Interview with Co-Founder Gareth Shelton!

Interview with Co-Founder Gareth Shelton!

Been to a PopUp Painting event?  Then you will likely have seen Co-Founder Gareth.

Together with Phyllissa, Gareth has built up PopUp Painting for over 3 years. 
Whilst not an artist himself he has continued to bring his infectious perky and friendly personality to each event. As Gareth enters a new stage in his life, furthering his studies at the London School of Economics where he will be studying for his Masters in Political Economy. I’ve asked him a few questions, which reflects upon his time with PopUp Painting.

1. Introduce yourself; Who are you and what do you do?

My name’s Gareth and I’m a Co-Founder of PopUp Painting, and as of this week (Tuesday) I am a Masters student at the LSE.

2. What is your educational background?

I have an undergraduate degree in History and Politics, and am now a student of Political Economy of Europe.

 3. Describe your daily routine with PopUp Painting

I tend to start working from around 10 or 11AM, and deal with incoming customer queries and bookings first. Then I move onto my actual business development work until about 3PM, then it’s time to get ready for the evening’s event!

4. How do you feel about the growth of PopUp Painting, and what is your future with the company?

Since launching in 2013 we’ve had over 10,000 guests and we’re now running 35 events a month rather than 5 a month. We’ve run corporate events for some really interesting and impressive organisations. I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to do. In the next year-two years I see us having a truly nationwide presence. Beyond that, I sometimes think ‘why not popup in America?’. Painting and wine is an established industry across the US, but we bring a really unique take on the concept.

My future of the company will mostly focus on business development and oversight. My operational role is going to decrease quite sharply.

5. With no artistic background what is your motivation to run PopUp Painting?
The challenge of building a business really drives me. And beyond that hearing people say ‘wow I didn’t know I could do that, I had a really good time’ is really rewarding.
6. What is your favourite event PopUp Painting has done so far?

Honestly I have done so many that they all blur a bit. We did an event at the Roundhouse in Camden in July and I really enjoyed that. A really nice group, and a great place.

7. Name a place you would like PopUp Painting to pop up in?

Westminster Hall in Parliament. That would be cool.

8. Who would be your dream PopUp Painting guest?
Justin Trudeau – and I don’t think that is completely impossible… We’re running an event on 13th October themed around the work Charles Pachter, partnered with The Trafalgar Hotel and with buy in from Canada House. Fingers crossed.
9. Just for fun. If you could become one work of art, what would you choose? Why?
I really love Gustav Klimt’s work, because of how vibrant it often is. Maybe his ‘The Kiss’ or ‘Sunflowers’.

Gareth has blogged about his experience with PopUp Painting, and on what it’s like to step out of a company you’ve helped build. Read it here.


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