Abilities Expo Houston

Abilities Expo Houston

By April Sullivan    

Once again, in early August I packed up the car and drove to Houston for our annual showcase of the Artist Market at Abilities Expo. This year we featured four artists with disabilities from the Houston area. They all did great making sales to an audience of people who are a part of, or are understanding supporters of, the disability community. I asked our artists what was their favorite thing about selling at this event. Here is what they had to say:

Clare and her husband have been selling Clare’s books at this event for several years now. They enjoy meeting all the people, especially those who are repeat customers and come by to tell her they purchased one of her books last year and loved it and are back to buy more.

two people buy artwork from vendors at the abilities expo.
Clare and her husband selling books at Abilities Expo Houston

Adam, also an experienced seller at this event, likes the opportunity to meet new people. He likes to tell the story of his business, Younique Abilities and explain it to potential customers. He brings something new to sell at each Expo.

A vendor with two customers browsing their work.
Adam chatting with customers at his Younique Abilities booth at Abilities Expo Houston

This was Jerry’s second Expo experience. His niece comes with him to help sell his jewelry and paintings. The Expo is his only big selling opportunity of the year. He really enjoys talking to the people, seeing which pieces they like, and getting new ideas from them on what he should make next. He really likes selling to this audience because people with disabilities share a common bond, understand each other, and he feels like they really appreciate his work.

Two vendors selling jewelry at the abilities expo.
Jerry and his niece selling handmade jewelry and paintings at Abilities Expo Houston.

Lillian was a new artist this year. She has sold over 1,000 items online, but the Expo was her first live event where she sold her stickers and beanies with a disability theme. She enjoyed being able to talk to her customers in person.  You don’t get that same interaction when selling online. Her husband, who also has a disability, felt comradery with others at the event when he saw people dealing with the same stuff he deals with on a daily basis.

two beanie style hats with different text on the front. One reads, "I'm so sleepy." and the other reads, "My tummy hurts."
The “I’m So Sleepy” and “My Tummy Hurts” beanies Lillian sold at Abilities Expo Houston.

Overall, the takeaway is that it is nice to be among your “people” at an event like the Abilities Expo. Art Spark Texas enjoys the opportunity to be there telling people about our services, but most of all we like seeing our artists fulfill their needs both monetarily through art sales, and socially thorough the community vibe.

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