Guest Post: My Trip to Dandelion's Retirement Tour at the Crayola Experience

I am really excited to have a guest post today by Susan Duren.  Susan has an Etsy shop and Instagram, suebeccadu where she tells canvas shoes.  Check her out and check out her story of meeting Dandelion at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania.

When I first heard that Crayola would be retiring a color, I immediately told everyone I knew. My closest friends and coworkers were perplexed as to why I thought this was exciting news. Crayola was retiring a mystery color. All we knew was that the color would come out of their iconic 24 pack of crayons. This is the first time they have done that in 100 years. Tell me, how is this not exciting?

In general, most people are bewildered when I tell them about my love for Crayola. My interest goes beyond simple brand loyalty. I love trying new Crayola products, and finding old nostalgic Crayola products. I love Crayola’s packaging design, logo, and characters. I collect, not really for resale value, but because Crayola makes me happy.

I paint and sell canvas shoes on Etsy and I’m currently working on expanding my shop to tote bags and zipper pouches as well. I have my Crayola collection on display in my home. Crayola has been a constant inspiration to me as an artist.

One of my favorite things to collect are the Crayola crayon boxes. Whenever I see a new box, I have to have it. That’s just what happened at my local Target one normal Wednesday  afternoon. The buzz about the mystery crayon was still in the air. I visited the Crayola section like I do every time I go into any store, and I found a box I had never seen before. The sides of the box revealed that Dandelion would be retiring.

Once the word was out in the media about Dandelion’s retirement, Crayola advertised Dan D.’s retirement tour. I did some sidewalk chalk art and posted it on Instagram, hoping to encourage Dan D. to stop by the Washington DC area. Later, as I researched more about the tour, I realized that one of Dandelion’s last stops would be at the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA, which is only 3-4 hours away. The date fell so perfectly on the second day of my vacation. I had to go!

I had no idea what time to stop by in order to catch a glimpse of Dan D., so I just had to take my chances. If nothing else, I would at least be able to spend the day at my happy place!

I coordinated my outfit for this day. I wanted to show them how big of a fan I am. I worked hard to paint a brand new pair of Crayola shoes for this occasion. I wore a Crayola cardigan on top of a Crayola t-shirt. I had on crayon earrings and Crayola socks. I even had some Crayola lip gloss in my purse!

We bought our tickets, turned to the right to enter the museum and there he was! Dan D! Escorted by none other than representatives from the Crayola corporate office, the very same people who sent me the thank you gifts earlier that month! What are the odds? I was so nervous, but they were all very welcoming to me and easy to talk to. When I let them know who I was one of them immediately hugged me. She said I was a hero at their corporate office and that I made their whole year. Hearing this, made my entire life! It was wonderful to meet them. I got my pictures with Dan D and the wonderful ladies escorting him. They took photos of me as well.  Mission accomplished. Now all I had to do was enjoy my time at the museum!

I had only been to the Crayola Experience one other time, back in 2012. A lot has changed since then. They added more exhibits and new activities. My favorite things to do (other than take endless pictures) were the melted crayon spin art, and the stations where you can wrap your own crayons with custom names. I wrapped a dandelion crayon with my first name, and then a sky blue crayon with my Instagram handle. It was a lot of fun.

I am never going to forget this experience.

Susan Duren
Instagram: suebeccadu

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