Sticky Art Lab is the family art studio you always wanted, a place where kids and grown-ups can experiment with arts and scraps materials, play and create together, and bring home a unique handmade project. The mastermind behind it all is Rachel Knudson, whose mission was to design a space for community, creativity, and family bonding. Now, this Bay Area hotspot is your very deserving, Totally Awesome pick for best art classes for kids. Rachel recently took the time to share with us the inspiration behind Sticky Art Lab, how she balances the business with parenthood, and more. Read on:
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?
Rachel Knudson: The individuals and families that come to Sticky Art Lab love that we honor their own sense of style and creativity. At Sticky, we believe everyone has their own unique “artistic side” just waiting to jump out given a little support and guidance through the process. We also offer wild and exciting, new and reuse materials with which to build, stitch, glue, squish and twist, opening up the imagination to new ideas of what arts and crafts can mean. Leaving Sticky Art Lab, visitors feel invigorated, refreshed and satisfied they got to be the free artist they always knew they could be.
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
RK: I was inspired after running “Art Labs” for kids and parents at a local preschool on the weekends. Parents seemed to want to experience with their kids what they did all week without them. I wondered if providing a full-time venue would be a valuable investment for the community. I decided to give it a try! Classes, camps for older kids, art and birthday parties followed suit, and I knew the spirit for those had to be just as awesome so folks would feel good about doing art together.
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
RK: It is a giant leap of faith to get started. But you’ll never know until you try, right? My idea may not last as long as I want it to, but I won’t sit around wondering what it might have been like to start it up! Now, I can stay flexible, listen to customers, improve the product and experience, and be open to changes to make the business work better. Also, while you want to find a good price for what you offer, stay confident about the value of the business, and don’t undersell your work. People will pay for a good experience.
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
RK: Starting up has been a big sacrifice on personal and family life. But it is possible to do both! I have to try to end my work day as I get home, and not start until everyone is out the door in the morning. This can’t always work, but keeping a schedule helps. Making special time to be away and removed from work life helps, too. Paddle a boat, ride your bike, watch a movie, turn off your phone and your work brain to spend time with your family. Also, involve them when appropriate, so they appreciate how much work goes into it, and how much it means to you. Have a packaging party, an envelope stuffing party, a dinner in your shop space, make it fun, because why not?
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?
RK: Most recently—hitting the two year mark, winning an award, and taking a family vacation. Now, that’s awesome!
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
RK: Red Tricycle Readers can enjoy a $6 per person entry fee for all Family Lab times until December 2013.