ALEXANDRIA, VA – Diane Greenbaum is one innovative entrepreneur. She opened Kidcreate Studio in Old Town Alexandria on March 14 and two days later all Alexandria City Public Schools closed. Having to adjust quickly to the situation, Greenbaum began selling take-home art kits for kids.
Art Teachers Come with the Paints and Clay
“We made the switch from a class schedule to a do it at home art kits with a video lesson,” said Greenbaum. “They could still have access to a Kidcreate teacher and have all the materials to do it at home.”
Each art kit contains a lesson plan, video link and the materials needed to complete the project. The kits with video lessons are $15 dollars, although she has been giving discounts for people who buy three or more. The studio received a great response from customers about the art kits and they have now been seeing repeat customers order the kits for the past three to four weeks, according to Greenbaum.
Greenbaum and her team have been creating new art kits and projects every week and have even increased the retail items in their store. Some of the kits they offer include a Clay Minion Kit, Monet Lily Pad Kit, Van Gogh Starry Night Kit and Birds on a Wire Kit that mixes paint and Model Magic.
Free Home Delivery and Contact-Free Pickups
Greenbaum has been offering contact-free pickup at the front door of her store or free home delivery in Alexandria to make it as easy as possible for customers.
“It’s what we can do for our community and to keep our doors open longer than just the first few days,” said Greenbaum. “It seems to be working as people are constantly replying saying it’s a good idea and they’re so thankful we’re doing this because it gives kids structure and a creative outlet.”
Virtual Platforms Working for Most Events
Because of the great response from customers so far, Greenbaum and her team are working on starting virtual art classes for kids as well. She has had her studio teachers training on the video conferencing platform BlueJeans.
Despite having been able to successfully adjust to the situation, Greenbaum still had to figure out what to do about the many events that were already scheduled and paid for at her studio. She was forced to cancel all events scheduled during their spring schedule due to the crisis.
“The first week we definitely got our share of phone calls and emails asking for refunds,” said Greenbaum. “But once we got the art kits with video lessons going, they really enjoyed that and so we’ve had very few actual refunds with that now stood up.”
For customers who had scheduled a birthday party at her studio, Greenbaum has been giving the families a clay kit or box of supplies so that the kids still have something to do on their birthday. Although, in terms of hosting future events at their studio, Greenbaum says she is just going to wait and see what happens.
Giving Back to the Community
To give back to the community during this time, Greenbaum just launched a donation program of art kits for children coming from a disadvantaged home who don’t have access to art supplies. People can purchase the art kits through the studio and Greenbaum drops them at the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority site for them to distribute the kits to families.
Join Zebra’s Alexandra Macia as she speaks with local business owner Diane Greenbaum. Greenbaum opened her own Kid…
Despite not being able to fully open her store when expected, Greenbaum was successful due to her quick thinking. Greenbaum is even planning on hosting a grand re-opening of her store to help welcome people back in.
“Feel free to try something new and don’t be afraid to take the small risk as long as you feel like it is something the community needs,” said Greenbaum. “I really wanted something that was community focused and what better way than to work with children. That’s why I got into this thing.”
For more information, contact
Kidcreate Art Studio
724 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
OTHER GOOD NEWS: Alexandria Library Offers Free Access to Rosetta Stone