Today we’d like to introduce you to Maryam Crogman.
Hi Maryam, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
After losing my job to the pandemic, L’Expression Creative Studios Inc. was born out of a desire to see more cultural representation in the Paint & Sip industry. Many a party were spent not seeing Black, Latino, Asian and other types of arts represented in the artistic challenges that these parties offered. As an educator, I also wanted to make sure that my Paint & Sip company was there to entertain but also to educate, make aware, and open people’s eyes to the beauty of cultural art diversity. So in my parties, we first learn and then we create.
The motto is “Create as you are” because I want people to come and show their colors, not paint like me, but paint like them under my guidance for techniques. In that way, people come out of my classes proud of their work and also having learned a little bit more about others and their own beauty.
Perhaps if we learn to see the beauty in others, there will be less racism, aggression, disrespect, and more promotion of peace and protection of life.
So we started online because of the pandemic, and we’re working to open a store and finally be face to face with folks (although we’ve started to organize covid-safe f2f parties for a few months now).
We have three branches, “corporate”, where we organize office parties but also work with associations, businesses and corporation to collaborate & create new types of parties (Poetry & paint, Yoga & Paint, Dinner & paint …/…); we also do private parties, people call for birthdays, baby showers, bridals, girls night…/…; and then educational where we work with the city, girl scouts and other entities to teach adults and kids.
In all these events, we stay true to ourselves and always bring teaching with the creativity.
LXP will be one year old in January, we are organizing a BDay party to celebrate. We have serious growth objectives for 2022 and will be working on events that support diversity and inclusion, women, women of color in our network and planning. We have big plans to include technology and philanthropy to our work.
Building this business would have been harder without the guidance of the Inland Empire Women Business Center coaches extraordinaire! These ladies have been so good to me, supported all the ways in which I needed them, helped with every aspect of the business for free. They change lives.
I also have been supported by my husband in a huge way as he put down the first investment and has been my personal advisor and number one fan all the way.
Support of your community makes a big difference!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Definitely not! The pandemic hurt the ability to find clients. Also, we have been a very small team which prevented us to be in different places at the same time. Not having a brick and mortar was also tough, we’ve lost a lot of clients because of that. Finances also present challenges, less clients mean less revenue which means less revenue to pay for marketing, and that is a vicious cycle which is hard to break off of.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a professor of psychology and researcher, I created an app and a couple of games, I’m an author of children stories, I paint, and I can add now business owner 🤗. On the daily, I try to juggle all these hats because I want to accomplish the best of me and live my best life while I can.
In the process, I try to support my students and entourage by motivating and supporting whatever way I can.
If my story can help anyone dream bigger, or act upon their dream, then it was worth living.
I’m very focused on supporting minority efforts to get into higher education, to do research, to become their best self, and build their dream businesses or careers. Wherever I can help someone push in that direction, I help.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
No, I think time has been my issue to take time doing this. My resources are the Inland Empire Women Business Center and these real-time ladies I can reach out to anytime for advice and support.
- $30 adults
- $16 kids
- $25 seniors
- $40/$50 parties
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.lxpstudios.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LXP_studios/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXPstudios/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF3sMCjVy6srxc28sRJSTvg
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/l-expression-creative-studios-riverside
- Other: https://www.groupon.com/deals/l-expression-creative-studios-inc-1