Check out Art with Me AZ, the first Paint and Sip studio in the West Phoenix Valley.
Owner Jessica sits down with us and discusses her love of art, where she got her inspiration to open her studio and what she offers. Plus, she tells us what her struggles and victories have been as a small business owner.
You can find Art with Me AZ online here: https://www.artwithmeaz.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artwithmeazpaintandsip/
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artwithmeaz/
13839 W Bell Rd Suite 105, Surprise, AZ 85374
Speaker 0 00:03 Welcome to the Southwest life podcast with your host, me, Vicki DeLuzio where we will talk about things to boost your health, improve your relationships, find new things to do with your family, and talk with business owners in the area. And more. Thanks for being here and enjoy the show.
Speaker 1 00:26 All right. We have Jessica with art with me, aZ today, and we’re going to just talk about her business and how she got started. So, Jessica, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Speaker 2 00:40 Yes. Hi guys. Thank you so much for having me, Vicki. I’m excited and I’m a little about me and my business. I would say I’m just a common normal girl that worked a normal life pretty much my entire adulthood. I haven’t been in the art industry. Um, I worked in corporate America, uh, and I just woke up one day and told my husband I’m gonna quit my job this year. Um, and follow my passion. And, uh, this is obviously my passion, art and color and creativity. And so, um, I did it and here, here we are. Um, so, um, were you always an RD per person? Were you always into art? What did you do with art? Yes, dating back to my childhood. I have like vivid memories. My dad sketched and had paintings, like paintings or not paintings, but sketches, um, that were like literally hanging in my grandparents’ home, like, and he was so talented.
Speaker 2 01:35 Um, so I tried to mirror that, I suppose horrible at sketching. Let me just throw that out there. I’m not a sketch artist. I don’t draw, it’s not my forte for lack of better words. But, um, my, my mom, she is an amazingly gifted, um, you know, artist herself in so many different ways. She sows like she could sell you anything just out of thin air. She could make it happen. Um, and so I, I was always surrounded by art my whole life and DYI projects and things like that. Uh, and so I just, I had a passion for it and, and started young. Um, and as I went into adulthood, started really, you know, painting and trying different mediums. When it comes to art, my whole family, uh, my grandmother is an artist. My aunt, she’s a beautiful photographer, uh, one that’s one minuscule piece of her, you know, craftiness.
Speaker 2 02:28 Um, and so I’ve just been surrounded by my whole life and I think that’s probably helped me and encouraged me. Um, but yeah, I’ve always been artsy. I’ve always been drawn to creativity, uh, and the crazy things that some, I am an abstract artist, so I prefer like the crazier side of artsy things. But yeah, I’ve always loved it. Um, and what is, so that is what drew you to art. So you were kind of always doing art on the side while you were doing corporate work too? Yes, always. And even, you know, we would have girls, girls nights, you know, whether my girlfriends came to my house or whether I was going to them. Um, I had some girlfriends not too, not too long ago. Um, we wanted to try to make, what are they dream catchers. And so even just trying things, like, they didn’t all turn out great.
Speaker 2 03:17 Some of them did. But like Epic fails, I’m sure you’ve seen the show of like nailed it. We didn’t nail that one. And so yeah, I’ve literally always on on the side that’s been like my release. I would say my stress reliever. Um, so whether it’s painting or, or trying something new, like a dream catcher, um, yeah, I’ve always done that. And girlfriends and sometimes I’ll drag my husband into it or you know, whatever family. But yeah. Yeah. And do you feel like there’s a resurgence and art right now? Yes. Um, I can’t necessarily tell you why. Right. But it’s the fat. It’s the thing. It’s the cool thing is there are paintings, sip studios popping up all over the place. I think for me, and part of the reason I wanted to open a paint and sip studio is I want to encourage people to be creative and to have that confidence.
Speaker 2 04:08 Um, in corporate America, I was constantly having people come to me and say, Jessica, I can’t do this. Or I’m, you know, I’m not creative. I can’t even draw a stick figure. I hear it all the time, day over day over day. Even now, even more now I would say. Um, and I want to encourage people, um, to have that confidence and to believe in themselves. Even if your artwork doesn’t turn out as beautiful as you expected it to be, it’s still something you created and it’s still something that you put time and effort into. Um, and so I think people, I think people want that. They want that stress relief and they want to have a good time and they want to be great at it. It’s going to take time sometimes in practice, but I think people want to feel good about something they’ve created and that’s genuinely and authentically theirs.
