One artist lives in Paris, the other in Omaha. And they’re like two peas in a pod

When Parisian artist Gwen Bedat made plans to travel with her husband from France to California in January, the first person she contacted was Holly Whitcomb, a fellow Minted artist who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Although the two had never met face to face, Gwen and Holly have become close friends through Minted.

Holly Whitcomb (left) flew from her home in Omaha, Nebraska, and Gwen Bedat flew from Paris to meet for the first time in San Francisco in January 2018. Gwen Bedat (right) thinks she’s likely to find a Minted artist just about anywhere in the world, which is almost—but not quite—true, considering the community stretches to 90 countries. “You only live once, so I figure I should try to meet Minted artists in every city or country I visit,” the Parisian designer says.

Gwen and Holly were connected through the Minted Buddy program in 2014, and began corresponding a few times a week via email and Facebook Messenger. Over time, they began messaging daily about everything from design to day jobs to family life. During Minted Challenges, they shared screenshots of their works in progress to spark feedback and critiques. “We’re always bouncing stuff back and forth,” Holly says. “But we’d never talked on the phone or face to face.”

Until now.

After communicating online for three and a half years, they finally met in the flesh in mid-January. Four months pregnant with her third child, Holly flew to San Francisco for three days to hang out with Gwen. What was it like to meet in person after years corresponding on the Internet? “It felt like seeing a familiar face in an unknown city,” Gwen said, after explaining that Holly met Gwen and her husband at their Airbnb in Haight-Ashbury. Jet lag and swollen feet aside, the two explored Fog City and hit up tourist attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and Alcatraz. They also stopped by the Minted offices to meet employees and try their hand at watercoloring.

The Minted Buddy program strives to connect experienced Minted artists with newer artists, and when Holly signed up, she assumed she’d be matched with a more experienced artist. But as a longtime member of the community (she joined in 2010), Holly played the role of veteran to Gwen’s somewhat newbie status, considering she’d just joined a few months earlier in 2014.


Announcing the winners of the Minted x Every Mother Counts Contest

Drumroll, please! We’re excited to announce the two winners of our Minted x Every Mother Counts Contest, who will join Mariam Naficy and Christy Turlington Burns in Haiti this fall.

Please join us in congratulating our two winners, Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma and Briana Nielson! Karly and Briana participated in at least two of Minted’s Baby & Kids Challenges in 2017 and also submitted a very thoughtful written and video application, respectively. Both artists demonstrated excitement and passion in supporting EMC’s mission through their own personal stories and experiences with pregnancy and maternal healthcare.

Every Mother Counts (EMC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. At the beginning of 2017, we kicked off a year-long contest where two Minted artists would be selected to join Minted Founder and CEO, Mariam Naficy, and EMC Founder Christy Turlington Burns on a trip to Haiti in fall 2018. On the trip, the winning artists will meet with one of EMC’s grantees and experience first-hand the work that they are doing to provide skilled and compassionate care to Haitian mothers throughout their pregnancies.

Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma

Karly has been with Minted since nearly the very start of the company. She is a talented graphic designer from Columbus, Ohio—she has 200 wins on Minted, won first place in Minted’s very first Holiday Photo Card Challenge and struck gold again in the same challenge in 2015. She is an active community member who is very well-liked, down-to-earth, and always willing to help fellow community members.  (Karly Depew photo by Christa Kimble Photography)

In Karly’s Words

“While the road I have traveled in motherhood has had its bumps and curves, I am so thankful to have had proper care. I can’t imagine going through this journey without the support system I had. Every Mother Counts is an incredible organization and it would be an honor to be able to visit Haiti and see firsthand the impact it is making on the lives of those who truly need extra helping hands.”

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Young at Art Minted x Pottery Barn Kids & PBTeen Art Challenge: Special Prizes

Announcing the special prize winners of our Young at Art Minted x Pottery Barn Kids x PBteen Art Challenge! We called on all artists young at heart to help us celebrate our successful partnership with Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen and source another unique collection of artwork. Congratulations winners!

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