Chelsea Gittle, owner:
Proof in Paining
Mobile paint parties
When did you officially begin your business?
“Officially, August 2017, but I’ve been doing this since August 2015.”
How did the idea arise?
“I attended a couple wine and paint events when I lived in New York City. About a year later, I wanted to do something special for my mom’s birthday so I suggested we invite her friends over, get a few bottles of wine, and I’d lead them through a painting! It was a blast and they wanted to come back the next week, along with some more of her friends who couldn’t make it the first time.”
How did you come up with the name Proof in Painting?
“I made a long list of various names. I wanted something that wasn’t completely boozy. Originally, it was “The Proof is in the Painting”, but that was too long, so I shortened it to what it is now. I like that it can have more than one meaning. I’m not great at branding, so maybe I’ll need to change it eventually, but I think it works for now.”
How many events would you estimate you’ve hosted?
Has it met your expectations?
“It has definitely exceeded my expectations, especially because I didn’t really have any expectations to begin with. I was just having fun.”
Did you have any special training as an artist? Self-taught?
“I have drawn my entire life, then studied Graphic Design for three years in high school, and I took one drawing class in college, but my professional background is environmental consulting. So, yeah, I guess I’m self-taught.
Have there been any lessons you’ve learned as a new business owner?
“Marketing and record-keeping.”
Anything you wish you knew beforehand?
“Branding, strategy, social media, advertising. There are a lot of things that I’m still trying to figure out, but I’m enjoying the journey and challenge of it!
Who are your customers?
“Primarily, adult women, but I’d like to start seeing more men participate because they always seem to enjoy it! A lot of people think that it’s only 21-plus, but people under 21 are welcome as long as the establishment allows them.”
Any particular stories/experiences you care to share?
“A few months ago, a couple of drunk people crashed one of my events and ended up having the cops called and getting arrested. That was an expected turn of events!”
What was your biggest fear before opening your own business?
What do you worry about now?
“Failure, whatever that means.”
Who’s had the biggest influence on you as a person?
“My grandmother. She was creative, adventurous, and funny! She taught me to use my imagination wildly when the other adults in my life were a certain level of predictable. She was an amazing storyteller which inspired me to travel and be spontaneous and say ‘yes’ to things that are outside of my comfort zone and take risks. She appreciated the beauty in the details that I’m not sure I’d notice otherwise.”
How do you find a balance between being an artist and a business owner?
“I think I’m still trying to figure that out.”
What do you love most about your job?
“I absolutely love seeing the pride in people’s faces with their finished paintings! That makes it all worth it.”