Who and What I am into this Week: Finally! I opened a shop!



If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen peeks of what I have been up to in my spare time (spare time?) I finally got some watercolor prints into an online shop!!!!! I opted for Etsy, which was easier since I had a shop (MonicaLee) just sitting waiting to be used! I have been really excited to launch this for a couple of reasons!

1. I am feeling very creative and needed to carving out time to paint exactly what I want to paint! My very own point of view!

2. I actually have a bit of a PLAN behind it all. This is the first step in a 3 pronged plan to get Monica’s point of view out in the world 🙂  Granted, it is a plan still taking shape in my head, but that is how I work. I wrestle it all out internally until it makes sense, then I plot a course of action.

The e-course Smart Creative Style let me wrestle it out visually first. And I was designing the course, I saw themes in all the things I was surrounding myself with  and I started to refine them. What did I REALLY love?  I sat on my conclusions for a couple of months as I sorted how whether to just jump into wholesale, licensing or selling directly to consumers (yes, I am thinking big.) I have been pondering the idea of storytelling and evoking a mood.  Honestly, my brain is so in this story, I cannot seem to leave it!  That is how much I love it which is exactly what it is supposed to feel like!!


Every time I run Smart Creative Style, I gain something new! The women in the course help push me along as they unpeel layers about themselves and their own brands. Towards the end of the course, Michelle Strazec did a screen capture of her final brand board and her Etsy shop side by side to see if they evoked the same feeling. Brilliant idea! I utilize screen captures all the time, but I loved the side by side element. I have a secret brand board that I have been working on and so I tried this same exercise. This is a snapshot of the result!



I am happy! In this secret board I had been accumulating a lot of imagery with dark romantic backdrops. I struggled with taking pictures for my Etsy shop (oh! Photography skills!!) but I think seeing a print in some other form than just digitally is paramount for me. I wanted to show my items in a setting.  I see an increasing amount decor shots like these below,  I do think this is an upcoming trend of rich, dark backdrops suits my Monica Lee brand well. (Insert sigh)

darkwalls We talk about trends a lot in the course, when they are a good match up for you and when they are not. While I know white, white, white everything is appealing, it felt too safe for me and the story I want to tell. I wanted a different a different kind of allure than just gold glitter on white (What? Crazy Monica! You love gold glitter!) Yes, and a good glass of champagne, have you seen my party board?

While I try to capture good light on gray New England days in my house (near impossible) I also wanted  do  very little color photo editing. Hard!

The GOOD news and other big news in the world of Monica is…I am moving my studio!!! (New photography space and adventure space in my future!) I have convinced the men in my life to do a giant room rotation and I am moving into the upper floor of our craftsman style house. This will mean  500 square feet for MEEEEEE! Pitched roof, short walls and all, it is a go! Hardwood floors go in soon! Lots to do!

So that means I am leaving the pink walls behind!! I took some shots of my art on the pink walls before we paint over them!


Right now I have art prints in the shop BUT I did manage to sneak in some sweet note cards too! As I continue to populate the shop, I wanted to say THANK YOU!! As I have been talking about doing this (seem like forever) and sneaking images onto social media (feel free to grab images and share) your encouragement has MEANT SO MUCH. I can hardly believe how good it feels to have a community of  creative, skilled, beautiful, talented, upbeat women like those of you who listen in to Smart Creative Women. Thank you for letting me be me!!




  • Leslie Vaskey McNeil says:

    beautiful! you go girl! … and congratulations monica. thank you for all your creative support!

  • Pam Schoessow says:

    Congratulations on opening your Etsy shop. I have a feeling you will do very well!

  • Cecelia Louie says:

    Congrats on your new path Monica! It's absolutely kismet and wonderful to hear that you are finding your own passion again, just as you're helping others find theirs. I wish you great success.

  • claudinehellmuth says:

    shop looks fabulous Monica! I added it to my favorites!!!

  • Oh Thank You Cecelia (love your name by the way!) Funny how life works, right?

  • haha! You go girl!! I will take that virtual high five!

  • Oh, Monica! I love your spirit, your grit and your enthusiasm! You have inspired a whole pack of women with your interviews, the course and your awesome laugh! Here's to creative success! (lifting my gold-edged champagne flute in a toast!)

  • Yay!!! I'm so happy for you and I love, love, love your shop! Great style lady, you inspire me.

  • Yay! Monica – your shop looks great! What a lovely surprise 🙂 x

  • Lori Sparkly Franklin says:

    Love your artwork! And thank you for the 'concept board' idea on Pinterest! I can better 'justify' my time spent there!!! 😀 I look forward to seeing your new studio space!

  • Linda Tieu says:

    beautiful shop / love love!

  • Monette Pangan says:

    Congratulations Monica! You help lots of women but as a creative, I’m sure you need to get all your creative energy expressed as well. You do it beautifully and I wish you the best! Your shop is fun and lovely and very you!

    • Monica Lee says:

      I have been interviewing these women for a while with my inner engine wanting to rev up, haha! Thank you for understanding!

  • Lucy DiGiuseppe says:

    I love your shop. Congratulations. I found Smart Creative Women while doing research for opening up my Etsy Shop. You have been nudging me along for the past six months and I finally jumped off the edge this month and listed items in Ellis Creek on Etsy. Thanks for a the encouragement and motivations that you give all of us girls.

  • Yup! That girl's on FIRE!!! Go, Monica Lee-Henell!!!

  • Sharyn Sowell says:

    Fantastic!!! Would love to see you at Surtex if you’re there. Love how supportive the creative community is, and even though I seem to be running to fast to communicate much, I’m in the background cheering you on!

    • Monica Lee says:

      Haha! I love that in the background! Thank you Sharon! I am in the background watching your successes too! And yes, i will stop by and say HELLO!

  • haha! yes!! We need the justification, don't we. It is a bit like a drug!

  • Oh Thank you for saying that Renee! And for being happy for me 🙂

  • Just say YES!! to virtual toasting! Thank you Ronnie!

  • Heather Zschock says:

    Congratulations Monica! It looks awesome! It’s so great to see everything come together! I can’t believe how quickly it all came together, and I’m excited about your new studio space too!

    • Monica Lee says:

      Oh Heather! You were on my list to email and tell about it, haha! Thank you for taking a look! As far as studio space…do you want to help me decorate…ugh!

  • Monica, just wanted to say congratulations and I'm so glad I found your blog! I've been listening to the interviews for almost a month (I think I found you through someone's Pinterest vid. post) and they're SO inspiring. Your work is gorgeous!!!! xoxo

  • Michele Starzec-Ducharme says:

    The shop looks so great! 🙂 Good luck w/it!

  • Cherish Flieder says:

    Congratulations Monica. The new shop is so YOU and looks gorgeous! Blessings ahead. <3

  • Natalie N John Briney says:

    How fabulous! looks great… congratulations.

  • Pamela Wingard says:

    As always…you are an inspiration! Congrats to you on your exciting new venture…and the new studio space. Hmmm.. Might have to start convincing the men in my life to move out of the larger, upstairs ‘man cave’ and into my smaller studio space….

  • Corinne Haig says:

    Congrats Monica & thanks for all the inspiration you & your interviews have given me! I tell all my friends about you…hope to meet you at Surtex this year!

  • April Heather Art says:

    Monica!!! I love your shop and I’m just so happy for you!! Your work is beautiful and is a true reflection of your inner light. Love that you are letting it shine and sharing with all of us. xoxo

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