When Meryl Lee created her first sign, she just wanted a reminder to “Be Still.” From there, her journey to create a successful and beautiful sign business began. “Words were always super meaningful to me. And some just resonate with me. I just love making something meaningful.”

Creating beautiful things has always been a desire and passion for Meryl. Her mom let her graffiti her bedroom walls as a teenager and she used Mod Podge to decorate her own furniture.

After she had her first child, she started making signs to decorate her house. From there, she started receiving commissions to sell and make signs for clients. And then, she decided to start an Etsy Shop. “I love being a mom. It’s important to me and my most important role, but after having kids, I felt like I needed to find myself, honestly. Doing this really helped me feel more like myself. It accesses that creative side of me.”

She now has two children and a growing business. Four years ago, after her first commissions started rolling in, her friends and family helped set up a website and log for her and pushed her to leave her comfort zone and really go for it. “I wouldn’t have gone for it as big as I did if someone weren’t pushing me to put myself out there.”

To make her signs, Meryl uses vinyl, stencil materials, and the Silhouette CAMEO®. One of her favorite features of the CAMEO is the roll feeder because it allows her to cut more than two feet of vinyl at one time. “It’s one of the best things I’ve bought for making designs.”

One of her most challenging projects was a large six-foot-by-four-foot sign a client requested. They wanted it to look like a large page from a book, so the words had to be completely custom. She washed on the page to make the words look aged, so it was a big project. It actually took over her garage while she was working on it! Once it was completed, Meryl was so grateful she stepped out of her comfort zone. “That project built up so much confidence in my abilities. We worked really hard on it to make it really special.”

To find inspiration for her projects, Meryl looks to movies, song lyrics, and words she finds uplifting. She even looks to her husband for help. “My husband works in mental health and is constantly telling things to people to help them get through life challenges. I tell him that if he says something that sounds good to text it to me so I can put it on a sign.”

She does advise to look within rather than look at what everyone else is doing to find inspiration. “If you’re looking at other people’s stuff, you’ll create other people’s stuff because it’s not your own vision or creativity.”

To those who think they’re not creative, Meryl has some advice. “I feel like every person has some sort of creativity inside of them. If you have a desire, just go for it and give yourself time and space to learn. Watch tutorials. Read blogs. Give yourself time to create and you’ll do it. Don’t compare yourself to other people because you’re not supposed to do what they’re doing. You have to give yourself time and grace.”

Find Meryl on Instagram @inspiredfindings or at her Etsy shop.