2019 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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Whitney Ward

Senior Creative Lead at Pinterest

Whitney Ward (@whitneyew) spearheads a team of writers and designers on the Creative Strategy team at Pinterest—a team focused on helping brands explore creative possibilities on the platform. Whitney spent her early career working with top global brands as a Creative/Art Director in the agency world where she focused on everything from splashy commercials to editorial photography. She left her Midwest roots to pursue her passion for advertising at the University of Colorado, further refining her creative chops at the Miami Ad School in San Francisco. In 2015, she won The SF Egotist 32 Under 32 Award for professionals in advertising. She is currently saving ideas for her next travel adventure, Pinterest-worthy party decor and Paleo dog food recipes (yep, it’s a real thing) for her two English bulldogs.

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Megan Gonzalez

Director & Founder of MaeMae & Co.

Megan is the inspiration and director behind MaeMae, a creative studio bringing daydreams to life. The company started in stationery and has evolved over the past decade to support, inspire, and lead other entrepreneurs. She directs and styles colorful photoshoots, builds beautiful and effective brands, and consults. Megan lives in Minneapolis, MN with her handsome husband and sweet pup. 

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Jacob Loafman


Jacob Loafman is a photographer from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Jacob has been making pictures of people, places, and things all around the world for about 6 years and has no plans to stop. He has been published in multiple magazines, won industry awards, and has taught at workshops and conferences around the world. He is a firm believer in reinventing yourself, pushing yourself, and not allowing any type of fear to get in the way of doing so. He states, “As photographers, we have this wonderful skill that allows us to see the world in a very powerful way. We cannot let our visions stay the same. It is our obligation to push our vision to grow, to be better, to teach us, and to make us proud. I want to inspire others to always be challenging themselves as artists.” Jacob also really loves animals and recently started living a very quiet and simple life on a lake in Missouri.

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Erin McManness

Illustrator & Founder of Paper Raven Co.

Minted artist Erin McManness is an illustrator in Atlanta, Georgia. Erin has been freelancing full-time for 5 years under her brand Paper Raven Co., which started as a small greeting card line, and now includes licensing for an assortment of cards, gifts, fabrics and home decor. She has also collaborated on projects with Macy's, Publix, Target, Trader Joe’s and Aldi. In October, she will be releasing her second book, "Art Starts in the Heart", an inspirational guide to making meaningful art. When she's not designing for Minted, Erin loves true crime novels, cooking, and long walks with her dog, Patty.

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Katharine Watson

Artist & Printmaker

Katharine Watson is an artist and printmaker living in Portland, Maine. She works primarily with linocuts, but also loves to incorporate painting and drawing in her work. Her linoleum block prints are inspired by botanicals and decorative arts from around the world, and she loves the imperfect nature of block printing and the bold, monochromatic look it creates. Her work is sold in hundreds of small stores around the country as well as major retailers including Paper Source, Crate and Barrel, World Market, and Target, and she has been featured in Vogue and Martha Stewart Living. When she's not working, you can find her eating Maine oysters, working in her garden, or planning her next big trip.

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Carrie O’Neal

Graphic Designer & Founder of Scripted Studio

Minted artist Carrie O’Neal is a seasoned graphic designer and recent founder of Scripted Studio, a stationery and gift shop near Cincinnati, Ohio. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer for the past 18 years offering a wide variety of services including corporate design, brand development, environmental design and custom stationery. When she’s not working from her new retail shop and studio, she loves to spend time with her husband, two teenagers and exotic shorthair cat Hazel.

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Erika Firm

Artist & Designer

Erika Firm is an artist, surface designer, graphic designer, brand builder, magazine hoarder, kitty squisher, wife, and mother. She has been designing stationery (with an “e”) since 2002 and currently serves as the Creative Director of Revel & Co., where she delights in creating whimsical party goods featuring her paintings and illustrations. Known for her love of the color green, a perfectly imperfect stripe, and a well poured cortado, Erika resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where the unique charm of the local architecture, mossy oak trees, and salt marshes inspire her work.

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Jackie Mangiolino

Designer & Owner of Sincerely, Jackie

First Minted in 2009, Jackie Mangiolino is the Long Island based owner of Sincerely, Jackie and founder of The Everyday Mother. She’s a self-taught designer, and wedding invitation etiquette expert, who credits the Minted community for helping grow her skills and business, ultimately being able to leave her full-time corporate career in 2014. Jackie has a passion for minimal, type-based designs, and is known to buy fonts the way most women buy shoes; in abundance and without telling her husband. Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart, Brides, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Oh So Beautiful Paper, and more.

