Dream Made Reality || Caroline Riley

Earlier this  year my sweet friend Amy Boland that I've had the joy of serving with in our church's college and young adult ministry, and in The 61 Exchange, encouraged me to become a mentor through our church. At Passion City Church we are so fortunate that our Pastor's wife has built a team that hosts the women of the city (which really means Georgia and all the surrounding states, because people visit from everywhere) at an event every month called The Grove. It's a free event that women show up to hours before the doors open to tailgate in the parking lot just to make sure they get a good seat in the auditorium. It's an event that I have seen The Lord use to truly transform the hearts and desires of so many, and because of that the team has expanded the platform to include a mentoring program called Flourish where women that have walked through some life are invited and equipped to mentor those who are walking their race and coming up behind them. This is my first year being a mentor and I've only met with my girls once but I have already seen the Lord's faithfulness in so many ways. I am absolutely SMITTEN with both my my mentees and so encouraged by their hearts for Jesus and hunger for more of Him. Their lives are such a blessing and it is a joy to cheer them on! My girl, Jessica Heron, has a heart of pure gold and she loves her people with a fierce sort of love. She celebrates people so well and is so dedicated to making things in her life happen. She's a doer, not just a dreamer. She made a huge move right after college to Atlanta and I'm so inspired by her bravery. She loves kids and serves them so well. We met for a brief coffee date in December before Christmas and I left that Starbucks thinking, "Lord, you have entrusted me with THIS amazing heart?! Who am I to walk forward, leading her? What a sincere blessing she has been to me and I pray I can be for her as well."

It's not all that often that we find in life a soul who sees the worth in their talents and abilities. Every once in a while we find one that recognizes that they have worth and that their talents enable them to go against the grain. But the flow of "the grain" is powerful in nature and for most, it forces a 180 degree turn back into the direction of what's "normal," "easy," or just doesn't require much extra effort. Gumption is a thing that doesn't come naturally. It's a result of courage and bravery of a soul, encouraged by the ones who cheer them on. "Keep pushing. I believe in you." Both girls know this deep in their guts and they stand and fight for it. I met Caroline for the first time yesterday andI've only met her once and I can tell that her family has truly been the motor at the back of her boat, spurring her on and believing with her that she can accomplish her dreams. This girlfriend has moved all over the place. For starters, she moved to Starkville, Mississippi from just Murfreesboro, Tennessee to go to school at Mississippi State University knowing only one person. She flourished in college and really found her people. While she was there, she discovered a talent and love for painting and turned it into a business!  Come on, brave girl! After she finished college, she moved two days later to Atlanta, Georgia to begin work at an interior design firm. Way to not waste any time, girl! Since her move, she hasn't let her business fall away and I am so impressed by her! It is my absolute joy to introduce you to Caroline Riley's Custom Artwork! I'll link her social media sites at the end of this post so that you can contact her to purchase something from her! Also, keep an eye out for her angel puppy Tilly Magnolia. (Can you EVEN deal with that name?!?! All of the heart eyes. How southern is that!?! This friendship with SO meant to be.)

Here's a bit of Caroline's Bio //

I started painting in college as a way to relieve stress. I've always been artistic but had never really shared that part of me outside of my family. My senior year of college I realized that I could do what a lot of people were selling in stores so I created an Instagram to get my work out there. I wasn't aggressive with trying to gain followers, I just patiently let it grow. I found my niche in painting buildings, mainly churches rather quickly. As an interior designer working in the architectural industry I've always loved beautiful buildings. Marrying my love for delicate architecture & painting was a no brainer but it also gave me a way to glorify God in what I was doing. I truly believe that the most beautiful buildings are churches because that's the house of the Lord. Churches turned into courthouses, homes, historic buildings & even abstracts and florals through commissioned work. What started as a way to relieve stress became this living breathing little business that thrives on its own. I've been astonished & incredibly blessed at how my work has been received. 

Pictured below are several pieces that Caroline has painted for clients in the past! Any piece from her collection would be great for a wedding gift, housewarming gift, graduation gift, or even a baby shower gift! You can find and contact Caroline here on Facebook, and here on Instagram, or email her at carolinerileyart@gmail.com.