She built her business on encouraging others.Her watercolor cards are beautifully inspiring and an honor to send to others. Inspired by God Watercolors, ink and whimsy card company by Deena Valentine are some of my favorite cards to send to friends and family.
She has struggled through some of the toughest illnesses with the kind of grace I admire in a strong woman and yet comes up smiling with her faith in tact every time! I aspire to be even 10% of who she is! You can find her cards on Etsy. I use her cards to encourage others. Below is one of my favorites!
In her own words, here’s more of Deena’s story:
I was born in Spokane, Washington, the middle of 3 girls. I grew up in Medford, Oregon in a happy home. I was taken to Sunday School by a neighbor and accepted Jesus as my Savior at age 6. Sports and friends have always been an important part of my life. I loved art, but thought I wasn’t good enough. In college I started taking all kinds of art classes and loving every minute of it. I moved to Barton, Oregon in my early 20’s. I taught Stained glass classes through Clackamas and Mt Hood community college. I am blessed enough to marry my knight in shining armor, Denny. We have 2 wonderful children, Elly (Jeff) who gave us 3 precious grandchildren, Sienna, Marissa, and Micah. Our son Jordan (Malaika) and Julia and Casey. They are the joy of our lives.
1) What exactly is your business and what made you get started?
I paint and sell watercolor cards, some of which have words of encouragement for people passing through deep waters. This is where my heart is. I also make Alcohol Ink tile coasters, trivets and wall art. On vacation in Hawaii following breast cancer surgeries and treatment, I took a watercolor class. I sold my first cards as part of a fund-raiser for a sweet 5-year-old girl, Audrey, who had cancer.
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
Before I get out of bed each morning I talk to Jesus and ask Him to direct my day. I also consciously put on the full armor of God as described in Ephesians 6.
3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
I paint, eat healthily, go to the gym, walk outside when it’s nice, love my husband, children and grandchildren, and choose joy over discouragement.
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
I choose to be content where God has me, and view my business as a ministry belonging to Him.
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
Three things I love about my job are the painting, surprising people I don’t know with a gift of a card, and having my husband as my cheerleader. The worst part is I am a terrible business person!
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
I don’t think failure is what taught me the most. I was preparing for bed when I felt the lump in my breast. Standing there I had a silent conversation with God. I obviously wasn’t too happy yet He flooded my mind with the memory of 5 conversations from my past with others. This made me instantly realize He had prepared me for this journey. I said “You want me to go through this, don’t you?” Then I said, “ok” and hopped in bed and slept all night.
This has been a very hard journey of 5 years. However, I have seen God use my cards to encourage patients and staff I met at chemo and radiation treatments. On a number of occasions women have read my cards and cried as the words spoke to them about what they are facing.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
The only thing I would do differently would be to go back and pay attention to what God wanted me to be and do when I was in my 20’s.
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
Pray about it and go for it! Even if it doesn’t work out, we all learn lessons along the way that prepare us for something in the future.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
I don’t feel like I had to overcome anything as God opened doors for me each step of the way. However, when I feel like my art isn’t good enough, God reminds me that it is for His purpose and His glory and not about my pride.
10) Any last parting words?
Pray regularly, read at least 1 verse from the Bible each day, and don’t be afraid to step out in faith.
Etsy: Buy Deena’s artwork