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10 Year Anniversary – Fear

Geez – First of all, the last time I had a moment to work on a blog post was in 2015. And second of all – poof – we’ve been open for 10 years.

We definitely could’ve been bigger by now, but one thing has held me back… Fear.

Photo 19

Keeping ourselves busy waiting for customers 🙂

I opened Averyboo Arts in 2009 amid the recession. During my build-out, I was denied a startup loan from the bank because Wall Street literally crashed the same week I had applied. I bootstrapped my own business by pairing down my initial offerings, accepting help from friends & family and also held off on hiring staff for nearly two years – all with a toddler in tow. It was so haaaaard…

The young parents in my neighborhood quickly became not only my friends, but also my cheerleaders and thanks to their positive word of mouth, I was soon able to start adding art classes and birthday party packages to my offerings.

Slowly but surely I was able to add staff along the way, but that initial experience of having to pay for everything out of pocket & watch my spending; fearful of going under, really held me back. So, I carried on taking baby steps and growing a little more each year.

Life got really busy for me after that last blog post in 2015 because the following school year I started homeschooling Avery.  I had recently completed the 10K Small Businesses Program with a really sweet growth plan ready to go when my husband & I realized that public school was failing our son. We made the decision to homeschool and the majority of the responsibility fell on my shoulders.

Ok, so now I’m responsible for teaching all the subjects (except math) to my child PLUS all my motherly duties AND still run my own business? This includes managing staff, planning classes, teaching classes, admin duties, customer service, marketing & promotion, paying bills, yadda, yadda, yadda… I felt there wasn’t any way I could possibly take on the feat of executing my growth plan also.

We found support by enrolling in iLead Exploration Charter School (home-study program) and over time, I found my groove again and realized that homeschooling offered lots of enriching opportunities. We had access to so many vendors & our assigned charter teacher was a life saver.

Four years later, I have an excellent group of women working for me,  we’ve outgrown our space, and I’m ready to make some upgrades & take some risks for our 10 year anniversary! Keep an eye out for nostalgic photos (which may include YOU) and the following upgrades:

Averyboo_Logo

  • New website
  • Construction of a new classroom
  • Updating our signs
  • Selling T-Shirts with our new logo

Thank you to everyone who has visited my little art studio over the years. You helped make this dream happen & I’m so happy we can give your children an opportunity to nurture their inner artist. ❤️Ms Natalie

June 7, 2019 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

Volunteering

I recently helped facilitate a 24 piece art collection for my son’s school. It took 5 of my Mon/Tuesdays to complete and I’m excited to say it came together fabulously! Better than I had imagined. The pieces were made to auction off in hopes of raising funds for a garden teacher position.

Last Saturday all but 3 pieces were sold (which may have sold by now), so it was a success.

Now I’m 5 weeks behind with my Averyboo summer planning so I better get back to work… here’s just a peak until I’m able to get the final art show photos:

Averyboo Arts

Kindergarten Drip Paintings

Averyboo Arts

5th Grade Radial Symmetry Flowers

Averyboo Arts

4th Grade Cooperative Painting

 

April 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Food, A creative Outlet: Valentine’s Day

I made this yummy Valentine Breakfast for my family yesterday. Both my husband and I had to work, so breakfast was the only opportunity I had to do my stuff.

It was pretty easy… Use a large cookie cutter to make the heart-shaped bread, cook it up in your preferred french-toasty-way, layer with Nutella, whipped cream cheese, fresh strawberries (mix with a little sugar to make them juicy), drizzle the whole thing with agave nectar (or syrup), and top with whipping cream and a shake of cinnamon.

And remember to spray whip cream in your kids’ mouth too, just for fun 🙂

Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts

February 16, 2015 at 12:16 am Leave a comment

NYE – Party Hat Making

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

My son had a fun idea last night to make our own Party Hats. At first he wanted to make it a contest, but I convinced him to just have fun & be creative (he often has big ideas, but lacks knowledge to execute the way he wants).

So we gathered left over Christmas paper & gift bags, construction paper, tape, glue, etc and threw it all on the coffee table.

This was pretty fun & would recommend for adult NYE parties too. You’ll be amazed at what your friends can come up with 🙂

OH! And Avery also constructed his own Ball Drop contraption… not too shabby for an almost 9 year old & it worked….