Speaker 2 04:58 Do you think people are keeping their art or do you think they’re giving it to someone? What do you think people are doing with it? A little bit of both. And I have people come in here and they have a game plan. They’re like, I’m going to make this serving tray for a birthday gift for my niece or whatever. Um, sometimes if the artwork does not, let’s say I had a group of gals last week and one of the ladies hadn’t painted and 16 years long stretch and so her painting turned out better than she thought it would, which is great. Right? But it wasn’t to her expectation of like, this is like fine art. I’m going to hang it as a centerpiece in my home. Um, but she was so proud of it and she’s like, I actually am going to hang it. I didn’t think that I would, but I’m going to hang it and it’s going to be in my laundry room or whatever.
Speaker 2 05:42 So even if it gets tucked away in a laundry room and it’s not the centerpiece, it’s a starting point. And she did feel that confidence and that, you know, pride and the fact that she created something. But yeah, people hang them. They send me pictures, I try and post, but people where they are, the centerpieces of the home, people will send me their pictures and I love that so much. And so do you feel like people are loosening up when they come in here? Do you feel like they come in here kind of rigid and like, I don’t know if I’m going to like doing this and then they kind of just release when they come in or, yeah, I mean sometimes I, I can’t definitively say like yes, every person who comes in here and they start off rigid and then by the end, no, but for the majority I would say, yeah, they come in, you’re scared.
Speaker 2 06:27 It’s something new. It’s different. Maybe you’ve never painted with acrylics for example, or you’ve never done a paint poor. You don’t know what to expect. Um, and so you’re a little bit nervous. That’s normal. So yeah, people loosen up and by the end of the class, the majority of the time people are like, I’m so glad I came in here. I’m so glad I did this. Um, and they’re, they’re going to come back or they do come back. I have so many repeat customers that I’m so grateful for. And the, you know, they, they tried new things every time and it’s a little easier the more you do it. Yeah, absolutely. Um, how did you come up with this idea of this business? Um, you know, paint and sip studios? I didn’t create that, I guess in it’s big picture. Um, they’re, they’re out there.
Speaker 2 07:12 It’s fun. I wanted something where people felt comfortable coming and had the option to have alcohol, PR perhaps to help them loosen up. Right. All of my night classes are BYOB. Um, and so they can have a glass of wine, help calm the nerves and loosen up. Um, I C I came up with it because it was already out there, I guess. And there’s, there’s nothing like what I offer in the West Valley. And so I really wanted to offer, you know, color and creativity and art to the West Valley, um, and really help guide and encourage people. So I just, I just did it. I took the plunge. I just wanted to open up a studio of sorts where people could practice. Um, the artwork here is entry level. It’s very basic, the majority of, of what I offer. Um, and so I, I wanted it to be easy enough and where people could come in and accomplish and create something beautiful without feeling the stress of like an actual workshop or eight week course.
Speaker 2 08:14 Right. Um, and so it’s, it’s easy enough where they can create something, take it home and be proud of it. Um, what have your struggles spin with, um, opening a business? I mean, that’s a loaded question. Real loaded. Uh, I am by no means this is the first business I’ve ever had ever. Um, I’m like a self proclaimed artist. I didn’t go to art school. Um, and so I think one of the struggles is, is people coming in and maybe doubting and saying like, you didn’t go to art school. Um, on a business level I would say learning. I don’t know what I don’t know. So learning, it’s been a crazy eight months. I’ve had to learn a lot and I’ve had to ask for help. Um, and that’s not always been my strong suit. And so reaching out to different business owners and being very vulnerable when it comes to learning how to run my website, how to load my calendar of events, managing, you know, my time.
Speaker 2 09:12 I’m continuing my, my education when it comes to art. Um, time. Yeah. If I had to choose one thing, I would say time. It’s truly cause it’s just me, it’s just me. Um, I do have guest artists come in but, and teach classes, which has been amazing, but I still have to do all the leg work. I still have to, you know, reach out to them, start those, you know, partnerships and relationships and I still have to load the website and I still have to manage the financial end of it on the back end. Um, I still, I’m the one paying the bills, like all of those things, right. So, um, it’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be. If I’m being honest. Um, I wouldn’t change it. Right. But I’m learning. And what’s your biggest wins? People just like the excitement and the accomplish accomplishment that they feel after they create something.
