WINNER: Blue Star Coloring
With just a little more than a year in existence, Blue Star Coloring, which is based in San Antonio and Portland, Oregon, has made a splash in the wide-open frontier of adult coloring. Founded in March 2015, the coloring book company is consistently knocking out bestsellers on Amazon.
Through partnerships with artists all over the country, including San Antonio's own Abe Vasquez, who illustrated an anatomy coloring book called Form, Blue Star Coloring creates an array of subject matter, from Steampunk Ocean to Art Nouveau Birds to Gothic Halloween. Blue Star Coloring sets itself apart from competitors by publishing designs that are all hand-drawn by independent artists, as artist recruiter Brenna Dominguez explained earlier this year.
"We have one in Corpus Christi, one in San Antonio, one in Dallas," Dominguez said, rattling off the locations of Blue Star Coloring's Texas-based artists.
However, Camden Hendricks, CEO and one of three founders, is quick to point out that the company is not reinventing the wheel by any means.
"It was already a thing. We didn't invent it," Hendricks said of adult coloring for stress relief.
He said the company's success has been a mix of hard work and luck.
"There's a lot of people who are extremely talented writers, artists and publishers who never get that milestone," Hendricks said, remarking on a near-steady presence on Amazon's bestseller list. "So, yeah, it was really cool, but it's also humbling in a lot of ways."