Minted’s Follow Your Passion Tour an action-packed art adventure

Written by Amy Schroeder & Easter Kim

Three days. Three cities. Dozens of artists. One huge surprise. That’s the condensed version of our Follow Your Passion Tour, in which Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and her team traveled from California to celebrate the art and design worlds of Austin, Nashville, and Miami, August 23–25. During our action-packed 24 hours in each city, we explored art hot spots, enjoyed discussions with local Minted artists, and celebrated in the evenings with gallery events showcasing artists’ original work and Minted Art prints.

Now that we’ve returned from the whirlwind tour, our feelings are a mix of inspiration and compassion. We loved talking with the artists who create Minted art and design, and we learned so much by experiencing their cities firsthand. But shortly after we returned to our San Francisco headquarters, Hurricane Harvey reared its head in south Texas, touching too close to home for a number of Minted artists. 

“The Minted team and I are saddened by the grave impact of Hurricane Harvey on Texas,” says Mariam. “We are thinking of our friends there. In honor of our visit to Texas for the Follow Your Passion Tour, we donated $5,000 to American Red Cross and we encourage everyone to donate. You can find a list of places to donate here.”

Minted artists Erin Hodges of Fig and Cotton and Megan Davis of Toast & Laurel gave Mariam Naficy and team a tour of the Austin art + design scene, including the Hope Outdoor Gallery pictured above.

(Above) Mariam Naficy talks with Austin area Minted artists at Hotel Saint Cecilia on August 23, before the art gallery event. (Below) We showcased works by Texas Minted artists at Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin.

Luckily for Maja Cunningham, a Minted artist who traveled from her home in Ft. Worth for the Austin event at Hotel Saint Cecilia on August 23, her town merely experienced more rainfall than usual. “It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening in the south,” Maja said. As for the Austin art event, Maja found it inspiring, informative and “simply beautiful,” saying that she enjoyed talking with Texas Minted artists and meeting Minted team members in person. “The future of Minted looks bright, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together. This unique community of independent artists is an incredible source of inspiration.”

Blogger Camille Styles (@camillestyles) attended the Austin Follow Your Passion gallery event and posted this Instagram shot, writing “Art + wine at @hotelsaintcecilia with my @minted friends tonight.”

At our second tour stop, Nashville, Tennessee, we visited the home of Minted artist Angela Simeone. We created the following video for In the evening we enjoyed talking with Nashville area Minted artists. Minted artist Sara Malone said she enjoyed seeing Mariam and hearing about what’s going on with Minted’s growth as a company. “Mariam talked about large art being a focus for the company, among other things,” Sara says. “I always enjoy seeing fellow Minties and getting to catch up. It was a nice, small-group setting, and I always love hearing firsthand what Minted has been up to.”

(Above) Before the Nashville art event at Germantown Inn on August 24, Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy met with local Minted artists. From left: Sara Heilwagen of Noah and Olivia, Sara Hicks Malone, Cindy Taylor, Jessica Williams, Mariam Naficy, Ella Weaver, Kasey Lowry of Flume Design, Eileen Tomson and Laci Fowler. (Below) We showcased works by Nashville Minted artists at Germantown Inn in Nashville.

On our third and final stop in Miami, we hosted our art event at the Bakehouse Art Complex, which is an incubator and community hub for dozens of local artists.

(Above) During our Miami art + design tour, we met ceramics and resident Bakehouse artist Gerbi Tsesarksaia, who graciously showed us her beautiful ceramics and demonstrated her technique.

(Above) Before the Miami art event, Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy met with local Minted artists. Florida artists from left: Cristiane Cuhna, Elizabeth Sanchez of Alex Isaacs Designs, Kelly Nasuta, Bonnie Masdeu, Marissa Huber, Kathy Glynn of Artsy Canvas Girl, Thanyaluck Niphatkosalsilp of iamtanya, and Minted Social Media Manager Donna Antonijevic. (Below) We showcased works by Florida Minted artists at Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami. 

Florida artists from left: Saksun Niphatkosalsilp, Jonathan Brooks, and Marissa Huber

Unbeknownst to anyone except for Mariam and a handful of Minted employees who were in on the secret, we surprised Thanyaluck Niphatkosalsilp, the first-place winner of Minted’s annual Holiday Photo Card challenge, one of our biggest design challenges of the year. (We’ll share more on how that story unfolded soon.) For weeks leading up to the event, we carefully orchestrated the surprise for Tanya on August 25 at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami.

About Follow Your Passion
The Follow Your Passion Tour is part of Minted’s ongoing work of telling the stories of how Minted artists are following their creative passions. The brainchild of Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy, Follow Your Passion is a print broadsheet newsletter that is included in customers’ order boxes. “Minted artists are the essence of Minted—they are the women and men who are shaping design today, and they are emerging from all geographies and backgrounds,” Mariam says of her inspiration for the project. The latest edition includes profiles of Mark Kirby, an FBI agent by day and Minted photographer by night, as well as Mya Bessette, a Minted artist who started out as an oilfield worker in Alaska.

View the latest edition of Follow Your Passion here.

Read about some of the Minted artists whose work we featured at the Follow Your Passion tour events:

Texas Minted Artists to Watch
Nashville Minted Artists to Watch
Florida Minted Artists to Watch

Published August 31, 2017

  1. So sweet to see my painting featured in Camille’s photo here, thanks for sharing!