Speaker 2 10:05 Like it literally, my heart is just like full when when someone sends me a picture of their artwork hanging in their house, like that’s such a beautiful thing. They created it, it has meaning behind it and I’ve impacted that human and now they’re going to come back and they have the confidence, I call it creative confidence. Um, they’ll come back and they’ll create something else and now they’re going to spread that to their family, to their friends, through to their children. Um, and it’s, it’s so beautiful because you don’t want to just go to a random store and just pick out a painting and hang it, make it, create it, make it, customize it to fit your home and your personality and your, your life and so beautiful. So people and just the impact of having on them. Yeah. And you, you definitely have taught people, you have a great attitude.
Speaker 2 10:55 Cause when we came in you were teaching us different things and, and you know, we had fun with you. So you know, that was inspirational too. So I didn’t get from experience about that. And then we hung our picture, my picture, and then someone wanted to buy it. So I was pretty crazy because people will, I’ll obviously with the paint pores and see obviously as if everyone knows what they are, they have to stay there soaking wet. They understand the studio and when they’re done, I’ll hang them up because I’m so proud of them and I’m so proud of the human that created them. People will literally be, and I have people buy art off my walls all the time. I can’t sell your art. People are like, you should have like shoes sold it, but people offer all the time. And I’m like, no, that’s a customer’s piece.
Speaker 2 11:38 But that then that, that’s a whole nother impact where they’re like, dang like that a random person came in and created like that wasn’t you. That was the customer. And so that’s a whole nother like dominoes effective. Someone gaining my confidence of like maybe should, maybe I couldn’t do this. Maybe I could come in and create something beautiful that I actually would hang in my home. And it was their first time too. So, Hey, whatever. You know, they came in, they just kind of splattered some paint on it and see what happened. It was the first time newbie who came in and made that Oh wow. Okay. They made that I could make, I could make it, yeah, it happens more often than, than I could even express. And I try and share the customer’s story as well as like it was their first time and they were terrified in the beginning.
Speaker 2 12:23 They’ve never done this and look, look at how beautiful this came out and they’re going to gift it to so and so are there, they’re going to hang it or it’s for a baby’s room or whatever. So I try and share the whole story and it makes a bigger impact when it’s, when it’s shared like that. Mine is in my kitchen right now. If you’re wondering where mine is, because mine was supposed to be a wave and it did not turn out as a wave. And, uh, I was, I’m, I’m pretty much free with art. And I said, okay, we’re gonna take it and we’re going to hang it in the kitchen because my husband did not want this gaudy looking kid’s calendar and our kitchen anymore. So it replaced that. And so that’s what where it is. It’s right in the kitchen. So we see it all the time.
Speaker 2 13:06 I know this was so bright. I mean it’s just adds so much color and you have some laughs. Hopefully when you and Ashley had a great time. It just brings back that, that fun moment. Um, absolutely. And as meaning behind it. It does. It does. And it’s, it’s right there. Like we see it all the time cause it’s hanging over my kitchen table. So that’s like the main centerpiece of our home centerpiece. I literally, my heart artists, I didn’t know where you had, where you had hung it. That’s amazing. See you go, I want to send me a picture and then I lost it. Well, it’s, it’s, the rest of that of the room is not painted very well cause it’s the main centerpiece of our house. That’s fine by me is their food. I accept that. Okay. Um, uh, so, you know, you said you have a lot of repeat customers.
Speaker 2 13:57 Who are your customers as in like an ideal customer or you know, who comes into your, your shop most of the time? You know, it’s kind of crazy. So I’ve been open for eight months and I’m, I’m still kind of gathering the data and looking at, you know, repeat customers or just first-timers, those types of things and the statistics behind things. But I kind of have, I don’t even know how to explain it. Like there’s no trend. Um, I have one of my older customers, I love her so much. She’s 87. She comes in monthly and we have a private session where, uh, she’s really looking to learn like techniques and things like that. Um, and then I’ve had, I would say my youngest customer has been three. Cute, I will, I’ll put a plug in. It was my godson.
