Ruth Ugarte, owner of Crafty Kids, standing in front of a mural which she and her students have painted. Photo by Sierra Juarez

 

Ruth Ugarte began her beloved Crafty Kids Playroom in March of 2016, and she soon discovered her deep love and passion for helping children uncover their skills in art using their imagination. 

Ugarte opened Crafty Kids after an extended stay in the hospital due to a severe illness. As she began to recover from her illness, she was amazed at the endless support of the community and her husband. With the help of her husband, she opened Crafty Kids with the intention to promote teamwork, encourage creativity and to give back to the community. 

“I never imagined that I would find something so rewarding in my life,” said Ugarte. 

Crafty Kid’s is a family-owned guided art studio. Over the summer, Crafty Kids has hosted a summer camp for children ages six and up for three hours each day.  Many students began to become reoccurring customers. 

Ugarte’s main goal was to make her classes affordable for her customers. Her husband urged her to allow children that may not be able to afford the classes the opportunity to attend saying that he would pick up the additional charges. Many of the children that take classes for a discounted rate or no charge at all have begun to work their in their free time. 

“I wanted to create a place where people could come to have fun with their family but would not have to break the bank,” said Ugarte. 

During the summer camp, the children are able to choose what they would like to paint on canvas. From foxes to Pokemon, Ugarte has seen it all. From there, they begin to make a rough-draft of the painting on paper. Ugarte and her daughter, who is a painter, the advise the children on any changes that may need to be made. The children are then given the “green light” to begin painting. The students are listen to music and sing while painting and eventually play games and participate in fun activities while the paint dries.

“We have a party every day!” said Ugarte.

Ugarte believes that her passion for teaching art to children began with her father, who was an artist in Peru. Her family continues his legacy by teaching art skills and working to expand peoples’ imagination and creativity. 

“Crafty Kids is giving me life, which I think is the most important thing,” said Ugarte. 

Other art classes offered by Crafty Kids include personalized guided birthday parties, family classes, and adult 21 and up parties where participants can bring alcoholic beverages. Ugarte hopes that in the future she will be able to create an after school art program along with a “Mommy and Me” class for younger children. 

Ugarte and her husband are very committed to serving the community and hope to start a fundraiser for St. Jude. During the time that Ugarte was sick, she was endlessly touched and comforted by small gifts from the community such as blankets from local churches. Ugarte and her husband decided to focus on repaying the favor to children with cancer at St. Jude. Her husband has donated several small canvases, which she hopes her art students and the community will help to paint. Ugarte envisions the community helping with the donation of more canvases in order to gather as much of the community as possible to paint the canvases as Christmas presents for the patients. 

Crafty Kids has many summer camper that have created amazing paintings. Six-year-old Corinna Stephan was encouraged by her mother and Ugarte to try a difficult painting. Stephan was guided by Ugarte and taught new art-skills, which resulted in a beautiful painting that both were incredibly proud of. 

“To me, it is so very important to help them make decisions and use their creativity,” said Ugarte. 

Ugarte also runs an embroidery business from her Crafty Kids location and hopes to expand this in the future. 

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