Meet My Mama: Art by Ilene


Photography by Meg Niemann | @MSNPhotography

Shop our matching Ramy Brook leather pants here!

I’m so excited to bring back my #HonestGirls column staring my mom, Ilene Sands! My mom decided to take her passion for art and design, and finally turn it into a business just a few years ago. She has always been an avid  art collector herself, and found that she was almost always befriending the artists - she wanted to know what was behind the art, what was the artists story, how did they start, etc.  Read the full interview below :)

 Was there a particular moment that made you realize this career was for you? Have you always been interested in art?

I have always had a strong passion for art and collecting, as I come from a family who is also extremely involved in the art world. My older brother is a major art dealer in San Francisco with old world art, but my strength is in up and coming mix media art. Its fun to have someone to compare the two mediums with!

What advice do you have for other creative women with a passion for entrepreneurship and starting their own business?

My three biggest pieces of advice are:

1.    Face the fear and do it anyway.

2.    If you love what you are doing, it’s really not work, but the hustle is real.

3.    Be comfortable in your own skin

What makes your approach different than other art reps out there?

The art world can be intimidating and stodgy, my goal is to make it approachable and fun. I don’t own a gallery, so you contact me directly through my Instagram and I will work directly with my clients to find pieces in their budget.   

What is the most exciting project that you have worked on to date?

My three most exciting projects so far have been

1.    Curating the art for a super cool coffee shop/gallery called Karmic Grind

2.    Helping to curate the art for the Sunrise Day Camp Fundraiser

3.    Curating the entire collection for a New York law firm.

Did you ever have an ah-hah moment where you felt like you had finally made it in the art world? And if so what was it/what was it like?

When I realized that I could connect my artist friends with clients, and they actually trusted my taste and opinion. Doing what I love as my job is the most empowering feeling.

What’s next for your career? Do you have any exciting projects coming up?

I’m hosting a art show May 15th and several shows this summer at a gallery called Stella Flame in Sag Harbor.

How do you stay “Honest" to your brand?

I only sell art that I would collect myself, and only represent artist that I connect with on a deeper level!

For any questions regarding art reach out to my mama at @artbyilene or visit her website at!

X kt