In 2010, decorative artist and travel enthusiast Wendy Gold found herself wandering through a Bay Area flea market.
At the time, Wendy was already a well-known name in the celebrity-sphere for her creative decoupaging of unique toilet seats and bathroom scales.
On this particular day, in search of new inspiration, she strolled through aisles of treasure troves and stumbled upon a beautiful antique globe. At that moment, years of happy travel memories and an immense passion for design combined in perfect harmony. Wendy knew what her next creative adventure would be.
Since then, the artist and travel enthusiast has built a creative empire that has been featured in top tier media outlets such as CNN, NPR, Newsweek, and more.
Producing custom-made canvas art maps, push-pin maps, fine art prints, and world globes made from recycled materials, Wendy helps other travel enthusiasts preserve their most precious memories on and off canvas.
Read the full interview transcript below to learn more about artist and travel enthusiast Wendy Gold and Wendy Gold Studios:
1. Tell me a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to college? What did you major in?
I grew up in Connecticut, and moved to California when I was 13. It was a big culture shock moving across the country at that age and it really struck me how living in different places really impacts the person you become. If I had stayed on the east coast, my life would have been all together different than it is today.
As regards to college I went to college at San Francisco state and majored in industrial art.
2. When did you first realize you loved art?
Art has always been my favorite thing to do since childhood. I was constantly making things. It was an escape and a destination for me. Still is.
3. Has travel always been an important part of your life?
Yes, my dad loved travel and adventure and I was his partner in crime. Wether it be driving across country, or traveling in eastern Europe, he had a curiosity about the world that rubbed off on me.
4. You help people remember important travel memories through art. What is your favorite travel memory to date?
5. While all of them are beautiful and unique, what has been your most favorite creation to date?
My favorite part of the creation process is when the idea clicks together. When I’m at the flea market and I see the perfect thing to bring an idea to life it’s exhilarating. So much of what I do is puzzling unrelated things together so they look like they were originally created that way. When the pieces come together, it is always magical.
6. Where do you hope to see Wendy Gold Studios 10 years from now?
We have a new project that we’ve been working on for 2 years that I’m getting ready to give creative birth to in early 2020. This is going to change the game for us and the potential is as limitless as the canvas, the world.
7. What do you love most about your job?
Being able to follow my inspiration wherever it takes me. It’s beens such a gift in my life.
8. What is one piece of advice you would give other women who dream about starting their own small business?
It is definitely not all fun. You have to wear a lot of hats and push yourself in directions you’re not comfortable with. It challenges every part of your disposition. and that change equals growth. It’s always however worth the risk.
9. On your website, it says you have worked with A-list celebrities. Can you name a few of them?
Sean Penn gave my custom toilet seats to Jack Nicholson, Jude law, and John Travlota as Christmas gifts back in the early 2000’s.
10. When did you start making push pin globes? Have they become a best-seller?
We started making push pin globe last year and they seemed like a natural extension form the push pin maps. On typical globes, you can’t get the pins in very easily and if you do, you can’t turn the globe because the pin will hit against the axis. We designed a base which made turning the globe with pins in it unproblematic, and then designed a push pin tool to get the pins into the globe easily.
11.Why did you decide to use recycled materials to build your creations?
After being pregnant, and having to stop using the toxic finishes I was using, I realized for my next canvas I wanted it to be kinder to the earth. When the earth wound up being the canvas, it was a no brainer.
12. Was it difficult making the transition from upscale toilet seats and bathroom scales to maps and globes? Tell me a little about that, it’s so interesting!
It wasn’t a linear transition. After the art de toilette, I was pretty lost for a year or so until inspiration hit at the flea market to decoupage globes. It did help that I had already perfected decoupaging around round corners though. The new canvas just had so much more potential.
13. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Turning a hobby into a business, fueled by nothing but passion.