Speaker 2 14:47 you had to come. But I have had five year olds, four year olds come in, whether it was for birthday party or they were just with their family. Um, so really I have all, all ages, ranges, men, women, um, you name it, they come in and it’s families, um, date nights, birthday parties, anniversaries. I’ve done so many bridal showers, so all occasions as well. It’s not just people coming in for just to paint. There are very specific occasions that they’re booking, uh, to, to celebrate whatever it is that they’re celebrating. So I, I can’t narrow that down, but I will say everyone is an artist. You’re born an artist. Maybe you don’t practice it every day. Maybe you know, you’re an artist as a chef or there’s all forms of art, but people come in and just get creative and it’s beautiful. And regardless of how old you are or what your path is in life, um, if you’re a professional artist, which I’ve had some of those too, which that’s intimidating for me. Um, it’s just beautiful to share your, your skills and your color and creativity and brightness with everyone.
Speaker 1 15:55 Yeah. And you’ve even done some special events like cookies and the paint your pet event, which you’re not actually painting on your pet. We discussed that.
Speaker 2 16:05 Oh, our full disclaimer,
Speaker 1 16:08 you’re painting after you take a picture of your pet and then you’re painting that picture. Um, yeah, I have the pet. Um, and what other events have you done as well? What other events would you, uh, want to talk about what you’ve done?
Speaker 2 16:21 Yeah. Um, the, the pain. Your pet has been a fun one and you send a picture and I transfer your actual pet outlined onto a canvas. And so it’s really just kind of fill in the blank, which is, which is fun. Right. And especially, it’s a good starting point for those who feel like they’re not super creative and they’re not to that point yet. It’s a good starting point. Um, I’d done some fundraisers with newborn kitten rescue, which is an organization, a nonprofit, Oregon’s organization and we’ve had some kittens on site and done some adoption. They don’t adopt specifically through the newborn kit rescue. But, um, that was a beautiful, we made some kitten toys and did some DYI kit and toys and you know, tried to help out some, some animals that needed it. Um, it’s a paint and pad. The , excuse me. What other events have I done?
Speaker 2 17:13 Um, I have partnered up with different companies. There’s a coffee shop, local to surprise scooters. I’ve done some events with them. Um, and yeah, I mean I have guests, artists come in and reach out to me pretty often, which is amazing. And cookie decorators, for example, I have a cookie or who comes in and she teaches, which I would’ve never in a million years expected that cookie decorating was so complicated. Um, I’ve tried and failed miserably. So and detailed. Like it’s the first one, maybe not an Epic fail for me, but like, they’re great teachers. These cookers that I partnered with, like they’re amazing. They’re so gifted, so, so gifted and so talented. So I’ve done maybe five of the cookie classes here in the studio and everyone’s cookies turn out so good. Like, it blows my mind how much detail on how much work goes into it and how great they turn out.
Speaker 2 18:12 I will. Oh Lord. The last one we did, we did a friend’s theme and there’s, of course smelly cat. Are you a friends? Not your face. Yeah. Like what? It’s a song that one of the characters kind of that smelly cat. And if you’re a friends, watch her, you guys know what I’m talking about. And so we were decorating a cat cookie and mine turned into a raccoon. I can understand that. Yeah, yeah. No, it was bad. Like it was horrible. And I’m mortified. Like I asked the artists and so of course the whole class, we laugh together and I’m like, I’m the owner of the art studio and look at my raccoon. Like it was, I’ll show you a picture one day. Like it’s online too. I posted like all in my glory show you might have it fails. Um, but again, it’s, I try and partner with all different, uh, you know, artists that offer different skills that I maybe am not great at.
Speaker 2 19:08 Um, I have, uh, a gal who comes in and we knit. Oh, nice. Excuse me. I’ve got a frog in my throat. Go figure. Um, and so yeah, knitting and you name it. That’s why I named the studio art with me AC. I want it to offer all types of art. Um, even if it wasn’t me instructing, even if it wasn’t me who was, you know, teaching the class and, and having those skills. So I then take the class with the instructor and I learned something new. Perfect. That’s excellent. Um, do you recommend a certain type of art for a certain type of person? Do you like see someone walk in and, you know, maybe they’re looking apprehensive? Do you say maybe you should try this? Do you ever try to match them with something or do you kinda go how that, you know, I, I do and I, I think that helps because they then feel more comfortable if I’m reassuring them and saying, this is a good starting point for someone who hasn’t done this or who doesn’t have that confidence in your, in yourself yet to, you know, I can’t draw a stick figure.
