Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who's That Gal: Molly Rosner of American Dream House

A few weeks ago Meredith, Cameron and I were fortunate enough to meet up with one of Boston's newest talent, Molly Rosner of American Dream House. What Molly has accomplished is, in my opinion, mind boggling. When I was a senior in college I couldn't even fathom graduating, let alone starting a company on my own before graduating, which is exactly what Molly did. Even more impressive is that she has stuck with it and is growing at a rapid rate with the help of her "Dream Team." We caught up with Molly and her CEO, Melanie Hasenzagl, to hear more about the growing pop artist and force behind ADH.

Hi Molly! We are in awe of American Dream House and that you have built a company so fresh out of college. What advice would you give other budding artists that want to turn their passion into a career?
MR: I always think of this phrase, “cash in on your passion.” Basically it’s really important to stay focused on what you enjoy doing because you’ll want to do it more. Don’t get discouraged by mistakes. I made so many, especially in the beginning, and it cost the company money. If you get caught up in that it can make the whole experience even more intimidating. Also I try to keep myself in the bubble of American Dream House so I don’t compare myself to everyone else that’s out there. It’s a huge world and there’s so many artists out there trying to start their own businesses so I try to focus on my own stuff.

How do you balance managing your business, marketing team, painting, and having a social life?
MR: Mel can back me up that I am not the most organized person! I am very chaotic so she has helped so much. Before Mel stepped in I was the creative force and the CEO and things weren’t really getting done because I couldn’t balance it. Mel, and the whole Dream Team, which is everyone that works on Dream House, are essential to us staying on track. It’s also  just hard adjusting to how other people work. Like I do everything at the last minute and I can see the panic in my team members’ faces when we get down to a deadline and nothing appears to be getting done. I think it’s just an overall balance of everyone working together and adjusting to each others' tendencies.

MH: Since the team is getting bigger we wrote down everyone's titles so that we know who is responsible for what and supervising whom. We assign tasks like social media outlets to specific people so they can really focus on one specific area and the little tasks involved within. We try to split it up as best we can. We also have advisers to help with the business and creative side and just help delegate tasks. July is very busy so this has been helping a lot.

How did you form the "Dream Team?"
MR: When I first came up with the concept in October [2012] my first thought was “you can’t do this alone.” Basically I was in recruiting mode and every single person I came in contact with I was like “this is what I’m going to do, do you want to be a part of it?” I tried to get them really excited about it. Then I asked them what their skills are and how they could help. We lost a lot of people along the way but since we’re gaining a lot of momentum, people are now reaching out to us, volunteering and offering their skills because they genuinely like what we’re doing.

Its been a couple months since graduation - so we’re curious, how do you like the shift to working at American Dream House full time?
MR: I’m the only full full time person and there is one other artist who is my right hand girl this summer. She just decided, this is going to be my internship and she is going to dedicate herself to ADH. It’s hard for me personally to adjust because, like I said, I need some structure. When it’s up to me I’m like “oh no, how  do I split up my day?” But as we’re getting going now it’s getting easier and now we have projects that I have deadlines for. When I first graduated I was in a few weeks of depression from school being over and I was like “I can’t do this!” Honestly, Mel has been a godsend.

MH: Yeah our hours are still pretty flexible and our team members work from all over and at all different times. A lot work from home because they can do social media at their own homes etc. We have a good schedule and a lot of check in's, which has really helped.

Where do you look for inspiration?
MR: I look for inspiration pretty much anywhere I go. Since we’re doing commercial art I’ve been focusing a lot on signs and packaging on anything - candy, soda, beer. If I see a color combination randomly that I really like, I’ll just jot it down. I’m pretty much just always looking around me. And then of course magazines, I get a lot of ideas from magazines.

How has Boston influenced you as an artist?
I don’t know so much if it was the city. Obviously I learned everything I know about art from school [BU] so I guess that is the biggest factor. And then of course everyone I’ve met, all of the Dream Team, I’ve met here, so that is why Boston has been such a big factor in building the foundation of this company.

In digging through your mental art archive, what is your favorite piece of artwork, and why?
This is hard. It changes. There is this painting by Roy Lichtenstein where there is this woman, it’s very comic-book style, and she looks like a barbie and she is drowning. There’s a speech bubble that says something like “Save me, Brad” and it’s a great painting because it’s very pop art, but also because it throws you right into the height action and that's what I want my paintings to do. The attitude of that is what inspires me.

Do you see yourself diving more into home decor or fashion-focused realms in ADH’s future productions/collaborations?
That’s been something that has been very difficult for me this summer. It just occurred to me that we are making pop art and I just want that to be the brand, so it’s kind of wherever that will fit in. Right now we are redecorating a reception area for a tanning salon, like bringing the art in there so that is one way we are doing home decor. And then there’s Etsy, I feel like we could totally fit in there and even if clients want to come to us for logo design, merchandise, and really wherever pop art is needed.

Will you accept requests for commissioned pieces?
Yes, absolutely.


Meal in Boston
I love sushi so sushi from Fins.

Gallery in Boston
I don’t like most poster gallery on Newbury, I forget the name.

Place to see a movie

Place to go for a stroll
Newbury Street

This or That:

Pencil or Sharpie

Hub way or your own bike
My own bike, if I had one!


What are you reading now
Divergence - it’s kind of like the hunger games

For more information on Molly, Melanie and the rest of the Dream Team follow them at @americandreamhouse. Also stop by Pavement on Boylston street to see their latest exhibit!

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