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.
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:
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