I became a sole proprietor of Mustard Seed Interiors in 2008 with a baby on my hip, a toddler at my heels, no money to invest, and absolutely no idea what I was doing.  My initial goal was to make $200/month to help out with groceries and diapers.  What started as a decorative painting and mural business grew into more than I ever imagined.  I owe a lot of that to the amazingly talented, business-savvy, and generous woman who mentored me along the way. 

And I can tell you that initial goal was blown away pretty quickly!  This journey led me to writing books, teaching workshops, designing product lines, dealing antiques and painted furniture, and working as a freelance writer, photographer, and stylist for magazines and websites.   My blog, Miss Mustard Seed, has grown to over 24,000 subscribers with a combined social media following of almost half a million. 

And I am still following my curiosities to see where else I can express my creativity. 

Even with all of the amazing opportunities that have come out of the decision to start a business and sharing my work with the world, I think mentoring will end up being the most fulfilling and I can’t wait to work with you! 

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Marian has designed and launched several product lines including the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Miss Mustard Seed’s German Glass Glitter, Parsons West Paint Brushes, Miss Mustard Seed’s Hand Painted Stencils, and the Bunnies, Birds & Blooms collection with Free Spirit Fabrics.  She has also designed home décor products sold at home retailers like Hobby Lobby, Décor Steals, Antique Farmhouse, Creative Co-op, RAZ, and more. 

In addition, Marian regularly contributes articles and photographs to Cottages & Bungalows, Romantic Homes, Land Leben, and Traumwohnen magazines and  Her work has also been featured in Country Living, American Farmhouse Style, French Style, Romantic Country, In Her Studio, Watercolor Artist, Flea Market Style, Women’s Day (Nov 2012), Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Ideas, and many more.

Marian has authored three books –  The Home Design Doodle Book, published by (Broadstreet Publishing, May 2017), Inspired You (Thomas Nelson, Nov 2012), and The Barn Quilt Coloring Book (Broadstreet Publishing, March 2017) and self-published two look books for the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint line. 

Prior to being a stay-at-home mom and then creative entrepreneur, Marian worked for eight years in the field of government contract and technical recruiting.  Her job was assessing candidates, so she could help them get a job they loved and grow in their career.  She always told her clients that life was too short and the work days were too long to do something you don’t love for a living. 


Shaunna West is a mom of two, and creator of the lifestyle brand & blog, Perfectly Imperfect. She is also the author of the book The $50 Home Makeover (published by Adams Media in 2014) & had the honor of working with Leftfield Pictures (New York) to create the pilot, Sweet House Alabama, for HGTV. Her home, design work, and blog have been featured on HGTV, The Nate Berkus Show, and in The Wall Street Journal, Country Living Magazine, Cottages & Bungalows, Redbook, Romantic Homes, and Woman’s Day. Shaunna joined the Collective in 2016 after opening a retail location in downtown Opelika, where she resonated deeply with the work being done in the community. She believes in meaningful work that truly makes a difference in the lives of those around it, in celebrating beauty in broken people and situations and telling an impactful story through marketing and branding of the work being done in Opelika, for clients, and communities across the country.

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My creative business life started when my 16-year told me I needed a hobby other than her. True story. You see, I was (still am) a serial DIYer, furniture painter, and creative soul. I had the most serendipity run-in with Marian Parsons that I’ll tell you about over coffee sometime, but needless to say, I was inspired and encouraged by Marian and opened a creative retail business, Front Porch Mercantile.

I loved my shop, I painted, created and hosted 1000’s of people in my creative workshops and built a beautiful thriving successful business and community around my little shop. Truthfully, it wasn’t an easy path. I had to learn to build my creative business the hard way. But I did it, and this drew attention from other creatives. I began to help them with their business, mentoring and coaching, I was humbled to be asked by industry experts, including Marian, to be involved in coaching their retailers, speaking and consulting and teaching. Serving other creative business owners and helping them thrive became my creative passion.

Fast forward a few years and I’m an empty nester, I’ve franchised my store but still have a small studio by the sea, I still teach creative workshops and I now have the pleasure of spending my days primarily working with creative shop owners from all over the world, helping them gain confidence and clarity on the business side of being a creative. I’m honored and grateful to be here to help mentor you and can’t wait to meet you!

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Wendy offers coaching and mentoring services to creatives; you can find more information out here: