Kelly Moffatt orchestrates highly personalized works of fine art. For her, portraits capture the essence of the human spirit that each family so treasures and allows the artists she so admires to thrive. Kelly is not only exceptionally adept, thoughtful and service-oriented in her unique skill set, but her giving nature also comes through in many other facets of her life. We are pleased to welcome today’s FACE of Birmingham, Kelly Moffatt!
Are you a Birmingham native and if not, what brought you to the Magic City?
I grew up in Birmingham and lived in Memphis during college, and then in Atlanta, but I was so thankful to come home. We have a unique city with natural beauty, wonderful restaurants and shops, great school systems, gorgeous architecture and small-town charm.
How would you describe your role at Portraits, Inc. to someone new to the process?
I help clients understand the process of commissioning a portrait, choose the perfect time to capture their family member or honor a colleague and walk them through every step of the way. I love the challenge of finding the perfect artist for each client and selecting a medium, style and price point that fits their needs and that they are excited about. I help coordinate and assist in the sitting with the artist. My goal is to ensure that the portrait is what the client wants while also giving the artists the freedom to capture the subject in his or her unique style.
Was this the career you originally pursued? Tell us about your professional journey.
Ha! I never dreamed of this career, but am so thankful for this rewarding work. I originally thought I was going to pursue a career in mental health, but before starting graduate school, I took a temporary sales job in the gift market in Atlanta. I discovered that I loved sales and working with clients, and I ended up staying there for many years. Then, I had a 10-year career with Random House in a sales and client relations position based in Birmingham calling on Books-A-Million. When our oldest daughter was 5, we commissioned a portrait of her with Portraits, Inc., and I fell in love with the process of commissioning a portrait and working with the artist. Shortly after that experience, I went to work for the company.
Describe your typical day.
Every day is different! I can be meeting with a new client and discussing artists, going to a sitting, communicating with clients and artists during the process or taking a finished portrait to a client for a delivery, which is the most fun!
What is your relationship with the clients?
Oftentimes, I am working with families, and I have gained some wonderful friendships through the years. When children are involved, it is always fun, and usually we all have to be flexible and keep a sense of humor. When I am working with a corporate client or a university, it is a special event to be honoring the subject for their life’s work.
What is your relationship with the artists like?
We represent over 150 artists, offering a range of styles and prices. I love the opportunity to allow them to paint for a living, and I am always in awe of the God-given talent that they have been blessed with. They are all different in personality and in their process, so working with each one of them has a unique flavor and feel. They all constantly amaze me! Our artists are inspired by the human spirit of each person that they are able to draw or paint.
Are you involved in any local charities or causes?
One cause that I am involved with is Family Promise of Birmingham, which is an amazing organization that temporarily houses homeless families in churches and civic buildings throughout our city. They enable the families to stay together while working to regain their independence. Our family is always blessed by assisting these families with meals, support and prayer while they stay at our church. Portraits, Inc., also has a scholarship program that provides college scholarships to children and grandchildren of our artists. We hold an online art auction every year to raise money for the scholarships, and this year’s auction is coming up in a few weeks.
What do you do when you’re not working?
My husband and I embrace the fun of three very active children. I love to walk, read, attend Bible study and go to the lake whenever we can.
Favorite local restaurants?
Any “hidden gems” in Birmingham that you think locals should check out?
Our Portraits, Inc., gallery is definitely an awesome space with amazing artwork and it is next door and connected to the Beverly McNeil Gallery. I also love walking on Jemison Trail.
If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
To slow down, breathe, pray more intentionally and enjoy each day more, rather than racing to the “next thing.” I am still working on this each and every day.
Do you have a mentor or role model?
My parents and my husband’s parents are both wonderful role models to our family. They have both lived in full commitment to their families, their faith and helping others.
What are your three must-have style staples?
I always have several simple dresses that can go from work to the ballfield and a piece of vintage jewelry. And lipstick with a gloss always lifts me up.
What would be people be surprised to know about you?
I gave my kidney to my cousin almost two years ago. It was one of the hardest but best things I have ever done, and I am still so thankful for that opportunity.
Any guilty pleasures?
I love a good glass of red wine while I am cooking dinner!
What is your best piece of advice?
Be more aware of what is going on around you in every situation. Everyone has difficulties in their life. We can all give others a smile, kind words, prayers or a helping hand.
With the exception of faith, family and friends, what are three things that you cannot live without?
I am a big fan of modern creature comforts — air conditioning in the South is a must! Pedicures are always high on my list, and coffee and cheese are must-haves on most days.
Thank you, Kelly! Learn more about Kelly’s portrait commissioning services at Portraits, Inc.
And thank you to Eric and Jamie Gay of Eric & Jamie Photography for the gorgeous photos of Kelly at Portraits, Inc. gallery downtown.
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