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Born in Holguin, Cuba, in the late 80’s, Cinthia grew up watching her late father – classically trained Cuban painter and sculptor Daniel Santos – work. Her love of art began at a young age, and grew as a means to send her father photos and letters after his move to Mexico when she was 5. Moving to Miami at the age of 10, Cinthia’s love of art shifted focus to illustration after being exposed to unlimited cartoons and comics upon arriving.
While acquiring a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Manufacturing, Cinthia’s illustration and design skills quickly turned into internships and job offers, leading to a 4 year career in apparel and textile design. Still in love with visual art, Cinthia was approached by a restaurant designer while painting a mural outside of her employer’s studio in Wynwood in 2013; this was the start of Chalk & Brush!
What was initially lettering a chalkboard for a neighborhood bagel shop turned into countless local businesses reaching out to Cinthia for her artistic talents. Her then-boyfriend (now husband) Ben, joined along as projects started getting larger, and eventually left his career as a pediatric ER nurse to focus on the business full time. They invested in professional training to grow their skills and kept up with design trends using Cinthia’s fashion knowledge. As demand grew, Cyn and Ben shifted the focus of their company to murals, and their sign painting skills quickly gained them a reputation for painting the cleanest and most photogenic pieces in town.
After eloping in 2017 (and famously sending proposals from their honeymoon), with demands for Chalk & Brush’s work steadily on the rise, they decided to grow their business by assembling a team! Cinthia now focuses on creative direction and design, Ben has assistance with project management, and they both oversee and manage a 6 person paint team. They both pop in and out of projects whenever their skill sets are needed, or when they feel like getting their hands dirty!
They have painted countless murals for brands, public arts projects, businesses, and are known for the popularity of their work across social media platforms. Their team helps free up time for them to stay current on trends, keep pricing competitive, and give each client the attention they deserve! Their work has been featured by national brands and truly shines through in countless of their community’s most beloved small businesses.
In this episode, we discuss…
- How Cyn & Ben got into the mural business
- The things you should have in your contracts to save you time, headache, and money
- How to hire employees for your creative business
- How to go about pricing murals
- What their process looks like when someone hires them to paint a mural
- And so much more!
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