Are you a formal company interested in giving art classes to children? Be there as studio owners and art educators share their personal experiences.
I hope you've enjoyed our Art Studio series so far. If you missed parts 1 and 2, you should definitely check it out.6 Tips for Running a Business That Gives Art Classes to KidsmiThis mom saw the need for art programming and opened a children's art studio..
Today I am very excited to share interviews with four different process art business owners.
Some have only recently started teaching art to children, while others have been at it for a decade or more!
As you will see, some have art studios while others teach from home.
They come from all over the world (hello Australia!).
And they are all women.
I was very inspired to write this series. Hearing these women tell their stories gave me a sense of community in the building process and courage to keep trying what I really love.
I hope this inspires you too.
And perhaps if you were waiting to take that leap, you will see that it is a dream within your reach.
by Catalina Gutierrezred violet studio
c. 2014 in Miami, Florida
I started an after school art class at my sons' school five years ago. So I started to see a lot.Interest of the mothers of a group of younger children (under 3 years). It was then that I decided to start my first Art Mommy&Me class.
I am a mobile art studio, so I teach these classes in different places, such as private homes and centers. My courses are designed for children from 12 to 4 years old. It was a great experience having a mixed age group and I always try to design different art and play stations that are developmentally appropriate for the different age groups in the class.
In each class, I have 5 different setups or ideas to design and prepare.I read a lot, I do research and when you do that for so long, the ideas flow more and more easily. Of course, there is a great community of art teachers and studios on IG who also offer a lot of inspiration.
Marketing + Taxas:
Social media, emails, and word of mouth from happy parents who came to my classes have been my best way of promoting Redviolet Studio.
At the time, I did some research to see how much similar courses would cost and calculated my fee considering the amount of materials and the time required to prepare, set up, and clean up these courses.
I started 4 years ago with just a few kids in a single class and over time I grew to about 3-4 classes a week for that age group. And I've hired someone else to help me with the classes so I can expand even more without having to do everything.
Danielle Falk fromlittle ginger studio
C. 2009 en Sydney, Australia
I began my study of art after teaching art classes after school, in addition to my “real job” as an ELS at a large elementary school. When I had my daughter 4 years ago and took extended parental leave, I focused on growing my business by testing the market with different classes, setting up systems, and promoting learning.I have always done my courses as a small business with an ABN (Australian Business Number) and I pay taxes.
I teach a LOT of different classes for different age groups, but the core of what I do is tutor elementary school students ages 5-12. All of my vacation programs are for this broad age range (over the years I have gotten very good at creating artistic experiences that appeal to all age groups). I divided my classes after school into K-2 (5-8 years old) and 3-6 (9-12 years old). In the studio, I also run a Big Kids studio class for ages 10-14, process art sessions for ages 1.5-5, and a preschool class for ages 3-5.
I get my ideas from Instagram and Pinterest, galleries, and I love creating activities. Get inspired by the materials and visit our local recycling cooperative. I teach many different classes, but our preschool process art class usually has 5 activities, including a play dough and a table with loose pieces (we keep changing loose pieces).
Marketing + Taxas:
Word of mouth is number 1! In other words, do a good job and the word will spread. Getting on the first page of Google is really important, and good old fashioned flyer drops work too.
The other stronger strategy is local parent Facebook groups, both promotions and feedback. I also donate to school fundraisers.
A general rule of thumb is to never charge less than the babysitting service (if it is a delivery course). Unfortunately, pricing is VERY difficult and all you can do is trial and error (and ask your customers)!
I still teach 4 classes at two different schools (room rentals by the hour) as well as my beautiful art studio, which is a pretty big rental business. This means that my business is very diversified and involves people management.
Courtney Boitano deTA Forums
c. 2015 in Los Gatos, California
I started when my youngest was two years old to fill the need for more activities for the preschool age group. I hosted the class in my backyard and then in a friend's backyard when we moved. Last year I turned this into a more formal business, got a DBA and built a website. Now I have people pay up front and I really try to run it like a business.
