This Is Carolina: CCU grads create mural painting company

“Coming back here to where both of our roots were and growing up. It’s amazing,”
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 6:25 PM EST
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - From matching paint to matching teal sneakers and nail polish, you’d never know these two artists started out as strangers.

Christine Crawford studied marketing and graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2013. Alli Dunavant studied studio art and graduated from Coastal Carolina in 2014.

The two later studied in Columbia but their paintbrushes never overlapped until they followed each other on Instagram.

“One of my graphic design professors at USC, he was like, ‘Oh you should follow this girl Alli. She’s been doing murals,’ and I was like, ‘Oh I love doing murals’,” said Crawford. “We just built this relationship off of this one mural that she needed help with in Hilton Head.”

The rest is history.

The two turned their collaborations into their company, Girls Who Paint Murals, and mixed their talents into works of art.

“Since we have two separate styles, we can combine them and they’ll make such a unique design. Or we give them if they want something text base or if they want something more traditional, and it just kind of works out for the best honestly,” said Crawford.

Girls Who Paint Murals spruced up buildings across South Carolina including A Father’s Place in Conway and Cooper’s Tavern in Little River. But, the women said painting Airbnbs is where it’s at.

“It seems to be the trend right now of people wanting their Airbnbs or short-term rentals to stand out when people are scrolling through photos to try and find something. Everybody kind of wants that Instragamable selfie moment,” said Dunavant.

Dunavant and Crawford wrapped up their latest Airbnb in North Myrtle Beach while donning their teal logo shirts and spattered paint pants. For them, it was a full-circle moment.

“I love being back here, first of all. I’m from this area so it’s great to see my artwork and my career spread this direction,” said Dunavant.

“We’re trying to get to more places, so, especially coming back here to where both of our roots were and growing up. It’s amazing,” said Crawford.

The women said it’s not always easy blending a business with brushes, a process they’ve learned to perfect over the years.

“We have such a strong business component to it, like with our contracts, our processes we have in place, our timelines,” said Dunavant.

From their print mockups to their paintings, they said for anyone who has a passion to be their own boss now is the best time to start.

“I really do think it’s like taking that leap and doing that swim or sink thing,” said Dunavant. “That’s like the only way to do it. I know some people are like, ‘Oh, make it your side hustle and then let that grow,’ and I completely disagree. I think it’s fully ripping the Band-aid off and committing to doing it.”

You can check out Girls Who Paint Murals by clicking here.

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