Tag: business owner

Keeping it real, a message from Holly

Hello amazing families far and wide,

It’s Ms. Holly. I woke up this morning and had a realization that it was time for me to open up with you about how things are going over here at Grow and Sing Studios. Here’s what’s on my mind, I’m going to keep it real. Here we go.

Over the last bunch of months I have had to make tough decisions. There were times when I thought maybe, perhaps, we could go back to in person in a safe way. Time and time again the answer to not return in person quite yet was very clear. The most recent was the harsh reality of one of our educators turning up positive for Covid. First of all, she is okay. I just wanted to be sure I told you that! BUT, the reality is that if I had made a different choice, I could have been responsible for passing the disease along to a Kindermusik family. They could have brought it home to a loved one who then may not have been okay. The answer was clear to me that we must wait.

There are also some really specific business things that are contributing to this choice as well that I know most people don’t quite think about. Each time we hold a class out in the community, we have to pay our teacher (who deserves to be paid well), and we have to pay rent. There are many other expenses too, but those are the big ones. In order to even “break even” we have to have a larger number of families per class than we are comfortable with in these conditions. In Kindermusik it isn’t just the kids, it’s the parents with the kids. So even in a small, barely break even class with 5 kids, we have at least 10 people plus the teacher in the room. Then there’s the conversation of how to keep everyone separate and protected. There are babies who are just starting to walk, toddlers who don’t know how to slow down, and young children who are putting things in their mouths (which is developmentally GREAT). It’s all so much and all opposite of how to keep Covid from spreading. We have considered doing some outdoor classes, but currently we are in the deep heat of Florida Summer, mixed with random rain and thunderstorms at every turn. How do we plan and schedule anything right now for outside without a strong possibility of needing to scramble to cancel? We can’t.

Okay, so the biggest thing that is on my mind outside of the fact that we miss seeing you in person, is my staff. What can I say about them? They are amazing! My hubby Will, Angelyn, Kristen, Marisol, Lisa, Jasmin, Aidan Amato and even our daughter Anna who does some of our social media. We care about them so much. This may sound really dramatic, but each day I wake up just praying I can keep them all in work with our online classes so we can easily bounce back from this when we can get back to “normal”. So far, Will and I have found a way to keep them all going and remain a strong unit. It has come at a cost because our enrollments have been lower than normal which means lower pay. Even with that reality, they have stayed loyal, strong, committed, and dedicated to keeping our little Grow and Sing ship afloat. Huge thank you to all of them. I honestly couldn’t be more blessed to have such an amazing group of people to work with.

So where are we now? Today is the day before we begin our school year program. It’s a day when I would already normally be nervous, but today I’m REALLY nervous hoping that many of you will consider taking a leap of faith with us and sign up for one of our online programs. I can say that our online experience isn’t less quality, it’s just different than what many families are used to. Is it exactly what you want? Perhaps yes, perhaps no, but it’s still Grow and Sing! You may not realize it, but each registration means the WORLD right now. Each time one comes in, I let out an exhale because it means that maybe my small business won’t become a statistic in the many businesses that have already had to shut down.

Baby Shrugging

I’ve noticed in our communications with families that there are about four different responses we’ve been getting.

  1. There’s the family that has been having the time of their lives in our Virtual Classes. They’ve been asking if we would continue virtual even after the pandemic ends and we return to the classroom.
  2. There’s the family that believes in what we are doing, and knows even though virtual may not be the optimal option for their child, they are committed to our program and their child’s learning. They know that keeping connected with us online for now is still an amazing way to learn. They look forward to our return in person, but are thrilled to connect with our educators virtually right now. This is the family that believes in what we do and wants to keep the amazingness going!
  3. There’s the family that is on the fence. They want to sign up but don’t know if their child will really be into it, or really learn much.
  4. The family that just wants to wait until things are back to normal. This could be for many reasons including financial. If you fall into this category, there isn’t any judgement from me. I completely understand.

fall 2020 optionsSo, I just want to make sure you know a few things. The first is that our enrollment is never a contract. If you sign up for one month and realize it’s just not working for you, you’ve paid either $68 (for Virtual+) or $80 (for Bilingual Birdies+), received home resources, downloadable music and tried. On the other side, you may sign up and realize it’s what will become the best thing for routine and ritual in your home. Our programming is unlimited. I like to think of it like when you go on a cruise, you get your schedule under your door each day, and can attend whatever you want. We’ve never done that before and people LOVE it! Our programming also includes all children in the family. So again, using that cruise analogy, it means if you have a baby, toddler and preschooler, everyone can go to their own activity! So while yes, it’s very different, there are some definite perks to being online. Paying $68 to give our program a try doesn’t seem like a big risk, but on our side, it’s a HUGE message to us because you are helping keep this Grow and Sing ship sailing.

