Small Business Spotlight: Leah Rawls
One of the greatest privileges of running a small business is the opportunity to support other small businesses. From the time I began Hazen at the age of 9, I have encountered many people who have supported me in my work and the pursuit of my aspirations for this business. Those are the individuals who have forever influenced and shaped my life by instilling in me the courage to pursue my dreams, and oftentimes, opening the doors through which I could best pursue those dreams.
My hope for our Small Business Spotlight series is to open doors for other small business owners who are hustling daily to grow their businesses. I am confident that they believe their products bring life, creativity and joy to both themselves and their customers, and I hope we not only encourage them through this series but also nurture their success using the tools and opportunities we have graciously been given.
Growing up in a home with an artist as a mom helped to spur creativity at an early age, but it really wasn’t until Leah’s early 30's that she discovered her love for abstract art. She loves painting on canvas, birch wood, and both handmade and cold pressed paper. Her works use acrylic, oil pastels, and charcoal, and there is always a small amount of texture built in to all of her pieces.
Leah lives in the town of Madison, Mississippi where she is a nurse anesthetist. She spends her days providing anesthesia to patients, but puts in just as much time during her off days painting which has proven to be a wonderful stress reliever after a tough day! She is a wife and mother to two kids Grace and Hudson.
Q: When did you develop a love for painting?
My mother is an artist so I have always had a love of art and a creative mind. I really fell in love with painting in my 30s. I am a nurse anesthetist and mother of two so this was a great stress reliever for me after work.
Q: What materials do you use in your work? Paints, canvas, paper, etc?
I use acrylic paint, oil pastels, charcoal and graphite primarily. I also use several different mediums in my paint to build layers.
Q: From where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration primarily comes from landscape photography and interior design. I would say oushak rugs are a huge inspiration for me. They have so many unexpected color combinations which is something I love to incorporate into my work.
Q: Playing with colors and textures excites us when designing jewelry. What excites you when painting?
Building layers is my favorite part. A new layer of paint can totally change the direction of a painting.
Q: Any business leaders or artists that inspire or influence you and your brand?
I am really inspired by lots of different southern designers. I sell some of my work at The Collective Dallas and I am in love with their design style.
Q: What can we look forward to seeing from your brand in the near future?
I think a lot more abstract landscapes are in my future. I have had so much fun working on them lately and I find it especially fun to look at photographs and make my own abstract interpretation of them.
Additional artwork available at The Collective Dallas