Description: Littlejoy After-School Workshops & Gallery is a centre located in Creston, BC dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable, and engaging environment with a focus on regular artistic expression.
Please note: This business is not currently operating. There is a potential for start-up again in fall 2018.
Q.Why did you start this business?
I wanted to pursue this project because I wanted to provide a service for children and youth to come to a welcoming space where they can express themselves freely without judgement or the stress of being graded for their work. If only I had an outlet like this when I was growing up, I would have been a much more productive artist and it would have saved me a lot of emotional trouble growing up.
Q. What are your products/services?
My services are providing daily/weekly workshops for children after-school. We provide snacks, instruction, and most materials needed for workshops to be held. Every Wednesday is our Maker-space day, which means that children can work on their own projects this day and every Maker-space day until they finish it. From there, they can take their finished projects and display, with the goal of selling them in our gallery as a way to experience what it is like being a working artist. All of these aspects of the business are useful in promoting the creative spirit, boosting confidence in our local youth, encouraging a national/regional pride, and continuously encouraging children to build upon their talents and stay active.
Q. Where can we buy your products/services?
Contact me directly via Phone or Email, or stop in at our shop located right beside King Fisher Book Store during business hours.
Q. Tell us about your business now compared to when you started.
My business has evolved in some significant ways – my model has changed to accommodate different age groups of children, when I was originally just focusing on creating a teen maker-space. I also originally only wanted to focus on photography because it is what I know best as a medium, but decided it would be worth while to expand upon this and create a multitude of workshops. I am also planning on accommodating home-schooled children.
Q. Do you have any business statistics you wish to share?
The official opening of the work space and gallery is January 9th, 2017. I have one employee. I want to keep the business very part-time, as I am committed to completing my education in Early Childhood Education first and foremost in order to compliment my business.
Q. Why did you join LEAP!?
I joined this program because I believed it was a useful key for connecting me to the community, making connections with people of influence, and learning how to run a business in it’s basic form. I wouldn’t have even known where to start if I did not have this opportunity and most likely wouldn’t have been as inclined to start my business because I would have been too intimidated by the process.
Q. What was the benefit of attending LEAP?
LEAP! prepared me for what to expect in launching my business and instructed me thoroughly on the stepping stones of beginning my process. I really enjoyed the community of young entrepreneurs that came together to build their businesses up or upon, which brought a sense of camaraderie and gave me the confidence to pursue my project.
Q. What awards and/or grants did you receive at the Barnraiser? And how did you spend your earnings?
I was awarded a Chamber of Commerce membership. I earned $100 from proceeds from the event and $250 from RDCK Area B to spend on my business. I also received a detailed business workshop from Community Futures to attend. So far I have only taken advantage of the cash awards, which I have put directly into materials and marketing for my business. I plan to use the other resources when the time comes.
Q. How did working with other LEAP! participants affect you as an entrepreneur and impact your business start-up?
As stated before, I found comfort in going through this process with other people and it gave me the confidence to follow-through with my plans.
Q. Do you have any advice for someone starting out?
Caution: Be patient. The startup process is long and very detailed and you can’t rush it.
Encouragement: Having your own business is the best feeling in the world. The actual birth of your business is so rewarding – get ready for hard work from there!
Q. What can the community do to support your business now?
I would ask for materials, contacts, creative insights, etc. Any support from the community is greatly appreciated.