I have 16 month old and 5 kids in the group! This age group works well, although it is quite spread out, as the younger ones can learn from the older ones. And older children may feel responsible and use more self-regulation when they realize they are the older ones.
I tried to split it this fall with a younger class for 16 months: 2.5 and then 3+, but didn't get many applications for 3+.
Most children are enrolled in preschool at this age and may have younger siblings who need a nap after preschool. So even post-preschool classes didn't seem to make sense. It's still a challenge to figure out the class schedule.
My two children are a great source of inspiration. I love watching them and seeing what they like to do. Whether it's diving elbow-deep in a bucket of senses, mixing potions, banging hammers, or painting.I try to bring that inspiration to my Messy Tot groups.
I also select developmentally appropriate activities that are based on specific skills or motor milestones. And I always bring my experience and training in occupational therapy to all activities. In doing so, I try to give parents tangible tips to replicate at home or to understand what the benefit of each activity is.
Sometimes I get carried away because I'll be so excited to do something! I usually try to have around 5 activities. Always a sensory container, a fine motor activity, a process art activity, and then 2 more "peripheral" activities.
I love when these "peripheral" activities get involved and become the focus. Something like bubble blowing or a water or play dough pouring station and kids just take off and create their own social game or have that amazing shared experience they could never replicate or even try to invent!
Marketing + Taxas:
It's a challenge to get the word out to try to fill multiple classes. However, I like the challenge because it unlocks skills that I personally need to develop.
Word of mouth is proving to be the best way to grow! I try to be better at asking people to spread the word or talk about it when I see they have a child who is the appropriate age for the class.
I'm really trying to be fair about the cost of other courses around us, how much time and materials are involved, and what the line is between what people will pay and what might put them off. Sometimes when cleanup takes too long or setup is involved and my class time triples I think I should charge more but that's just a sign everyone had a great time!
I get nervous when I really stop thinking about this being my career because it's new territory for me. I've never done marketing before: ads, blog posts, email campaigns... it's all new! But I just put one foot in front of the other and try to ask questions!
amanda bright frombest art studios
C. 2018 for Amanda's business, but her artistic journey began 10 years earlier.
Our children's art group started because I had a 3-year-old daughter and I was tired of not having fun things to write her down. I also had several friends in the same boat at the same time. A few years ago I read about a children's art group at The Artful Parent and was wondering about that.
As a trained artist and former art teacher, I had the chops and didn't care for artistic messes on kids.
My courses are for children from 2 to 5 years old. We do a lot of process art in the baby classes. My 2 year old can explore, play and make adorable messes and my 5 year old can do the same but on their own level. I discovered that everyone learns by watching each other, no matter how old they are.
I get most of my ideas from Instagram and some of my favorite websites like The Artful Parent anddeep space glow. Then I adapt the lessons to our needs and abilities. I occasionally get my own Flashes of Brilliance, but usually they are caused by someone else's brilliance.
Marketing + Taxas:
Aside from my initial brainstorming with my friends and neighbors, enrollment in the courses was entirely by word of mouth. I'm really bad at marketing myself. Seriously, it's embarrassing how miserable I am. I've been working on it. Fortunately, the parents of my students and even my own children tell everyone about our studio and courses. You are much more effective in marketing to me than I am!
I try to keep the course fees low. I don't live in an area that would gladly support what you'd probably ask for, so I make sure the tuition covers the materials we use, and then some.
What started as an experiment turned into a business. I started with a few baby classes and then added K-6. Added class after I've been begged and begged. There was much more demand for these courses than I thought.
This year I will be adding some teen and adult classes and probably splitting grades K-6 into upper and lower primary grades.
I don't want to overwhelm myself or my family (I have a busy husband, three busy kids, and two lazy dogs), so I'm building the studio very slowly.
correct for later
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