Small Business Series No. 13: Rita Ortloff

I almost didn't make it, but I slipped it in just in time. April's Small Business Series. And I am so excited to share with you one of the most adorable people I have met, the wonderful Rita Ortloff. I found Rita actually from another Small Business Series shoot-- I saw one of Rita's paintings in their home and fell in love with it. So I'd like you to meet Rita Ortloff of Rita Ortloff Studio. Rita Ortloff | Ely Fair Photography

She's a painter...I have to cheat on my black and white rule and show off her colorful work!

Rita Ortloff | Ely Fair Photography

Name: Rita Ortloff

Business Name: Rita Ortloff Studio


Favorite Dessert: Oh to pick only ONE? The cruelty! Ok fine, if I were stranded on a desert island and could only have ONE dessert, I’d pick a gigantic Eileen’s Colassal Cookie with extra icing. Geez. Now I’m hungry.

Favorite Artist/Album: Is it sad for me to say that I’m not that musical? Instead, I listen to podcasts and audio books. I love to learn learn learn.

When did you start your business? December 1st, 2013

What inspired you to start it? My business was started completely by accident. I painted a picture for a friend, Instagrammed it, and people started asking for commissions. It was crazy.

What would you say was your biggest challenge to overcome? My own mind. “This cannot be happening” “I’m JUST a housewife”.

Oh, and boxing/shipping paintings. That part was hard too.

Who/what was your biggest encouragement and why? My husband. The man shows people photos of my paintings stored on his phone as if they were his newborn babies. People on elevators. Strangers on the street. He is my walking billboard. It’s adorable.

What is your favorite part of your business: The painting. Making people happy. The praise when I get it right. I smile the entire time I’m painting. Seriously. My face hurts when I’m done.

If you had advice to anyone who might be starting a business like yours? I have no advice except to go with the flow of it. If it’s right, none of it will feel like work.

Anything else about your small business that you’re passionate about? I love that these paintings will be here when I’m gone. A little piece of me will live on.


Thank you so much Rita for being a part of the series! If we ever find a new house to buy, you will be getting one of those commission inquiries :-)