2 Artists Join Minted and Every Mother Counts in Guatemala

Written by Easter Kim

Pictured above (left to right): María José Gómez, Mariam Naficy, Jessica Ballouli, Norra Onder, Deborah Baltodano Tilson, Briana Nielson, and Karly Depew

Minted’s charitable partner, Every Mother Counts (EMC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Back in 2017, two Minted artists, Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma and Briana Nielson, won a Minted contest to join Minted Founder and CEO, Mariam Naficy, and EMC Founder Christy Turlington Burns on a trip to Guatemala. The purpose of the trip was for attendees to experience firsthand the work that EMC grantees are doing to provide skilled and compassionate care to mothers throughout their pregnancies.

On November 3, the winning artists embarked on a week-long trip in Guatemala along with two Minted customers and team members from Minted and EMC. During the trip, they visited EMC’s grantee organization Asociación de las Comadronas del Area Mam (ACAM), a traditional midwife clinic, and participated in a graduation ceremony for Corazón del Agua midwives at Universidad Galileo. They also collaborated with a local Guatemalan artist to paint a mural at the Luna Zorro Studio. 

Mural at Luna Zorro Studio

Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy sparked the idea of utilizing the artistic talents of our Minted artists to paint a mural in Guatemala during the trip. The Minted team partnered with local Guatemalan artist, Guermillo Durán and Molly Berry of Luna Zorro studio to paint a mural on the wall of her studio. Luna Zorro is a textile line and lifestyle brand based in Guatemala. They work with local artisans and weavers and combine old world weaving traditions with contemporary designs to create beautiful culturally rich textile products.

The process of creating the mural was very collaborative. Minted artist Karly Depew shared, “Molly Berry of Luna Zorro, sent the most beautiful and thorough creative brief. I was initially a little concerned that it would be challenging project… fusing 3 different artist’s own unique style.” Their fears dissipated when the artists kicked off the project. Brianna added, “Karly and Guillermo quickly proved to be warm and collaborative and we instantly hit a synergistic stride. Additionally, Molly was a dream client to work for with her incredible eye for naturally beautiful aesthetics.” 

The result speaks for itself. Karly said, “I am very proud of this collaboration that brought us together to honor Guatemalan women and their traditions.” Brianna added, “ In the end, I love how it came together and I feel so honored to have been able to collaborate with such incredible and talented artists.”

Pictured above: Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma, Briana Nielson, Mariam Naficy, Molly Berry, and Guermillo Durán.

Asociación de las Comadronas del Area Mam

The highlight of the trip was learning about the impactful work of Asociación de las Comadronas del Area Mam (ACAM), which is a collective of 40 Mayan midwives who educate and provide maternal healthcare for women in the region. In 2003, ACAM built a Midwifery and Birth Center in Concepción Chiquirichapa with support from Maya Midwifery International (MMI), a group of North American donors and volunteers who act as a fundraising and advisory board for the Guatemalan group.

The team toured the facilities to see the equipment that EMC donated, such as solar panels and medical supplies and equipment. They also met the comadronas, volunteers, and Mam-speaking mothers who gave birth at ACAM. Since EMC began supporting the organization in 2016, ACAM has served over 2,500 women and trained over 50 comadronas, or traditional midwives.

Karly was humbled through this experience. “These women have made an incredibly selfless choice to help keep childbirth safe in their communities where there is often a lack of services and respect for indigenous mothers and their traditions around pregnancy and birth.” Brianna added that “she was struck with the power that comes from women helping, serving, supporting and empowering each other. I loved the clinic’s focus on the mother and supporting her individual preferences and cultural decisions in a safe and loving way.”

Corazón del Agua midwives at Universidad Galileo

Karly, Brianna, and the Minted team had the honor of participating in the graduation ceremony for Corazón del Agua midwives at Universidad Galileo, a grantee partner of EMC. Corazón del Agua works with the University of Galileo in Guatemala City to offer Guatemala’s first university-supported accredited School of Professional Midwifery in Guatemala.

