Eddie Mandela

“Oh, she’s my biggest fan. We met at a car show. If it wasn’t for my wife, my trailer business wouldn’t survive because I can’t make change, press and fold the shirts or go out and look for people that have their shirts done. They already paid, somebody needs to go and give it to them, because they may forget to come pick it up. When we’re set up she’s either making change, pressing clothes or T shirts or fixing the displays. All I gotta do is concentrate on people’s orders and once a few people see my orders I stay busy all day long. I don’t see how single artists can do it out there, I know there’s some of them but who’s folding your clothes? Who’s making your changes? You wouldn’t believe how many questions customers have. We’ve been doing this back since 2007. Every year we go somewhere, do something, so she’s been at it long enough, she knows what our prices are. She knows what I can, can’t do, she knows how much stuff is. She knows how much extra stuff is. She knows the prices of little kids compared to somebody who wants a 4x. There’s a big price difference. So yeah, she’s a really big help. She doesn’t really always care for the cars that we go see, I try to take time to go take pictures of them because I’ve always been a car guy, but she still enjoys it and she likes going places and getting out and doing stuff and meeting new people. She likes it when we go somewhere and then the next year we go and people still remember us and a lot of our customers become really good friends. When I decided to become full fledged work for myself, retire from the plant, she said okay, I said we’ll get us a trailer and a truck and I’ll get an air conditioner and  it’s working out really, really well. But as long as I can cater to her needs, as far as, the heat and anything else like that, or not having to break the downs on the road that she’s all in.”

“The biggest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome, as far as an artist, is here in town. I can’t really, I could, but I can’t really enter art at the Kemp, I can’t really set up art at the Art Association Gallery, and I could but I really don’t. When they have Cowboy True, I’ve done it, but I really can’t put my art in there because it’s not really accepted. Older people want to see different stuff, they want to see a pair of boots or the star, but they want to see a farmhouse with pumpkins. They want to see a bird with the dish, and I could do that but I really don’t want to that bad, not that I want to go because I’m busy enough, I don’t really get as an artist that just wants to promote their art, they, they can draw a bowl of fruit and a wine glass on their little wine bottle and thick NPSL, but I really don’t want to do that because I have other things going on. Now, somebody said there’s a big art deal going on in California called Monster Palooza. And all they do is all these people submit artists, has to do with Frankenstein and all kinds of crazy stuff. Now if something like that comes here I’d be bought up real quick.” -Eddie Mandela

Head over to Downtown Development’s Facebook Page to read more of Eddie’s story.