Q & A with Art Franchise Founder Lara Olson!

Q & A with Art Franchise Founder Lara Olson!

When Lara Olson first realized how her son was not getting fulfilling opportunities in the creative space, she knew she wanted to create that opportunity. Not only for her son, but for other children in her community. Her first-grader son only got to encounter art for less than an hour a week through watercolor and clay, so she sprung to action. “He loved art class but he wanted more,” she said. When she couldn’t find the after-school art classes she was looking for to give her son more exposure to art, Lara founded Kidcreate Studio in 2008. Kidcreate Studio as an art franchise truly uncovers a new way for children to explore their creativity, and Kidcreate’s franchising allows children across the country to tap into their artistic potentials.

Lara sat down with StarTribune to answer various questions about the financials, why Kidcreate decided to franchise, and the overall scope of our art franchise.


Q: Why did you decide to franchise?

A: My goal from the beginning was to take a business that does good for kids and get more of them involved. When it came time to make that choice we opened Eden Prairie and that went well and then Woodbury too. Once we were happy with the profitability and the running of the business, we decided to franchise.

Q: How else have you expanded on your original idea?

A: We’ve added birthday parties and summer camps but we have to go where the kids are so we’ve added partnerships with preschools, community-education programs, elementary schools, parks and recreation programs, care programs before and after school, health clubs and golf courses. That’s part of our On-the-Go side.

Q: Elementary schools too?

A: Yes. Some reduced their art programs but we work with districts that may offer it as an after-school program too. We work with a lot of districts like Edina, Eastern Carver County, St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie and south Washington County.

Q: What’s the revenue breakdown?

A: The On-the-Go side is about 70% of our business. Most of it is school districts and charter schools, then day-care centers and preschools and a sliver of community events. About 30% of revenue are from the studio locations.

Q: What kind of revenue increases has the business seen?

A: We’ve seen year-over-year growth of 20%.

Q: Do you see yourself dropping the brick and mortar and concentrating only on On-the-Go programs?

A: Probably not anytime soon. I like the idea of having a physical location for franchisees to keep a work/life balance. Without the location, they’d try to run it out of their home and the business would take over their life and art supplies would take over their home.

Q: What kind of success have you had franchising the business?

A: We launched it two years ago and have 14 franchises in Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. We have commitments to 25 locations in California, Colorado, Georgia and Virginia. Out goal is to add one new franchisee per month and a new studio every other month, but we may speed that up a bit.

Q: What does it cost to buy a franchise?

A: $108,000 to $230,000 depending on the cost of real estate and contractor labor.

Q: What reasons do parents give for signing up their kids in your classes?

A: Sometimes it’s as simple as “something fun for my kids to do” or “I feel art education is important.” More often, it is because art is a theme their child is interested in or they’re scouting out opportunities to see what interests their child.

Q: How seasonal is your art franchise business?

A: Summer vacation is a crazy, fun time for us, especially the summer camps. But the school year is more consistent with time in the classroom and then birthday parties.

Q: What’s your art background?

A: There has always been art in my life. My mom was artistic and we always had art projects spread out on the kitchen table. I have an interior design background. That’s my artistic direction.

Q: Parents have lots of choices to interest their kids, but how much competition is there in the kids and art arena?

A: There are other franchises that offer the on-the-go philosophy and some have been around longer than we have. But I feel there’s generally a lack of competition. I found a good niche at the right time.

Q: What can’t kids wait to get their hands on?

A: All things slime — the making of slime, turning slime into an art project, and decorating containers to keep slime in. They also like using candy as an art material — a mosaic with jelly beans or a winter-scene diorama made with frosting.


To read the original Q&A with StarTribune, click here! Have you often envisioned yourself in the role of owning a business in the art franchise space? Kidcreate Studio offers an exciting opportunity to combine your passions of entrepreneurship, art, and children for a highly-rewarding career. Our Franchise Owners love what they do each day- and enjoy the potential profitability that comes from doing it! Find out more about our art franchise opportunity through our franchise page.

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Art Franchise Helps Franchise Owner Achieve Work-Life Balance

Art Franchise Helps Franchise Owner Achieve Work-Life Balance

Kidcreate Studio Franchise Owner Diane Greenbaum knew she needed a career that would allow her a flexible work-life balance after her son was born. After spending years in the corporate world working in market research and business intelligence, she realized that our art franchise provided the opportunity to match her desired work-life balance alongside an opportunity to supplement her extensive experience in the business world.

