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The Hustle

Name: Lindsey Simonds (Litore Studios)

Posted By Keara McGraw

Litore is a Latin word meaning "of the coast." Watercolor artist Lindsey M. Simonds grew up in rural Florida, just east of Sarasota, and so the birds, plants and animals of the Gulf coast figure prominently in her paintings, which, as Litore Studios, she makes available through prints, original art and wall decor. She also creates whimsical, colorful maps of coastal areas. Her artist's journey began in 2021, following years at a Washington, D.C. land preservation nonprofit (she has a Masters in Anthropology) and then, after "coming home," at a bay area nonprofit. Simonds writes on the Litore website: "In mid-January 2023, I walked into my executive director's office and handed him my notice while saying, 'I’m going to be an artist.'"

Years in Tampa Bay

23

Hustle (job)

Founder and Artist of Litore Studio.

What do you do?  

I celebrate the grace and beauty of the coastal south through the “coastal map motif,” watercolor art that depicts the interconnectivity of flora, fauna (nature) and culture in a whimsical, painted tapestry.

Why do you do it?

As a 7th-generation Floridian, I grew up with a deep love of wild Florida, from the longleaf pine forests to the coastal estuaries. This passion led me to a Masters in Anthropology, a nonprofit career in cultural land preservation, and the eventual creation of Litore Studio’s coastal motifs.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I began painting how I saw coastal Florida and shared my creations on Instagram! My coastal motifs caught the attention of friends, who then shared my art with their friends, who invited me to do a private showing in Tallahassee (thank you, Ginger, Katrice, and Mary!). Before I knew it, I was an entrepreneur.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

As an artist entrepreneur (or “artrepreneur”), people often think I spend 90% of my time painting in my studio. In fact, as a small business, I spend most of my time in administration, product development, partner collaboration, marketing/promotion and order fulfillment!

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Outside of balancing the duties of running a small business, I would say harnessing ideas and finding the best ways to turn my visions into reality (i.e., new products!). But, this challenge allows me to grow and learn so much about my capabilities.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

My husband Luke Simonds (who is a co-founder of Salt Strong) gave me great business advice I’ll always remember. When trying to decide if it was the right time to make the transition to being a full-time entrepreneur, he told me I needed to want it so much it outweighed any fear of failure. To try, and try with every effort of my being, and believe fully in it. That advice has guided me almost every day.

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