Averyboo Arts

Re-purposed gift bag, tissue paper, ribbon & pom poms

Averyboo Arts

Monster Hat – construction paper, string, mylar

Averyboo Arts

“Surprise Hat” – construction paper & string

Averyboo Arts

“Ball Drop” using wood, condiment cups, ballon string, a cane, and one of those boppy balloons. Pebbles helped to move the balloon up & down 🙂

 

January 1, 2015 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

Ringing In 2015 with the Kiddos

dump_2015

Here are some great ideas for ringing in the new year with the family….
Wishing you all 365 more wonderful, creative days! Happy New Year!

• PBS.org  – Activities to do with kids on NYE
http://www.pbs.org/parents/holidays/new-years-eve-family-style/

• New Year’s Resolution & Year In Review Printables
http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2014/12/printable-new-years-resolutions-kids-2015/

• Random Acts of Kindness for Kids
http://www.pinterest.com/megan_sheakoski/acts-of-kindness-for-kids-and-you/

December 30, 2014 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

Saturday ART:Lab – Autumn Leaves

Our new Saturday ART:Lab workshops have been going really well!
They are single class visits with projects ranging from drawing & painting to sculpture & crafts. We even have a 4-visit pass available!

I, as an artist love dabbling in many types of mediums, so this class has been really fun for me teach. Here are some pix from our last class “Autumn Leaf Detail” where the kids drew from observation, then learned to ink their drawings with quill pens & ink. Watercolors gave these images a delicate final touch!

Check out our schedule for next month… we will have special 1/2-day sessions for Winter Break as well.
ART:Lab Schedule & Information > 

Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts

November 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

Re-Post: Thanksgiving Indian Corn Sculpture

Hi All, I’m re-posting a project I did with the kids in 2011 for Thanksgiving… wow! Time flies!! We’re doing it again this year with our Little Picasso students and thought some of you might be interested. Enjoy!

Go> Thanksgiving Indian Corn

Averyboo Arts

Sculpture & Painting Project @ Averyboo Arts

November 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Student-Only Party Photos

Our students are the best!
Thanks to all the families who came out to our student-only party on September 5th. We love watching our students grow as artists and individuals!!

Averyboo Arts student party

A “Thank You” party for our students!

September 16, 2014 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

Networking with Local Businesses – Sweet & Saucy

We recently held a drawing class at Sweet & Saucy Shop here in Bixby Knolls, Long Beach. The kids loved having a “field trip” and sketching all the wonderful treats in the dessert case. The ladies over at Sweet & Saucy even gave the kids a tour of the bakery & giant freezer.

When we got back to the studio, everyone finished up their drawings and enjoyed a delicious cake pop. Fun!!

I like to partner up with local businesses not only to add variety to our offerings, but to foster the notion that spending money in your neighborhood helps strengthen your own community. I can speak from experience that local small business owners are some of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet & they deserve to be highlighted 🙂

Averyboo Arts
Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts

Averyboo Arts


 

July 30, 2014 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

Keeping Kids Busy – Shaving Cream

If you have a sliding glass door or a low window your child can reach from outside, then this activity may give you a few peaceful moments to yourself…

You will need:
———————
– A can of  99-cent-store shaving cream
NOTE: If your child is still putting everything in his or her mouth, you can substitute for canned whipped cream.
– A silicone spatula, a paint brush & any other tools that won’t scratch the glass
– Your kid outside in messy clothes

Averyboo Arts, Natalie Meza
If your child is strong enough, let them go ahead and spray cream onto the window. Remember, the point is to keep your child busy for a little bit, so don’t jump in to rescue them & spray out all the cream – that could cost you 10-15 minutes of free time…

Averyboo Arts, Natalie Meza
Let your child fiddle with the can for a while on their own. If your child is frustrated then of course, give them some help & spray a few globs around the window.

Averyboo Arts, Natalie Meza

Next, let your child have at it.
Don’t be afraid of the shaving cream… it will all wash off.
They can spread the cream with their hands or tools. They can pretend to paint, draw, cook, slay dragons, whatever they like. If you’re lucky, you’ll get at least 20 minutes out of this activity.

(click video to open in YouTube)
When your child is all finished, give them a hose and tell them you need a fireman to help clean the window and, BAM, you’ve just squeezed another 10 minutes out of this activity.

Simple but fun. Enjoy.

 

June 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

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