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Melanie Severin 

Designer, Artist & 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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Katie Myrick

Director of Business Operations for Wedding at Minted

Katie Myrick is Minted's Director of Business Operations for the Wedding category, which means she works on anything and everything related to Wedding at Minted. Prior to joining Minted, Katie worked for Amazon, Nike, and at The Boston Consulting Group with Fortune 500 retail and consumer goods clients. Originally from Hungary, she moved to California to attend Stanford University, where she got her BA and MBA. In her precious spare time, Katie loves to be outdoors, and spend time with her husband and precocious one-year-old, Maggie.


Adam J. Kurtz

Artist & Author

Adam J. Kurtz (aka @adamjk) is an artist and author whose illustrative work is rooted in honesty, humor and a little darkness. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages and his “very personal” work for clients like Strand Bookstore and Urban Outfitters has been featured in the New Yorker, VICE, Adweek and more.

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Grace Clarke

Head of Content at Derris

Grace Clarke is the Head of Content at Derris, a communications agency headquartered in New York. She launched and lead content for Madewell for three years where she became obsessed with community and "listening to your people." She hosts a monthly "teen supper club" to help answer the question, What will the world look like next? Her side projects have been covered by New York Magazine, the New York Times, and NPR. She serves as the vice-chair of New York Public Radio's Community Advisory Board and runs content for the Italian Greyhound Rescue of New York.



Mike Scrutton

Director of Print Technology & Strategy at Adobe

Mike Scrutton is Director of Print Technology and Strategy in Adobe’s Print and Publishing Business Unit. He leads a team focused on developments in the textile printing space. Mike draws on his 25+ years in printing, and extensive understanding of creative and production workflows. He routinely works with end users, brands, vendors and partners, both within Adobe and externally. Mike has been with Adobe since 1997 and has been responsible for many technologies in the field of PDF, color, and printing, including the new Adobe Textile Designer plug for Adobe Photoshop. A native of the UK, Mike currently lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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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Stef Etow

Visual Strategist & Founder of Ink and Pulp

Stef Etow is a visual strategist and Founder of Ink and Pulp, a Bay Area-based creative studio rooted in the philosophy of quality over quantity. As a visual storyteller, Stef has an intuitive understanding of people and a gift for seeing the essence of who they are and how to communicate this visually. She has worked on Instagram campaigns for brands like J.Crew, Madewell, Everlane, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and Nespresso USA. At the heart of her work is a passion for supporting creative women who bring beauty into the world through their unique craft.

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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.

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Jennifer Daily

Mixed-Media Artist

Minted artist Jennifer Daily is a mixed-media artist exploring the overlapping worlds of painting and collage from her studio in the San Francisco East Bay. Jennifer is particularly interested in the process of discernment in her work, finding that in both art and life you must remove what is unnecessary to leave room to appreciate what is left. When not in her studio you can find Jennifer helping to lead the art docent program at her son’s school, hanging with her husband and two boys, or chasing down her dog Lottie at the dog park.

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Alicia Schultz

Artist & Designer at Vine & Thistle

Alicia Schultz is the artist and designer behind Vine & Thistle. She is a hand letterer, stationery designer, and illustrator. Alicia creates primarily digitally on an iPad Pro. One of her favorite things about being an artist is connections -- whether it is connecting people through art and stationery, connecting by teaching art, or connecting with fellow artists. Alicia lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two daughters.

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Amy Ehmann

Artist & 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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Agnes Pierscieniak

Designer, Artist & Educator

Agnes is a designer, artist and educator in Playa Vista. She seeks out bright places and bold people. Agnes is passionate about travel, meeting people, and making things. After studying under master craftsmen in India, Japan and Mexico, Agnes built a local creative community. Now Agnes hosts workshops, retail pop-ups, corporate events, and retreats through Crave Workshops. She loves to encourage human connection through hands on art experiences. Agnes has an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

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Ben Xiong

Director of Growth and Strategic Planning at Minted

Ben leads Minted's Strategy team and works on identifying and launching initiatives to create new opportunities for Minted and its community of artists, including our new wholesale offerings and partnerships. He also works on Minted's Art team to support new offerings and drive growth, both on Minted.com and with retail partners. Before coming to Minted, Ben was a Case Team Leader at management consultancy Bain and Company, working with leading retail and e-commerce companies to improve their businesses and strategies. Ben earned his Bachelor's Degree from Brown University and his MBA from Stanford.