Once her son was born, Diane knew that her career goals had shifted. “Your priorities change,” Diane stated. “The things I was ambitious about in my career in my early 20s, I’m not interested in at the same level at my current age. I was working in corporate America and decided I wanted to put that part of my life aside to find out how to best fulfill what’s important to me now.” She began looking into alternate career opportunities, taking into account her new lifestyle as a mom and the new goals she wanted to fulfill through her career.

Thus, she found a way to utilize the network of local moms she’d formed through her three-year-old son to tap into what she’d identified as a prime opportunity in the children’s activities space.

Diane knew that she had created a strong network of local moms through her three-year old son, and wanted to help these moms with finding opportunities with children’s activities, specifically with art. “Lately, my life has been all about finding the next value-add activity and experiences for my son,” Diane said. “Considering the network of both moms and moms in business I’d grown since having a child and gaining a better understanding of all of the services you utilize as a parent, I thought it was a great space to enter. That being said, the idea I was trying to put together was going to be a lot of work to build on my own, so I started looking into franchise opportunities. That’s when I discovered Kidcreate Studio.”

When researching our art franchise, Diane found that Kidcreate Studio checked off every mark on her checklist. The biggest thing, especially, was the ability to have a flexible schedule. “Specifically, what stood out about Kidcreate Studio was that it not only fulfilled my desire to get involved with a children’s activities business in my community, but placed a big emphasis on flexibility,” Greenbaum expressed. “I knew that with this brand, I’d be able to balance my time between running a successful business and still being there for my family. In the corporate world, this same work/life balance wasn’t possible.” From there, Diane went to Kidcreate’s Discovery Day, where she travelled to Minneapolis to experience a day in the life in the studio, which helped solidify her decision.

Diane also noticed how her community, specifically the Alexandria area in Virginia, was a perfect fit for a new Kidcreate Studio location given its nature of being very tight knit and family oriented. She also noted the growth and potential of the Washington D.C. area which she hopes to also look into for Kidcreate Studio. “Alexandria is a beautiful area where people heavily invest in their children’s development, not just educationally, but experientially,” Greenbaum explained. “Parents here want their kids to learn different, intangible things and want those experiences to add value to their child’s life.” Diane found that Kidcreate Studio offered the perfect service for parents looking for something more for their children.

With our art franchise, Diane is most looking forward to bringing art to children throughout the Alexandria community by using Kidcreate Studio’s On-The-Go division—which is popular with both Franchise Owners and those taking classes. In the On-The-Go program, Kidcreate sends art teachers to any location, which includes rec centers, schools, and summer camps. “With our On-The-Go program, we’ll be able to take classes out of the studio,” Diane explained. “Connecting with our community has a lot of reach given our ability to work with youth enrichment programs in local elementary, preschools, and public recreation programs. I’m really excited for what’s to come.” Currently, Diane is looking to explore partnerships with youth enrichment programs in particular through local elementary and preschools.


To read this full article, click here! Does Diane’s story inspire you? Becoming a Franchise Owner with Kidcreate Studio could be the perfect opportunity for you! Visit our franchise page to learn more about our art franchise, what makes for a great Franchise Owner, and why you should join the Kidcreate family!

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Franchise Owners Rod and Jen Arreola Featured on TV

Franchise Owners Rod and Jen Arreola Featured on TV

Look out, Denver-area child entertainment franchises- Kidcreate Studio is taking to the local airwaves to showcase our fun, educational art projects! Franchise Owners Rod and Jen Arreola, who just opened their brand new Kidcreate Studio franchise in Broomfield, Colorado, made an appearance on a local TV news segment to share a fun fall art project with viewers in the Denver metro area. The segment, which you can watch below, features Rod and Jen teaching a couple of the show’s presenters how to make a Van Gogh-inspired clay sculpture!

Using beads to create a stunning, one-of-a-kind mosaic upon clay leaf shapes, Jen explained how the project encourages young children to learn about patterns, complementary colors, tinting, and more, while having a great time and getting their fingers messy! This educational aspect is one of the key differences between Kidcreate Studio and other child entertainment franchises in the marketplace. Children get to learn about art history by discussing the techniques of Van Gogh and other renowned artists, and then get to have a great time making masterpieces of their own based on what they’ve just learned. As Jen points out in the TV news segment, one of the greatest benefits for young artists is getting to touch and feel a number of textures, shapes, and materials to enhance their development of fine motor skills.

art education franchiseRod and Jen just opened their Broomfield Kidcreate Studio franchise two months ago, to much excitement from parents and kids in their community. However, this is far from the couple’s first experience with franchising. Rod, a born entrepreneur, left a 10-year-long career in IT to found the popular teriyaki Fast-Casual concept Teriyaki Madness, and spent the next several years running several Las Vegas-area locations before selling in 2016 as the restaurant began ramping up its franchising efforts. Today, Teriyaki Madness has grown to over 100 locations across the United States and Canada.