In addition to supporting the education and training of professional midwives, Corazón del Agua connects students with traditional birth attendants and comadronas in their hometowns, facilitating cross-learning between the two groups. Corazón is also developing the first national Association of Midwives in the country, which will provide a platform for networking and advocacy.

Pictured above: Christy Turlington Burns and the latest graduates of Corazón del Agua at Universidad Galileo

Pictured on right: Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and EMC Founder Christy Turlington Burns.

A memorable trip with a lasting impact

The EMC Guatemala trip has left a lasting impact on our Minted artists. Karly and Brianna hope to take what they’ve learned to make a positive impact on their local communities. Karly plans to continue to “use the Charity Miles app to help raise money through my daily fitness and someday hopes to run a half marathon on behalf of EMC.” 

The beautiful culture and landscapes of Guatemala have also inspired our artists and their work. “Guatemala is an incredibly beautiful country and hidden gem. From the festive colors of the architecture or the bougainvillea that drapes the doorways to the majestic volcanoes that rise in the distance, there is beauty at every corner. My love for photography has been reinvigorated by this trip and I hope to submit more work into the art category for 2020,” Karly says. Brianna shares, “it is simply impossible to leave Guatemala without coming away inspired artistically when you are completely immersed in beauty, both natural and man made, that compliment each other perfectly,” Brianna said. “Going on this trip was definitely the jump start I needed to focus more on design in the coming year.”

Pictured above: (Back Row from Left to Right): Deborah Baltodano Tilson, Norra Onder, Jessica Ballouli, Mariam Naficy, Maria McManus, Briana Nielson, Annie Clark, Melissa Berger, Elizabeth Turlington, Christy Turlington Burns (Front Row from Left to Right): Karly Depew, Emily Zimmerman, Tina Johnston, Kat Grimes, Grace Kellum

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How Minted artist Teju Reval pivoted her corporate career to become a full-time creative

Written by Julie Black

Although Teju Reval always knew she wanted to be an artist, it wasn’t until after she trained as a Computer Engineer and earned her Masters in Business Administration that she finally took the plunge. “I quit my corporate job to follow my dream.” Teju claims it’s not quite how it seems, “It sounds very romantic, but in reality it involves a lot of hard work, self-discipline, and focus.”

Teju dedicated time and energy to master multiple disciplines ranging from charcoal drawing to digital art. Her effort was worthwhile, as indicated through her work. Pottery Barn Kids selected her top-rated quirky illustration “alphabet dinos” to be sold as part of the Minted x Pottery Barn Kids collection. The piece was created in collaboration with her 6 year old son, Atharv, who has a wide breadth of dinosaur knowledge and clearly shares his mother’s appreciation for learning.

We connected with Teju to learn more about her creative process, artistic background, and how her son helped her earn first-place in the Minted x Pottery Barn Kids x PBTeen Round 4 Art Challenge.

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Camp Minted Recap: Improve Your Greeting Card Copy

Written by Mimi Werdegar

One of the most important attributes that leads someone to purchase a greeting card is the quality of the message. Thankfully, anyone can be a good copywriter and improve their writing skills. At Minted, we seek fresh and unique greeting card copy in all sentiment styles. To help guide you in creating new copy, we sourced greeting card writing tips from our greeting cards team and Minted writers. These tips were originally shared at Camp Minted 2019.

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Minted Artists in the Press – December 2019

Congratulations to Minted artists who were featured on The TODAY Show, The View, Food Network Magazine, People.com, Domino Magazine, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Instagram, and on Property Brothers. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

The TODAY Show (December 10, 2019) Personalized Gifts: Clever Gifts for Everyone on Your Shopping List featuring pillows “Safari Cats” by Oscar & Emma, “Things that GO” by Shiny Penny Studio, “Garden Butterflies” by Karidy Walker, “Spring Sun” by Iveta Angelova, “Little Octopus” by Karidy Walker and triangle chairs “Safari Cats” by Oscar & Emma and “Sketchbook” by Alethea and Ruth.


