A picture perfect start for this small business owner

2019 grad Mary Thrailkill is a small business owner with a big passion for art. As the founder and artist behind Mary Thrailkill Art & Design, she spends her time creating beautiful paintings and illustrations that inspire an appreciation for the world around us.

As an art history major and music minor at Berry, Mary was steeped in activities that furthered her understanding of and love for the fine arts. She worked for three years as a teacher assistant to Associate Professor of Art History Virginia Troy and for two years as an assistant in the Berry College Archives, working with exhibits and learning how to process photos and documents for display and cataloguing. Mary’s studies within her major led her to become the recipient of the Troy/Gardner Endowed Art History Award.

“I have benefited from being a part of the work program…learning how to balance my school, daily activities and the professional work environment. I feel this has really prepared me for whatever is next in my life,” Mary says.

While she was still a student, Mary invested in her entrepreneurial dreams by creating her own design business selling prints of her artwork online and at art shows. Her roommate and fellow 2019 grad Suleima Millan-Salinas gave Mary the push she needed to take her business from an idea to a reality by getting her in touch with Professor of Management Paula Englis.

“Dr. Englis has…been a big influence on my future plans by giving me the confidence to pursue my passion for art in the business sector and the resources and skills to do so,” Mary says of her business mentor.

Mary has plans to grow her design business by participating in collaborative opportunities and taking on custom work while also selling her prints at local art shows.

“One thing that really stood out to me about Berry was the opportunities they provide for students, including work positions and leadership…They provide so many networking opportunities on and off-campus and I would encourage anyone to truly take advantage of this!”

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