So, for those of you who have been on this journey with us from day one, you know where we come from and how we got started. This post if for those of you who may not know much about what we do or who may be wondering, "what's up with all these locations?", haha! Daniel and I met 5 years ago and began dating a little over 4 years ago. During this time, I was still in college pursuing a degree in Fine Art while Daniel was a full-time artist, working and selling artwork from home. We had discussed many times what our future plans were and what my options would be when I graduated, but nothing seemed to fit exactly right. One day, as Daniel was drawing portraits of many of his Facebook friends (see on Facebook his album, "My Book of Broken Friends"), we decided it could really take off. We started tagging everyone in the new portraits and sharing them like crazy. Surprisingly, we got LOTS of feedback - and we even started getting orders! People wanted to give us real life money! So, with Daniel doing all of the drawing and me doing all of the messaging/uploading/taking orders, we managed to make a pretty good chunk of change in just a couple of days. It turned out, we were a great team! I guess you could say that this sparked the idea that we needed to interact more with the local public and see what we could do here in Russellville to change the art scene. In 2014, we started looking for a building to be able to use as an art gallery and that had classroom spaces. I was set to graduate in December, and the idea of working for myself full-time was scary, but seemed totally worth the risk. Luckily, we sort of stumbled into an awesome deal with a brand new local gallery (shout out to The Conversation Piece). They had a really large space open for rent, and it was just what we needed. We started painting and prepping, and were able to be open for the next Downtown Art Walk. After graduation in December, I started to advertise for private art classes. I had a few students here and there, and a couple that signed up permanently. I also did a Summer Art Camp at this location in 2015 and was so excited about the few students that attended! We had a blast, and even had a few Group Paint Parties on the weekends.
As the year came to a close, Daniel and I started thinking of how we could grow our business bigger and better. It had been a long-time goal of Daniel's to open an Art Supply store, where he would be able to hand-pick the supplies that the store carried as well as use his knowledge of materials to talk with other artists about what would be best for them to use in their own artwork. We, again, seemed to just stumble upon an opportunity that seemed a little too good to be true. But, we followed our hearts and went with is full-force. In January of 2016, along with a business partner, we opened up an art supply store, gallery and classrooms called KaleidoArt.
We had an amazing time being able to choose inventory and set up the store, as well as our new classrooms and work spaces. The KaleidoKids room was pretty awesome, with the help of a few friends and my amazing parents. Things seemed to be going great, with our personal businesses (KaleidoKids and Kaleidoclasm) picking up speed with new customers and students Unfortunately, however, the art supply store and our business partnership did not go as planned. We made the choice together in April of 2016 to step away and find another way to make our businesses more successful. We found a great location downtown that was, miraculously, in our price range. So, we decided to jump in and go for it. We started with some basic renovations in late April, and we were finally up and running in late June/July of 2016. The gallery space for Daniel's art shows was important, as was the KaleidoKids classroom, so we worked on finishing those areas first. Since then, so much has happened (lots of new students, new art shows, an engagement, a wedding...) but we haven't looked back or regretted our decision once.
There are still more changes to be made and more to add every day, but this is by far our favorite location yet. Being back Downtown has been a major plus for our business and there is nowhere else we would rather be! This last year has been a crazy whirlwind of amazing, fun, scary, and stressful times but we could not be more thankful to be where we are today. We look forward to being in Downtown Russellville for as long as we can!