Detroit Mom’s Local Love series highlights local women and the businesses they have built. We love supporting small business! Today’s Local Love Spotlight belongs to Taylor Kazy, owner of Creative Play Studio!
We asked Taylor to share a few fun facts about herself with us so we could get to know her a little bit better.
- She’s a teacher-turned-homeschooling mom starting her sixth year of school with her girls.
- They’ve only lived here in Michigan for two years.
- She has recently taken up gardening, but she is definitely what she’d like to call a chaos gardener. She just throws stuff in the ground and hopes it works!
We also asked her to share a little bit more about her business with us. Get to know Taylor and her business, Creative Play Studio, below!
“I was a teacher for nine years prior to homeschooling my girls and I honestly thought that would be the job I retired from. But then we moved to Florida, [and] my license wasn’t valid in that state. Homeschooling seemed to just work for us! My girls are getting bigger and I missed working with the preschool age group which is my favorite and a total God-given gift. I missed the messy mornings with paint everywhere, the sensory play, taking their little ideas of a creation and running with it, and just the sheer joy that toddlers and preschoolers have when they made something they love and just have to show you right away! My seven- and ten-year-old still like to do a lot of this stuff too. But I knew I could create this as a program, get back into a form of teaching, and really just focus on the fun stuff that I love to do: art and creation!
“The program allows kids to enjoy all these creative exploration-type activities that are so good for their development and it takes the prep and clean up away from the moms because we all know that takes longer than the time our kids actually play with what was set up. The program has since morphed into an art program for all ages. [It allows] me to teach homeschool classes, after-school classes, and enjoy summer camps with older kids as well! The idea has grown and changed to fit what the community needs, just like any business should.
“Because it started as a program for younger kids than I currently parent myself, I had to get a bit creative since I couldn’t just invite a bunch of my kids’ friends to a class. I posted on Facebook in some moms groups that I would be teaching some classes at the park one day. It has grown from there through word of mouth and sharing free activities at farmers markets and other events. I have been learning about the business side of things as I go and growing from mistakes, too.”
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
“No, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. My business is only a year in. So, I still have lots to learn and I know there will be ups and downs. I sometimes struggle with wishing it would grow faster and sometimes wish I would have started right away in a retail space. But, I know that my path is specific to me and my business. I think it’s important to recognize that growth is different for everyone and every business. The path we take helps shape us as women, as well as the business itself.”
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
“The best advice that I have been given, and I constantly use to remind myself, is “to not be swayed by overnight success stories, that’s the minority. Most entrepreneurs make it after years of hard work and dedication.” I think that is so important to remember!”
“I can’t say I’ve faced any specific adversity but I do think that being a business owner and a mom is challenging. It’s hard balancing being a wife, taking care of the kids and all that comes with that, managing the house and schedules and doctor appointments etc., and also managing a business. But just like everything else, if it’s worth it, you work at it and make it happen!”
How do you persevere in challenging times?
“Oh the challenging times are tough for sure! I try my best to just take it day by day. I will lean into my family, reach out for advice or guidance, spend some time in prayer, and sometimes even just check out a bit from the stress and do things that make me happy like read outside in the sunshine, play a game with the family, or turn on a mindless show and laugh. Oh, and make sure that we are stocked up on ice cream in the house!”
What impact do you want your business to have?
“I want moms to enjoy time with their kids when they come to class. I want them to form friendships, enjoy conversation with other adults, and to maybe even get some ideas of things to do at home with their little ones too. To step back and drink their coffee while it’s hot so that their kids can create the way they want to, rather than moms sweating through class, reaching over their kids to help them glue the googly eye in just the right spot so it looks perfect.
“I want the kids to explore, make messes and make mistakes, and know it’s okay. To be creative and know that they can make something that looks like nothing and it is still beautiful. I want kids to experience art that is developmentally appropriate, not following a set of instructions and being told where and how to do a project at three years old. To explore the process and learn new techniques while having fun. I want all the kids to leave with their projects all looking different. If they don’t, then they didn’t really get to be creative. I want kids to make art, not crafts!”
“The pros of owning a business these days are definitely being able to set my own time and hours. I love that my daughters get to see a dream come to life but also know that dreams aren’t like in the movies. They take hard work, lots of time, have ups and downs, and teach us a lot about ourselves and life.
“The con of business owning these days I think is definitely the way the economy is currently. Everything is so expensive which means raising prices, which makes it harder to keep things affordable but also make money.”
What knowledge would you share with someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
“To anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur, just know that it’s not all picture-perfect like you see on social media. There are days where you want to pull your hair out. Days that your own kids get a lot of extra screen time so that you can get stuff done. But there are also days that make it all worth it. You have to keep reaching and working for those days!”
What do you do for personal and professional development?
“I do a lot of reading and a lot of chatting with other women in similar businesses for professional development. I’d love a coach or mentor one day though, to help me ensure I am making the best choices and working on the right things!”
“I love the quote, ‘If you don’t like the road [you’re] walking, start paving another one’ by Dolly Parton.”
What’s your favorite place in Detroit or Michigan?
“I love going to Kensington Metropark with my family to go for bike rides, have picnics, and enjoy the lake views!”