An Interview with Kristin MacMillan of Monet’s Art Supplies

How an accountant came to create an online art supply store

Our founder, Kristin MacMillan, has always been an art-lover, but has a history of following her head first and letting her heart take a backseat. Now, she’s allowing herself to pursue her passions, and helping others do the same, by creating an online art supplies business and building an artists’ community with Monet’s Art Supplies. We sat down with Kristin to learn more about the Monet’s story.

Tell us about yourself, Kristin.

I’m originally from Sudbury, Ontario and then lived in Toronto in my 20s, where I received a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Initially, I wanted to study History but I also wanted to find a job so chose Business instead! I moved to Vancouver in 1992 where I live today with my husband, 2 kids and our dog, Angus.

What did you do before Monet’s Art Supplies?

I was a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young for many years and then left to go into business with two of my clients - Ellen Flanders and Maria Kott - who owned Imprint Plus. With 2 little ones at home, I wanted a job where I could work less. I didn’t end up working less but I had a lot more fun investing in this business.

Why did you start Monet’s Art Supplies?

I became an accountant to earn a living, letting creative and artistic pursuits take a backseat. As an entrepreneur, I could be more creative but I was still managing the day to day of running a business. I retired in April 2020 but I wasn’t ready to be retired. I’ve been a lifelong lover of art and the artistic process and was starting to paint. I also have many friends who are artists and I wanted to support them by sourcing innovative, high quality, earth friendly, ethical products and making them available at competitive prices.

What do you love about art?

I admire the craftsmanship of art, the technical abilities of artists, and how we can experience what the artist was seeing and feeling. I love the universality of it and the fact that you don’t need language to experience it.

Who are your top 5 favourite artists?

  • Emily Carr
  • Jean Paul Lemieux
  • Mary Pratt
  • Lawren Harris
  • Monet

What do you hope to achieve with Monet’s?

I want to connect with artists and learn about art and artistic activities in my community. I want to find as many innovative, earth friendly products as possible and make them available to artists so they can pursue their art without worrying about the impact their art supplies are having on the environment.