Closing the studio

Tuesday, January 7, is six years since we opened the doors to our bright and beautiful studio. I can still remember the literal sweat and tears (and everything else) that went into creating a space where anyone could come and create, and then to open the doors and just pray that someone would walk through. 

But, just as we are celebrating Smudge’s 6th birthday, we are also announcing its closing - that is, the closing of our bright and beautiful studio. I know that many of you will be sad about this (and, trust me, there have been a lot of tears on this end). The other side of that is that there are so many millions of reasons to be happy about what we’ve done over the past six years - and the simple fact that we were able to know artists like you. Let me be clear in that we are not closing Smudge - just our studio. I'm sure you have lots of questions, and I'm going to try to answer some of the most expected questions below.

The first question is always, Why? There are many reasons - some you may agree with, some you may not. Unfortunately, it's a very difficult decision that we've had to make and we appreciate your support through this process.

Does that mean there will be a new location? Maybe … hopefully … one day. For right now, though, we are changing our model to be mobile in nature, meaning that we can come to you and your friends or colleagues to create. Please be patient with us while we iron out kinks, work out services, and figure out how our new life is going to work.

What about my gift certificates? We have great workshops planned in-studio for January, and we have no plans to cease our partnerships with the Owl or the Casino. You can use your gift certificates for any adult workshop. Our plan is to continue to offer Paint & Sips twice a month - maybe even more now that our studio is closed - but we NEED you to come! If you stop choosing Smudge, they’ll stop inviting us.

What about my gift cards? Your gift card can still be used in-studio through to the end of January ... plus this will allow you to take advantage of some CRAZY in-studio product and Open Studio specials. Our plan is to eventually implement an online payment system that will allow you to use your gift card online to book a seat to a public workshop, or use it towards a private party, but again, we are still getting things sorted. We thank you for your patience while that happens.

What about the kids? We love creating with artists of all ages, especially the kids. We will be looking for ways in which we can continue creating with the kids which, for right now, we plan it on being through private bookings. Please continue to check our website for updates.

But I wanted to have a party there! You can still party in January - we still have availability for kids and adults parties. Plus .... all in-studio private parties have been reduced by about 20% (some more, some less) with limited stock available. Find out more about our parties HERE. And if you can't come to us, we can always come to you.

If there’s no studio, how can we register for a workshop or party? We're still here until January 31. After January 31, head to our website at www.smudgeart.ca to continue to support our small, local creative business.

The final day to pick up anything from Smudge is Friday, January 31!

This decision is still new, so we have not yet updated our website with what Smudge is going to look like after January. This will take us a little bit of time - thanks so much for your patience and understanding.

We are still going to celebrate Smudge’s 6th birthday, and we would sincerely love for you and your friends and family to join us. On Saturday, January 18, we will be open from 12:30PM to 4:30PM for you to drop in and say hi! We’ll have cake and in-studio specials with all remaining Open Studio pieces except canvas BOGO FREE and all front shelf product at HALF PRICE. We will also be looking at liquidating some of our art inventory - some used, some not - during our January 18 party. Watch our website or social media streams for more information.

While I could be sad with this announcement, I’m choosing to be happy for so many reasons; for the thousands of artists we’ve had the honour of sharing our beautiful studio with; for the many brand new friends we’ve made; for being able to instil a passion for creating in artists of all ages; for showing many adult artists who were intimidated by creating that they CAN make great art; for the opportunity to share our passion with you; for having the absolute best Smudge family possible, and; for being able to see my dream come to fruition. I am so happy for all of that.

Who knows what the future will hold for Smudge. I can tell you that we are brainstorming ways in which we can revive a creative space again in an area that would support a business where all ages are welcome. Until then, we would love to create with you in your homes and offices (or anywhere else you can fit us!) and at our Paint & Sips with our loyal venue partners.

To say thank you seems so understated for the immense gratitude that I have for you … for all of our artists …. for allowing us the opportunity to create with you all. Thank you for choosing Smudge.

We understand some browsers are having difficulty with our online store. Please try to clear your cache first, however we have implemented various methods of payment should you wish to register online. If you would prefer, you can always register in-studio or give us a call. You can find our studio hours here.