2018 Speakers, teachers & moderators


Mariam Naficy

Founder & CEO at Minted

Mariam loves creating and managing the Minted brand, ensuring our products are the best in the world, and working with Minted's talented community of independent artists, who inspire her every day. Mariam founded Minted to create a retailer that could stay fresh forever, using crowdsourcing and analytics to bring the best design to market faster than anyone. She has pioneered consumer Internet models since 1998, when she co-founded the first online cosmetics retailer, Eve.com, which was sold for over $100 million. Mariam sits on the Board of Yelp and Every Mother Counts. She is a Stanford Business School and Williams alumna.

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Jen Hewett

Printmaker and Textile Artist

Jen is a printmaker, surface designer, textile artist and teacher. Jen and her dog Gus live in San Francisco, two blocks from Golden Gate Park, and three miles from the Pacific Ocean. Jen’s first book, Print, Pattern, Sew: Block Printing Basics + Simple Sewing Projects for an Inspired Wardrobe, was published by Roost Books in May 2018. Her clients include Fringe Supply Co. and Princeton Architectural Press, and her fabric line with Cotton + Steel will be available through select retailers this fall.

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Jordan Zamir

General Counsel at Minted

Jordan oversees and manages all of Minted’s legal affairs, and is focused on building a strong legal function that enables Minted’s continued growth. Before joining Minted, Jordan was a Partner at Jones Day, where he represented Minted for several years. Jordan studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. He was named a Top General Counsel in the 2017 First Chair Awards. Jordan graduated from UCLA Law School and began his career as a corporate transactional lawyer in Silicon Valley with a focus on technology companies and private equity funds.



Annie Clark

Creative Director at Minted

Annie is a creative professional based out of San Francisco who came to work at Minted in 2008 after she participated in the first ever Design Challenge. She's worked in a myriad of capacities at Minted ranging from customer service representative to marketing design manager to creative director.  Although she counts her professional career and her 15-month-old-daughter and older-than-15-month-old-husband as her biggest sources of pride, creating a body of work that inspires others would be her greatest achievement.

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Erin McManness

Illustrator & Founder of Paper Raven Co.

Minted artist Erin McManness is an illustrator in Atlanta, Georgia. Since earning her master’s from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2014, she’s worked in the product design, art direction, and illustration industries, leaving the traditional workplace in 2015 to officially launch her brand, Paper Raven Co., as a full-time endeavor. Paper Raven Co. started as a small greeting card line that has burgeoned in less than three years to include a robust assortment of cards, gifts, home decor, and many licensing projects. She recently released a book, Art Starts With a Line. (photo by Kelley Raye Photography).

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Julia Contacessi

Contemporary Abstract Painter

Minted artist and contemporary abstract painter Julia Contacessi explains her process as a combination of conscious and subconscious exploration. With a focus on color, texture, and composition, Julia strives to deliver an atmospheric, feel-good effect in every one of her pieces. The artistic influence of Helen Frankenthaler and her belief that there is “no formula” and the artist should “let the picture lead you where it must go,” are principles that Julia embraces. After graduating from Pratt Institute, Julia moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Norwalk, Connecticut, where she currently resides with her husband, Mario, and little guy, Neo. She hearts painting, photography, and all things design.

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Allison Brennan 

Co-founder of The Social Type

Minted artist Allison Brennan is co-founder of The Social Type, a paper goods and gift company based in Los Angeles. Since 2010, their fun and bright products can be found at boutiques internationally. Allison has always had a love of stationery and has worked for Jonathan Wright in LA, and for Minted during its earliest stage. She counts her lucky stars to be able to produce goods she believes in and to be part of such an awesome community of artists and entrepreneurs.

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Stephanie Nowotarski

Artist and Scientist

Steph is an artist and scientist currently located in Kansas City, MO. Born and raised in Mertztown, PA, she had the excellent fortune to have at least one teacher every year whom fostered a love of learning in her K-12 years, and thus she wanted to do everything. She’s tried to do just that ever since. 

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Anne Holmquist

Artist and Certified Master Plumber

By day, Minted artist Anne Holmquist works as a Licensed Master Plumber for her family’s business in New York City, holding a license that very few women have. Her other main job is being a mom and taxi service to her three kids, who are 12, 10, and 7. She squeezes in her design work wherever she can--usually after her kids are in bed or during the waiting time of her kids’ activities.

