McCrumb's story is an encouraging one for artists. She graduated from EMU in the mid-1990s with a degree in special ed (she did student teaching at Bach) but decided not to look for a teaching job because, get this: she was making too much money as an artist! Or, more broadly, she was making too much money as a very energetic arts entrepreneur, finding wholesale outlets for her paper art and decorated frames (which she is still making and selling; with no particular fanfare, they occupy two or three shelves). She decided to open her first Fireflies store in Berkley and, later, another in Grand Rapids.
Now, fortyish, she and her husband, Steve, whom she met in 1994 ("He's been in it for the whole ride") own, in addition to their three Catching Fireflies stores, a craft gallery in Berkley called the Yellow Door Art Market. "It works like an antique market in terms of logistics, but it's artists, because not every artist is into the wholesaling thing. What else is there besides art fairs and [online market] Etsy?" Artists rent stalls and pay her a small cut, and she admits that Yellow Door is also her own permanent art expo; many Yellow Door artists have been invited to funnel their work into her Catching Fireflies inventory.
Practical-minded, McCrumb doesn't really buy into the mystique of the gift shop. "Like everyone else, I shop the big gift shows, twice a year in Atlanta and New York." In addition to shopping at them, she and Steve also have a booth at both of them, wholesaling her own art. Stocking a gift shop is "a little like a treasure hunt. It's all about putting together your own unique mix."