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Workshop info letter copy

  • Why are the workshops such a good price?

( Warning: long read! Feel free to jump to before you sign up please know )


Because we love art and want to be a place where friends and family can spend time creating, especially in 2020 when really we need a place to create. When we were closed we missed our families, we missed the kids, we missed making art together. We missed our friends. 


For the most part, we were really lucky. Our landlords were understanding and supportive and worked with us and tried their best to help. And for this, we are truly grateful. Unfortunately, we had to close our Burnaby studio due to our landlord not wanting to be a part of government programs and then increasing our rent by around $3000 per month when it came to resigning the lease after over 10 years at the same location. We miss our Burnaby families and kids and are so happy many were able to join us in Main Street. When covid is over we will reopen in Burnaby. Although, to be honest, it is very difficult due to unique zoning laws in Burnaby. 

 

In March, we made a lot of really quick changes. Our creative team, Carol, Theresa, Kyleigh and Kathleen incredibly and quickly set up online classes and Andréa, our customer support person adjusted quickly to what needed to be done and got back to people as soon as she possibly could. In between, Kyleigh and Nicole hosted virtual parties and classes and tried to make sure everything was running as smoothly as possible. Our family and friends packed all the orders, filled all the paint and worked in the warehouse. Our studio families, well, let’s just say we were overwhelmed by the love, support and encouragement. Words cannot describe how grateful we are. 

 


 

In June, we made a lot of really quick changes in the studio. Who did the renos? Us. Meaning myself and my husband Darryl, my friend and our operating officer Renée, and my three sons Jet, Tex and Cash, my nephew Branden, my niece Ruby, my son Cash’s friend Danny, Kyleigh, our friend and studio planner worked by our side in Vancouver. Jonara, our friend and community connector, greeted us with a beautiful bouquet of flowers when we arrived to begin the renos and worked with us in Calgary. Lisa and Nicole, our friends and community connectors helped beyond measure and with a smile in Ontario. We tried to finish each location within a couple of days so we could hire back staff as soon as possible and offer summer care safely for the parents who have supported us throughout the years.  

 


 

We cut the tables in half, we made tables from benches, put up plexiglass every 6 feet often working 10–14 hour days. Staff were amazing, understanding and flexible as we all navigated the “new” normal.


If you ask most small business owners, many did the same, that is what we do. Sometimes it all works and sometimes it doesn't. We ask our family, friends and team to believe in the vision and we get things done in order to continue doing what we all love.


And so our children’s classes are running now. Although much smaller than before, things are stabilizing and we are all getting back into the routine and starting to dream again about better organization and communication, new ideas, new projects, new mediums and thinking about doing what artists like to do—create.


After all this, we have to admit we were hesitant to do the workshops again this year.

We know 99% of the people love the workshops and things turn out well. We love getting to know people in our community. We love when the kids can show their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and anyone else around the studio because this is their studio and we are happy they are proud. We love having local businesses bring their staff in for celebrating the holidays together. We love having new people in the studio.


We try to give you very clear expectations so you will know what to expect. And if you like doing art with us at the studio, mission accomplished. Please thank your instructors, the amazing and kind artists in the studio.


If you don’t like the experience, please go ahead leave a “bad” review, never come back, tell the world, whatever you feel you need to do. What we do ask is please do not threaten or yell at our staff, don’t film them as you yell, please don’t threaten to make a scene, please don’t yell in front of your children or the children in the studio, please do not refuse to leave until we have to call the police.


We are all having a bad 2020. The whole world is stressed but we are trying our best. We know things can change really fast and we are all just going to have to adjust. We are all really fragile right now.

 



Before you sign up for workshops please know:

  • This year, instead of instructors doing a 15 minute live demo, we have slideshow presentations that take you through how to create each project. There will be instructors circling around the studio to help you when you ask. This way you don’t have to remember all the steps and you have the steps for reference. This way you can move at your own pace, no waiting for people who are slower at creating or being rushed because some people are faster. The workshops are for socializing and having fun together at the studio.

  • Sometimes clay breaks, it just does—pieces fall off

  • Sometimes things move in the kiln and there may be a mark on your piece

  • Sometimes glaze doesn’t behave as expected

  • Sometimes art takes more time than you may think, we time things as well as we can

  • Sometimes instructors get ill, and we need to run with less staff than planned

  • Sometimes we have to throw out art if it is not picked up within 2 weeks

  • Sometimes it may take a minute or two to find your art piece

  • Sometimes there are mixups

  • Sometimes your name may get covered in the firing process

  • Sometimes it takes a while to find the information from a gift card from many years ago

  • A child will cry, be loud or not listen. They do that. They are all good. Parents are trying their best

  • You will need to follow the templates and sizing, too big means more kiln or storage space, too small means likely to get lost

  • If you don’t write your first and last name and the date clearly on your piece, expect for it to get lost or mistakenly picked up by another with the same name

  • We will fire things in the kiln as quickly as we possibly can. We need a full load to run the kiln and sometimes things need to dry extra time before they can be placed in the kiln or they will explode
  • Sometimes clay explodes

  • You will need to make just one piece when we say make one

  • The online calendar will take a while to load as their are lots of workshops to choose from

  • We know our kids registrations system is separate from the workshops registration system. It is really hard to find one class management system that works for everything. So you can register for kids classes at mainartstudio.com and for workshops at hyggely.ca where it is optional whether you want to create an account. We tried to make this as simple as possible.

  • If you have never done art before, you will need to practice and accept it won’t be perfect on your first try. Come back many times, practice and enjoy the process. 

  • The workshops are for fun and social time. It is not a replacement for art school.

  • If you overwork the clay or add too much water it will cave in or crack. Follow the time guidelines and instructions.

  • We are not Walmart with unlimited resources, art supply costs are really high, rent is high, shipping is high, overhead is high, we may be able to offer a credit in some cases like clay breakage, but if you miss your workshop or call 10 mins before to cancel, the space was still set aside for you and we cannot offer a refund or credit.

  • If you are late, yes, it will feel like there was not enough time.

  • We cannot answer the phone and it is not financially feasible to have an admin person. We have the phone for emergencies. Please use the chat on our website. We check this as often as possible. Please don’t send a chat and an email. We promise, we will get back to you.

  • Please don’t call/chat/email to see if your art is ready for pick up—it is all in the art status page on the website—we promise! We really need to be present for the guests in the studio.

  • You will absolutely need to wear a mask when not at your station or when purchasing kits or supplies. Let’s all stay healthy.

 

So for the 99% who love the workshops, please, come and enjoy the studio, come back, tell your friends.

We are calling these our Hyggely workshops. Hygge (Hooo-gah) is the danish word for creating a warm and cozy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. This is truly the best word to describe who we are and what we do and why we run holiday workshops at a good price.

Let's all have a happy holiday! 

Joey Simon

Studio Founder & Owner 

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