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Kristen Smith 

Graphic Designer and Hand Letterer

Kristen Smith is a graphic designer and hand lettering artist residing in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia, she worked hard to establish a freelance career and officially launched her own company in 2011. She has a passion for fresh, beautiful designs, often incorporating organic elements like watercolor textures and calligraphy into her work. When she is not designing or sketching, you can find her in the garden or snuggling a cat! 

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Yoram Wolberger 

Creative Director of Fine Art at Minted

Yoram is an experienced Creative Director who drives creative strategy and solutions to meet marketing objectives. Before Minted, Yoram led creative projects for companies such as Apple, Discovery Channel Store, Johnson & Johnson Diabetic Institute, and most recently led the Banana Republic creative team. Yoram is a fine artist whose work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, deCordova Sculpture Park, the Aldrich Contemporary Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Israeli Museum of Modern Art. His work has been acquired for the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the OC Museum of Art, Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, Sweeney Art Gallery, UC Riverside, McNay Art Museum, and Crocker Art Museum. He earned his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

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Easter Kim

Director of Artist Relations at Minted

Minted's Artist Relations team supports, develops, engages, and retains our talented community of artists. Prior to Minted, Easter was a management consultant at Ernst & Young and served as Director, Strategy at Teach For America. Growing up, her parents owned a small framing & art business, which led to her appreciation of art and desire to support independent business owners. Easter received her B.S. at Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. 

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Hiroki Asai

Former VP of Global Marketing Communications and Executive Creative Director at Apple

Hiroki serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Minted. He was the former Vice President of Global Marketing Communications and Executive Creative Director at Apple, where he oversaw the work of a team made up of hundreds of art directors, writers, motion-graphic designers, developers and graphic designers. His teams were responsible for every piece of marketing communication for Apple outside of advertising, and they produced and engineered everything completely in-house. He worked at Apple for 18 years and was “known as a silent force who understood what Jobs thought about the Apple brand.” Hiroki is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumnus. 


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Megan Gonzalez

Creative Director and Founder of MaeMae Co.

MaeMae is a creative studio bringing daydreams to life. Megan established her own nationally recognized stationery company that matured into much more. She has developed effective creative processes, built tools to embrace a niche audience, and structured her company around the life she wants. She is passionate about sharing what she has learned throughout her journey with other entrepreneurs and creatives. Megan is a creative director assisting companies with branding, marketing, and product development. She directs and styles photoshoots, creates and applies brand assets through print and digital, and consult. 

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Molly Jacques

Letterer and Type Designer

Molly is a commercial Hand Lettering artist and Type Designer from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has been working as a full-time freelancer since 2012 and throughout the years has had the wonderful opportunity to work with clients like Disney, Papyrus, Target, and The Wall Street Journal. Her work is best known for its fun colors, whimsical style, and positive message. Molly currently lives and works in Grand Rapids with her husband Cody, daughter Juniper, and two dogs Fievel and Dakota.

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Jesi Haack

Creative Director of Jesi Haack Design, Co-founder of SLAACK Productions

Jesi Haack Design is a dynamic design firm that creates, sews, saws, drills, glues, strings, cuts, dyes, shreds, fringes, nails, paints and tapes it all to create the perfect illustration to any story. Known for their cutting edge, out of the box ideas, JHD has been noticed by Martha Stewart, Brides Magazine, The Knot, WE TV, Glamour, Rue Magazine, Design Sponge and more. Jesi is also the Co-founder of SLAACK Productions, with Hallie Slade, which is a full service experiential marketing agency focusing on helping big brands make the most out of their marketing dollars by visual installations. Jesi is the wife of Ryan, the mother of Jonah, Maverick, River and Emerald and lives in Costa Mesa, CA.

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Annie Mertlich

Artist & Founder of Wildfield Paper Co. 

Minted artist Annie Mertlich is a fine artist and businesswoman who feels lucky to call Salt Lake City, Utah, her home. Her business, Wildfield Paper Co., began as a grassroots effort on Instagram and has grown quickly over the years. Annie loves teaching and has shared her knowledge in workshops online and around the country, helping budding artists find their unique voice and individual style. Later in 2018, Annie will publish a book to teach a wide range of watercolor botanical techniques to share her knowledge around the globe.

