Ruth Ugarte, owner of Krafty Shack, stands in front of a mural which she and her students have painted. Photo by Sierra Juarez

Ruth Ugarte began her beloved Krafty Shack in March and she soon discovered her deep love and passion for helping children uncover their skills in art using their imaginations. Indeed, the business was originally called Crafty Kids Playroom. 

Ugarte opened Krafty Shack 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 Krafty Shack with the intention of promoting teamwork, encouraging creativity and giving back to the community. 

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

Krafty Shack is a family-owned, guided art studio. Over the summer, Krafty Shack hosted a summer camp for children ages 6 and up for three hours each day. Since then, many students have become loyal customers. 

Ugarte’s main goal is to make her classes affordable. Her husband urged her to allow children who 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 who take classes for a discounted rate or no charge at all have begun to work there 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 camps, 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, then 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 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 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 people’s imagination and creativity. 

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

Other art classes offered by Kraafty Shack 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 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. 

Krafty Shack has many summer campers who have created amazing paintings. Corinna Stephan, age 6, was encouraged by her mother and Ugarte to try a difficult painting. Stephan was guided by Ugarte and was taught new art skills, which resulted in a beautiful painting that both are 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 Krafty Shack location and hopes to expand this in the future.

Krafty Shack is located at 2614 Chestnut Ridge Drive, Kingwood. For information, call 281-359-7775 or visit www.kraftyshack.com.

 

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