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Life & Work with Candace Thompson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candace Thompson.

Hi Candace, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started my company in November 2017. After about with jaundice in Spring of 2017, my mom invited me out to a local paint party so that I could get out of the house. At this time, I wasn’t too excited about leaving the house due to how the jaundice had affected my skin eyes and overall physical appearance. In going to that event, I found myself for the first time in a long time more focused on the art versus people looking at me. From that moment, I thought, if I didn’t want to leave my house but needed this experience, maybe other people do too. From then I went to work for that company for a few months and in October 2017, they sold their franchise. I offered to purchase but didn’t have enough of a business background or capital and they sold it to someone else. I started brainstorming, and within 30 days, I had gathered a few supplies to host my first unpublicized event. On November 17, 2017 Canvases With Candace got its FB and IG page and thus was born. I started the company as a mobile paint and sip and at the time had no car, so I was taking uber/lyft and getting rides from friends/family to get to events. I had no idea what the company could grow into, I just knew I needed to make a few extra dollars per week and I wanted to have some fun and help people while I did it.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road has absolutely NOT been smooth. Having never owned a business, I had no idea where to start. Getting a schedule for myself was the first step. I had just started a new job that Feb 2018 and it was very demanding. I could only host parties on weekends and marketing at first seemed to be just my friends and family. I am super blessed to have such a supportive circle as they also pitched in a helped me buy some supplies the first few weeks of being in business. Then came the idea of who I was competing with. At this time, it was your big box companies/franchises such as Wine and Design and Painting with a Twist. I wanted to make a different name for myself and I did. Because we come out to your home, it gave people an option to be more themselves and free. Learning to wear so many hats was hard as well. At an event being the assistant to set everything up, instruct, refills for paints/water, taking pictures to have for marketing later, cleaning up and doing it all in 2 hours was hard, but I learned how to create some systems for myself. As events got bigger and more frequent they seemed to get easier. One major struggle was when party season slowed down for the summer. Many people are traveling so not as many parties were being booked. At that point, I started making my own art and selling at vending events. This was a slow start but allowed us to pivot and create an avenue to meet more people who didn’t know about our services. From there, we had to pivot again once Covid-19 hit and that is when we took our services virtually. At this point, we became an international serving company!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Most artists will start doing paint and sips to supplement their income between commissions or gallery showings; I am the opposite. My main focus is and always will be paint parties. I love the aspect of bringing people together. I don’t like to redraw the artwork as I am completely self-taught so we take your canvas from a blank one to help you create your masterpiece. I believe we are all artists, we just have to unlock the artist within. My parties also come with a coupling of art therapy that I like to call “soul therapy” we talk through correlations between art and life, with our brushes being our friends, and just like in life we need these brushes to help us create these masterpieces. Our paints are our experiences and we can choose everyday which paints we will or won’t add to our canvases. One thing I am most proud of is being nominated as the Best Paint and Sip studio of Columbia by our local newspaper two years in a row (2019 and 2020). As a mobile company and small business a lot of times you are overlooked in comparison to the brick and mortar businesses in the same industry. To be nominated means we are really making the impact within the community and touching lives in a way that is much deeper than just another paint party.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Something surprising to most people is before March 2017, I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush since maybe elementary or middle school. I used to doodle for fun at different jobs just to kill time but never anything serious. Most things I have done in my company have been for the “first time” and I don’t shy away from new experiences or opportunities. At some point, the first time will have to be the first time, might as well get it over with.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Terrell Maxwell and Lashay Price

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