Rod’s success with building the Teriyaki Madness brand inspired Kidcreate Studio Founder Lara Olson to reach out to him for franchising advice back in 2014, and he recognized the great potential for a children’s art education franchise. As he told 1851 Franchise, “I liked the idea of helping kids learn art, but as a businessman, I saw it as a great business as far as profit margins, cost of entry and demand were concerned.”

Rod also knew that he would enjoy an opportunity that allowed him more freedom and flexibility to spend time with his wife and three kids. In the 1851 Franchise article, he says, “When you own your own business in the restaurant industry, you’re subject to crazy hours and demand. With Kidcreate Studio, we can determine our own hours and operate with more flexibility, which is great because we wanted more family time and to not to be tied to a concept 24/7 like a restaurant would require.”

Jen, who has devoted most of her career to childhood education, was similarly excited by the prospect of owning an art studio that goes beyond the typical child entertainment franchise by educating kids on art techniques through fun, engaging projects. Thanks to her time as a gifted children’s advisor in the Boulder County School District, Jen immediately understood the unmet need for a children’s art franchise, especially since in-school art programs are on the decline. “In my work, I’ve noticed there wasn’t a lot of art out there for kids, so this mixes really well with the needs of the kids I work with and also with my passion for children’s education,” Jen told 1851 Franchise. 

The couple realized their dream by opening their first Kidcreate Studio location in September 2019. Rod and Jen plan to open two additional north Denver and Boulder area locations within the next five years. By appearing on TV segments like this one, the Arreolas are able to educate their local audience about what makes Kidcreate Studio a unique and welcome departure from the standard fare offered by competing child entertainment franchises in their community.

Kidcreate Studio is growing across the United States, and we’re looking to partner with entrepreneurs like Rod and Jen who believe in the importance of kids’ art education. As Rod discovered, the Kidcreate Studio opportunity is not just a rewarding way to connect with children and help develop their creative spirits, but also a niche market with outstanding economics and lower risk than a franchise in the restaurant industry. “The low cost of entry was impressive,” said Rod in the 1851 Franchise interview. “I’ve looked at a lot of businesses in my search and it took awhile for me to move forward—between two and three years. I liked the fact that this industry was not as risky as the restaurant industry. With a restaurant, the cost of build-out is high and ROI isn’t as great. With Kidcreate Studio, the numbers I was seeing looked great, as far as profit margins were concerned.”

If you feel that it’s time to explore an exciting and potentially lucrative opportunity that helps you elevate art education in your community, we’d love to speak with you! Visit our franchise website for more information about Kidcreate Studio. 

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Meet New Franchise Owners Kelcy and Phillip Summers

Meet New Franchise Owners Kelcy and Phillip Summers

Meet Kidcreate Studio teaching franchise owners Phillip and Kelcy Summers.

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Here at Kidcreate Studio, we always take pleasure in welcoming newcomers to our growing teaching franchise family, and this week we’re proud to introduce Phillip and Kelcy Summers of Midlothian, Texas! The husband-and-wife duo are on track to open their new studio location in their community, and hope to eventually open more locations in and around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. 

Both Phillip and Kelcy have strong backgrounds in the arts. Kelcy, a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance prior to embarking on a career in marketing and project coordination. Phillip, who worked in construction, retail, and as a contractor before spending the majority of his career in sales management, began as a film and theater major, and has past professional modeling and acting experience. “We’re both from heavy artistic backgrounds,” says Kelcy, adding, “That’s why we love this opportunity with Kidcreate Studio.”

The couple has also passed their love of the fine arts down to their two children- daughter Finley, 4 1/2,  and son Graydon, 3- and makes it a point to incorporate art, dance, and music into many of their family activities. “I’ve always loved the arts, and it’s not just one art- as a family, we will literally turn on music and dance around,” says Phillip. “We have guitars, we have microphones, we like to go to shows and events, plus do art.”

