You can find artist Lacey Hennessey’s bright, vibrant, colorful murals all around the Upstate. You can see them in residential homes. You can see three of them at Urban Wren in Greenville’s West End, and six more across the street at Hoppin’ GVL taproom. You can see one in the Community Room at the Ronald McDonald House, two in the heart of downtown Simpsonville and one in downtown Laurens. Heck, if you’re headed up north, you can even see one of Hennessey’s creations in Newport, Rhode Island.
By any standard, Hennessey is a successful artist, and it might never have happened if she hadn’t decided to make art her full-time job back in 2018 instead of keeping it as a side gig.
“My business started out as a hobby,” she says. “Then it was a side hustle. I was working for Crawford Strategy, a marketing agency downtown, and my business on the side was called “Hennessey in The Home.”
Hennessey would work all day as an event coordinator at Crawford and then come home and paint until late at night, selling her work via social media. But as her orders increased, her boss and mentor, Marion Crawford, realized something had to change.
“I’ve always encouraged people to be transparent,” Hennessey says, “and I always had transparent conversations with Marion, so we just kind of talked about where I could go within the company. They primarily did PR and I was the only one in the office doing events and it wasn’t necessarily where the business was going. So she knew I had that hustle on the side, to have extra income, and when she noticed that it was growing, in lieu of a raise or a promotion, she offered me a chance to take Fridays off to concentrate on my business. So eventually my transition into my full-time LLC kind of stemmed from a conversation with her.”
Marketing herself primarily on Instagram, Hennessey continued to grow her business, working with mural commissions but also branching out and doing house drawings for realtors and some portrait and design work. That growing skillset led her to rebrand “Hennessey In The Home” as “Lacey Does” earlier this year.
“My business has really grown over the last couple of years, and the name comes from people saying, ‘Oh, see if Lacey does it,’ because I’m kind of a jill-of-all-trades,” she says.
Over the last three years, Hennessey has learned to ignore naysayers and listen to her own instincts.
“When I first told people I’m going to leave this full-time position to be an artist full-time, the biggest negative connotation I ran into was people saying, ‘Oh, what are you gonna do about insurance?” she says. “What are you going to do about this, what are you going to do about that? And I had to say, ‘This is up to me, not anyone else.’ I’ve always been a hustler and I knew I was going to land on my feet. I really have just listened to my gut over the years and being a business owner, it’s really up to me. The harder I work, the better I do, and I can really go from there.”
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