For the past 10 years, Kimberly Lonsky, of Stockholm, has been brightening up the holiday season by painting storefronts with bright, fun renderings.
“My clientele has grown dramatically from word of mouth, and from just being outside painting a business and them coming up to me or seeing me as I'm working,” she said.
Lonsky had a small business painting such items as house portraits and wanted to expand. A friend told her that no one painted windows in the town where she works as a nail artist.
“I researched it for a while and practiced at my home and then went to a few businesses and solicited,” she said. “From there it didn't take long for my business to grow quickly and I went from soliciting to a waiting list.”
Lonsky loved art in grammar and high school and took a few classes at County College of Morris. Other than that, she's been her own teacher and student.
This year, in Sparta, she painted Eric's Deli, Sparta Athletic Club, Casa Mia, White Deer Liquors, Dance Dimensions by Michelle, the UPS Store, Villa Capri and Sparta Tire. In Newton, she painted Scissor Joint and in Lafayette and Clifton, she painted Performance Pediactics' two locations. In Byram, Lonsky painted Shoprite Liquors, and she ventured to Flemmington to paint their UPS Store. In Franklin, she painted Brick and Brew, Mama's Cees and Savioli. In Sussex, her busy hands adorned Lorenzo's, Shear Intensity and Life on Paws, and in Ogdansburg, she painted Bathing Beauties. Lonsky traveled to Cranford to paint their UPS Store and returned to her hometown of Stockholm to paint Stepping Stone Nursery Daycare.
“The only challenge I have with the painting is if it rains or snows and we have bad weather and they don't have an overhang,” she said. “Or if it's under 30 degrees as the paint will freeze a bit but it's more that I can't handle the cold personally with my hands and my feet.”
In the past, she found weather to be a challenge, but not anymore.
“I got heated gloves and socks that helps a bit,” Lonsky said. “When it snows or rains, and it's about 40 degrees that doesn't slow me down. I'm a little slower in the winter because of the gloves and the weather then I am in the spring/summer but the work remains the same.”
In most cases, businesses give her carte blance to paint how she envisions the business.
“A lot of the time they want something that's more wintry than holiday so they can keep it up until beginning of March,” she said. “Like a snowmen scene geared towards their business..etc. Other times they want something fun and festive geared toward Christmas.”
Lonsky's primary business is in the winter though she does have a handful of people who hire her throughout the year for varying holidays and other events.
“I start in the beginning of November to ensure that I get everybody done before it gets late in December,” she said. “I want to make sure that I get my regular clientele done, and have room for new last minute customers. Every year I get a few more calls from people who find me that want their businesses done from outside of the Sussex County area as well.”
Lonsky grew up in Sussex County and went to Wallkill Valley Regional High School. Aside from brief stints away, she's been in the county all of her life. She is married to her husband, Jonathan, and has two children: Paige, age six, and Jake, age 17.
“I love being able to transfer my artwork and the spirit of the holiday season to windows around the area,' she said. “It makes things more festive and fun.”
To contact Lonsky about window painting for the holidays and throughout the year, call 973-270-1985.