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Meet Holly Sanders of Birthday Creative Arts Studio in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Sanders.

Holly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to LA to manufacture jeans I designed when I was living in Texas. I was looking for retail space when I realized I wanted to erect an art studio, something that the community could use to be inspired, but something I could also use to manufacture my denim line. Birthday Creative Arts Studio was erected in South LA, and then I saw that Airbnb was looking for locals in major cities to host travelers on experiences. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get my art studio classes started right away. I took my online sewing class, which shows people how to make a mermaid skirt, and made it into an experience that allows people to make a beautiful garment, while meeting new people over a pin-up themed tea party. Most sewing classes teach you to make coin purses, or oven mitts, so this class is unique in that people do real design work and leave with something they can actually wear! I combined my teaching experiences from YouTube over the last 6 years, my experience as a bridal consultant with David’s Bridal and my hospitality experience as a Hooters girl to create a tasty, yet inspiring fashion experience.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been so rough! I’ve had 11 customers, and the class has changed for every new group! I’m consistently making changes to improve on time and quality of instruction.

Most people don’t know how much time it takes to make a custom garment from scratch, so trying to make 4 custom garments in 6 hours is difficult. The class was originally 8 hours long, but I’ve made changes to keep it at 6. Despite the time fixings, everyone has enjoyed themselves, and they have loved their skirts, they just don’t realize how much work is required. I think everyone leaves here with much more respect for fashion! On the other hand, my journey to this art studio starts back in 2013. My original idea for a fashion business was very different, and has organically grown into this amazing business that has me waking up very happy everyday, but it has not been without its growing pains. I moved from Texas, stayed in a hostel for a year and lost my boyfriend in pursuit of my dream to be a denim designer.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Birthday Creative Arts Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
Birthday Creative Arts Studio runs with the mission to help people discover their innate power through creativity. I named it Birthday because creativity is life, and everyone was born creative, and by being creative, we celebrate our lives and give birth to something new. I want people to celebrate their beautiful life at my studio, so it’s very lively and fun! Lots of food, music, smiling, pictures and dancing. My Sip & Sew is a unique class that walks people through creating a beautiful gathered skirt over a tea party. We begin by curating fabric for our skirts and eating tea party snacks. We first take measurements and make our patterns, then students leave the studio to have lunch on Hollywood Blvd. They return to sew their skirts and have a photoshoot in their creation! Drinks, snacks and fabric is all included. I am most proud of the fact that I’ve had customers that already knew how to sew, but still learned something new, I am proud of the fact that I have made every customer, of every size feel beautiful, and I am proud of the gift that God has trusted me with. I take my customers lives seriously, and I want them all to really find their power.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Good luck: Airbnb rolling out the experiences platform around the time I erected my studio. Bad luck: The manager at my office building was harassing me, and I’ve had to move my studio into my Hollywood home, but now I save money, so it all worked out.

Everything that has happened in my life has led me here to this art studio, and I know this is what I’m supposed to do with my life. I have lost money, time, even a relationship behind this business, but all good and bad luck still leads me to my destination. God is for this, nothing can tear it down. We have to be routed to our destination, sometimes it’s in the form of a green light, sometimes it’s a detour, it all works out. When you know you are doing the right thing, you also know that everything that is happening is working for that purpose.

Don’t be attached to your experiences, just experience it, learn from it and move onto to the next experience. Experiences are temporary, I’ve learned that being attached to any one, good or bad, prevents me from getting better.


  • $95 – Sip & Sew Class

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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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