NJ Mom-preneur: Elise Hartmann from Dark Faerie Creations


New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, home and career. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage the whole work-life balance. At NJ Mom, we want to highlight these extraordinary women building NJ businesses and learn the secret to their success.

We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Elise Hartmann, owner and artist behind Dark Faerie Creations since 2006.

elisa hartman

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and a concentration in Graphic design, a love for creativity and an imagination beyond means, this mom creates a message that overall stands for compassion.

My creations come from that place between sleep and awake, a magical place where the world is kinder. I hope to tell a story with my art…to inspire people to see life in a more beautiful and compassionate way.

We had the chance to ask a few questions of Elise about her business, herself and her local New Jersey city.

NJMOM: How did you come up with the idea for your business/ what inspired you?
Elise: I have wanted to be an artist my entire life…always had a sketchbook with me. Being able to be creative on a daily basis is all I have ever wanted to do. Creating illustrations that reflected my veganism was a huge inspiration of my works. I create many different themed illustrations but they all tend to have an underlying theme of compassion. This was the illustration that started it all. I created this piece one afternoon when my office (where I was a graphic designer) was closed due to flooding in Trenton.
dark faerie creations
NJMOM:  Why do you love what you do?
Elise:  Because I can express myself through my art when I just can’t find the words. I can bring out emotions in people with my illustration…to make them think about life in a more compassionate way. It always makes them smile…everyone has different characters that I have created that they are drawn to and it usually tells me a little bit about their personality.
dark faerie creations

NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?

Be the change you wish to see in the world  – Mahatma Gandhi

NJMOM: Where do you reside/ vacation in New Jersey?
Elise: I live in Allentown, New Jersey and have been here for about 10 years.  I moved here from Roanoke, Virginia after meeting my husband on AOL back in 1997.  We lived in Pennsylvania when we first got married but landed here where we bought our first house. We love the schools and the small town, rural feel of Allentown. The fact that my kids can walk to school is an added bonus!

dark faerie creations

NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey? 
Elise: My family is full of book worms so we spend a lot of time at the Barnes and Noble in Hamilton Market Place. We also love the Via Roma in Tom’s River as they have a full vegan menu that is incredible! Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar is another favorite…100% vegan and wonderful!

dark faerie creations


NJMOM: Do you have a piece of advice for moms starting a business?
Elise: Honestly I am still learning but I could not have made this happen without the help of my family. Being an artist can be a selfish thing in some ways and the income is unreliable but having my studio at home not only allows me to create daily, but gives me the freedom to keep my home running smoothly. I think it’s always a good idea to talk to other business owners that are in your same field just to get an idea of the reality of things. Sometimes reality of what your business will be like can turn out to be quite different than you imagined. The more research the better!

NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in New Jersey about starting a business?
Elise: Make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. Brainstorming ideas and making lists always helps me. Pinterest is a fabulous site to help you organize your ideas and inspire your business!

dark faerie creations


You can order Elise’s artwork by stopping by her website or following her on Facebook 
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About Author

Full-time working mom of 3 awesome girls and wife to an amazingly supportive husband. I love being a mom, it makes me giddy. :) I enjoy being involved with my kids' activities, love spending time with family, taking photos and reviving old furniture. www.jreinerimagery.com is where you can find more about what I like to do and how I like to make everyone smile.