Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Welcome to Sparks

Welcome to our Healing Arts Center. 
It's the space we envisioned way before we made the move to our first public arts studio in MidTown just a short time ago. Copper Cat Studio has moved to a seemingly unassuming space on the edge of Industrial Sparks. We are conveniently located right off I80 and McCarran, but just enough off the beaten path that the only people that walk through the door are meant to be here. 


  

  


This whirlwind of events happened at just the right time. I had no intention of moving before the end of the year, but when the rent increase notification came in late March, we were at the point of having to give location details to Artown and Reno Open Studios for their publications, and I was just about locked into doing a sponsorship for the MidTown Artwalk. Everything shifted in a two day span of mentioning to someone that I was thinking of moving and boom, we were on the fast track to move. I was able to meet deadlines for getting my soon to be current info to all of my show organizers, drop out of the Artwalk, and give my month's notice. The way it serendipitously came together, I packed up for my biggest show of the spring on April 24th and the leftovers were my first load to the new space that last week of April. We were completely moved out a few days later, did some setting up the first week of May, had a much needed Mexico vacation that had already been planned and were open the week after we got back. We already had workshops on the calendar and students registered for May and June, so we hit the ground running. In this first 9 weeks of being open, we've had just shy of 30 workshops both private and on the public calendar.

All of our instructors have come with us and Donna Smit, of Like Your Junk - Smitten Designs, even has a glass fusion studio in-house! I am in talks with several other artists in different mediums to bring their artisan passions to Copper Cat Studio. With the expanded workspace, we are able to hold multiple workshops at the same time- I can be working in my own studio/office, while Donna is teaching a private lesson in her studio, while there is a 12 person class in the main studio room and a 15 person workshop in the Gallery room. Oh, and at the same time, there could also be a yoga or guided meditation in the yoga room and people shopping in the seperate retail room. With two bathrooms, a kitchen and a grouting area, this is a place we fill nicely but can still grow into!

Come visit, if you haven't had a chance to. We are constantly getting in new artistan ware in the retail shop, new classes are being added weekly and there is always a fun project in process in the workshop room. Our hours remain the same- Tuesday-Thursday 11-6pm, Friday 11-4pm and Saturday 11-3pm, Closed Sunday and Monday. 300 Kresge Lane, Sparks NV

Monday, April 10, 2017

Expansion

Expansion. We talk about this a lot in my spiritual circles~ Allowing the Universe to conspire in your favor when intentions align and growth is inevitable.  In business, there's the literal meaning for when it's time to move on to the next phase of growing your business. Both of these are coming together in a serendipitous way for me. In our spiritual circles we also talk about these things happening at a more rapid pace right now and boy, isn't that the truth!

In my last blog I contemplated the next phase of Copper Cat Studio. In my mind, I was fine with staying in MidTown, carefully planning out the next couple of years to create what has always been my goal- to have a Healing Arts Center. I knew what components I needed in a space, but had no idea where to look. MidTown has been a great learning experience for me of what I want and need in that space. Definitely not a busy retail store front like I'm in now. Something easily accessible but a little off the beaten path. A place where people can easily come to buy supplies and local artisan gifts on their lunch break and not have to spend 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot. A place where my customers feel safe walking to and from their cars and not be hassled by unsavory individuals.

I have a way of manifesting properties- both business and personal, that is more than a little eery. So I knew when the time was right to move, the perfect place would appear...I just didn't think it would happen this quickly. I've learned that when you ask for something from the Universe, you can't put conditions on it, otherwise it doesn't show up. In this case, I happened to be picking up mosaic substrates at one of my vendors, Victory Woodworks on the edge of industrial Sparks. I had just been hit with a rent increase that was three times what I was expecting, so I casually mentioned to my contact at VW that I might be looking to move soon and if he hears of anything that looks interesting, let me know. And he said, "Well, we have a space that we just renovated and it's ready to go- do you want to check it out?" I said "Sure", thinking this wasn't where I wanted to be, but what the heck? Initially, looking at the space my thoughts were that it was way too big for my needs, but on the drive back to the studio I had completely space planned the unit in my head, realizing that it was big enough to do multiple workshops at one time, I'd have my own office, space for another full time artist, an area for my slab roller and kiln, a larger retail area, parking lot....and a yoga room! It was freshly painted, new flooring and move-in ready. The more I thought about it, it was the perfect location- right off the highway, easily accessible for Reno and Sparks customers. And for those of you whose first reaction is, "It's all the way out in Sparks?", it's three miles east of the spaghetti bowl...for me it's actually a quicker drive than my 3 mile commute to MidTown! With impending deadlines to get locked in to Artown, Reno Open Studio Tours and debating on whether to be in my current location for the MidTown Artwalk, I knew this either needed to happen fast or wait to move at the end of the year. When I found out that rent was the same as I was paying in MidTown for 1,400sf MORE than I have now, I was sold.  I met Don there that Friday afternoon and started negotiations on the lease on Monday. The Victory Woodworks people are some of the best people I've dealt with- personally and in business, and I can't imagine better landlords.

