Business Promotion by Denise Severson, Wisconsin
About 3-4 months ago, I happened to see a post on Facebook from Janesville’s (WI) Rotary Botanical Gardens looking for local businesses or private individuals/groups to sponsor a giant fish for display in the gardens during the summer season. They provided the fish; the sponsor had to decorate it any way you want. Designs needed to be weather resistant since they'll be outside. Another local business had agreed to seal/clear-coated the fish.
The fish is 1/2-inch thick plywood, and came with one coat of primer. It’s pretty large, about 3-1/2 feet wide x 3 feet tall. I added another primer coat, and 2 coats of the blue exterior house paint. My first thought was to use giant sequins for the embellishment, since somewhere I heard sequins were originally inspired by fish scales. But all the sequin vendors said the large sequins are pretty much all plastic, and would not hold up to summer sun, wind, rain, humidity, or heat. Then I posted a question about it on the ASDP discuss list, and included some of my ideas. I decided to use faux flowers because they are fabric, are quite colorful, and usually can withstand the elements reasonably well.
I found the tiger lily flowers at Hobby Lobby (and they were 50% off which certainly worked for me). The flowers were deconstructed and soaked to remove a lot of the sizing and starch in order for them to get as flat as possible. After drying they were steam pressed. They were applied to the prepared fish with water-proof glues and Heat-n-Bond Ultra Hold, the heavy duty kind that is guaranteed to be machine washable and dryable.
Rotary Botanical Garden is a huge garden in Janesville which draws in thousands of visitors every year, especially in the summer. The name of the business sponsor is displayed with the fish and also will be included on the garden’s website. The fish are scheduled to go on display Mother's Day Weekend and will be on display until September 8th, 2017. On the 8th, there will be a fundraiser event at RGB for the benefit of the gardens, and the fish will be included in the auction.
Decorating a fish was a business promotion. The sponsorship cost me a whopping $35; supplies to decorate, about $60. Pretty reasonable for thousands of people to see your name and creativity on display, plus it goes to support a great resource in my local community.