Sawyer partners with hundreds of educators who are stars in their communities. From inspiring class content to engaging teaching style, these educators are known for their enriching activities that empower both children and parents alike.
We got the opportunity to chat with Color Architect Kids, a provider on Sawyer who offers art education for children in Brooklyn.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.
Hello! I’m Chantal and I founded Color Architect Kids, a mobile arts and crafts studio for children 1.5-10 years old. I started working on a business plan in 2019 simply because I didn’t see this concept before. Besides super established brick and mortar studios, there wasn’t anyone merging arts and sensory play (at least in the neighborhoods I work in). I knew I would be creating my own lane in this space with my elaborate setups, sensory bins, and more. In July 2021, I launched my first weekly outdoor “pop-up” in Prospect Park with the most adorable craft table, easels, and materials. Parents were so impressed by the setup I was hired for my first birthday party in less than a month. In May 2022, I expanded by hosting our first weekday class in Brooklyn Heights. Things have taken off since then.
Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?
I’m always inspired by the different levels of creativity I see in our students. I get inspired by their excitement, freedom, imagination, and how they long for independence with their projects. I always see caregivers instructing kids on what to do with their art work and the kids in turn commanding to take the lead. It’s cathartic to experience their level of attention, creativity and joy.
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?
Experiencing a series of firsts in their developmental years. For example, their first art class, first group activity, first time experiencing with paint, first time sharing tools, or using play dough etc. Parents get to see their children in a totally different setting and I’m proud that we have been that space for them. Launching our program during the pandemic where most of our children were either being introduced or reintroduced to reciprocity had to be handled with caution. It’s always gratifying to hear how influential we were for the adults and kids during this time.
What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?
In October I shared the most adorable moment with one of my students who's been attending class since 18 months (he is now 3). Saturday sessions were on pause since we’ve been overbooked for parties. I hadn’t seen him since our last session in September but he was so excited to be back in art class. He ran up to me and landed with the biggest hug. It was such a real, raw and beautiful moment and reminded me of my purpose in this space. I’m so happy his mom captured it!
On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?
Our kids are the cutest and funniest! There is never a dull moment in class however we have a running joke during sensory play. Someone ALWAYS ends up in the bin. I’d like to think of this as a full sensory experience. Either that or the moment our toddler class turned into a full on dance party. I love their little personalities, truly the best!
Why is after school/extracurricular enrichment so important for children?
Children need creative spaces for extracurricular activities outside of the formal class structure. Our afternoon classes are especially designed for kids who are enrolled in morning programs. The open format environment allows them to connect with new friends, have fun and use their imagination without creative limitations.
How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?
There are so many dimensions to learning and discovering passions through everyday life. Outside of an organized group activity, playgrounds, music, books, YouTube (depending on rules around screen time) etc. foster cognitive, social and emotional skills in children. Nothing is more incredible than a child’s imagination running wild through pretend play and song. By supporting, playing along and encouraging them they will hone in and develop these interests. Communicate with them, get to their level and encourage them to explore.
What is your favorite Sawyer feature?
I love that Sawyer allows us to send messages to our entire roaster when there is a class update. It is so much easier than copying and pasting multiple emails in Outlook especially since we have multiple classes, locations, and kids with the same name. Time sensitive messages go out easily with an option to send to secondary contacts with just one click. Running a small business without a cofounder I can’t tell you how efficient this feature is - it eliminates all the tedious work.
What's one trick you learned from another educator that you still practice?
There is a lecturer at Harvard Arts Education graduate program with her own course and blog on Art, Play, Children, Learning. I’ve incorporated some of these tools on light reflection to our sensory play for more meaningful ways to have fun and create. I’m constantly learning from educators in school settings on getting kids excited to participate and work as a team.
Have you discovered new customers on the Sawyer marketplace?
Absolutely! We’ve met a lot of new clients on the market place. I’m privy to all information on marketing within the business. I love knowing where people are finding us and it’s great to have Sawyer boosting us on the marketplace.
How do you balance your time between running your business (from an operational perspective) and teaching/connecting with parents and students?
My biggest challenge as a business owner is balancing the operations, teaching sessions in person and running the other half of my business, which is birthday parties and events. Hiring teaching artists to run weekday sessions has been a game changer. As providers/educators we love our work so much we’d go above and beyond for our clients but I’ve learned that burnout is real. I can’t do all of it on my own and still be effective in my business. I’ve made hiring mistakes but ultimately listening to my intuition has led me to help I didn’t know I needed. With my assistant spearheading sessions during the week I can handle emails, inventory, post on our social sites, take client calls and plan for private events happening over the weekend.
How has Sawyer helped your business?
Sawyer has made it so much easier to operate the back end of my business. Administration is a huge part of running a small business in any capacity. Sawyer gives us providers all the tools to make our operations run smoothly and effectively and it is also easier for our customers to sign up for sessions. All of our data is in one place, the thorough onboarding experience, the webinars and the on demand tech support from the team has been amazing! I’ve been in contact with Sawyer reps since January 2020 and launched in July 2021. Their support has been formative in growing my business.