We have so many ideas for what this space will provide. My head is literally spinning. Artist friends as well as healers, yoga and tai chi instructors are contacting me left and right wanting to bring their gifts to the space to share. This is exciting beyond what I could have imagined!

We will be open at 20 St Lawrence in MidTown through April 22nd. We are attending Earth Day on the 23rd and move the week of the 24th. We will have a couple of weeks to set up and have some proper R&R and hope to be open for business by May 20th at 300 Kresge Lane in Sparks.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What's In A Name?

Today I verbalized it. I told a long time colleague from my old design world that I'm no longer painting. Not, "Well, I'm not really painting much these days" or "Maybe I could fit in". I'm no longer painting. Period. And to be truthful, I've really only done a handful of mural jobs in the last 5 years. My heart just wasn't in it anymore. At the first of the year, I revamped my website and took off any trace of my mural painting background. It just seemed right and  was also unnecessary to showcase something that I no longer offer, when focus needs to be on the current studio. 14+ years of painting in people's homes and businesses and already it feels like a distant memory. Just like some day mosaics will have run it's course in my life, painting is a chapter that is officially closed and it feels like a bit of relief. Incidentally, today I also ran across my old portfolio while de-cluttering my home studio. One of those plastic-sheet, photograph-filled, almost resembling a scrapbook kind of portfolio. My, how things have changed in a short few years.

People always ask where the name Copper Cat Studio comes from. A roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest with a good friend and fellow artist, and hours upon hours of talking, brainstorming about marketing ideas and designing our dream studios. At that time I was transitioning from mural painting as my main source of income to mosaics. Add into the mix- yoga instructor, Reiki master, personal chef, and other less glamorous jobs that helped me get by over the lean years and what it came down to is that I needed a business name that could cover many of the things I was doing and could potentially do in the future. At that time I was thinking about doing copper enameling and wanted to include my alter-kitty-ego and there you have it...Copper Cat Studio was born somewhere along I5 in the Cascade Range with Mount Shasta in the distance.

I love the how life evolves. Just because you are successful at something doesn't mean it's what you have to do for the rest of your life. I'm not sure if it was the daunting responsibilities of running a retail store, our very busy workshop schedule, or the heavy, gloomy winter getting to me (likely a little bit of each), but it really got me thinking about what the next chapter of Copper Cat Studio will look like. Don't worry, my plans for my amazing MidTown location will stay in place for a couple more years, but I'm already thinking ahead to that little place off the beaten path. A place without a retail store front- the REAL Healing Arts Center I envisioned when this all started. Who knows...maybe I can have both? This first year flew by, and as far as planning for workshops, I'm mentally well into the summer and soon half of another year will be in the books. This next "couple of years" will go by pretty quickly, and as long as I can continue enjoy the hustle and bustle of working in MidTown I will stay put. I gotta say when the time comes to move along I will really miss my cute little studio, tucked into the coolest pocket of MidTown. I love our little community of businesses on St Lawrence. I love walking next door to teach yoga. I love our family tradition of meeting on Friday nights after work to have a drink at Public House then explore one of the many wonderful eating options in a two block radius. It's fun, but it's sometimes a little too much for an introvert like me. So for now I will bravely put on my kitty ears and navigate this endeavor I began a year ago and we will see where it takes me.