We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Lowe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The Art Cellar of Houston was created to provide individuals with the ability to “make paintings their own” in an amateur painting class. We wanted to focus on creating from the heART because when one follows their heart in ART, people are always satisfied with the results. Initially, our classes included Acrylic Painting on Canvas and Paint on Glass. Eventually, we evolved to offer 3-D paintings, Alcohol Ink Basics, Acrylic Pouring, and Watercolor classes for children and adults. Our motto is #makeityourown, so we provide those attending our classes the basic skills required in each medium to create a masterpiece in an amateur painting class setting. We also offer the Mindful Movement Summer Camp inclusive of yoga, art, art history, and an alternative art hour. The alternative art hour changes weekly through the months of June, July, and August to include music lessons, ayurvedic tea blending, cookie decorating, ceramics, and crafting lessons. We work with local artists and makers to teach these classes. After five years in business, we continue to offer these classes in person or online through Zoom for corporate events, birthday parties, and Team Building. We are working to add classes such as Resin coaster making and Paper Mache used in 3D art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As part of our community outreach and support of the arts, we started ART IS AN Outdoor Market in 2016. Our idea behind the art markets is to bring artists, makers, and farmers to areas of Houston that did not already have this type of market. Since we are located in the Energy Corridor District, we began our market here at Republic Square. We have expanded over the past 4 years to areas such as Greenway Plaza, The Galleria, CityWestPlace, and San Felipe Plaza. We are honored to met and have worked with some truly talented individuals in Houston, and love sharing these artists, makers, and farmers with the public. Artists such as Aaron Booker (https://jaymesearlgallery.
The Art Cellar of Houston works hard to provide top-level customer service to every private party we book; therefore we cater each party to the host’s needs. In the beginning, we focused on public classes which had us spread very thin. Over the last five years, we have trimmed out the public classes focusing on private events solely. It was hard to make the decision to cut public classes but became necessary with Pandemic 2020 and COVID. A lesson we learned along the way is to listen to advice but do not necessarily take the advice. We have been had so many class recommendations and tried every idea we were provided. Unfortunately, none of the ideas worked and we wasted a lot of money trying them out. Now we listen, smile, and work on the new class ideas as we can. Another big learning lesson was to allow “word of mouth” advertising to organically grow our business, rather than investing in anything and everything. We spent too much the first two years trying to advertise our business which produced no leads. It was a painful learning lesson, but a necessary one for the growth of our business.
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.
It is hard to tell you our favorite spaces to visit in Houston, because there are so many. So here are a few wild spaces we love because of the artistic vibe there provide: Food: Izakaya Wa is an amazing Sushi restaurant on Memorial near the Beltway. It is literally a hidden gem behind a shopping center with the most amazing atmosphere, drinks, and food. Another favorite is Little Lamb Hot Pot on Bellaire near the Gessner. Chinese soup that will knock your socks off. Bori is a Korean BBQ restaurant and art gallery in one. This is an amazing visual experience for those foodies and sight-seeing tourists. Closer to home there are two restaurants we are in love with lately Flippin Patties offering Filipino Burgers and cuisine. The artwork in this venue is killer. Also, Pastellitos offering Venezuelan brunch cuisine and the MOST AMAZING Venezuelan Coffee (super cool artwork here too). Bars: Warren’s Inn is a bar in Downtown Houston, and has been around forever. So much history, amazing mixed drinks, and a lot of fun to visit. Closer to home, we love going to Kings Head Pub which is downstairs from our studio at 1809 Eldridge Parkway and has a super fun staff. Other amazing spaces to check out around Houston include the water wall behind the Galleria Houston; Post Oak Central has a circular water fountain with a parklike setting; Republic Square (Energy Corridor District) is an office building with a lake on-site, and farmers market with local farmers and makers offered every Saturday morning; The Greenway Plaza has an underground eatery called the Hub with cool hidden restaurants and coffee spaces to check out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have guided us along the way that have provided us with the most amazing support and advice. The original inspiration came from Yolanda Stiger of Sew Houston, Mei Stansbury of Black Tea Cafe Design, and Jessica Guerra of Guerra Girl. These three ladies are so very inspiring and absolutely fabulous in their trade. A few years into our business we met the amazing Brittany Bly of Pop Shop America and Gabriella Breillano of Bird + Twine. We instantly knew we would add both women as an amazing mentor, and great supporter of everything. These five women are a powerhouse of love, support, and encouragement with everything we do, although they may not realize the effect they have had on me. We can only dream of inspiring others the way these women have encouraged our dreams.
Linkedin: Sarah B Lowe
Yelp: The Art Cellar of Houston
Youtube: Art Cellar Houston
All pictures have been taken by Sarah Lowe, artcellarhouston.com