in Tupelo, Mississippi where Elvis Presley was born. “The house he was born in was called a shot gun shack. They had made it into a museum and set up a state fund to protect the grounds all around it. The house had been re-done so many times, and with all the traffic, the restoration projects were an annual thing, so they hired a company to re-vamp the whole thing and do it for the final time. I was hired to imitate the aged and worn look to all surfaces. We found wallpaper that was super thin like the old days and were able to re-create the original pattern. We found soot around the fireplace and stove so after all the work to make it look authentic, in the end, I sprayed it with shellac spray paint from Home Depot directly above my face. The spray paint was all over me. I didn’t realize it since I work with waterborne products. That was quite a sight while I was walking around downtown!”

Everything she does is exciting although a favorite of hers is children’s rooms. “In the high-end homes it’s about keeping up with the Joneses, unlike the creativity I can unleash in the kids’ rooms. I was in Florida painting and a little girl wanted to have her room look like a scene in Barbie Fairytopia. I didn’t know until after all the oversized tulips and fairies were sealed in that it was actually her ‘Make-a-Wish’ wish because she had just gone into remission from Leukemia.” That warmed her heart. She says when she paints for a child’s room it’s the fantasy for the child that is so much fun. “Children’s murals are my passion. Anything with kids, they are fun and creative. It’s not to please the next door neighbor. It’s having this fantasy place. With their rooms I’m able to sneak little things in, like a footprint. Just look under the toucan.”Zazu Designs

 

In the future, Sarah Beth plans on furthering her Zazu Designs business. She is gearing more towards children’s gifts and accessories as well as her growing glassware degisns. “I’m excited about my glassware. It’s being held in four different boutiques in three cities. It happened one month ago and growing faster than I can keep up with it. Look for a website, it’s coming soon.”

To learn more about Sarah Beth Cohen please email her at either SBCMurals@gmail.com or for information about Zazu Designs, email her at zazuuniquedesigns@gmail.com or call her cell at 727.804.7597.

 

 

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