In fact, Phillip and Kelcy’s children, particularly their young daughter, were their main source of inspiration for deciding to invest in the Kidcreate Studio opportunity. Phillip recalls the moment he and his wife realized how important art education was in little Finley’s life. “Our kids are pretty active and we have them in soccer, dance- actually the first thing they started was swim class. But Finley was coming home from school and just loved to color! She loved to decorate pumpkins- anything to do with art, she loves it! It’s really where we see her when she’s concentrating and so engrossed in it until she completes it.” He laughs, “She wants to hide what she’s doing until she’s completed it!”

Finley’s love of art prompted the couple to look for art-themed school-age and preschool franchise locations in their neighborhood, which led to their discovery of the Kidcreate Studio location in nearby Mansfield. However, the location was still a good 20-minute drive from the family’s home, and Phillip and Kelcy started thinking about how wonderful it would be to have a Kidcreate Studio franchise right in their own backyard! “We wanted a franchise in the neighborhood,” explains Phillip. “We thought it would be great to have something here for kids!”

This wasn’t the first time Phillip and Kelcy had considered investing in a teaching franchise opportunity for the young children in their community. The couple had previously considered franchising with a company where their children attended swimming lessons. “We looked into Aquatots first, which is a swim school for kids,” recalls Phillip. However, the swim teaching franchise had no opportunities available for the Summers family, as they had sold out of territory units. Still, the idea persisted in both Phillip and Kelcy’s minds, and they kept an eye out for the exact right opportunity to present itself.  Enter Kidcreate Studio!

Phillip and Kelcy began their franchise Education Process with Kidcreate Studio in late June 2019, and quickly became very excited about the teaching franchise’s business model, philosophy, and values. “It just started spiraling into something we got really excited and passionate about, because we think it would bring an element to our town that would give the kids something new to do,” says Phillip about the Kidcreate Studio opportunity. “We have so many friends with kids our age, and want something close by that all of our kids could do together.”

Additionally, the personal story of our Founder, Lara Olson, resonated with the couple, as they were able to see a lot of themselves in her. “It’s very similar to Kelcy’s and mine,” Phillip says of Lara’s story. “She started off from a corporate background, her son loved art, and she wanted to make a place for the kids in the community to learn art. It sounded a lot like us!” 

teaching franchiseNot surprisingly, the opportunity to bring art instruction to the young children of the community was also a huge draw. The Summers loved the idea of owning a teaching franchise that would foster art appreciation and bring quality art education, as well as fun, to children in their neighborhood. “Art and music are now disappearing from schools, and we’re big fans of the arts- we don’t want that to disappear and we don’t want that to be just 20 minutes of our kids’ school week!” exclaims Phillip. 

As Phillip and Kelcy move closer to their studio’s Grand Opening, they are excited to become business owners and, as Kelcy puts it, “control our own destiny!” However, embarking on a journey of entrepreneurship can be a daunting prospect, and Phillip was aware of the risks and headaches that can come along with starting your own business. “It wasn’t an easy leap for me,” Phillip admits, adding, “It’s always been something I’ve admired because I’ve been talking to business owners my entire career. I’ve been asking them, ‘Man, how did you make that jump?’” However, the strong corporate support offered by the Kidcreate Studio opportunity went a long way toward easing the couple’s concerns, and gave them confidence that they were making a good decision. “Franchise ownership 100 percent alleviated my fear of owning a business,” says Phillip. “The work Lara’s done building the curriculum, the marketing department, the training department- knowing we’re going to have their support and the opportunity to offer something different every time a kid comes through the door- that’s what makes this an easier decision, because you’re not having to start from scratch. If Kelcy and I were doing this from the ground up, that would all have to come from us! That would make it that much harder to build this business up in the first year. Lara has done everything for us to come out of the gates. If you just do what the plan lays out, then you should be very successful.”

In the Summers household, art is an everyday part of life. Thanks to Phillip and Kelcy, Kidcreate Studio is about to bring art into the lives of kids in their Midlothian, Texas community. The couple looks forward to being instrumental in the art education of their neighbors’ children, and hopes their first location will be profitable enough to expand their reach throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in the not-too-distant future. “Our endgame here is to open two to three more Kidcreate Studio locations around DFW and really commit to this for the long haul, where this will be our livelihood moving forward,” says Phillip. Kelcy adds, “I couldn’t agree more!” 

We are thrilled to have Phillip, Kelcy, and their children in the Kidcreate Studio franchise family, and can’t wait to celebrate their Grand Opening in 2020! Stay tuned for periodic updates from the Summers family as we follow their journey into Franchise Ownership right here on our franchise website.

