The Beginning.Born in Flint, Michigan to two creative parents; a carpenter and a homemaker. Dad loves music and working with his hands. Mom always leaves a trail behind her of creative doodles, the most unexpected homemade halloween costumes, and rhyming Christmas poetry.
The Curious Child.Always led by my own curiosity and introspection, and the exploration of universal emotions and behaviors, I naturally sought out ways to express myself and investigate the world around me. I indulged in books, made mud pies with my hands, and lived on roller skates.
The Creative Foundation. An Early Arts Education.An early arts education fostered my creative nature. By age five I was already hooked on ballet. Starting at age 12, my participation in classes at the Flint Cultural Center, mainly Flint Youth Theatre and Flint Institute of Music, built my foundation for a future life of creativity.
A Higher Education. BFA, Musical Theatre Performance
An early arts education taught me discipline, resilience, agility, and the meaning of hard work. A higher arts education not only further developed my talent and arts training, it opened my mind to new attitudes, cultures, and creative practices. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University in 1997.
The Professional Performing Artist.Out of college I landed my first professional musical theatre gig at a summer stock theatre called Cherry County Playhouse (Michigan). We performed Wizard of Oz, Chess, Sound of Music, and Funny Girl. Working with theatre and television professionals from Broadway, I decided to move to NYC that September, when I would begin “pounding the pavement”.
New York City. A New Home.
I moved to NYC on a 15-hour greyhound trip with two large duffle bags and $1,800 that I had saved over the summer. I sublet a futon in an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, and landed a job as a ticket sales girl at Carnegie Hall. Auditions led to more professional musical theatre gigs in regional theatres, a european tour, and my own cabaret act at Don’t Tell Mama.
The Launch. Holly Blondin Designs. Handmade Greeting Cards.
While auditioning and waitressing, I designed and launched my own line of handmade collage greeting cards under the name Holly Blondin Designs. The line was presented at The National Stationery Show at Javits Center. Cards were sold nationally and at Kate’s Paperie NYC. Later, several designs were licensed to Great Arrow Graphics.
The Shift to Design.I studied graphic design briefly at Parsons School of Design. I quickly realized being a graphic designer was not my thing. While working on my greeting card line, I designed customized stationery at Kate’s Paperie and was introduced to the wondrous world of paper, printing, and letterpress.
An Expat in the Making. A Cultural Expansion.After a summer in Barcelona (2005) I was determined to return to Spain permanently. I earned a Spanish as a second language D.E.L.E diploma while working at Instituto Cervantes New York (2006-2009). There, I was immersed in Spanish culture working alongside native Spaniards. Professionally, I utilized my graphic design and printing skills to develop bilingual marketing materials and web design for Cervantes.
Changing Directions. Creativity & Business. After years working in professional creative industries, I both experienced and observed the pitfalls that most creatives have while building careers in the arts. I yearned for solutions, and my curiosity led me to a business education. I earned an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, NYC. While developing my business acumen, I combined my creative and business mindsets and worked full-time as a marketing & branding professional.
MBA, Marketing & Entrepreneurship.
Hola Barcelona! New Home, New Chapter.
Shortly after earning my MBA, I said “goodbye” to NYC and started a new chapter of my life, and followed another lifelong dream; to move to Europe. Married to professional artist Didier Lourenço, I made the sunny city of Barcelona my new home. I stayed in entrepreneurial circles and continued my work as a marketing director with CEO Collaborative Forum. There, I worked with CEOs from some of Europe’s top SMEs, and took delight in soaking up knowledge on international business.