March 2018 | Vendor Spotlight
She’s a designer and an artist in about as many ways as you can be. Over the past 9 years, Anna B. Webb has made a living designing dazzling aesthetics for home interiors and sets, then as a self-taught graphic designer, and as an artist with her business HeArt of Nashville, known for her popular paintings of the Nashville skyline.
Her career path tells the story of a woman who knows how to reinvent herself, to stay relevant, and to say yes to a good opportunity when it presents itself…even if that means turning a trailer into a vendor booth on wheels.
“My art business was launched when I decided to stop publishing an annual Nashville event calendar,” Anna said. “Over the eight years of [the calendar’s] run, the same information eventually became easily accessible on the internet. Meanwhile, the demand for more of my Nashville skyline paintings that used to be on the cover had continued to grow. It's a classic, when one door closes.....another door opens story.”
She’s participated in more festivals than she can count. From well known venues including Centennial Park and Bicentennial Capitol Mall to small schools, churches and fields all over town. She’s had a presence at a slew of Nashville’s events, large and small. And now, she rolls into each venue every bit the true arts professional in her 1955 trailer retrofitted as her mobile art gallery, which she lovingly calls Ginger.
Why so many festivals?
“It's fabulous exposure!” Anna said. “Especially since Nashville has so many people moving here every day. They go looking for the interesting things to do in their new home and a festival is on that list every time. So you're immediately in the path of a lot of newcomers who couldn't possibly know about you any other way and it can be very lucrative both that day and down the road.”
Favorite festival moment:
I was at a large festival during the solar eclipse of 2017. People were there from all over the world to be in the path of it. Everyone was excited in anticipation. They were also in a mood to shop, so I found myself literally running into my trailer and back out again for a look. It was crazy. As it got dark, you could see the lights come up in the Nashville skyline in the middle of the day and it got really quiet. It was a fairly cloudy day but just moments before it was to become a full eclipse, a cluster of clouds parted and we could see it perfectly.
Thousands of people ‘ooohed’ and ‘aaahed’ together with our heads pointed to the sky and wearing our goofy looking glasses. My husband and some friends came to join in the experience. It was like a big global party and ended up being a really moving moment.
Advice for first time vendors:
1) Be patient and be kind. The shopper, their kids, their husband, their chatty sister....AND their dog are your friends, not your enemy, and they all have a story that you might actually want to hear.
2) Remember to enjoy yourself (festival fun really isn't just for the attendees) and they will naturally enjoy being in your booth. You're there for a reason. Pay attention and it will reveal itself. One night, besides it being a great sales day, I swear I was really there to give some gals working in the booth next door a safe ride to their car. To this day I get free ice cream when one of them is working. ;)