“This is a contract between the Artist (consignee) Anita Borgo and KISMET LLC . . .”
I signed the contract and just like that I was an artist . . . at least legally.
Four months ago I wasn’t an artist in any sense of the word. Writer, yes. Artist, no.
Then when planning the rehearsal dinner for my son’s wedding, I wrestled with the cost of floral centerpieces for the tables and cute chachkies for the guests. I decided to donate that chunk of change to charities in honor of the invited guests instead.
The bride and groom agreed and chose Milwaukee Riverkeepers, Arts @ Large, World Wildlife Federation, and Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee.
Somehow I needed to communicate to the guests that donations were made in lieu of carnations and engraved beer mugs. I considered signs on each table, but wanted more snaz.
During my weekly FT session with a transplanted best friend, she mentioned lighted wine bottles that she had seen on display. I explored the concept and decided to use lighted wine bottle as a means of conveying the donations message. I created labels for the bottles using the charities’ logos explaining that the cash I didn’t fork out for flowers supported worthy causes instead.
Now I needed empty bottles, thirty-two of them. I asked my friends to save their wine bottles for me instead of recycling them. I thought that would do it. Sadly, I underestimated the drinking habits of my social group.
I asked everyone I met if they knew of an empty wine bottle source. The chatter paid off. Most liquor stores and restaurants do not recycle. I visited a few of them and before checking out asked if I could rescue bottles from the trash. Mostly everyone will give away trash.
My need for thirty-two wine bottles quickly filled and I accrued excess.
I took the wine bottle idea a step further and created summer themed bottles for my teacher friends as gifts. A chance remark (“You could sell these!”) by one of the recipients planted an entrepreneurial seed.
Maybe I COULD sell them. I’d earn a bit of dough and upcycle the bottles.
That’s how I ended up at Kismet. Kismet is a brick and mortar Etsy located in Crystal Lake. The proprietor, Bernadine, represents card crafters, jewelry makers, and fabric artisans to name a few.
Browse among her wares and you’ll find my lighted wine bottles.
So that’s how I became an artist.
Correction, since I haven’t sold anything yet, that’s how I became a starving artist.