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Molly Rosner wasn’t around for pop art’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, but that hasn’t kept the 21-year-old artist and entrepreneur from letting the movement influence every iPhone case, glittery lighter, and canvas that she embellishes.
The recent graduate launched American Dream House to create and market original pop art. Rosner (CFA’13) hopes to turn the company’s distinct designs, featured on paintings, clothes, and home accessories, into a lifestyle brand akin to West Elm or Tommy Hilfiger.
“I had the vague idea that I wanted to do something my senior year that would launch me into a full-time job,” says Rosner, the company’s creative director. “I didn’t want to work for someone else, so I tried to venture out on my own, and art is something I’ve always enjoyed because it’s fun.”
Many of the designs draw on classic Americana imagery, with stylized lines and vibrant colors. One painting, Dew Me, is a close-up of a model, similar to a Vargas pinup, staring at the viewer with large green eyes.
“My art is influenced by the fact that I’ve always been drawn to graphic patterns, and retro and sparkly things,” she says. “I’m influenced by iconic artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.”
Rosner relies heavily on her “dream team” of 29 marketers, graphic designers, and artists—all Boston University students last year—to produce the company’s merchandise. She won’t reveal specifics about the company’s financials, but a painting can run up to $300 and T-shirts sell for $25. The merchandise is available for sale at craft fairs and open markets and on the online marketplace Etsy.