OWNER OF BRUSHBOX.ARTS
La’Donna Jones moved to Denver in 2018 after working as a regional manager turned franchise owner of a company called Paint Nite Inc. The company launched on the East Coast in 2012, and some would claim it was the start of the sip n paint trend that made us all feel like we had a little Picasso in us. While La’Donna was originally approached by the company to teach, she quickly moved into a role as regional manager overseeing the production, staffing, paint supply, and all that comes with running an art program.
After four years in that role, La’Donna was offered an opportunity to open a franchise if she was willing to move to either Denver or Memphis; she said yes and picked Memphis! She did this for a few years until she hit a wall and could not grow the business to where she wanted it to be. La’Donna’s foresight of the Memphis art market was not what she had anticipated and she learned a really good lesson in geographical trends and desires. “What worked in Wisconsin did not work in Memphis, and I didn’t take enough time to study what those trends were before diving in.”
After a total of 8 years with the company, La’Donna thought to herself, “If I can go this hard for a company, I can go this hard for myself.” So she packed up and moved to Denver where the art scene was not only growing, but artists like herself were accepted, there were a number of projects that were being funded with city dollars, and companies and organizations were looking to support creative initiatives that were being led by artists. When La’Donna moved to Denver, she made a vow that she would create a collaborative network of artists as a way to eliminate the stigma of the art world being snooty and classist and has done just that by having jam sessions with artists she meets in different spaces. The jam sessions are fun and a way to open the door for artist collaboration across multiple platforms.
La’Donna says her art is meant to be expressive in a way that reaches everyone; her signature items at BrushBox.Arts are colorful, vibrant table coasters that can be used as magnets as well. The first place she started selling (and still sells) is Fluid Coffee Bar in Uptown, and she has participated in a number of fairs, festivals, and markets around town. Although she enjoys the social aspect of live selling in these spaces, La’Donna has intentionally decided to take a step back and be more strategic about where she chooses to sell her work. “Certain environments just work better than others, and that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn; yeah I have something to offer, but is this the right space for it?”
La’Donna still sells her work at Fluid Coffee Bar in addition to Mutiny Cafe and Awaken Beauty Boutique. One of her more recent goals has been a shift towards corporate gifts and teaching again. She’s also launching a high-quality sticker line that will be available for in-person purchases only (stay tuned!). All other items are available for sale on her website, or you can keep up with her schedule of events on Instagram.