It’s time for another interview in the ‘Meet the Muse’-series: with Marian Parsons, also known as ‘Miss Mustard Seed’ from her DIY/home blog. Marian’s business started out as a decorative painting and mural business, evolved into an antiques business that tripped into a blog and blossomed into a entire brand. In 2012 she launched her milk paint line, and that’s when I met Marian.
Marian is a huge source of inspiration to me. One of her posts in 2011 inspired me to start my own business, I was one of her milk paint retailers in Belgium, later the European distributor until a year ago, and now I’m opening my Swedish shop carrying her milk paint line. It’s kind of super obvious that Miss Mustard Seed is one of my muses! An interview for my blog was a necessity :). I had a few personal questions in mind. Things I had been wondering about for a while.
Marian, you lived abroad for a while, in Germany, when you were a child. How did that experience shape you and your personality?
I think it gave me a broader world view, since I had the chance to live and travel outside of the US extensively as a child. I’m proud to be an American, but I also have a love and appreciation of other cultures and styles. I can definitely see German influences in the colors I developed for my milk paint line and in the kind of fabrics and finishes I gravitate towards. I think living overseas made me a bit more adventurous and open to trying things that aren’t familiar. (Curious about Marian’s time in Germany? Read more here.)
Source: Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint
How did it influence your creative journey?
I have loved how this blog and business has made the world a smaller place and I can connect with people all over the world who are like-minded. I find so much inspiration from others and the trends they are experiencing in their corner of the globe.
You recently moved from Pennsylvania to Minnesota, I moved to Sweden. I did a bit of homework and read that many Swedish immigrants settled in Minnesota in the 19th and 20th century. Do you feel a connection with Swedish interior design and furniture pieces?
Definitely! I think there are similarities to German interior design and, since I grew up around that, it’s very nostalgic for me. I think Swedish style is a little more refined, though, and I love the color palette as well as the details, like carved rosettes and fluted legs, on furniture pieces.
Source: Painted Swedish Bench, Miss Mustard Seed.
Source: Dala horse painting, Miss Mustard Seed.
You have so much going on, it’s mind blowing and very inspiring. There’s your milk paint line, the blog, several books, your soon to be launched home décor line and many other things in the pipeline. You never seem to be out of creative ideas! What makes you decide if you’re going to work on an idea or not?
I try to look at the big picture of my business and see how it all fits together. If the new opportunity complements what I already have in the works and I feel I can support it, I’ll go for it! Not everything is a wild success, but I enjoy the process of exploring new options and see what happens. The milk paint line was one of those options that turned out to be a surprise success!
Source: Miss Mustard Seed
You’re very productive. Productivity gets a real boost with good self-care. What’s your secret self-care recipe?
Such a timely question as I’m working on making self-care more of a priority. When my recent move, it’s been put on the back burner, but I know I feel better about myself and my productivity goes to a whole new level when I am eating well, exercising, and doing my hair and makeup every day. It’s okay if I’m in pain splattered clothes as long as I’ve made some effort to look put-together.
Hope you enjoyed this interview! Do you also remember the interview with Vibeke Svenningsen? You can read it here, in case you missed it. Vibeke and Miss Mustard Seed worked together on a new collection of images for the Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint brand. I saw the results just a week ago, and it’s so beautiful. The Scandinavian influence in the styling is 200% my cup of tea. It’s super fun to recognize the ironstone and porcelain I’m collecting and selling. Here are my favorite photos!