Artistic Studio 30 opened in May of 2012 and has been growing in popularity ever since.
Kat Thomas wears many hats. Along with her husband, she is the owner and operator of Artistic Studio 30. Like a lot of small business owners, Thomas is responsible for most branches of the business, like marketing and maintaining the space. She is also a painter. Somehow, Thomas finds time to do all of this efficiently.
Thomas used to work in retail, but her passion for art brought her back into the creative arena.
“I had a lull between raising my kids and having them start a life of their own,” she said. “But then I started back up again.”
Before opening Artistic Studio 30, Thomas put some serious thought into ways she could implement her experiences as an artist into the business.
For instance, she keeps the commission low, whereas other venues charge a pretty penny.
Festivals usually charge a couple hundred dollars for a booth space, Thomas said. That's always an option for artists, but Thomas says that the bright idea loses its luster when consumers aren’t buying enough for the shows to be worth taking part in.
That’s where Artistic Studio 30 comes in.
“This is another avenue for artists that’s not going to break them,” said Thomas.
People often use the term “starving artist” to describe the creative population trying to make ends meet with their various expressions. Thomas prefers to call them “surviving artists.”
“I’ve always had the passion to try to help other artists,” she said.
Artistic Studio 30 also offers classes for both children and adults, from fantasy photo shoots to acrylic lessons from the pros. Artists of all skill levels are encouraged to attend a class.
Thomas was aware of the seasonal shoppers in Tarpon Springs, but loved the small town feel so much that nothing could change her mind about the studio's location.
Some business owners in the area consider Tarpon Springs to be a mecca for tourists and rely on the snowbird season for most of their profit. Thomas is no different. She says that the unbearable summer heat mixed with unpredictable rain keeps people away from not only Tarpon, but Florida in general.
Since the season is just around the corner, Thomas is preparing to get busier and couldn’t be happier about it.
Thomas is dedicated Artistic Studio 30's current location near Tarpon Avenue and says expanding is not on her mind. She says nurturing the existing store is the most important thing on her agenda.
If You Go
Artistic Studio 30
9 S. Safford Ave.