Katy Days 2019: Kids as entrepreneurs

Well, Katy Days went great this year! I got to see old friends, I ate good food truck food, There was a beer garden with a Ozzy cover band playing, and no rain! What’s not to like?

So I was doing my Katy Days thing: making and selling paintings (and prints and books). After watching me make a few sales, my 8 year old son Evan wanted to paint something too.  He whipped something up (yellow smiley face) and made a price tag for it.  After watching people go by for 30 minutes, he said "Dad, why isn't my art selling?"  I told him sometimes it takes awhile (fully expecting that it wouldn't sell).  So Evan went off with my friend's family to ride some carnival rides.  While he was away a woman came by, pointed to the smiley face and said "I have to have that!"  I was shocked.   A friend who was with me found Evan so he could participate in the transaction.  He was thrilled! I was convinced the sale was a one-off fluke.

Nope! After Evan’s successful first sale he made a second painting - a flag. Moments later a different woman came by, saw this new painting and wanted to buy it! My mind was blown. What was going on? Anyways I figured if Evans going to be selling paintings he ought to sign them, so I suggested he put his name on the painting before handing it to the woman. I looked away for a moment and when I looked back he had signed his name in sharpie right in the middle of the flag!!!!  The woman looked horrified but she said she'd let us fix it and still take it.  So Evan painted over his name and wrote it in the corner.  I threw in one of my paintings too (flag with trains in the stripes)  and she seemed happy.  It was all very amusing.

After that it was no surprise that several other kids wanted to try to make and sell artwork. One girl, a friend of the family, was very disappointed when her work didn’t sell. It was an underwater scene and I figured it would be good inspiration for the book I’m illustrating now. So I paid her 10 dollars for the painting. I was feeling quite proud of myself like I had done some great kindness when she looked at me, held out her hand and said “Excuse me, the painting cost 15 dollars.”