ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Jennifer Baghdoian is a mom of little Oliver and his older brother, Benjamin. She’s also an artist who started her business last year after she was laid off from her day job.
“I thought, ‘what if while I was applying to jobs, I also put my artwork online?’” she said.
Now, art is the full-time gig and you can find her work on Etsy.
“I do a lot of wedding and family portraits and home portraits are my best seller,” Baghdoian said.
Last summer, Baghdoian got an email she was pretty certain was a scam.
“I got an email that was really vague,” she said. “It read something like:, ‘Your services are requested by the White House.’”
But this was not fake news. First Lady Melania Trump had seen her work and chosen her to illustrate the annual White House Christmas book.
“I actually hung up the phone and cried because I couldn’t believe they picked me,” Baghdoian said.
In August, Baghdoian was invited to the White House to get inspiration, then she came back to Royal Oak to let the creative juices flow.
Jennifer doesn’t have childcare, so she did most of her work at night, creating for the White House until 4 o’clock in the mornings.
The result: 20 pages in book form, handed out to global visitors of the White House. It has been a boost for business, but Baghdoian said it wasn’t about that.
“I still don’t believe it happened,” she said. “It was amazing. It’s a really special project.”
To view the White House Christmas book with Baghdoian’s illustrations, click here.