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Finding a new normal: Founder of visual arts program adapts to COVID-19

Children drawing

Wee Little Arts | Photo: provided

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As our community works to collectively adjust to this new normal, we want to share the perspectives of people in the Charleston community who are working to adapt their lifestyles, family dynamics, business models, workflow, + more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we’re hearing from Melissa Bradshaw, founder of Wee Little Arts. Wee Little Arts is a visual arts program brought to schools for 3-5-year-old children.

Interested in sharing your own experiences? Find the form to submit at the bottom of this post.

How has your work been affected by coronavirus?
With schools closed, we can no longer bring our program into the schools across the country.

How has your personal life and/or family been affected by coronavirus?
Neither my husband nor I are actually “employed” at the moment. Everything has stopped, but I got working immediately to change the way Wee Little Arts does business.

What impacts do you think the pandemic will have on your life and/or business as time goes on?
Obviously a huge financial impact. I am not one to sit back and let this virus take total control. There are definitely some things that are out of our control, but I started working with my franchisees to develop a new way of doing Wee Little Arts. In turn, WLA goes HOME has been created. My husband and I are actually creating videos for students that we have taught and were going to teach this spring along with building the business with new students. We are sending weekly videos to parents to do at home with their children.

What can members of the community do to support your business and others like it during this time?
Honestly, I think loans and grants are key to bridging the gap between now and when we can go back to work. We also need our customers to support our efforts as a small business and understand that what we are providing them is the same quality that their children would receive in the classroom. It took almost 3 weeks to change the business to support this effort. Small businesses are constantly giving back to the community and now it is the community’s turn to support small businesses.

What do you look forward to doing the most once everything goes back to normal?
Going back into the classrooms and seeing our smiling, happy, thoughtful, creative, funny smart artists again!

What message do you have for the Charleston community right now?
As everyone is always saying, we truly are in this together. I’m hoping we come out of this stronger than ever and I do believe that the Charleston community will be excited to not only get back to business but also support businesses once again.

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