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Carolann Parran

Artist and Founder of Pink House Press

Minted artist Carolann Parran of Pinkhouse Press is a graphic designer, letterer, and owner of Pink House Press. After studying magazine design at the University of North Carolina’s Journalism School, she discovered Minted as a creative outlet while working a web design job in Atlanta. She now freelances, runs two Etsy shops, and designs for Minted full time from her home in Washington, D.C., with her dog, Luna, at her side.

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Aspacia Kusulas

Calligrapher and Letterpress Printer

Minted artist Aspacia Kusulas is a lettering artist, letterpress printer, and calligrapher specializing in brand identity, packaging, and stationery—all with a strong emphasis in typography. She earned her degree at Universidad Iberoamericana, studied letterpress at Art Center College, and earned a type design certificate from Type@Cooper. She teaches in Los Angeles and Mexico.

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Amy Ehmann

Artist and Founder of Design Lotus

Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus is a pioneering Minted artist who joined the community 10 years ago during the dawn of the company’s crowdsourced design competitions. The Colorado artist ignited her freelance design business with fellow stay-at-home mom and best friend Tina Furjanic.

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Amy Fontes

Graphic Designer

Minted artist Amy Fontes is a freelance graphic designer in Henderson, Nevada, and has been with Minted since 2008. She is inspired by vintage illustration and color palettes but would also describe her design style as eclectic. In addition to being a designer, she dabbles in photography, manages the administrative side of her husband’s medical practice, is the property manager of a medical building, and manages the day-to-day activities of her kids who are 10 and 7.



Melanie Severin 

Designer, artist and business owner

Melanie Severin is a Canadian artist whose aesthetic has been described as "sophisticated whimsy". She lives with her husband and 3 children in Alberta, Canada, and works from a home-based studio, surrounded by aspen forest and natural beauty. A former lawyer, Melanie has always had a passion for design, and founded a small online stationery company in 2005, both as a creative outlet and also as a way to earn income while on maternity leave from her law career. She is now a freelance artist/designer exclusively, and has a large body of licensed work available at Minted and elsewhere, including stationery, gift, and home decor products.

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Lindsay Stetson Thompson

Creative Director and Social Media at Minted

Lindsay is a Creative Director at Minted working alongside our Wedding, Trade and Events, and Social Media teams. Prior to joining Minted in 2016, Lindsay designed at agencies, in-house design teams, as well as ran her own freelance business. She specializes in branding, packaging, and website design with an emphasis on typography and layout design—serving clients from small mom-and-pop cafes and businesses to universities, Amazon, Target, and Disney. Lindsay hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she graduated from Western Washington University. 

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Caroline Jung

Manager of Art Merchandising at Minted

Caroline has managed Art Merchandising for the past several years at Minted, beginning in the early stages of the business in 2014. She is continuously impressed by the beauty and diversity of the community’s work, and has enjoyed watching the Art business continue to grow and develop. Caroline is originally from the Bay Area, and received a degree in Product Design Engineering from Stanford.

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Anna Kornmann

Sr. Director of Product Design, Seasonal and Stationery, at Target

Anna is the Sr. Director of Target's Product Development and Design team for Stationery, Seasonal, Bullseye's Playground, School & Office and Outdoor Living. Anna has over 25 years of experience in product design and creative leadership, ranging from apparel to makeup, stationery to Christmas and all things glitter. Some of the most recent projects included the brand launch of Target's exclusive Wondershop, Hyde & Eek, SPR!TZ & Bullseye's Playground as well as leading product design collaborations with Oh Joy!, Sugar-Paper, & Marcel Wanders. Anna graduated from the University of Minnesota apparel design program.

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Brady Wood

SVP, Artists & Partnerships at Minted

Brady leads artist relations, wholesale and licensing partnerships, and communications, working to develop our independent artist community and gain exposure for their work. Brady built his first online community in 1996 and taught a course about online communities at Duke University. Prior to Minted, he co-founded Shmoop, an educational website used by tens of millions of teachers and students. Previously, he worked in marketing at Yahoo and founded its LGBT employees group. Brady earned a BA, cum laude, from Duke and an MBA from Stanford. 

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Erin Armstrong

Money Coach & Tax Specialist

Erin is a Small Business Tax & Money Coach, who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs develop a better understanding of their business financials through her services, workshops, and online courses. She especially “gets” creatives and lifestyle business owners, recognizing there’s a great need for financial information to be presented in a digestible, non-fearmongering, and empowering way. Erin helps small businesses develop accounting practices that are accurate, streamlined, and structured to take advantage of the most lucrative tax deductions. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband of 10 years and young daughter. In her “down” time, you’ll often find her outdoors.