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Kidcreate Studio Education Franchise Founder on TV!

Kidcreate Studio Education Franchise Founder on TV!

Kidcreate Studio Founder Lara Olson showed Minnesota TV viewers how to trick-or-treat in style!  Lara appeared on Minnesota’s CBS affiliate, WCCO, to demonstrate the “tricked-out treat bag” Halloween craft that is part of this month’s lesson plan at Kidcreate Studio education franchise locations across the country. Watch Lara’s TV appearance in the video below:

In her appearance on WCCO’s morning news broadcast, Lara, along with two budding artists- Lily and Charlie, in adorable Halloween costumes- showed anchor Ali Lucia how to make a trick-or-treat bag that stands out, in more ways than one! By using glow-in the dark paint, these uniquely personalized treat bags not only catch the eye with an extra-spooky glow, but also help make trick-or-treaters more highly visible to motorists as the Halloween sky gets dark, providing an extra layer of safety. The kids wowed Ali with their Halloween-themed treat bag featuring a spider with an intricate web, and Lara also showcased a few other art projects guaranteed to boost the fun factor this Halloween season!

As an education franchise first and foremost, Kidcreate Studio goes beyond simple arts and crafts- each lesson plan is created to fit not only a kid-friendly theme like Halloween trick-or-treating, but also to educate kids on various techniques used by artists everywhere. For this craft, Lara explained how the kids’ treat bag design process is a variation on batik, an art technique that traditionally involves the use of hot wax to make designs on fabric, such as pillowcases. The fabric is then dyed, and the portions containing the wax resist the color, resulting in beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations. Using a safe, kid-appropriate alternative to hot wax, Lara is able to showcase the style elements of batik and provide educational information on its origins, all while letting her young helpers make art that excites and inspires them!

The inclusion of a time-honored art technique like batik is an excellent example of how Kidcreate Studio goes beyond standard arts and crafts to create a true education franchise dedicated to giving young artists a solid art education foundation. “We’re an education-based business, and every class we teach has a lesson plan that we follow, and it has what we call a KidBit, which is the educational element that we’re really trying to teach the kids and get them to understand,” Lara explained in her WCCO segment. By using the KidBits that are part of every Kidcreate Studio lesson, Franchise Owners can not only encourage students to express themselves creatively, which builds confidence that can be carried into virtually every other aspect of their lives, but also provide them with the tools they need to build their skill sets for making art, as well as a healthy appreciation for a variety of art styles. 

As an education franchise, Kidcreate Studio stands alone in its field. While other children’s franchise opportunities also incorporate arts and crafts into their business models, Kidcreate Studio is focused on providing quality art education for children who do not receive enough art instruction during their school days. By instilling a love and appreciation for art in young people, as well as providing art-related education about traditional techniques, creative processes, and art history, students at Kidcreate Studio receive a well-rounded art education that serves as a basis for future success in multiple areas of their academic and personal lives. 

Lara’s appearance on WCCO-TV is hardly the first: Kidcreate Studio’s crafts have been featured on TV news and lifestyle programs across the United States! Our Franchise Owners have many opportunities to showcase their studio location on local news segments, like this one, thanks to outstanding support from our marketing team. This is a key differentiator between an education franchise like Kidcreate Studio and an independently-owned children’s art studio. It can be extremely difficult to generate an effective amount of buzz about a kid-friendly local business, but with the full support of the Kidcreate Studio corporate marketing time, our Franchise Owners can be sure their children’s franchise location will be effectively marketed and that they will get the publicity they need to successfully grow their business!

Have you often envisioned yourself in the role of owning a business in the children’s education space? The Kidcreate Studio opportunity is an ideal way to combine your passions of entrepreneurship, art, and children to launch a highly-rewarding, immensely fulfilling career. Our Franchise Owners love what they do each day- and enjoy the potential profitability that comes from doing it! Find out more about our education franchise opportunity here.

Add some art to your news feed: Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and connect with us via LinkedIn.

MAKE YOUR MARK.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP.

Kidcreate Studio is a growing movement of entrepreneurs, inspired to bring creativity and fun to kids through award-winning curriculum.




First Name*

Last Name*

Email*

Mobile Phone*

State*

Zip Code*

*Required

MAKE YOUR MARK.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP.

Kidcreate Studio is a growing movement of entrepreneurs, inspired to bring creativity and fun to kids through award-winning curriculum.




First Name*

Last Name*

Email*

Mobile Phone*

State*

Zip Code*

*Required