Note: This post was first published on October 8, 2011, but we thought we’d check up on 4Cats Arts Studio and update you on their success – so we added new content to this post on October 3, 2015.
This week, take some entrepreneurial inspiration from Victoria mom Joey Simon, who combined her love of art with her desire to provide for her son, and started an outstanding small business.
In 1998, Simon’s son Jet was born at only 26 weeks. His doctors were concerned about the likelihood of Jet developing learning difficulties due to his prematurity, so Simon began looking for ways to help Jet in his learning. She trained in the principles of Montessori education, which emphasizes learning through all five senses, encouraging individuality and self-direction. Simon and her husband Darryl are also art lovers, and passed on this love to Jet. Simon spent time reading art books and painting with her son. She also shared with him life stories of artists, which Jet took a particular interest in.
Jet’s love of art became quickly obvious. Friends and family noticed Jet’s paintings and asked Simon to offer art workshops for their own children. In 2005, Simon founded 4Cats, which takes its name from Els Quatre Gats (4Cats Cafe) in Barcelona, where Picasso and his artistically-minded friends gathered.
Simon’s 4Cats encourages kids ages 2 – 15 to see art in different ways. Highly-trained curators help kids engage their imaginations to create unique pieces of art using professional art materials. Kids are encouraged to think like an artist, learning about art history in easily understood and exciting ways. Kids love it, and it shows! The first 4Cats location opened in Victoria BC. The franchise has now spread across Canada, and has locations in the US, Mexico, and Australia!
For more information on this fun and creative business, visit 4Cats’ website.