We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristel Boe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristel, what can you share with us about hwo Covid-19 has affected your business?
Like most individuals, the onset of the Covid-19 crisis felt like being an unwilling participant in a roller-coaster ride. Our business was immediately impacted by the “no gatherings” order– as we specialize in gatherings! We had to completely halt our mobile private painting parties (where we travel to people’s homes to help them host an art party with friends). This occurred in our high season, where we average up to 50 private party bookings a month. We saw an immediate 100% drop in business and had to go back to the drawing board and identify what we do best, and how we could offer engaging creative experiences from a distance.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am most proud of the evolution of ArtBeat San Diego. As a business, we continue to stay relevant and busier than ever because we remain flexible and adaptable to situations and trends. As a team of artists, we have lots of creative ideas– some ideas are better than others! We like to test out these ideas by offering many creative classes and workshops, and we rely on the community to tell us what interests them, and what doesn’t. Because things are ever changing, we remain flexible in the way we operate our business and make changes when needed. For example, during the Covid-19 Crisis, we had to cancel all of our community art classes. It was a huge upset as we considered our face-to-face art experiences to be the foundation of what we did. However, we went back to the drawing board and adapted our offerings to fit within the local business guidelines. Within weeks, we had completely transitioned into virtual art lessons and we received with a huge outpouring of support! This month will be on course to be one of our busiest months this year for private painting parties– all done virtually. I think that remaining flexible is one of the most important lessons I have learned as a business owner, as an artist and as a person. Being too fixed in an idea or an outcome can create unnecessary stress and resentment if that outcome isn’t met. I feel like it is much easier of a path to remain fluid and adapt to situations as they arise. My favorite explanation of this ideology comes from the legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee. He says ““You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” As an artist, the creative process has taught me that things don’t always turn out they way I planned. I may have a vision or an idea of how my art will turn out, and more often than not, it goes a different direction. I don’t get upset when this happens, I accept it for what it is. This fluid mindset is how I approach the creative process, as well as how I handle changes in my business and most things in life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What I love the most about San Diego is how diverse our County is! Outsider’s tend to associate San Diego with the beach– and although we have a big beach culture, I think it’s important to pay homage to the diversity that San Diego offers, while still recognizing our coastal roots. My best weekend ever in San Diego would include the following stops: Breakfast overlooking the ocean at Wonderland Pub in OB (they have a crazy good breakfast menu & the best view in town) Hop on a bike and cruise over to Aqua Adventures to rent a kayak, SUP board, hyrdobike and manually make your way across the water to the Barefoot Bar at Paradise Point. Enjoy a cocktail or two and take in the vacation-like vibe. Out of the water, I’d head over to the most cliche neighborhood in San Diego, Pacific Beach. It’s like going to the Louve and NOT seeing the Mona Lisa, you kind of have to stop into PB whether you like it or not. We’d have some authentic surf Mexican food at Taco Surf and maybe ride the Big Dipper Roller-coaster at Belmont Park before napping on the sand. We’d close out the night in Little Italy and hit up Civico 1845 for modern Italian food, and Born and Raised for a nightcap.\ Day 2 would be away from the coast. Most local San Diegan’s were born in East and South County and never left. For authentic San Diego, we’d have to drive further East than the 5 freeway. But first, we’d stop in Barrio Logan. We’d have an early lunch at Barrio Dogg, which serves the BEST loaded hot dogs ever. They even offer a vegetarian dog, to keep everyone happy. Afterward, we’d meander through Balboa Park, and end up in the Marcy Sculpture Garden, where you can enjoy a cold brew from Panama 66. The vibe here is very relaxing and a great place to sprawl out, chat, and enjoy a cocktail. We’d end the night out East and catch the trolley to La Mesa. I’d recommend walking the Secret Stairs (a path of pedestrians stairs through some of the historic neighborhoods in La Mesa), and finish with dinner in La Mesa’s cute downtown district (some great eating spots include Farmer’s Table, BoBeau, Johnny Bs) Some additional exceptional spots and activities worth mentioning would be a visit to the iconic Turf Club where you cook your own dinner with a bunch of strangers in a dark club, a bike ride through Coronado, a hike in our local mountains of Cleveland National Forest, a coffee and a stroll through South Park and Kensington, a concert at the Observatory in North Park, and of course– no visit to San Diego would be complete without an art class with us, ArtBeat San Diego! This only scratches the surface of what San Diego has to offer, so I’d recommend that any visitor return to San Diego more than once to explore our great city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to offer gratitude to our community and the people that have stood with our business from day one– and are still part of our lives! We’re approaching 8 years of business and navigating the past few months have been wild, and unlike anything we have experienced before. Our spirits remain high from an out-pouring of support from customers, business partners, and community members. We can only survive with the support of our community– and we are definitely feeling the love right now! We’re taking all the love and support and paying it forward, making it a priority to pass on the kindness to other’s that need it right now (and who doesn’t?)