Today we’d like to introduce you to Karim Aboud.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Imagine my surprise when I picked up a paintbrush at 29 years old and discovered I could paint perfect photorealistic paintings? True story. It happened when I was pregnant with my first daughter and I wanted to decorate her nursery. I didn’t like any of the paintings online so I thought I could just do it myself. Inspired by a beautiful photo of an online bloggers daughter, I bought a canvas, a few brushes and paint and got to work. Everyone was shocked at the outcome (including me!) At the encouragement of my friends I posted the painting online and tagged the Mom. With a loyal following of over 200k fans, she reposted my painting and the rest is history. I immediately started receiving orders for portraits and my follower count jumped to over 1k overnight. I decided to name the business Aria Marli Art after my daughter and I have been a full-time artist now for over four years. My gift has allowed me the freedom to stay home and enjoy my daughters which have meant more to me than any monetary gain.
It has been an amazing journey discovering my ‘Artist Voice’ and I’ve moved on from specializing in portraits to also making beautiful pieces of functional art. I love to mix mediums such as resin, wood, metal & real crystals to make one of a kind pieces you won’t find in a store. I have a slight obsession with everything Mermaid and the Ocean, so you will find that peppered in throughout my designs. I’m most recognized for my Mermaid Tail Ring holders made of resin and natural abalone shells. My love of the ocean leads me to becoming an advocate of living a plastic-free life. I promoted the use of reusable metal straws and created a travel pouch with a removable wet bag to make it easier to take them with you wherever you go. If someone would’ve told me this would be my life five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and said ‘I wish’ – well somehow it is and I couldn’t be more grateful!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been an easy road. Aside from all the small nuances of running a small business, I recently lost my youngest daughter this year at 15 months old. Art saved me. The fact I’m here typing this story only five months after it happened is a testament to that. I’ll never forget the night when I was at my lowest point and broken and an order came in from Etsy and chimed on my phone. Desperate for distraction I wiped my tears and sat at my desk and started creating. I sat that night and painted all my pending orders. Afterward, each message of delight and appreciation from my customers kept me going. I’m addicted to spreading love, hope & magic through my art and hope to do so for years to come and when times get a little rough, that is what will get me through it.
Please tell us about Aria Marli Art.
Aria Marli Art is ever changing, growing and diversifying. I’m a self-taught artist who loves to experiment and discover new ways to mix mediums and put things together that you wouldn’t normally. Not only do I strive to make my work beautiful but I want it to be functional. Customers are always delighted when they see my ring holders for the first time. The question I always get is “How did you think of that?” I have ring holders that range from Mermaid Tails to Real crystals and Metal Angel Wings – It’s something you have to see to really appreciate. I’m also a little OCD when it comes to custom orders. From the beginning I love to speak with my clients and get to know them and what they are looking for. They send me photos of their spaces and I send progress photos of their paintings or custom creations throughout the process to ensure it’s perfect and that I’m bringing their vision to life. I think my obsessive attention to detail and customer service is what sets me apart. I honestly think of every client like family and they have to leave 100% happy!
I also teach KidzArt part-time during the week. KidzArt is art enrichment program that teaches students ages 5-15 to draw while building their confidence and problem-solving skills. I help remove obstacles to creativity so that students can experience their own potential. Seeing their little faces light up when they realize they do have the ability to create beautiful art is priceless! I’m so grateful for everything that this gift has brought to my life and want to use my gift to continue to help and inspire others. I live by the quote ‘Kindness is a boomerang that always comes back around’ and I would love to partner with more charities and organizations in the future.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
The best memories I have from childhood are any with my brother. We were always up to something and today he is my best friend. I’ll share a story he probably will hate but it’s art related so… One time I was using watercolors when we were younger. The cup of water I used to clean my brush looked like soda, so naturally, I got the bright idea to add ice to it and trick him into drinking it. We weren’t allowed to drink soda then so I knew he would take it. He actually almost chugged half of it down before I could stop him lol I cringe at the thought of it now but at the time I thought it was hysterical! Sorry Junior!
- Mermaid Ring Holders – $20
- Crystal Ring Holders – $18
- Custom Portraits/Paintings start anywhere between $150-$700
- Reusable Straw Pouch – $7.50
- Website: www.ariamarliart.com
- Phone: 9542005818
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aria.marli/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AriaMarliArt/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriaMarli