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    The Porch — NC Gifts

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - WYATT CANTRELL ARTWORK

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - WYATT CANTRELL ARTWORK

    The first time I met Wyatt Cantrell, I immediately knew there was something special about him. He was so self-confident and sure of his surroundings while being completely curious and enthusiastic about life. We met Wyatt in early spring of 2016 at Sola Pop-Up Market. He was set up a few booths down from us selling artwork accompanied by his mother Meredith and father Ian, so we figured it was their show and he was just along for the ride. We would soon come to find that these interesting multi layered paintings were all made by a six year old. We could hardly see him behind the booth but he came around smiling, full of energy and introduced us to his work. Over the next few months we got to know him and his family, and we decided to sit down with this young hustler and entrepreneur for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustles Hard.

    Wyatt, who turns seven on Friday, has been a hustler since birth. He grew up watching his mother run a small business, and has always idolized Raleigh artists and entrepreneurs, like Adam Peele. When he was four, he had his eyes set on a $300+ Ewok Village Lego Set, so his first thought was to start a business. He began with an idea to make refurbished toys and masks from salvaged items, which proved too labor-intensive. After spotting a Star Wars decal on the back of a car one day, he and his mom decided stenciling and painting might be the best way to bring his ideas to life. At 4 years old, Wyatt taught himself how to paint. After his mother Meredith creates and cuts stencils, Wyatt goes to work painting and layering the piece with an array of colors, textures, and patterns. When I asked how he learned his skills, his answer was refreshingly simple. "Well, this was the job I chose so I just started painting." An answer only a six year old with no concept of failure or doubt could provide. Wyatt started gaining traction at local markets and events, and 100 paintings later, the Ewok Village belonged to him.

    Wyatt estimates that he’s sold close to 1,000 paintings. At first glance, that number seems high for such a young kid, but if you catch him in action, you’ll become a believer. Wyatt is full of positivity, interest, and passion. His infectious attitude and energy radiate across the booth and is visible in each customer. It’s rare to see them leave empty handed. He operates with a blind confidence. He's clear in his goals, and for now that's hustling art to buy toys. His business is fully functional and self funded. He purchases all of his own equipment and supplies exclusively from Jerry's Artarama.  He loves that store.

    Wyatt’s process is intense. He batches a few paintings at a time, working on the porch because of the mess. He uses acrylic and then draws using a paint marker or oil pastel.  Then he repeatedly layers spray and splatter paints, then stencil.  He and his mom have spent the last two years experimenting with this system of layering, the basis being the stencil ideas Wyatt comes up with like “Storm Trooper Eating a Popsicle” or “Hedgehog Riding A Skate Board”. Wyatt hustles hard and you can find him working almost every weekend around the triangle. He’s commissioned pieces for countless individuals and locals businesses like Citizen Pops and Gringo A Go Go.

    It’s easy to forget that he’s currently an elementary school student. I jokingly asked if he was in the 4th grade, and he answered, "If I was in 4th grade I probably wouldn't be doing this because I'd have all the money.” He quickly checks himself and adds, "Well, no I probably still will do it when I'm in 4th grade." True wisdom and hustle. Wyatt loves to toy hunt at the Flea Market and especially at the Lego store. "I have 102 Lego sets at home." Meredith nods behind him with a smiling sigh. What’s even better than the Lego’s is that much like myself and most 80’s babies, he absolutely loves He-Man. I’m talking favorite movie, TV show, and toy. "I like He-Man so much I have a He-Man Skeletor,” he said leaning forward, eyes bulging. We talked about the Skeletor toy for the next four minutes straight. Much like Porch Fly's own Jay Blevins, you'll rarely find Wyatt anywhere without at least one toy. When I ask Wyatt what other essentials he keeps on him at all times, he said “I like to make sure I bring at least 4 quarters with me just in case I run into a quarter machine.” God, I miss being 6...

    Obviously, at such a young age no amount of talent and drive equals success without support. Wyatt’s parents, Meredith and Ian not only make it possible, but work hard to encourage and provide an environment for the entrepreneurial spirit to grow. While they are fully supportive of his endeavors, Meredith stresses that his path remains his own. “It's better to learn tough business lessons now when he's a little guy and has the largest safety net of all than to learn them when he's grown and the net is much smaller. It could be great, a disaster, or simply fade away, but he'll be the one that determines all of that.” I have a feeling Wyatt is just getting started.

    Learn more about Wyatt and where to find his art as well as a few of his favorite places to visit in the area:

    Wyatt is done with events for 2016, but you can keep up with his future shows and view his currently available pieces at his Facebook Page HERE

    To order artwork, email: wyattcantrellart@gmail.com

    Thanks for stopping by the porch!

    - Joshua

    New embroidered Logo Hats are here!

    New embroidered Logo Hats are here!

    We're so excited and proud to introduce our first collection of PF hats! This has been a long time coming, but with the release of our new logo and winter right around the corner, we couldn't wait any longer. Each hat is embroidered with our 2" logo and covered in the interior for maximum comfort and fit. 

    It's impossible to find the perfect hat for everyone, so we're offering four classic styles with many more to come! 

    The Classic 6-Panel Snapback: Made from acrylic wool, this black on black structured snapback comes with an adjustable strap and green bottom bill. Classic, timeless style. 

    Floral Brim 6-Panel Snapback: Made from acrylic wool, this black structured snapback comes with an adjustable strap and beautiful floral bill and button. A perfect amount of pop for a casual lid. This hat will deliver you comfortably into spring.

    Classic Dad Hat: Made from 100% distressed cotton twill, this vintage light navy unstructured cap comes with a brass buckle adjustable strap. Perfect for anyone, especially dad.

    Winter Beanie: We would be remiss to release a collection of hats in late fall without protecting our ears! Made from butter soft acrylic wool, this 11 inch grey beanie is the perfect length. Long enough to protect your ears, and short enough to not require rolling. Stay warm and stylish.

    Pick up your new favorite hat here!

    Old North State Adventure Club

    Old North State Adventure Club

    The Old North State Adventure Club, now accepting applications! 

    Anyone who has spent some time outdoors in North Carolina knows that there are so many amazing places in this state for a good adventure. Anywhere from the mountains to the sea, grab some friends, get out and explore. The Old North State Adventure Club design was something we wanted to create to bring together those who never shy away from a little exploration! 

    Being outdoors has proven beneficial time and time again. This is extremely true for children more so than others. Many articles like this one highlight the benefits of getting outside both for kids and adults. That's one reason why we decided to partner with The Scott-Free Scholarship Foundation for this design. A portion of the sale of each Old North State tee goes to this incredible organization that partners at-risk children with a summer camp to encourage kids to try new things, get outside, and have an adventure.

    These tees are made from a lightweight polycotton blend and made to stay comfortable through all your adventures! Get yours now in Men's and Women's Tees!

    "One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure." - William Feather

    Tea Towels are now available!

    These new kitchen towels are so awesome - trust us. Made by Towel & Home, these 22x38 inch eco-friendly flour sack towels are the perfect addition to your kitchen. When it's time to clean up, these are easy. They are lint free, 100% cotton, and machine washable.

    Now available in Whisk-Key, Heart Drop, Turducken, and The Streets of DTR for $10! These are the perfect Mother's Day gift!

     

    Thanks for stopping by the Porch,

     

    Porch Fly