The View (November 23, 2019) Minted Holiday Card Giveaway featuring holiday cards “Tradition” by Leah Bisch, “Cozy Winter” by Morgan Ramberg, “Festive Tartan” by Hudson Meet Rose, “Mod Bow” by Carrie Moradi, “Antique” by Ink and Letter, “Joyful Sunburst” by Baumbirdy, “Hooray Creative” by Dramatic Joy, “Shimmering Bold Peace” by Erin Deegan, “Frosted Frame” by Lehan Veenker, “Vintage Arch” by Baumbirdy, “Years Truly” by Yours Madly and recipient addressing “Holiday Bear” by Cass Loh.


Food Network Magazine (December 2019) 100 Gifts for Food Lovers featuring “Festive Deer” Aprons & Mitts by Elly.

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Deck Your Desk Personal Stationery & Notebooks Challenge: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Deck Your Desk Personal Stationery & Notebooks Challenge! Throughout the year, Minted customers look for gifts for everyone on their list for a variety of occasions. Personal stationery, notebooks, day planners, and address books are the perfect presents for recipients of all ages AND as a treat for oneself. We looked to our talented artist community to bring fresh and fun ideas to these gifts to excite and inspire our shoppers this holiday season and beyond.

Congratulations to all of our winners!


Out of the Box Award

For the most design-forward, innovative personal stationery or notebook design that you would only find at Minted
$500

Desert Sunset by Erin German Design

Runners Up: winding by Iveta Angelova, Retro Rainbow by Baumbirdy, and geometric corner by Summer Winkelman

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Pillow Fight Fabric Quickfire Challenge: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Pillow Fight Fabric Quickfire Challenge! We were seeking all fabric fanatics to come up with designs for our latest fabric design challenge. For the first time ever, customers were able to vote on fabric pattern submissions rendered on actual home decor products. In this case – pillows! We were looking for a wide range of fresh, unique, unseen before designs that inspire Minted customers with an array of tastes and styles to refresh their homes.

Congratulations to all of our winners!


Visionary Award

For the fabric design that feels truly differentiated and new
$750

Lombard by Amber Barkley

Runners Up: Pickles by Nadege and Leafy composition by tktinted

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Cheers to Mom, Dad & Grad: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Graduation Greeting Cards Quickfire Challenge: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Cheers to Mom, Dad & Grad: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Graduation Greeting Cards Quickfire Challenge! Giving a card to moms, dads and graduates makes their special day that much more meaningful. We looked to our talented community of artists and writers to create fresh, unique designs with creative messages that express love, appreciation and congratulations. Congratulations to all of our winners!


Originality Award

For the design that incorporates the best original illustration or most original copy, that has been created specifically for this Challenge and not used before.
$700

multi mom by Frooted Design

Runners Up: Award of Excellence by Four Wet Feet Studio, Sweet Brunch by Paper Raven Co., and The Future by Paper Raven Co.

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I Choose You: Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards Challenge: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our I Choose You: Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards Quickfire Challenge, our first ever Valentine’s Day Greeting Card Challenge! We looked to you, our talented community of artists and writers, to create fresh Valentine’s Day designs with creative messages.


Originality Award

For the design that incorporates the best original illustration or most original copy, that has been created specifically for this challenge and not used before

$800

More Than My Houseplants by Paper Raven Co.

Runner Up: Wheelie Like You by Haley Warner


My Funny Valentine Award

This award goes to the funniest copy.
$700

Password Protected by Robert and Stella Runners Up: Morning Coffee by Lehan Veenker and We’re Weird by Haley Warner


Timeless Love Award

This award goes to the design that best reflects a classic Valentine’s Day look but with a fresh twist.
$500

Folk Floral Love by Katharine Watson

Runners Up: splattered love by Kasia Labocki and Bouquet Heart by Lori Wemple


Non Traditional Color Award

This award goes to the best design that features colors that are unexpected for this holiday.
$500

polar opposites by Vivian Yiwing

Runner Up: Found You by Belia Simm


Falling for you Award

This award goes to a card that feels appropriate for an early stage relationship, where you want to express your feelings without coming on too strong.
$300

Well-blended by Erica Krystek

Runners Up: Partners in Crime by Jessie Steury and Hey Hot Stuff by Ana Peake

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