We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Pitts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
As a parent the most important thing I have done to impact my children is to be present for them. As a business owner it is easy to get swept up in the daily to-do list and the 24/7 commitment that comes with the decision to have something of your own. The flip side is that I am the owner and I can make the decisions about my time. I am committed to being present for my children and family during our time together. Putting the phone and laptop down and focusing on the moments I won’t get back with them as they grow older is how I can show them how important they are and discover teachable moments to help guide them into being loving, present and empathetic humans. This is not an easy commitment as any business owner knows but just like anything else, if it is a priority you find ways to make it happen. I’m not perfect at it yet and there are definitely times where the phone can not be avoided in the middle of the construction of a massive fort but I try my best and truly believe this is the most impactful thing I can give to my children.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
artNEST was created 4 years ago in a tiny space in Delray Beach. The original idea behind it was for my father, Cosimo and me to have a space to work on our own artwork and teach a few classes. The support from the community was incredible and we decided to make a new home in a bigger space in Delray to offer even more creative experiences. After a year there, we then opened another location in West Boca to serve that community as well. I have always been an artist and creative and was an art teacher for several years before moving onto the Operations and Business side of Education. Once I had my second child I wanted to create a place where my children could be surrounded by the arts and I could have a more flexible schedule to be with them. My father is a retired filmmaker and photographer and I wanted to spend more time with him to continue to learn from him on a daily basis. I also knew that having him at artNEST would give him more opportunity to use his incredibly creative and talented mind. My father and I are very similar so we work very well together and literally laugh every single day! What sets us apart is our outside of the box offerings for kids. We have done everything from traditional art classes to splash room madness, to interior dollhouse design, to drum circles, to fashion classes and so many more…we dream it up and aren’t afraid to do it. We also approach everything with the philosophy of ensuring the kids are the MOST creative versions of themselves, so we guide and allow them to explore how they would like with their own thoughts and ideas instead of us telling them exactly how to do things. It’s always a fluid situation as it should be. Starting the business felt easy because I literally followed my heart every step of the way…that way, all of the “hard” stuff felt and feels like a stepping stone to the most fun and exciting thing I’ve ever done. We definitely had our challenges and still continue to but this is where we come in with our creative super powers to pivot and create new things to keep the business going and the community happy. We hope our love and happiness in what we do translates to the kids and community. We always want anyone that walks in to feel stress-free, safe and creative.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting and things were normal I would take her to Miami. Our favorite restaurant is KYU and then we’d admire all of the murals on the buildings as we head over to Wynwood Walls and then see what else we could get into. I also love the beach so the next day we’d head over to Delray Beach to relax and do some surfing and of course grab some burgers at burgerfi with the kids.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a shoutout to my parents. Their story is woven in the fibers of my being. Watching them when I was a kid, running a business and being able to give my brother and I their presence of love, support and security, I now understand was no easy task. I am proud to be following in their footsteps as an entrepreneur and present mother. I give them all the credit for showing me the true priorities of life.
Facebook: artNEST delray and artNEST boca