About Brenda

Brenda Priest

Brenda has a degree in Interior Design. Being raised in Connecticut, her Mom transferred to NC, Brenda followed. She met her husband in Raleigh and settled down into a home and career working for an architect in Cary.

Brenda realized she wanted to work out of her home and care for her daughter. After working freelance for 8 years and the birth of another child Brenda summoned the courage to begin Your Door & More. After a struggle of lessons learned and mistakes, Brenda found, through the support of her family, friends and network associates, the skills to market her art & effectively run a small home-based business.

She has recently reinvigorated the Holly Springs Arts Council, a Non-Profit organization, leading as President of the Board and Executive Director. With the support of the local government and business leaders, the arts scene in Holly Springs has been revitalized with Art  ‘Round Town, monthly series, revenue generation for local artists and assistance with general promotion of the arts in southern Wake County.

She loves to spend time with her Mom and Sister, both live in Cary.  One daughter at Longleaf High School for the Arts in Raleigh and one one daughter as a junior at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  She has two pit bull rescues that she adores and donates a portion of her profits annually to Carolina Adopt-A-Bulls.  She also has a husband Jim of 23 years.  He generally puts up with her artistic tantrums and generally is happy if he can ride his motorcycle every weekend.

When did you first discover your creative talents?
Brenda’s childhood was always filled with crafts, artsy projects at home art classed in school. Her Mother was a dabbling painter and her Father was a plant engineer. She always knew she wanted something to be creative and in high school she found interior design. The combination of the color and materials along with structure and construction this was the perfect blend for a career. The four-year college education allowed her to explore a wide variety of mediums. She was drawn more to the structure and construction, combined plus her love of houses, drafting was her forte.

A summer internship at a large interior design office placed her in the drafting room. There she learned the dying art of pen & ink drafting. At this time the pen and pencil was being put aside for the newer computer-aided design and drafting or AutoCAD. This fledgling art was not longer being taught to interns, but it was Brenda’s love.

Tell us about some of your work.
Brenda commissioned work is completely hand drawn. Each individual line is crafted in a manor to represent form and texture. Light and shadow is also a series of lines. This unique way of sketching brings life to the structure and the landscape around it. As she works from a photograph, each detail is added as an important element of the overall composition. Former clients and work include:

  • Realtors often gift either to a seller or buyer of a home.
  • Homeowners love a memento of a first homestead, a childhood home or somewhere special they had been.
  • Wedding Venue illustrations can be used for announcements, thank you note cards or a unique gift to remember the special day.
  • Historical Sites and treasured landmarks can be matted and framed or used as cards for personal correspondence.
  • Store-front owners frequently use the sketch of a business for the historical purposes on a website or business mailing.
  • Personalized Christmas cards with a customer’s own home, decked out to celebrate the Season mailed to family and friends.
  • Sports Fans adore the line of retail Stadium Banners, including, Soldier Field, Cowboys Stadium, Lambeau Field, Kentucky Derby and many more.

What motivates you to keep working as an artist?
Brenda’s work is very intimate, not only to her but to her clients. She is often commissioned to illustrate homes. These homes carry sentimental value to homeowner, as they are often home of their childhood, their first home or somewhere special they have lived.  Several comments have remained in her mind, over the past few years:

  • A client brought Brenda an old snapshot of the home she raised her children. Susan recalled, “see that sidewalk, where my children rode bikes and sold lemonade.”
  • “That’s the porch where my brother fell out and broke his arm, on Thanksgiving.”
  • “Please include the US flag on the porch, as my Uncle was a Veteran and every Sunday he would come to dinner and we had a moment of silence to remember those who did not come back.”
  • “Be sure to add that large tree in the back, as my Great-Grandfather planted it the day my Aunt was born.”

Brenda helps preserve the memories associated to those buildings. Houses are not just brick and mortar; they are built with love and moments. Those stories are important to her clients and heart-warming for Brenda!

Professional Associations
Coffee & Contacts, Holly Springs Chapter (Women’s Power Networking) ~ former Member, former organizer
Coffee & Contacts, Apex Chapter (Women’s Power Networking) ~ Member, former organizer
Apex Leads Group ~ former Member, former Leader
Cary Leads Group ~ Member
Inside919 ~ Former Network Partner
Apex Historical Society ~ Artist in Residence
New Hope Valley Railway ~ Artist in Residence

Western Wake Artist Studio Tour 2010 – 2014 ~ Participant
Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce ~ Member, Former Chamber Ambassador, Events Committee
Holly Springs Arts Council ~ Former President of the Board and Executive Director
Holly Springs Arts Council, Art ‘Round Town ~ Featured Artist
Apex Arts Council ~ Board Member
LaunchHOLLYSPRINGS ~ Former Board Member, Events Manager

Panelist for Entrepreneurship, Wake Tech Community College Small Business Center & Imurj Gallery in Raleigh
Interviewed, Artist Soapbox.org Episode 081 “Growing a Successful Business”, August 5, 2019
Featured Article, Main & Broad Magazine “Woman At Work”, January 27, 2020

Brenda Priest
Your Door & More