Oak Forest’s Jennifer Collins, who with husband, Brian, is opening Kidcreate Studio in Garden Oaks’ Stomping Grounds, said her family has always been artsy.
“Our home is filled with arts and crafts,” Collins said. “It started as a time filler for the kids during COVID, but it is also very therapeutic for a high-anxiety time in our lives, like a global pandemic.”
Kidscreate Studio is a space for kids that offers art classes, camps and art-themed birthday parties. Projects run the gamut of the art spectrum with drawing, painting, clays, mixed media and more. Collins said there is an education component, too, as the projects focus on a particular artist or technique.
“We call the education component 'Kidbits,' ” she said. “The complexity of the projects grows by age. Art also encourages children to take risks and feel safe doing it.”
Kidscreate Studio at Stomping Grounds, located on the south side of West 34th Street west of Alba Road, will be the first franchise location in Houston. The couple anticipates starting construction on their 1,200 square foot space in the next six weeks with a target opening date of late summer. They will be located upstairs next to Tulum Wellness Spa.
Jennifer will serve as the managing owner. Brian, an Air Force veteran with an executive MBA who works as the vice president and general manager for a private equity oil and gas company, is the Kidcreate financial officer.
While a lot of the classes will happen on location, Jennifer Collins said they will also have a mobile business model, called On-the-Go, to bring art to schools, childcare, parks and other organizations.
“It is common for organizations to book an in-house field trip,” Collins said. “We provide amazing teachers and their choice of project and materials. Then we pack up and clean up the mess.”
Collins, who is a Waltrip High School graduate, is excited to open a business in her own neighborhood. She said when she and Brian met the team at Revive, the commercial real estate firm that developed Stomping Grounds, the “synergies aligned.”
“We are on board to help create a family-based environment,” Collins said. “Our focus is to be Oak Forest’s leading enrichment program, providing opportunities to develop the whole child, focusing on art education and creation. We know that creating art supports almost all developmental areas in children from motor skills and self-expression to problem-solving and sensory output.”
A former loss-prevention executive who became a director at Pace Preparatory Academy after her sons were born, Collins said she loved the operational piece of her role at Pace as well as watching the smiles of the students as they learned new things and mastered different activities.
“After the boys moved on to elementary school, we knew we were ready for another chapter,” Collins said.
Initially the couple considered opening a fitness franchise in the Heights, but a suggestion from Collins’ all-knowing smartphone set them on a different path.
“When the ad came up for Kidcreate Studio, we immediately knew this is what we’ve been waiting for,” she said. “It was a perfect combination of our family dynamic and corporate backgrounds.”
For more information, visit https://kidcreate.com/houston.