Speaker 2 20:12 The abstract pieces for sure. Paint pouring, you can’t, you can’t go wrong just like you have sometimes. They, we tried to make a wave and it just morphed into what it morphed into Hilton. So I do, I kind of try and guide and help where I can. So that my customers feel comfortable creating. Um, and it does, I S I think people trust that guidance. Yes. Um, and so I try and offer it when necessary. Yeah. It’s not always necessary though. Yeah. Um, well, uh, is there anything else you’d like to add to wrap up our, our chat? It’s been lovely. Yes, it’s been good. I would say if you haven’t come into an art studio, if you haven’t been or don’t consider yourself creative, try it. You would, you’re gonna surprise yourself. You’re, you’re, you’re going to do well. Um, I’m here to help and guidance teach and show you.
Speaker 2 21:05 I’m, I hold your hand the whole time. Um, all of my classes, for the most part, I would say 98% of them, they’re instructor led. So I do a step. You do a step. I do a step. You do a step. Um, I walk you through it and I really make sure that you feel comfortable. And if there’s a, you know, something that isn’t turning out how you wanted it. Well, we’ll take a moment and we’ll look at it and we’ll, we’ll work together to try and get it to where you want it to be. Um, visually and so that you have something that you love, right. Um, so try it. Don’t doubt yourself. You’ve got it. We have to overcome as a society the, the, the stereotype of like, Oh, you know, I didn’t go to art school, so I’m not an artist. We have to remove that because you’re, we’re all born creative regardless.
Speaker 2 21:49 And then we are conditioned to grow up and live our lives and do our things and we stopped being creative. But we are creative, creative. So trust yourself, trust the process. Come in, try it, have the confidence and it’s a great time. Um, it’s, it’s a fun time. You’ll create memories. Bring your family, bring you know, a girlfriend or have a guys night out. Um, don’t pigeonhole yourself and stop having that negative self talk. I hear it so often and it breaks my heart because you are creative. And so it’s, it’s kinda, it’s full circle. When I see people that come in and they’re like, Oh, I can’t do this. And by the end of our, you know, three hour class, they’re so happy with what they’ve created and they’re, they’re overjoyed that they’re like in shock. It’s like shell shock. They’re like, I can’t believe I made this.
Speaker 2 22:40 Yeah. I just, I’m, I that blows my mind. So I love seeing people come full circle. Yeah, yeah. And you just have to kind of let yourself release and kind of get out of that, that uh, structures say safe space that you’re usually in and, and really creativity can be a safe space if you just kind of let yourself go and not, not play by these rigid rules. And sometimes I think we see something on Pinterest and we’re like, it has to look exactly like that because we’re so used to certain rules and it doesn’t have to look exactly like that. It just, you can just release yourself. That’s the beauty of art is while I may be teaching one specific painting, yours is going to turn out differently. And I hope that it does because it’s yours. It’s your piece of artwork. Um, there’s no wrong way to be creative.
Speaker 2 23:31 There’s no wrong way to art. Say it all the time. Like there’s no wrong way. You can’t, you can’t do it wrong. Where people, we get stuck in our own heads and we, we have that condition of like, Oh, it’s supposed to look like this, or I need to have a straight line who’s telling you that? Because I’m not, I’m not the art police. I’m not saying that you need to know that line better be perfect. Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s not the point. You need to just let go relax for these and just let it happen and whatever comes out on the canvas or on the paper or whatever type of art we’re doing, it’s meant to be. Yeah, that’s, that’s what art is. And one of your signs that you always take a picture is, oops, I arted the whole point. Yeah. Oops, I arted yes.
Speaker 2 24:12 So that’s a perfect way to either to end your session with, with your pictures. Oops, I R did. And it is what it is. And you should be proud of the product that you made. Yes. That is literally the, to sum it up, you said it perfectly. You made it. It’s perfect. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for your time today, Jessica, and I hope you guys, um, come check out her studio and all the classes that she has to offer. I’m here in surprise. Um, and if you have any other questions, we’ll have some stuff in the show notes so you can check out her studio. Yes. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. And come, come see me. I’ll help you loosen up. Perfect.