Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Fun Fact – Ainslie was one of GOTG’s very first Independent Gallery Guides! When she’s not guiding paint parties, you can find her hitting the trails in her big orange jeep, or cruisin’ on her orange hot-rod motorcycle, or at the lake with her orange kayak (are you seeing a theme here?!), but where she really shines is in the classroom.
Ainslie has been a teacher for almost 20 years and her passion and heart for her students is even more than that of her love of orange thrill hobbies. But her fave hashtag #TeachAndRetireRich is more of an optimistic “I love my job” than an actual retirement plan. With student loans racking up and a salary that didn’t afford her the lifestyle she wanted, she turned to GOTG – teacher by day and Paintpreneur by night. I had the chance to sit down and chat with Ainslie to learn more about her double agent life!
What was the first party you guided? Another Guide passed off a small party to me. It turned out to only be 4 ladies. They spoke Spanish the entire time and were fascinated that I was bilingual too! lol - their food was ahhhmazing!
How many parties do you guide per month? I have some repeat public venue events that I do regularly, and depending on the crazy of my 3rd graders, I might have enough sanity leftover for 1 or 2 others. If a repeat hostess wants to book or if a hostess is referred to me by a friend, I squeeze them in. It gets hectic during the school year so I try to keep it minimal, but when breaks come around I’ll book as many as I can. If I’m traveling, I reach out to friends to throw events so I can write off some expenses! Booking my calendar beyond 2 months stresses me out! I can’t commit to giving away my JEEPING or SNOWBOARDING weekends, so I prefer short term referrals… lol (did I mention I’m single? #noncommittal)
What is your fave thing about being a Guide?!
Getting people LAUGHING! I’m a celebrity in my classroom because I’m always ON STAGE. Performing is the ONLY way to keep my kiddos attention. Guiding parties is no different and painting is out of MOST peoples’ comfort zones, so the anxiety is REAL! But once everyone starts laughing, the nerves begin to break down and the party TURNS UP! There’s real magic in wine and laughter… and although I can’t bring the juice into my classroom, laughter is one of my most valuable tools in getting kids to learn. I guess it’s just second nature to get the PARTY going before worrying about guiding the painting. And of course, my second fave thing is end results. Most painters are SHOCKED at what they were able to accomplish (or not LOL) and the reactions in the end are priceless!
What is your least fave thing?
CLEANING BRUSHES. Press and Seal has been a GOD SEND for my palettes… and if I could find a way to wrap my BRUSHES too I would!!! My fingers dry out (yes I use rubber gloves now), my nails get weak, and it just reminds me of watching my mother hover over the sink washing dishes as a kid. I don’t even hand wash my dishes for THAT reason!
What has GOTG done for you, personally or professionally?
As a teacher, I used to feel trapped in my profession. I’ve invested over $100k in student loans to be great at what I do. But I often felt discouraged about ever being able to switch industries. I didn’t think I had any other skills to be successful outside of education. GOTG has expanded my skill set to include marketing, advertising, management, and even activity planning. My business sense has given me the confidence to explore ALL of my options in other careers. Just that confidence alone has taken the STRESS off of feeling TRAPPED in education, and allowed me to focus on what I love about teaching because I know that if that love is taken away, I have plenty of other options I can find success with.
What is your fave GOTG painting?
I have to say Sips in the City! It was my first custom piece that I did for a good friend’s bachelorette party in my early months as a Gallery Guide. It was such a HIT at the party, and has been ever since! As someone who actually never painted on canvas before joining the biz, it feels amazing to have MY artwork celebrated and SOLD!
What would you say to a teacher who is thinking about joining GOTG?
Everything you ALREADY do in terms of routines, procedures, and classroom management is everything you NEED to be successful at this biz! Take control of when and how you do it, while making some cash too! It’s funny because my goal this year was to NOT sound so teachery, but I continue to get feedback and appreciation for being so supportive and making the paintings so accessible to everyone. No painters left behind!!
Want to paint with Ainslie?! Ainslie serves the Denver-metro area (but has been seen partying it up in Cali on occasion!)
Find her on facebook.com/galleryonthegowithainslie