Malenda, a self-taught artist, knew early on that she was an artist. Her parents met in an art class in college, and each year at Christmas, she received art paper, colored pencils, and watercolors, from which she created her first works. At the age of five, she sold her first work to the famous ceramicist Howard Kron for a nickel, who advised her that the artist never gave away his art. She sold her first portrait in the seventh grade, and by the age of 16 she was painting nude bodies in oil on canvas. She opened her own Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, after being rejected by all the city's art galleries, and turned it into a profitable venture to sell her unique works. In 1999, she was discovered by an art licensing agency, which was concerned that her art was too similar to museum art. Today, Malenda is one of the most prominent artists in the field of home decor and gifts, she has hundreds of items sold with her works of art.