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Hallie Slade

Owner of LB Event Planning and Co-founder of SLAACK Productions

Hallie is the Owner and Principal of LB Event Planning and Design, and proud co-founder of SLAACK Productions alongside Jesi Haack. She is the wife to "the other Jesse" in her life, and mom to 4 year old Billy. She hails from Alabama, Connecticut, Boulder, the US Virgin Islands and several other stops on her way to Southern California. Hallie absolutely loves producing & designing events. She is a master of logistics & customer service, and - paired with a passion for design - has found her true calling as an event producer & designer. She lives and breathes spacial planning, rental orders, timeline perfection, curated vendor teams and budgets. Your event becomes the back of her hand.

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Amy Carroll 


Minted artist Amy Carroll is a lover of animals and genuine people, an adventurer, a mama and a wife, and a worldwide photographer. Her passion is photography + animals, and combining them together has been a labor of love. Her goal in her work with animals, people, and the places she visits is to encourage a closer look. To see something genuine and beautiful. To be curious about the world around you. And see the beauty in the ordinary.

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Laura Bolter

Lettering Artist

Minted artist Laura Bolter earned a degree in graphic design from the University of Kansas, where she was recruited by the Lettering Department at Hallmark Cards. For over 25 years, she has built a successful freelance career in the social expression industry with a focus on lettering and typography. Laura is a wife, mother, grandmother, dog mom, Apple geek, introvert, painter and workaholic.

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Juliet Meeks

Artist and Surface Pattern Designer

Minted artist Juliet Meeks is an artist and surface pattern designer in New Orleans. She has always been inspired by color and pattern, and creates watercolor artwork for her product line, Juliet Meeks Design. She also collaborates with companies like Birchbox, Cloud9 Fabrics, and Greetabl. Juliet teaches watercolor and pattern classes on Skillshare, and later this year will offer workshops at her new studio space and gallery in New Orleans.

website | instagram

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Deborah Velasquez

Artist-designer and Author

Minted artist Deborah Velásquez is an artist-designer and the author of Drawing in Black and White. She creates paintings, prints, ceramics, stationery, textiles, rugs, wall art, and mobiles. Her art is colorful and energetic, giving a vibrant nod to nature and shows her love of gouache, watercolor, and printmaking. Deborah has exhibited in numerous galleries and juried shows and has been featured in UPPERCASE and Latina magazines. Her work is carried by Minted, West Elm, Target, CarpetVista of Sweden, and giftware and home décor licensing companies.

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Patricia Vargas

Artist and Founder of Parima Studio

Minted artist Patricia Vargas is the woman behind Parima Studio. Her colorful abstract paintings are inspired by the natural spontaneity, texture, and patterns of paint and brush moving over a surface. Since 2013, her work has been collected by luxury hotels and homeowners all around the world. Her art has been seen in both online and printed publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, Domino Magazine, and HGTV Magazine to name a few. She has also collaborated with national brands like Anthropologie. 

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Eric Beckett

Founder of GeekInk Design

Eric Beckett of GeekInk Design had an auspicious start in stationery design—his own wedding. He wanted his invitation to be a unique expression of his creativity, and it was on Minted that he found inspiration. “Classically Modern” was the first of many submissions. What he once thought would be a hobby has turned into a passion for all things paper and type. Married now six years, he creates in Redlands, CA, cheered on by his wife J. and 1-year-old son Connor.



Sean Flanagan

Creative Director at Minted

As a Creative Director, Sean directs photography and video projects for Minted. Sean's background includes design, illustration and management for print, branding and website design projects for global brands including Nestlé, Disney, and Whole Foods Market. Previously, Sean worked at Walmart.com directing photography and video projects for clothing, home and grocery categories. Prior to that, Sean managed his own freelance illustration business focusing on editorial illustration, surface design, character design, and children's products for clients including Clif Bar, Levi's, and Nike. Sean is an alumnus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

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Jodi Wahlen

Director of Wedding Merchandising at Minted

Jodi is constantly amazed and invigorated by Minted's talented artist community. Each challenge, she sees artists continuing to push the bar when it comes to design and originality. Before joining Minted last year, she spent most of her career with The Gap in various merchandising roles.  Jodi is an alumna of Mount Mary College where she double majored in Business Administration and Fashion Merchandising.