Artisan of the Month – Leslie Nesbitt
Rhythmic Walls, Faux Finishing Design Studio
After years in a stressful executive position, Leslie Nesbitt found her true calling. In 2003, while experimenting with decorating products from her local hardware store, she discovered her passion for faux finishing. After her revelation, she began taking several professional finishing classes with masters in the field. To make sure that she was truly ready to make this a full time career, she also took a business course entitled “Up and Running,” With all of this under her belt she founded her business Rhythmic Walls, Faux Finishing Design Studio in 2003 and began working part-time in her finishing career. In 2004, she had the honor of working with a group of talented African Americans to complete “Living in Color: A Celebration of Heritage and Home”, a 4,900 square foot home that served as an exhibit for the 34th Annual Congressional Black Caucus. It was described as “the works of America’s most notable African American architects, builders and designers.” By 2005, she was able to leave her other job and work full time in her career of choice. In that same year she was also honored with the National Women’s Business Center & Wachovia Capital Award in Washington DC. In recent years Ms. Nesbitt has also served as Vice President, and is a current member, of the Greater Maryland Decorative Artisans Chapter of IDAL (International Decorative Artisans League).
Plasters are Leslie’s specialty, and it shows in these stunning photographs of her work. She enjoys working in mixed stucco, Venetian and metallic plasters. She also uses mica powders to custom tint her waxes and plasters that she uses. She terms herself a “product junkie.” Her vast product knowledge allows her to be innovative, co-mingling multiple products to fit her needs. Leslie speaks of her art with passion. When asked how she describes her work she said that she would describe it as “soulful and spirited…my finishes bring soul and spirit to the room.” A memorable client experience for her was completing a four room job for a client that was recently divorced. At the end of the project the client said that she “had changed the spirit of the home and how they looked at the home after the divorce.” This type of experience is her greatest joy. She says “my joy comes from seeing how my work affects people’s mood and feelings.” She works to evoke a relaxing and inviting atmosphere using bold colors. She prides herself in her ability to work creatively within the client’s vision to bring about a unique look for their home. Ms. Nesbitt loves working with adventurous customers, educating them on the use of accent colors and how best to project their desired mood into the room with color.
Some of Leslie’s favorite products that she purchases from Faux By Kathy include Bella wax, Texturline products, Perfetto Portofino and Sasso products, as well as accessories such as her paint tray. Leslie says of Kathy that she is “very reliable and helpful.” Recently, she ran into an issue with a color that a client had previously approved while working with Bella wax. The client decided that the color was too dark, so Leslie called Kathy for advice, received a call back the same day, and was able to correct the color to her clients liking immediately.
Ms. Nesbitt believes strongly in continuing education. She emphasizes “like anything else if you see yourself as a professional, you are always looking to enhance your knowledge. I see it as an investment in me.” In addition to taking classes to expand her portfolio, she is also pursuing a PhD in Anthropology and already has a masters degree in nonprofit management.
Leslie Nesbitt can be reached at 301-390-0606 or for more information visit her website at rhythmicwalls.com.