We had the good fortune of connecting with DeMarco Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DeMarco, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
While in grade school, I knew that I wanted to own a business of my own one day. Over the years, that business went from a daycare to a studio. I had a vision that I would run a studio where it would be my mission for every student to have a smile on their face before they left.
While in college, I had the best training ever from a wonderful lady by the name of Teri Wilkerson who owned an operated Dance Discovery Studios in Abilene, Texas. Not only was she an amazing mentor, but she was an even better business person. I learned then that not everyone needs to have a multi-billion dollar business to call themselves successful. With the pride and knowledge that she had while running her studio I knew that the dream of a daycare would have to wait. It was now time to shift my focus towards dance.
After graduating college and moving back to Houston, Texas, I found a new studio and worked my way up from dance teacher to creative director. While running the creative department, the after school department, and teaching the tap and hip hop classes, I noticed that aside from actually paying the rent, I was doing the work of a studio owner. At that moment and having the knowledge of other issues that had been brought to my attention, I decided to start the planning process of my own studio. the planning process in February of 2016 and on June 6, 2016 The Artz was officially open for business.
In November of 2017, we were presented with the opportunity to purchase a struggling business and although it was a scary time, we purchased the equipment and took over the lease. After starting with roughly 15 adult and 2 kid clients, we have since grown our program to over 150 kids and new adults trying aerial for the first time each week.
Adding new and exciting programs is something we look forward to and making sure each clients, young and older, leaves with a smile on their faces.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When it comes to The Artz, we are the largest aerial studio in the Houston area. With over 40 aerial points and more than 500 pieces of aerial equipment, we have more than enough to keep all of our clients happy.
Seeing that we have more than enough equipment and a good amount of space, when Covid-19 hit, we had the means to provide a safe and spacious work out space for our clients when we were able to reopen. Our amazing clients helped us raise enough money for the amount of time the studio had to close and we have provided free and donation based shows over the past year as a thanks.
Clients were able to have their own apparatus that was cleaned between each use. Our studio has aerial points that are all at least 6 feet apart if not more and it worked extremely well with COVID protocols. With this and other factors that we took into consideration, we were able to host summer camps for kids in 2020 and 2021 without a single COVID case or outbreak at our studio.
Covid may have slowed us down a bit but it by no means stopped us. The Artz is a strong and consistent brand that provides a safe place for families to come and enjoy themselves and each other while staying healthy at the same time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Im my opinion, the best places to eat, drink, hang out, spend time is with friends and family. We have gained a tremendous amount of friends and studio family that has constantly been there for us. We have shared meals together, pool parties, birthday gatherings and much more and all with the people in our aerial community that has made this possible. Stop by the Artz and we have someone that can show the studio way of getting together.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When it comes to credit, my wife, Tara Howard deserves more than her share. Without her, the business would have gone under years ago. While I have the creative under control, she had the books on lock! Our parents have been a continued path of inspiration and guidance. Although a lot of credit goes to the many teachers I have had such and a continued mentor, Teri Wilkerson, a constant source of motivation, Lori Rutledge, and others I would have to say that a huge chunk of the credit has to go to our consistent, caring, kind, amazing and awesomely loyal clients. With out them, the teaching, the equipment and the passion would all be for nothing.
Photo Credit: Cre8tive Interpretation