I had a brilliant idea about a year ago (in actuality, I have brilliant ideas almost everyday...only about 2% of them actually come to fruition, though). I was struggling to keep up with the demand but not in the financial position to hire a traditional staff person. In my brilliance, I thought I could find some interns...specifically, people who had a desire to learn how to paint and gain some insight into the nature of running a store. So, I posted an opening on the website and it sat there...and sat...and sat. I had an awesome girl home from college help out a bit for the summer, but it was really unstructured.
Then, about six months after I posted the internship opening, I got some bites...and then I got more bites and as of today I've hired more than six interns who have held on to a four month internship commitment!!!
I LOVE these girls...I completely value their time and their creative spirit and when we are all here, working together, we ignite this creative fire amongst each other. It is the perfect example of finding strength in numbers and feeding off of our individual strengths for a collective gain.
So, meet the girls:
Sabrina has been interning the longest! She pushed me into participating in the Monrovia Farmers Market a few weeks ago and has become my intern milk paint guru! She works in the store a few days a week and every so often, will pop her head in the back door and holler..."It's just me and I'm bored and feel like painting something today!" Sabrina wants to open her own store one day and more recently has been looking into spending some time picking in France...I keep pushing her to go so I can take advantage of the amazing things she would find. :)
This is Maddie. She is a local girl and we can chit chat about all things "Glendora." "You know you're from Glendora when..." Maddie is a full time student, taking various design courses and making life-changing decisions about where to finish school. Her secret talent....she is an awesome stager. She puts together the window displays and will stylize the shelves and furniture pairings. Cruise around Glendora on a Saturday morning and you might catch Maddie hosting a "boutique yard sale" where she sells her own refinished pieces of furniture.
This is Becky. We call her "chatty Becky." This girl can hold a conversation like no other! And, it's perfectly okay because she is dreamy to listen to, having just recently moved to Southern California from England. Becky is really into the urban vintage style of home decor and a master at re-purposing random objects into home decor. For instance, she made hooks out of shovels and candle holders out of old pipes. She started this internship, aspiring to teach the local folks (in LA) how to re-design their own furniture.
This is Karcy. Karcy is from Seattle and re-located to Glendora for just a short time for work. She has a great eye for color and has mad waxing skills. In just the past couple weeks of interning she has learned basic Chalk Paint® techniques, mixing and applying milk paint and antiquing wax, and most recently, dying fabric using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®.
We also have Elena, who just started interning last week. We are still getting to know each other!
So, why do these girls spend four hours a week at knot too shabby? Well, my hope and desire is that they learn a useful skill. When I was in college, I had internships and I was just a non-paid employee who warmed a chair and answered phones. I didn't leave my internship with any new knowledge or skill set. I structured our internship program to be educational! By the time these ladies have put in their commitment, they will have learned all of the different Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® techniques, from waxing to gilding. They will get to use Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in all it's glory. They learn how to do simple upholstery, decopauge and Michelle Black's wood transfer method.
Once in awhile, I get to say "thank-you" by throwing a wax brush their way, giving them a window-pane or even letting them rummage through the furniture in the storage unit to take home and paint. And, if they just happen to all show up at the same time, on the same day, we can enjoy a lunch together next door at Frisellas!