By now, you may have heard of her. Over the past few years, Sydney Duarte has successfully catapulted herself onto the Charlotte scene with her yoga and lifestyle brand, The Traveling Gypsy. Now, alongside her mother Ann, the yogi has launched a new venture that’s coming to a street near you.
The mother-daughter duo are the leading ladies behind Duarte Designs, a mural business dedicated to transforming the Queen City’s blank spaces. Perhaps their most recognized mural lives on the side of Two Scoops Creamery in Plaza Midwood. It depicts Sydney enjoying an ice cream cone with the quote, “You can’t make everyone happy, you’re not ice cream. Do the things that light you up and everything else will fall into place.”
According to Sydney, Duarte Designs was created out of necessity. After years of working corporate jobs, the women felt that their innate artistic abilities were dwindling. Instead of succumbing to this fate, Ann and Sydney decided to do something about it: Together, they left the corporate world and followed their joint passions.
Sydney sat down with us to discuss Duarte Designs, her yoga business, and everything in between.
Tell us what it’s like collaborating with your mother.
It’s been a roller coaster ride so far. Many lessons learned, lots of laughter, some crying, and endless creative brainstorming to turn dreams into reality! Owning a business is fun and exciting, but also a lot of hard work. Communication is key in anything that you do, and we’ve had to take several deep dives into understanding each other on a deeper level. We both give all of our heart into everything that we do, and it’s been fun to challenge ourselves and lift each other up through each project that we’ve taken on so far.
When did you decide to create Duarte Designs? How did the idea come to be?
Mother’s Day 2019, I was admiring my mom guiding my niece through different shading techniques as they were drawing mermaids together. She’s always talked about teaching classes and taking her skills to the next level And the idea popped into my head for us to collaborate together. We had both been in different corporate jobs for many years and the more years that passed, the more I watched her artistic side fade away. I suggested painting a mural together and it kind of exploded from there!
Where do you draw inspiration for the art you two make?
Inspiration for most of our pieces come from the folks we encounter along our journey of life; the good-hearted, kind, loving people who are doing good out in the world. We want to help bring their light to you so that you can experience them in the way that we experience them. They are painted in black-and-white so that there is no race, only love, and everyone that comes in contact with them can resonate in some way— to see a piece of themselves within the artwork.
Your other venture, the Traveling Gypsy, focuses on yoga, healthy lifestyle, and travel. Tell us about your passion for yoga and how that relates to your passion for art. How do these different aspects of your life intertwine?
Yes! The Traveling Gypsy’s motto is adventure, wellness, and oneness. My passion for yoga is all about healing others and giving them the loving encouragement and power to connect with their minds and bodies. Art and yoga intertwine by bringing community together and sparking inspiration and healing within everyone that comes in contact with it all.
What kind of message are you hoping to spread with your murals?
Duarte Designs was created to spread positive messages through our original pieces. We are painters, muralists, and sketch artists, working with a wide array of mediums. Our pieces are meant to spark thought and help you stop, stand here, and breathe in all the things that make you feel grateful for this life.
Can we expect to see more Duarte Design murals popping up anywhere else around Charlotte anytime soon?
Yes! We have many more pieces all around town (Charlotte, Concord, Cornelius/Lake Norman area) lined up for 2020 and can’t wait to see how the community interacts and resonates with each one. We’re so honored to be a part of the fabric of this city and grateful for all of the wonderful people here. Charlotte, we love you.