Martha Discovers Her Purpose as a Designer is to Create Spaces that Empower Meaningful Connection

Martha Dane was born and raised in Massachusetts just outside of the city of Boston, Massachusetts with her mother and two sisters. When she graduated from college, she was offered the opportunity to move to Seattle for a new job and took the chance. Although it meant living far away from her family, she wouldn’t trade in moving to the west coast for anything. This is how she met her husband and she feels like she has found out so much about herself by pushing herself to live outside of her comfort zone.

Art has always been at the core of who she is. As a child she loved to draw, paint and even scan real estate ads in the newspaper and try to replicate the homes she saw with her own drawings. Throughout high school and college she continued to study art and take studio classes. When she moved into her first apartment in Seattle, she loved being able to use her creativity and talent to design it exactly how she wanted it. She got this opportunity again when she got married! Her favorite part of the process was spending hours setting up the venue exactly how she had imagined it from the beginning. “I am always working to improve the environments around me whether it be a venue or home space.”

When she decided to go back to school for Interior Design, she realized that she had to find balance between real life responsibilities (mortgage, bills, relationships) and being a student. Heritage was a perfect fit for her because the flexible scheduling options allowed her to continue to work and take classes on the weekends, evenings and as her time and schedule allowed. The Business & Entrepreneurship class was an “aha” moment for Martha. “At the same time as the class, I attended a workshop with some fellow creatives in the event world in Portland. I realized I wanted to start a design company that incorporates Event design as well as Interiors. This really opened up my options and was a creative way for me to meet new couples and future homeowners as a designer.” In the Business & Entrepreneurship class, she also connected with her core purpose as a designer, which is to create spaces at venues or in homes that empower meaningful connection.

In fall 2017 Martha started her own company, Olive + Rust Co. She is focused right now on marketing as an event designer, stylist and coordinator. She has already booked a summer full of events in 2018! “The design process for events is fun – I get to work with couples from the beginning of turning a blank slate venue into their dream. I also help plan and coordinate the details of the event for the couples I work with.” Martha is getting a lot of offers to style and design photoshoot sets in the bridal market which she has loved doing. She has a few exciting photoshoots planned this spring with various professional photographers in the Portland area.

Martha wants to pursue a lifelong career surrounded by all things design. She is continuing to educate herself on events, interiors, property development and management, venue design, space planning, etc. She wants to continue to push herself to create interesting spaces, content, and continue to share her work. It would be her goal to scale out Olive + Rust Co. to both an event and interior design company. Also, she eventually wants to think about a line of home wears especially for her favorite thing to design – tablescapes!

Check out Martha’s work at www.oliveandrust.co or on Instagram @oliveandrust.co!


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