Another Local Entrepreneur Goes on Shark Tank: Meet the Woman Behind Mural Painter, Inc.

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A Hoboken entrepreneur is taking the world by storm with her mural painting business — and will be featured on the small screen in a big way this week. With headquarters in Hoboken and L.A., Emily Strauss’ company — Mural Painter Inc. — is currently painting murals everywhere in between. Her team has expanded greatly since she first started the company back in high school, and it’s only about to get bigger as she takes her business to national television. Emily is now the second local entrepreneur in the past month to take her business to ABC’s Shark Tank. 

We got a chance to speak with Emily ahead of the airing of her episode of Shark Tank, where she’ll be pitching her business this Friday, May 1st at 8:00PM. Her story is surely one to inspire the artist in us all, as she’s the living embodiment of taking a childhood passion and turning it into a lifelong career.

Read on to learn all about Emily, her business, and her experience sharing her lifelong dream with Mark Cuban and the industry titans on Shark Tank.

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

About Mural Painter Inc.

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

Mural Painter Inc. is a fast-growing mural painting company that is based in NYC + LA, and services everywhere in between — it’s office headquarters is in the Neuman Leather Building in Hoboken, NJ with a team of about 30 extremely talented artists. 

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

MP specializes in hand-painted murals, signage, hand-painted advertising as well as faux finishing. Emily and her team travel the country painting everything from small walls and full buildings, all the way to floors. 

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

“You need it painted, we got you covered,” Emily says of the company’s motto. This slogan couldn’t be more true, seeing as her company has painted logos for companies as big and beloved as Lyft and Chick Fil A, to small, local businesses. 

Read More: 16 Local Millennial Entrepreneurs Kicking A$$ in Hoboken + Jersey City

Mural Painters Inc. allows its employees to get super creative, as well. Aside from their big business ventures, these artists have created art for both small businesses, great causes, and street art for all the lucky passerby’s. There’s really nothing MP can’t do {or paint}.

How Mural Painter Inc. Came To Be

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

Emily shared with us that she has always been an artist. Amazingly enough, her now-lucrative business actually came to fruition in the most organic way possible. “When I was 15, my mom let me paint a mural across our kitchen cabinets. She works from home so her clients would see the artwork one by one and requested to hire me. They started hiring me and their friends started hiring me and it snowballed from there into a small mural business. By the time I hit college, I couldn’t keep up with the demand and asked my fellow fine art classmates to assist me on the weekends. That’s when I started making the transition from being just a freelance artist to building a company.”

Now she runs Mural Painter Inc., aka “MP,” which was originally called Mural Painter NYC. 

“When I was first starting out, I asked a family friend to help me build a website. He suggested picking a literal keyword for a name to build up our Google ranking and then change the name later. However, we decided later on to brand Mural Painter as ‘MP’ and the name stuck! We later changed this to Mural Painter Inc. once we expanded in other branches throughout the U.S.”

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

Fortunately for Emily and her team, the idea really didn’t take long to catch on. She says that when she was first building her company up from the bottom, murals were just becoming popular again. {Timing is everything.} Even with this stroke of luck, however, Emily still acknowledged the difficult times that accompanied MP’s beginning. “In the beginning, every day brought a new challenge. From trying to get business insurance at just 18 years old, to self-funding, to dealing with my first client scamming us out of final payment. It felt like I was taking two steps forward and five steps back every day!” Regardless of those initial struggles, once Emily got her footing in the mural painting industry, she said it basically clicked overnight.

 About Emily 

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

Considering Emily started her own business in high school, her experience was limited at best. Beyond her obviously creative nature, even before starting a business at such a young age, Emily was showing initiative in many other ways. “Because I founded this company in high school, this was my start! However, I did work many oddball jobs to self-fund the company before running MP became my full time and primary financial support. I also launched two other businesses in fashion and construction which I later decided to shut down to focus solely on growing Mural Painter.” 

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

Now, Emily credits her creative skills as a huge factor in her success, telling us how her resilience when curveballs were sent her way and enduring the insane + fast pace workload helped shape her as a business owner and person. 

While Emily gets to live out her dream as an artist and beautify the world around her, she still says that the greatest gift of her job is employing other artists and creating a community within the work environment for her team to grow and support each other in the art world.

Mural Painter Inc. on Shark Tank

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

Although she can’t say too much before the episode airs, Emily describes her experience filming on Shark Tank as intense. “I can’t say too much, but I will say it was an experience I will never forget.”

Being on Shark Tank will be undeniable exposure for Mural Painters Inc. As if Emily wasn’t already driving her business to success, this episode is ensuring that Mural Painters Inc. has the potential to expand even more. “I am super excited for the business! However, I am feeling a bit vulnerable knowing my very personal struggles, which is part of my backstory, will be broadcasted on national TV.” 

See More: 12 Happy News Stories to Start Your Weekend Off Right

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{Photo credit: @muralpainterinc}

“The timing of it couldn’t have come at a better time to keep my team’s morale up during this pandemic! We are super excited that the exposure will bring us an ample amount of work which will certainly compensate for the struggles we are facing as a company during this lockdown,” Emily says.

In terms of what’s next for Emily and her team, they hope to integrate their service business model with technology by launching an app that pairs local artists with businesses in need of art.

Get your DVR set for 8:00PM this Friday, May 1st, to support Hoboken’s very own Emily Strauss as she pitches Mural Painters Inc. on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Follow Mural Painter Inc. on IG @muralpainterinc + check out the website to see all the amazing murals. 

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Corinne is a Jersey girl who has always loved to write, create, and make people laugh. Always the “comedian” of the friend group, she's a stand up comic and aspiring comedy writer. She studied communications/film and media at the University of Miami, with a minor in both psychology and exercise science, but now she’s living in downtown Jersey City. Singing and playing the guitar and piano are her favorite hobbies when she’s not writing, working out, or going to comedy shows.