Guangzhou Woman Colors the North with New House Painting Company | St. Lawrence County
CANTON — Need a new paint job? Miss Molly’s Painting, a new house painting business started by Canton resident Molly A. McMasters, might be able to help.
Ms McMasters started painting after graduating from St. Lawrence University in May 2020, just as the pandemic hit.
“I didn’t want to work as a waitress or in an office because of COVID, so painting barns and stuff was something I really enjoyed doing, and I could stay busy and pay the bills without feeling like I was putting my family in danger,” she said.
Despite her artistic talent – one of her specialties was studio art – she did not always consider painting for a living.
“In the months leading up to my graduation, with my BSc in Conservation Biology, I interviewed with environmental service companies looking for jobs in the remediation field. oil spills or environmental compliance, which were in areas like Boston or New York.”
However, when the pandemic hit, hiring freezes and security measures deterred her from moving to such crowded places.
“I was afraid of moving somewhere to a shoebox apartment and being locked in and not being able to walk around or just be outside, and the familiarity of the north country was something I didn’t want to abandon.”
“Honestly,” she said, “I couldn’t be more grateful because everything turned out so well.”
From her father, who was also a painter, Ms McMasters inherited a box of drop cloths, a stepladder and an extension pole, as well as a wealth of knowledge on how to start, hence the decision to start his own painting company. felt natural.
“I used the physical materials that were given to me and the encouragement from my family to start painting,” she said.
“Plus, I really wanted to work for myself, so I could set my own schedules and rates and represent myself.”
Starting a woman-owned handicraft business was also very important to her.
“I was always encouraged to learn and try anything I wanted growing up, not just the traditional ‘girl’ stuff,” she said.
“I had never seen a female mechanic, truck driver, construction worker or house painter, so I assumed that was not something I was capable of doing. But after graduating from SLU and talking with women in my community like Alicia Taillon, Hailey Hodge, Carol Pynchon, my mom Suna Stone, and my Aunt Peg, I was inspired and had a “eureka” moment. where I felt I could do whatever I wanted.”
Ms McMasters said she used the classic ‘fake until you make it’ strategy when she started.
“But now I really know what I’m doing and I’m doing a really good job at what I’m doing. That’s why I want to be ‘Miss Molly’s Painting’. I want to celebrate excellence in non-traditional roles.
As for the paint job she is able to do, Ms. McMasters is versatile and open-minded.
“I am flexible and willing to try any job within reason, although indoor work is preferred.”
She said she did detailed work on the interior railings with a small half-inch brush, and also painted the entire exterior of small houses.
“I’m a 30ft ladder person so I can’t take on huge jobs, but I see every job as an opportunity to learn more, so even though I feel like a job can be intimidating, I’ll go for it anyway,” she said.
Regarding rates, she offers free consultations, but bases her quotes on $30 per hour.
Although based in Canton, Ms McMasters said she was willing to travel for work and had worked in Potsdam, Hannawa Falls, Norwood, Ogdensburg, Madrid and Massena.
“My enthusiasm and pleasure for my work is reflected in the painting,” she said.
“I really want to do a good job for my clients to make their spaces comfortable and beautiful for them – something that’s especially important when we’re all locked inside during the winter and due to COVID.”