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Meet Jessica Kost of Inspire SD Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Kost.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been an artist for about twenty years but one thing I always enjoyed was making art with friends in a social atmosphere. I started a meetup group about five years ago called Encourage Creative with a friend. We planned various meetups to do fun and creative projects. This was at the same time that Paint and Sip businesses started popping up. My “day job” was a restaurant manager so I decided to make it a business and offer classes at the place I worked. Luckily, they were very supportive. A year later, I was able to quit my job to work on my business full time.

I was offering public paint classes through Groupon and Living Social. At one point I had 13 instructors and was offering classes five times a week. However, I found that by going so big I wasn’t able to provide the quality experience I valued and soon found I was over extending myself and I grew unhappy.

I then made a tough decision a year ago to scale back big time. I kept only myself and a select few instructors who I trusted 100% to provide meaningful experiences. Then I switched my business model to only provide private parties.

I look at my business now as a premium painting experience. I have some high quality, custom workshop offerings and exclusive private party experiences that I offer. Although this isn’t a full-time business for me anymore I’ve found that I’m much happier and able to put all my energy into each event so guests leave feeling happy with the results and fun memories with their co-workers, friends and family.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve had a lot of learning curves but I wouldn’t give any of them up. First off, I started a business by myself with very little experience doing paint and sip events, a tiny start up budget, working a full-time job, and I was petrified of public speaking. All these challenges I had to face during the process of developing a business. Looking back, I probably should have tackled most of those before I started and saved up a lot more money so I could compete with the bigger operations.

There was also a big learning curve being that I was a trained artist as well as all my instructors. Many techniques and processes are almost intuitive to people who are either professionals or hobby artists. I didn’t realize that people with little to no art experience have a very tangible fear creating art. In the beginning most of my offerings were more project based in that everyone would use their own creativity to come up with an art piece and we simply provided technique instruction and materials. I didn’t realize this was scary to most people and they needed more step-by-step workshops. There was a huge challenge to overcome for me learning how to offer classes that were simple enough yet appealing, teaching in very simple terms, and acting as a “cheerleader” to get people out of their own fears to actually make something.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Inspire SD Studio – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I own an art entertainment business, more well known as a “paint & sip” company called Inspire San Diego. I provide creative events and workshops to all ages. From Girl Scout art badge workshops to birthday paint parties to corporate team building activities.

I specialize in premium projects such as wine glass painting, custom corporate team building, pet art, Girl Scout art badge, and private paint parties.

I’m most proud that after almost four years I still have a 5 star Yelp rating. I’m proud that I’m more of a boutique style paint and sip business in that I can provide excellent service and custom projects for people.

My events always have two facilitators if they are more than 15 people so everyone gets the help they need to leave feeling happy with their creations.

I also love being a part of the community and I’m an official Girl Scout Community Member.

I’ve also worked with lots of organizations to do paint party fundraisers in that I discount my fees so they can sell tickets and keep the difference. I’ve worked with Sea Shepherd, Team in Training, American Cancer Society, as well as other non-profits.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Right now I’m pretty happy with the way things are. I do hope my business continues to grow by getting more paint party bookings.

I love corporate team building because I love the challenge of coming up with unique projects that fit their learning objectives so I’d like to get more of those. Some projects I have designed in the past were murals for elementary schools, team painting projects, and in-office murals to highlight the company’s strengths and successes.

Pricing:

  • Kids paint parties start at $20 depending on canvas size
  • Adult paint parties start at $35 but larger group discounts are available
  • Custom corporate team building projects vary from $35-45 per person
  • Girl Scout art badge workshops are only $15 and include an Inspire SD fun patch

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Jessica Kost

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Mandie

    October 28, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Amazing! I am so proud of you! In knowing Jessica since high school, she has always been goal driven with such amazing ambition. To know the girl in the beginning and to see the woman she has become is truly amazing and inspiring. Kudos my long time friend from afar. 😉

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