It’s safe to say I’m head over heels for eco-friendly design team Dream Inspired Design. Ana and Shelby are a duet of pleasures; even though their business is fairly new, they have a beautiful, sustainable vision and product that really got my attention. What’s more, they are in this together, every step of the way; this interview was with the both of them.
please introduce yourself!
Dream Inspired Design is a Long Beach based eco-friendly graphic & web design business created by Ana Belén Salatino and Shelby Sanchez. Ana was born in Argentina and raised in California, where she got a degree in Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara. Shelby was born and raised in Long Beach, CA and studied Business and Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Shelby & Ana joined forces in early 2013 to offer their gifts which include branding, new paradigm marketing, graphic and web design to creatives, visionaries, conscious and vibrant entrepreneurs.
Just this month (October) they launched their eco-friendly paper goods line which will be featured at the Long Beach and Santa Ana Patchwork shows.
what do you make or do?
We have a fun and inspiring line of eco-friendly compostable paper goods (featuring our original artwork). The paper we use is made from banana plants (post-harvest, which means no trees are harmed in the process) AND it’s unbleached so no toxic chemicals are used, as is so common in the paper industry. We love it so much because in addition to being AWESOME it is BEAUTIFUL–it has a lovely visual texture that makes our colorful designs really POP. We also specialize in helping creative and conscious businesses (like ours) with their branding & logos, new paradigm marketing strategy, and building inspiring and user-friendly websites.
where can we find your creations?
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
Ana: I come from a very creative family where no one really considers themselves an artist! Needless to say, I’ve always been creating… 2008 was when I made the conscious shift to MAKE space in my life to CREATE in order to keep life interesting and so I started “Merry Blues Art” (which was my sole-proprietorship line of paper goods.) Even though that wasn’t a full-time job it allowed me to develop skills and knowledge that I’ve been able to put into use this year. Finding a visionary partner with complementary gifts was the key in creating my own full-time job! Being of service is so important, too; I feel so lucky to share my gifts and create movement for someone’s dream.
Shelby: I have always been a creative soul considering my life as a work of art for me to create upon. I grew up with two entrepreneurial parents so I had the example and confidence from a young age that I could create and offer to the world anything I put my mind and heart to. I have always loved creating art and using the way I dressed to express my creativity. After giving birth to my two little girls in 2009 & 2012 their presence in my life has inspired my life to a whole new level in consciously creating and curating my dream life and co-creating a harmonious world for them and the next seven generations to live in. The merge between creativity and my entrepreneurial skills has really come to life in the creation of Dream Inspired Design as a full time job. Ana is a dream business partner! Our skills and gifts complement one another and fuel forward movement and infinite possibility. I feel I am living my life in authenticity, true to my full expression and why I am here to serve and inspire others.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
Ana: I’m a tea-head. My partner, Arturo, and I are really into artisan, whole-leaf tea & tea culture–how something so simple can bring people together, provide a chance to really connect (to each other or within.) We even started a business to have access to better quality tea in Long Beach and share it with our community. It’s all about friendship, simplicity and humility. I love that tea gives me a wonderful way to infuse my life with those qualities on the daily.
Shelby: When I am not work/playing I am playing with my children. I have a 4 year old and 2 year old who daily invite me into their world of presence, imagination and fun. I have clear vision that it is important for both adults and children in these times, to be able to “read the book of nature,” so we spend a lot of time outside, riding our cargo bike around town or caring for the earth in our backyard. I love living a simple and wonder-filled life in connection and communication with all realms of life. The learning and inspiration are endless!
is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?
Shelby: Creativity is who I am. It is me consciously co-creating with my life. I am here to create and live in harmony with all of creation for the benefit of all.
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
Ana: When I had to start describing what I “do,” it took me some time to get comfortable using the words “artist” and “business-owner” simply because I had many pre-conceived and tired notions of what those words defined. When I created my own meanings for those words the discomfort just melted away… And that’s because life really is just like we tell children, you can do/be anything you want! You just have to know what that means to you, why you are compelled to do it, and then just do your best! Obstacles can become opportunities if you open up and allow yourself to learn something new or have a different experience, you have that choice.
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
Amazingness! Life just keeps getting better and better. A huge benefit of having a creative business that is a reflection of who you are is that you attract a community of resonate co-creators to co-create more fun experiences with great purpose!
We are going to be collaborating with Kitanie, a forward thinking children’s coloring book company to create a vision pod for the ‘Dream of the New Earth’ coloring book.
what would be your perfect day off?
Being and playing outside in nature; creating space in the spontaneity of an unplanned day to receive more inspiration and wisdom to create and share with others.
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Allow for change and evolution. Owning a business is a great reflection of the fact that life is constantly moving, so it’s best to go with that flow and enjoy the process; keep it FUN! 🙂
who are the makers that inspire you?
Ana: I am lucky to have two very creative & inspiring sisters. Micaela is an inventive clothing designer, artist & social activist living in Long Beach and Morena lives off-the-grid in Australia making awesome accessories and just began a new whole-food baked goods business to showcase her culinary creativity.
Ana Belin Salatino and Shelby Sanchez; photo by Thomas McConville