Nicole Lapin

Author, News Anchor & Businesswoman

Nicole Lapin is the New York Times bestselling author of Rich Bitch and Boss Bitch. Lapin was the youngest-ever anchor on CNN before holding the same title at CNBC, anchoring the network’s early morning show, “Worldwide Exchange,” while covering business topics for MSNBC and Today. She has served as an anchor for Bloomberg TV and a special money correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Lapin is currently the host of the CW’s business reality competition show “Hatched.” She contributes regular financial reports to Dr. Oz, Good Morning America and The Steve Harvey Show. Lapin is Redbook Magazine’s first-ever money columnist and the first female “Money Expert of The Year” winner for the second year running. Lapin graduated as valedictorian from Northwestern University. Her third book, Becoming Super Woman, is set to be released in September 2019.

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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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Neeraj Nandkeolyar

Product Manager at Adobe

Neeraj Nandkeolyar has been with the Adobe Illustrator team for over 16 years. Trained in design, he used to work as a designer and production artist prior to joining Adobe. In his role as a Sr. Product Manager, he helps his team build features that enable designers that enhances their creative expression. But he says the best part of his job is that he gets to interact with designers across many disciplines. He is deeply passionate about vectors, type, and color and loves to share tips and techniques he has learned all these years.



Meg Gleason

Designer & Artist at Moglea

Meg Gleason is a designer and artist at Moglea, a design studio she runs alongside her husband, Chad, that creates modern paper and home goods. Meg submitted to Minted’s early challenges in 2009, and they eventually launched their own brand of paper goods in 2012. Their artful stationery and product line is created by using hand-applied production processes like paint and dye to add one-of-a-kind elements to each product. Moglea is currently working on a small furniture line and hopes to continue to expand into the home market. They have two children and reside in Des Moines, Iowa.

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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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Priscilla Lee

Watercolor Artist

Priscilla Lee is a watercolor artist based in San Diego, California. She is a self-taught artist and a huge believer that the best learning happens through curious exploration. She is endlessly inspired by the colors, textures and movement found in nature, and particularly enjoys studying and painting botanicals. She believes everyone is a creative at heart and strives to inspire others to discover their creative voice.

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Deborah Velasquez

Artist-designer & 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, home decor store Habitat in the UK, and giftware and home décor licensing companies.

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Julie Green

Letterer, Font Designer & Graphic Artist

Julie Green is a letterer, font designer, and graphic artist who works under the studio name Up Up Creative. She's obsessed with letterforms, unexpected color palettes, sleep, minimalism, and bravery. Julie gets a kick out of exploiting technology for creative ends. Since laying hands upon an iPad Pro when it first came out, her workflow has changed dramatically, and she's excited to help Minties learn new ways to use this tool to create custom, creative work. Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, BRIDES Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Design Milk, Decor8, and elsewhere.

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Lise Gulassa 

Artist, Designer & Founder

Minted Artist Lise Gulassa is one half of the creative duo behind Sisters Gulassa, an international design house that produces art, patterns, and products, recognized for their vivid color, vibrant energy and bold pattern-mixing style. Sisters Gulassa's patterns have graced many surfaces, from fashion, swimwear and activewear to interior design products, such as rugs, wallpaper, wall art, textiles, ceramics and tabletops, including accessories and paper goods. Lise's signature color-drenched art and pattern designs have found their way to Minted, Anthropologie, Carve Designs, The North Face, Timberland UK, Title Nine, Pier One Imports and Art Image Brazil, to name a few. Combining techniques and capturing serendipity is Lise’s secret to the music of her dynamic art and designs.

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Marina Woodbury

Manager of Greeting Cards Merchandising at Minted

Marina is the Merchandising Manager for greeting cards at Minted, covering our wholesale partnerships with Target and our online initiatives like our newly launched greeting card subscription service. Prior to Minted, she created art and graphic materials for in-store merchandising displays with Whole Foods, and graduated from UCSB with a bachelor's degree in fine arts.