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Meet Amanda Dalton of Local Artworks in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Dalton.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been a nurse case manager for 12 years and I had never picked up a paint brush my entire life.

I’m a single mom with 3 kids and I was working so many hours that when I did have free time I was always trying to come up with fun new activities for the kids and I to do together. One Saturday afternoon I brought home some canvas’ and some paints and we starting creating some masterpieces. It was the most relaxing, exciting, therapeutic, and joyful experience. Not only was it enjoyable to paint, and I discovered I was actually pretty good at it, but it was most enjoyable doing it with others. I started painting more and more and it became a passion I couldn’t do without. I went to a big franchise Paint n Sip a few years ago and immediately I knew it was something I could do and I wanted to do, and I knew I could improve the process and make the experience very special and possibly even help my community, too. Last October I opened the doors to my little converted studio and I taught 30 people how to paint… 30 people who had never painted before, and it was one of the most special nights of my life. Since that night my tiny little community conscious, environmentally green, mom n pop, has snowballed and now I’m doing kids camps, fundraisers, art lessons, private parties, corporate events, etc.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been bumpier than I’ve ever expected. I have never run a business before and I’m learning as I go.

I had to learn how to make a website and managing my social media is not that easy for me at all but I’m learning. I haven’t spent a dime on marketing and advertising and I’ve literally grown solely by word of mouth. I’m learning how to keep track of money and what to charge people and keeping track of all the donations and fundraising. I am definitely not a business woman. I can teach anyone to paint and I could do it all day but the first mention of QuickBooks and I break out in a cold sweat.

It’s very time consuming and the lack of sleep can definitely be a challenge but I forget all of that the second I see someone’s eyes light up with pride when they see what they were capable of painting. It’s worth everything.

Local Artworks – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Local Artworks is a Paint and Sip art studio. We sip wine/beer and we paint together and I give step by step instructions on how to complete the chosen painting of the night.

We hold paint nights in my little studio in Long Beach, travel to homes for private paint parties, corporate events, fundraising, and private lessons. I’m most proud of Local Artworks community work, especially with the kids. I really wanted a company that was involved and could give back somehow. A lot of times people want to help but they don’t know how or they don’t have the means. So they come to Local Artworks. If there is a cause they believe in or an organization they want to donate to, we hold an event to benefit that group and we let the community know. We have had several Frida Fridays where we paint Frida’s and a portion of the proceeds goes to help Refugee Children (feedthechildren.org) we had a Pride night and gave 20% to the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, we donated 100% proceeds to a non-profit preschool in Long Beach (Bayshore Co-op) I’m working with a cat rescue right now and our most recent kids camp painted a bunch of pictures for the residents at our local skilled nursing facility and they picked up trash in the neighborhood on the way to deliver their colorful pictures to our friends.

Those are easily my best days. One huge thing that sets Local Artworks apart from the other big business Paint and Sip studios is we are completely green. Most places use red solo cups and paper plates and a ton of paper towels and the waste is really excessive. I use cloth diapers to wipe off your wet brushes, plastic Mardi Gras cups for your brush water, and plastic palettes instead of paper plates. Everything is reusable. It may take a bit more time but it’s absolutely worth it!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It was probably the kids camp this summer. I never thought I would even work with kids. I figured I like to paint and I like to drink, this is the perfect business for me!! And then I held my first kids paint session and they did so great and they were fearless! So, I created a kids camp this summer but I didn’t want them to just paint, I wanted them to learn and also do something nice for someone else. The plan was to paint some emoji faces so the kids could express themselves and paint a few extra paintings to bring to the nursing center up the street and I just figured along the way we may as well pick up some trash and on the way back the kids could see in real time what a difference they made. In my mind, these kids will never litter. A few people told me it would never work.

I heard “you really think people will pay to have their kids pick up trash?!” They did, and picking up trash was their favorite party!! The kids delivered their paintings to people who just want visitors and something to warm their hearts. It was a proud moment for me but I was mostly proud of the kids, and their parents who allowed them to participate in something a little unconventional.

Pricing:

  • $40 per adult painter
  • $25 per child painter

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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