Jessica Kroez, a former Teletoon web designer who turned full-time mom, and then full-time entrepreneur, has become the latest Chatham-Kent Economic Development and Small Business Centre superstar thanks to the launch of her new business Wild Child Imagination Studio. Kroez has invested months into developing a rock solid business plan and has successfully completed the Starter Company Plus program all in the effort to put Wild Child Imagination Studio on the right path for success.
Wild Child Imagination Studio is a children’s messy art studio where open-ended stations allow children to explore art and sensory materials at their own pace. All the activities are designed to inspire kids to take chances, get messy and have fun with the process of creating art without the pressure of an expected outcome.
“It’s a place where children and their families are free to paint, build, scribble, tinker, get messy and let their imaginations run wild,” said Jessica Kroez, owner of Wild Child Imagination Studio. “I fully believe that exploration, imagination and mess are the fundamentally important, valuable, and beautiful parts of childhood.”
Kroez decided to launch the business after exploring options for her own children to have creative art experience and not being able to find exactly what she wanted.
“I was able to find programming in other communities and in other countries, but nothing quite like this here, so I decided that it was time to bring it to Chatham-Kent,” said Kroez. “I made it part of my mission to have a space where children are leaders and the process is more important than the final product.”
Families are able to sign their babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age kids up for play sessions. Parents can also book events such as art-based birthday parties that can be customized to match a child’s favourite theme. Kroez has also taken the messy art experience to local schools and community organizations.
“Jessica has worked hard putting in the effort to been able to check all of the boxes when it comes to setting up her home-based business, so she was a clear candidate to receive the Starter Company Plus $3500 grant,” said Taylor Hughes, Economic Development Officer with Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “Her work is not done yet, but she has the passion and the drive to make her business a success. I understand her sessions are already to starting to fill up so I look forward to seeing the business grow and to being an ongoing resource.”
The Starter Company Plus program provides training, mentorship and the chance to apply for a business grant to qualified participants to support the launch of a new business or expansion of an existing business.
“The Starter Company program really helped me, and the whole team at the Small Business Centre has been a great support,” said Kroez. “I’m miles ahead compared to where I would have been if I had done this on my own.”
For more information about Wild Child Imagination Studio, to see a list of upcoming events, or to order tickets, you can visit their website at www.wildchildimagination.com or call 416-558-1275.
Taylor Hughes (left), Chatham-Kent Economic Development Officer, presenting Jessica Kroez, owner of Wild Child Imagination Studio, with a Starer Company Plus business grant of $3500.
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
315 King Street West
Chatham, ON N7M 5K8
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039