Wednesday, 15 June 2016 09:36

Kasey Hope Owner of P'zazz Art Studio, Prattville

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RRJ:  You’re the owner of P’zazz Art Studio in Prattville, but that wasn’t the career path you originally thought you would take.  What did you do before P’zazz?

 

Kasey:  I actually got my degree from Auburn University in Elementary Education. Although I didn’t always know the exact career path God wanted me on, I did know that He wanted me to invest in kids and use my creativity. Elementary Education seemed like the wise choice to do those two things. It’s fun to look back now and see how God was giving me whispers all along even though I didn’t know His exact plan.

 

 

RRJ:  What led you to go from teaching to owning a fun art studio?

 

Kasey: In 2007 I became pregnant with my first child. It was around that same time that I felt a strong pull to stay home with my little girl instead of putting her in daycare. However, I just didn’t think that was possible. I knew God was leading me in that direction, but I just couldn’t figure out the “how” part. I just asked, “How, God?” And that’s when the Holy Spirit started stirring this idea of opening an art studio. God uses his Word, His Spirit, other people, and circumstances to point us to where we should go. All of those things were lining up. Other people were telling me I should start teaching art. The Spirit was prompting me that it was time to change directions, the circumstances were that our school system didn’t offer art in the schools so this would fill a void, and then His Word says for us to be a light. I knew I could be a light, love on kids, and reflect Christ a little bit better in the environment of an art studio. So in the summer of 2007 when I was seven months pregnant we opened P’zazz Art Studio!

 

 

RRJ:  So in many ways you get to do a lot of the same things you were doing in the classroom.  Why do you enjoy working with young people so much?

 

Kasey:  Yes! I feel like I get to do what I do best here in the studio. I get to love on kids, help grow their confidence and self esteem, help them develop a skill set to be proud of, and teach them life lessons along the way. I want to be a part of shaping them for the good. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A wrote a book called It’s Better to Build Boys than Mend Men. And although I work with a lot of little girls too, this book embodies a lot of how I feel.  I want to help build them into confident, kind, and generous kids now so that their whole life is better going forward.

 

 

RRJ:  Your influence on children’s lives goes beyond your studio.  How are you using your business to bring the hope of Christ to children around the world?

 

Kasey:  We are proud partners with “Rice Bowls” ( www.ricebowls.org) to help feed kids around the world. What began as a small project to teach my students about giving grew into something unexpectedly wonderful. I saw on the Rice Bowls website that they had these cute rice bowl piggy banks. Then I read that you could use them in your church or small group as a mission project. Fill the bowls up with change and send them back. I thought, Wow this could be fun for our art students. I was looking for a way to teach them the joy of giving so this seemed perfect. I ordered the bowls, all our students filled them up with change, and then we had a big bowl breaking party where we busted open the bowls and counted all the money. To my surprise the kids had collected more than $1000 in change! I was so proud. Then later that year, Rice Bowls asked if I wanted to go with them to Honduras to see first hand one of the orphanages that our students helped to feed. It was on that trip to Honduras that we felt we had to do even more. On that trip we made a pledge that for every child or adult who painted at P’zazz, whether a class, birthday party, extra event, anything... for every painter that walked in P’zazz we would feed a kid for a day. To date we have been able to provide more than 56,000 meals. We were also able to travel to India last summer and teach P’zazz art classes to more than 1000 orphans supported by Rice Bowls there. Our partnership with Rice Bowls has helped changed the way I see the world and it’s helped give our business even more purpose. 

 

 

RRJ:  You are truly a great example of “Faith @ Work”.  Of course, the Holy Spirit applying God’s Word to your heart deserves the most credit, but what has God used to shape your thinking in this way?

 

Kasey:  A pivotal point in my faith was during my college years. It was during that time that I was under the leadership of some great people who really invested in the lives of college kids. They taught us from the Word, took us into their homes, showed us what living on mission looked like, gave us leadership opportunities, and showed us what it looked like to love people and serve God. During college I began to see that every city was a mission field. I realized I didn’t have to go to another country or be on staff at a church to be on mission. There is a spiritual hunger in our world and so many people are turning to false things to fill that void. It was during those college years that God began to give me a boldness and courage to tell other people about Him. I really am so thankful for all those leaders who invested in so many college kids’ lives. Their influence is making a difference for generations to come.

 

 

RRJ:  How would you encourage our readers to live out their faith beyond the church walls?

 

Kasey:  Love people (even the seemingly unlovable) and point them to Jesus. Simple as that. My pastor always says that people need “A Look, A Word, A Touch”. God doesn’t make it hard for us. We just have to rely on Him for the strength, the courage, the words, and the opportunities. They really are all around us!

 

 

 

Kasey Hope has owned and operated P’zazz Art Studio for the past 9 years. She is a mom to two great kids ( Kloe-8, Cade-5), married to her high school sweetheart T.R. Hope, and lives in Prattville.  For more information on her studio head to www.pzazzart.com or her personal blog at www.kaseyhope.com.

 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 09:44
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