Armando Minjarez is best known around Wichita for his public art projects, such as Horizontes, a large-scale community art project with 20 murals, including the centerpiece grain elevator mural.
But actress Drew Barrymore could help Minjarez become even better known for his ceramics work.
Her “Drew Barrymore Show” is promoting small businesses nationally through Drew’s Little Book of Small Businesses Gift Guide and is seeking nominations through social media.
A couple of Minjarez’s friends replied to Barrymore’s request via social media. They mentioned his Del Norte ceramics business, which he started in 2015 from his Wichita home. He sells his functional pieces, such as plates, vases and mugs, through online sales, which Minjarez said are slowly growing.
He said he appreciated his friends’ comments but then noticed “there were like 40,000 comments or something on her post.”
“I kind of forgot about it. I figured there was no way it was going to happen.”
A New York City-based producer for Barrymore’s show called him, but Minjarez didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number. He quickly called her back, and the producer explained she simply wanted his permission to feature him. She didn’t need anything else.
“I was like wait, what?” Minjarez said. “It was just wild. I did not expect that to happen at all.”
He was part of a group of the first five business owners to be featured the day before Thanksgiving. Since then, his website has had a lot of attention.
“It’s been overwhelming but all welcomed.”
Minjarez gets notifications every time someone visits his website.
“It’s been nonstop since she posted it,” he said. “She’s got millions of followers on her social media accounts, so it can really make a difference.”
As of Monday morning, he had 50 new orders, “which is about 40 more than usual.”
Now, Minjarez wants to return the favor by sending Barrymore a note along with a mug or vase “for her to hopefully enjoy personally if it ever gets to her.”
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