|Kate is the lovely lady in the middle. Thanks to Sarah Brown Photography for the photo!|
I always think about rolling my eyes whenever people ask me what I do. It typically goes something like this… “Oh, so you’re KidzArt! I see your ads everywhere. So you guys, like, paint with kids, right?”
My first response is a deep breath. Then I answer their question with, “No, actually KidzArt is teaching art education programming to little, itty, bitty finger painters all the way through Senior Citizen programming. We teach at area schools after school’s out, in special needs classes during the day, and a few schools that no longer have art programming available. We teach in the studios a wide variety of classes for a wide variety of ages and abilities, including all of our grown-up classes. We work very closely with a large number of non-profit organizations teaching classes and having drop-in times for just their groups. We attend and help manage several family friendly festivals and fairs all over Northern Michigan. We assist with area education and art programs with collaboration groups and advisory meetings. Not to mention the business side of things. So when it comes down to it, teaching kids to paint is just a small portion of what I get to do every day.”
When I go through all the list of places we have programming, groups I’ve been affiliated with, boards I’ve spoken to; people tend to stare at me with their eyes wide and jaws dropped. In my typical fashion, I chuckle and say, “Yeah, I’m pretty tired just telling you what my weekly calendar looks like.”
Being a business owner is hard, exhausting, and many times downright frustrating. The marketing, networking, advertising, finding amazing staff, educating the community; it’s darn near impossible to keep up the pace I find myself in every week.
That’s why I enjoy attending the TCYP events when I can. It’s an opportunity for me to put work, kids, and the many loads of laundry all on the back burner. My husband, who is a PGA Professional at the Traverse City Golf and Country Club, and I don’t get to spend very much time together during the spring, summer, and early fall. So when we have the opportunity to attend a wine tasting at an area vineyard or get tickets to see a local production with a group of like minded professionals who are actually our age, we love it! It’s so much fun to meet new people and compare notes on what our kids are into. We can chat about our businesses or simply about what we’re being served to eat.
I love that I get to wear tie-dyed T-shirts and sneakers to work every day if I want to. But it’s also nice to get dressed up, go to a new place, and talk with people who are out there working their tails off just as hard as I am. I love to take a deep breath while looking over an amazing vineyard by the water and hold my husband’s hand to remember why we live in such a glorious place.