How did you start your business and begin at Artists & Fleas?
I officially became a business last September. I had been trying to plan my boyfriend's surprise birthday party earlier in the year, and had been looking for party goods that reflected our humor, and couldn’t find anything! There are a ton of rad cards that creative people are making, but I couldn’t find any sort of decoration items. I started to look into making balloons on my own, and then kind of sat on the idea for a couple months. I was concerned with having a product that I could proudly say was completely made from start to finish in the US, and that would not have a negative impact on the environment. Every step of the balloon process is done in Southern California, and the balloons are 100% biodegradable on land and sea! Slowly I started ordering small sample batches to see what the response was, and now I have 30 styles! I had been to Artists and Fleas as a buyer and I loved the vibe there, and it was my very first market I ever considered or applied to. I was thrilled when I was accepted!
What are the differences among the markets? Does anything stand out?
So far I have only done Artists and Fleas! I still work full time with animals, and do animal rescue, so I haven't had as many weekends as I would like free to try out other markets. Artists and Fleas will always be a staple for Crassholes though. Great team behind it, and great customers coming to it.
What is your long term goal with Crassholes?
This question is super exciting! It wasn’t until recently that I really felt like Crassholes could be a real thing and a full time job for me, so it’s cool to sit down and spend some time really planning out where I want to go. Honestly, I have no idea what the fuck I am doing the majority of the time and am pretty much winging the whole thing. But I would really love to be a full gift company that offers unconventional party items/gifts. I am working on a side “mermaid gang” project right now too, with varsity jackets and patches. Exploring different creative avenues has been so fucking rad. Even if certain ideas don’t work out, I get to learn a lot along the way.
Where do you see your balloons being sold five years from now?
I would also really love to start seeing Crassholes balloons sold in large retail stores. Kind of like the anti-Party City (am I gonna get sued for saying that? I'm too poor to be sued). We are in a few stores now, with really awesome fucking owners, and I can’t wait to grow with them and into other areas, I would also like to see Crassholes offering custom balloons for various events that match my aesthetic, like music festivals, and rad vendor markets like Artists and Fleas.
What's your favorite part about running Crassholes (and Mixed Mutts!)?
I also co-own an animal rescue called Mixed Mutts with my best friend. I love doing animal rescue, but it is a WAY more serious job. There’s no humor in dealing with abandoned, abused and scared animals. It is incredibly rewarding seeing a dog that you have been working with for months finally find a forever home.
No joke, I love every single thing about running Crassholes. I am not allowed much creativity at my full time job as a vet tech, so Crassholes is a huge outlet for me. I love being able to express my words and humor completely unapologetically. When I started and told people I was going to make a ‘fuck you’ or ‘ eat a dick’ balloon, I saw a lot of people be offended. Now, those two are some of my best sellers! Its nice to see people just lighten the fuck up sometimes, and laugh at a balloon.