Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Pro Tip: Come, Create, Enjoy.
Q&A with Danielle Arno, Founder, Owner, Creative Director
Besides making clients happy, what do you like most about your job?
I love seeing how all of the paintings at the end of an event are similar, but each has its own unique qualities. I love that just about everyone who attends an event is pleasantly surprised with what they create.
Sometimes it's all about the little things in life. What supplemental courtesies do you include with your main services to leave clients with a smile on their face?
I offer a loyalty card; after attending five paying public events, guests receive the sixth public event for free. Each guest receives an apron to wear for the duration of the event to protect their clothing.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I have had a passion for art for as long as I can remember. I have also always had an entrepreneurial spirit, with my first attempt at the age of 10. I have always had the desire to own my own business.
It’s always nice to have talented friends. For more than 20 years, photographer Jeff Tureaud has been his friends’ go-to person for capturing special events, and his growing reputation led him to start his own studio in 2007. Since then, the award-winning photographer has accommodated clients with wedding coverage, on-location portraits, in-studio appointments, and outdoor shoots on his acre of gardens.
Jeff’s individual and group sessions yield upward of 50 images, which he retouches in Photoshop, previews for patrons, and dispenses as digital images all on the same day as the shoot. In addition to capturing new memories, Jeff restores older ones with photo repairs, digitization services, and DVD slideshows that set up to 150 pictures to each customer’s favorite pop song or whale call.
At Grape Beginnings, passionate wine aficionado Frank D’Aponte splits his time between producing his own high-quality vintages and instructing others on how to do the same. Frank has a decade of winemaking experience under his belt; as a third-generation winemaker, grape juice runs through his veins. Frank has deepened his knowledge with extensive travel throughout the Napa and Sonoma valleys, studying under master winemakers such as James Allen of Sequoia Grove Vineyards. Novice vintners delve into every aspect of the process, including pressing fresh grapes from California, Chile, Italy, and Argentina, racking in oak barrels, and bottling with custom-made labels.
If a subject is art-related, chances are you can learn about it at Around the Corner Art Center. With a slate of teachers who specialize in working with specific age groups and art mediums, students can learn how to sketch or sew, hone their brush strokes, and construct mixed-media pieces. With all these disciplines under one roof, there is a class for everyone from children to college art students to adults. The staff's love of art even extends to the birthday parties they host, with artistic themes that may include recreating a famous painting or learning how to draw cartoons, anime, and manga.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Surrounded by the hiking trails, woodlands, and glistening lakes of Millstone Township, Cornerstone Music Studios provides private lessons in more than a dozen instruments, including piano, guitar, saxophone, and voice. Its faculty of like-minded and talented instructors helps create a community-oriented environment, giving students limitless support as they explore new artistic avenues. Monthly and annual recitals also boost students’ confidence, and prepare them to play live in front of a crowd of stuffed animals with sewn-on frowns.