BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — “There’s no such factor as excellent,” stated Michelle Nicole, sporting a light-up unicorn headband and standing behind a white desk with rainbow-colored balloons arching above her. On a balmy morning not way back, in an artwork studio about 10 minutes exterior Kansas City, 120 attendees from as distant as Canada had been gathered. They had every snagged a ticket to the second annual Unicorn Spit Extravaganza.
An enthusiastic group stationed at lengthy tables, many sporting matching unicorn headbands and colourful T-shirts, they adopted alongside as Ms. Nicole painted vast stripes on a wood wine holder and inspired them to “Slop it on!”
Ms. Nicole, 39, is the founding father of Unicorn Spit, a unhazardous paint, glaze and stain she created in 2012 whereas working at an grownup day care heart. As the actions coordinator, she struggled to search out methods to entertain the shoppers.
When she introduced a scuffed-up dresser to work, she and the shoppers brainstormed methods to complete the piece with out utilizing harsh chemical substances. After experimenting with numerous unhazardous dyes and stains in her storage, Ms. Nicole developed the product she has been promoting for about $9 to $20 per bottle since 2015.
Unicorn Spitters are a part of a recent vogue for the tentatively creative expressing themselves through attempts at art. The spirited group at the event (mostly women, though a few men attended with their wives) was a small sampling of Ms. Nicole’s rapidly growing online community of over 33,000 “Spitters.”
While brushing on color, the Spitters joked, shared pictures of their projects and made plans for the evening. It was a weekend workshop with a set number of projects to complete each day, but also an opportunity for artists, hobbyists and crafting newbies who have interacted online to meet in person.
It was also a chance for them to interact with Ms. Nicole. They were curious about whether she is as upbeat in person as she is in her videos (she is), they wanted to know if she is working on new products (always) and if they can make suggestions (they can).
“My audience inspires me,” Ms. Nicole said. “They comment, ‘Wouldn’t this be neat?’ and I try it.”
Garianne Fuentes, the owner of SW Craft Connection, an art studio in Albuquerque, discovered Unicorn Spit through Ms. Nicole’s videos on Facebook and YouTube.
“The product opened up my creative side,” said Ms. Fuentes, who is 49. “The colors are fun and vibrant, especially the sparkling and flats.” Her projects include coasters, jewelry, metal yard art and faux stained glass.
Ms. Nicole’s videos draw thousands of views, but word-of-mouth continues to drive sales and attract more Spitters. Evey Alvarez-Flores, 36, from Califon, N.J., features product reviews on her blog, Evey’s Creations. She learned about Unicorn Spit a few years ago through a reader.
“I kept seeing the videos and pictures of her doing brilliant things with furniture,” Ms. Alvarez-Flores said. “I did a few sample boards and was blown away by it.” She sells items from her Etsy shop including wooden signs, glass and metal pieces, and uses the product during Make It and Take It workshops she teaches around the country.
Ms. Nicole’s showroom (her studio is in the back), in Kansas City, is a homage to her love of color. “Color gives me an optimistic view, she said: “When I see vivid colors, I think of life.” Entering the multihued interior after approaching the plain brick exterior, one feels like Dorothy entering the Land of Oz.
A range of colors filled every corner of the space. A wedding dress — the product also works on fabric — with cascading rows of yellow, pink and blue, hung on a dress form. Leaning against the wall was a long, narrow window painted to resemble stained glass.
Lampshades, glass end tables, buffets, chairs and iridescent cowboy boots, all with a 3-D effect, are among the flea market and roadside finds Ms. Nicole has rehabilitated.
Unicorn Spit is not only infused with color, but also with aromas. “They are all scented with something special to make clients feel creative,” Ms. Nicole said. Sparkling is infused with lemongrass, purportedly to make people feel energized and fearless.
The metallics are scented with teakwood and pheromones with the idea that these will make people feel adventurous, daring, confident and empowered. The Original Spit is infused with jasmine, to promote a calming feeling.
Mindful that the original inspiration for her product was art therapy, Ms. Nicole often donates her products to nursing homes, disability centers and activity centers. “They can all do art without the fear of making a mess and ruining a project,” she said. “It’s O.K., they can wipe it away and do it again.”
Her latest project involves looking for different handles to enable users to hold the brush with their shoulder, elbow, wrist, palm or even their toes.
Ms. Nicole and her staff of five are currently working on next year’s event. Their first task is to find a bigger site. She is also searching for a Studio & Spit Retreat House where guests would stay for a week and work with her to refinish furniture they find at a local thrift shop.
In a recent post, she updated her followers about a potential property: “It’s awfully cute & simple,” she wrote. “Just needs a bright & cheery paint job.”