Inspired Parties is a small business located in Ludington, MI. Artist and owner Sarah Stechschulte has been teaching paint parties through her company Inspired Parties since December 2016. Sarah has a strong art background, and also took painting and pottery classes in college. She had no idea that just a year after graduating with an Associates of Arts degree from West Shore Community College, she would be teaching her own painting classes! This is also about the time that Sarah and Alex met and became a couple. From the start, Alex has been cheering Sarah on and supporting her dreams.
For the next couple of years, Sarah partnered with local venues such as restaurants to provide local paint parties, a creative night out for the people of Mason County. In late 2018, after slowly building and growing Inspired Parties, things really started to take off once the previously mobile business opened a studio! Sarah finally had her own public space to teach painting classes...this was especially great for smaller private parties!
In May of 2019, Sarah was one of the five small business finalists to compete for $50,000 in the Momentum Business Plan Competition in Ludington, MI. She became the first place winner, receiving $14,000 to expand her studio to include a drop-in project workshop. In September 2019, Sarah made a hard decision to leave her marketing job of 5 years with her mother's company, Advantage Marketing. Even though Sarah loved her job, co-workers and learning from her mom, she knew it was time to devote all her attention to Inspired Parties.
In August 2019, Sarah also was a top five finalist in another local business competition, the Epworth 5x5 Pitch Night for startup businesses. She shared a new business idea that she had called My Inspired Studio. She had a vision and dream to provide a similar experience that her in-person parties provides, but in a totally different form and setting. The vision was to offer a subscription art box, delivered right to her customer's homes. This would allow them to create in a comfortable, safe atmosphere, at any time that is convenient for their schedule. Sarah won the 5x5 Pitch Night, allowing her to start the new business, and she had up to a year after the competition date to use the funds to build My Inspired Studio.
Fast forward to January 2020, other big and positive changes happened! Alex started working full-time with Sarah, to help manage and build the quickly growing business. The workshop opened officially for business hours three days a week, and has become a great place for families and friends to spend quality time together, creating projects and DIY home decor!
Just a few months after opening the drop-in project workshop, Sarah and Alex had to close the doors of the studio temporarily, due to COVID-19. While this was a sad event, Sarah and Alex got right to work to try and find a way to continue to Inspire and provide ways for their local customers to keep creating, especially in such a high-stress time. It was at this point that they started offering take-home kits, which turned out to be a huge hit! The sales from the take-home kits allowed Sarah and Alex to survive the next few weeks without any business, while the state of Michigan was ordered to stay home, and non-essential businesses had to close.
During this time of quarantine (after spending a few days just relaxing and catching up on sleep), Sarah and Alex got to work on the idea that needed attention...it was very clear that THIS was the time to launch My Inspired Studio, the new subscription box business.
On April 19, 2020, My Inspired Studio was officially launched, less than a year after the idea was born. The first month has welcomed about 40 members to the new painting membership, a solid start to this new online business.
Inspired Parties and My Inspired Studio are small companies, with big goals and dreams to make a difference in our customers lives. Inspired Parties mission and vision is to bring inspiration through art events, workshops, and take-home kits, no experience needed!