A LITTLE MORE ABOUT US.
As the founder of small hands big art, Jennifer learned at an early age the power that art and creative (albeit deviant) thinking can have. Other than that one time she strategically scrawled "Jenny is a Pig!" on her bedroom door & let her brother take the blame, some of her fondest childhood memories involve creating art.
A college art scholarship naturally led to a 17 year career in financial services compliance, where she memorized SEC regulations and honed invaluable skills implementing out-of-the box enterprise deliverables & driving for consensus. (huh??) After stepping on that little shelf thingy on the top of the corporate ladder labeled “Not a Step,” she's spent the last nine years simply enjoying what inspires her most: children & art. And writing stuff like this.
Though memories of her vast corporate accomplishments have faded, she can still recall her favorite Crayola colors, and waits patiently for Starbucks to roll out a "Burnt Sienna" roast. An obsessive tidyer-upper, she's most happy when things are organized by color, and when inventing better, faster ways to sort buttons. Jennifer enjoys the outdoors and has served on the Board of Directors of the Festival in the Park since 2008.
Katie's vibrant and larger-than-life energy has bouncing off the walls at Small Hands Big Art since 2012. Her flourish for the creative began as a little girl – evidenced by her avid sticker collection, desire to pass the time organizing the “craft closet”, and flair for wearing swimsuits over her clothes in the middle of Minnesota winters! Most at home in dance shoes, on a stage, or covered in paint, Katie decided to pursue the visual arts in adulthood as well.
Katie is a graduate of North Park University (Chicago, IL) with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art where her emphasis was in sculpture, mixed media, and nonprofit management and leadership. Expressing herself through the arts was incredibly formational for Katie. She enjoys cultivating an environment for students to be challenged, get messy, have fun, and learn to express themselves.
When not at small hands big art, Katie can be found busily planning fun events with her vast social circle, exploring the Charlotte art scene, on a hike with her rescue pup, or adding a dash of creativity to her family business. We didn't think it was possible for her to top her epic DIY industrial warehouse wedding, but she's currently working on her best design project to date: Project #HelloBabyBreaux, due in July 2018.
Sonja joined Small Hands Big Art in the fall of 2016. She is a freelance photographer and designer with a passion for the arts and character development in children. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College with an AS in Business Administration.
She worked as an Art Director at a Boy’s and Girl’s Club and as an Assistant Teacher at a charter school in Charlotte before finding her way to Small Hands Big Art. She fell in love with the studio space, mixing watercolor paints, and of course the wonderful team.
Currently, Sonja is working on a personal photography project, “100 Strangers.” The goal? To practice telling better stories by asking a stranger if she could take a photo of them and then doing it 99 more times.
When she’s not at the SHBA studio, a typical day finds Sonja buried up to her elbows on a freelance project, in the photography darkroom, or at a pottery wheel. By night, however, she is a writer and avid enthusiast of cello music.
During her free time, she can be found either behind the wheel enjoying a new adventure with friends or in heruber-entreprenurial family’s upstairs workshop being creative. A free spirit, she loves to travel and recently explored Iceland!
Lauren was born & raised in Cincinnati & moved to Charlotte in high school. Lauren was a creative child (illustrating her own fashion catalog!) but it was through her art teacher's influence that her passion and excitement for the visual arts was instilled.
Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with minors in Studio Art and Psychology from Queens University.
In addition to teaching at Small Hands Big Art since Jan., 2016, Lauren teaches art at Weddington Christian Academy during the school year.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys traveling, DIY home decor projects, and thrift & consignment shopping!
After flying the friendly skies as a flight attendant for 18 years, Karen jokingly says her “new life is a mess.” In 2006, Karen retired her wings and flew feet first into the wonderful world of art. Painting has always been her passion ~ she loves painting images of the beautiful skies that she saw while flying.
Karen started her own traveling art business called The Clay Cart in 2011. She joined the small hands big art team in 2012 teaching fun & whimsical children’s pottery camps. Karen loves to help children discover the limitless world of possibilities in hand built and wheel thrown pottery. Always striving to develop as an artist by taking advanced level art classes, Karen believes there’s nothing better than having a job that you truly love, and teaching art allows her to do just that!
Karen lives in Marvin, NC with her husband Rob, daughter Paige, son Cole, and loveable dog, Lucy.
Amanda first found her way into the studio in 2012 as a student. Her hustle and knack for being two steps ahead of us naturally led to a Studio Assistant position. Her happy, fun loving spirit landed her a tactical position on our Elite Special Forces team of Birthday Party hosts, and Saturdays have never been the same since!
Amanda's spark in creativity began as a little girl when she became infatuated with the world of fashion and started to create sketches of her own. She finds herself at home in Small Hands Big Art's eclectic studio space and loves to get to know the students (special talents include summer camp snack time games and laughing at her own jokes).
Amanda can be found on the lacrosse field practicing her leadership skills and teamwork. She also spends her time making trips to Goodwill and thrifting her finds into new garments. Amanda is on her way to NC State in the fall of 2018 for Fashion and Textile Management with a focus in Product Development. Until then, she works hard inside and outside of school and can always be seen rocking a pair of shades.
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