If you haven’t been keeping up with what we’ve got going on, be sure to view our menu above. As you can see we have two tracks for families which include all the children in your home. We have online private lessons. We also now have some classes for the adults (Yoga and Tap Dance) because self care is crucial. Finally, we have online Birthday Parties!

Being a small local business owner has never been easy but now it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I am not giving up, in fact, I’m more committed than ever to connect families through music. It’s just in a different way for a while. Consider us. Thank you.

xo HollyWishing you health, safety, and beautiful musical moments together,

Holly Lesnick, Director/Owner

Kindermusik Virtual+ online program | Online Bilingual Birdies | Online Birthday Parties | Online Voice Lessons | Online Piano Lessons | Online adult beginner tap classes | Online All Levels Yoga Flow

P.S. Please share this blog post with your friends far and wide.
ONE MORE THING: if you don’t have children, but want to help, you can enroll in a class, and we can gift it to a family in need. Just contact us and we’ll get that set up. xo


Throwback Thursday: Evolution of a “work” room

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! Today’s close-up reflection is sort of a “throw back in order to move forward” sort of post. As a mom of an almost 18 year old and 14 year old, business owner and wife, it’s incredible to look back and not only realize how far you’ve come, but how things evolve over time. In the case of today’s post, an evolution of a room. One single room.

We run our main operations of our business from home. In our home we have a 4th bedroom that for most would have been simply the “guest” bedroom. For us, as business owners and parents, it’s been something else. Though it did have a beat up sleeper sofa and extra mattress to go on top when a guest came, in 2003 this room was filled with countless VHS tapes and machines, labels, printers and college students working for our then video production company. The shelves were covered wall to wall in VHS masters that our clients would order copies of. To some of you, this probably doesn’t even make sense! Then, slowly but surely, the VHS items turned into CD’s and multiple computers in which to make copies with.

As time moved on, the word digital was introduced. Digital. It’s something you know is there, but you can’t see. And so, those shelves started to empty of VHS and CD’s, and began to fill with children’s books. These books were the Kindermusik library we were creating as we started growing Grow and Sing Studios, our second company. These books were also of course for our children who basked in the large amounts of choices for story time each night. As the video production items started slowly moving out, more Kindermusik items started moving in. At about this time, the recession came. Our little video production company couldn’t keep up with the demands of quickly growing video technology so we went all in on Grow and Sing Studios and added our Funbox Photo booth Service. This meant, filling spare shelves with photo booth props and a new kind of production equipment. As our children grew and making “play videos’ became a popular hobby, this room became an explosion of toys and You Tuber equipment including tripods, ring lights and backdrops.

aviary-image-1570491437533For 15 years, we couldn’t really ever welcome our family or friends to stay comfortably in our home as a guest. Keyword is comfortably. We finally did something about it. We dove into a ton of old memories and even some failed work projects, donated many items, and threw away many as well. As we enter into a new phase of the evolution of this room we have found a healthy balance between work and being present in our home life. Our little touches of “past work” are still there, still showing the evolution of the last 15 years, it’s failures and successes. Our shelves are filled with Kindermusik goodness, but now this room is ready to welcome in guests with whom we can be present, enjoy the little things and remember what it’s all about in the end which is a little bit of hard work, tons of passion, and a whole lot of quality time together.

Thanks for reading and happy evolving!

xo HollyHolly Lesnick is a Licensed Kindermusik Educator and Studio owner at Grow and Sing Studios, a Bachelor of Music Therapy, mom of 2 and has been married to her husband Will for 21 years.  Holly is the Kindermusik International Brand Ambassador for the U.S., and always happy to collaborate with brands and businesses she believes in.

Why New Year’s IS a big deal.

A new year.  Hmm.

I mean, it’s really just the next day, right? A continuation of the life we have created for ourselves. So why does New Year’s Eve feel so momentous? Then again, we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, so why wouldn’t we make a huge deal about New Years?

Here’s the thing. On birthdays, we celebrate the life of a person, and their growth so far. Anniversaries are celebrated to acknowledge a relationship and how far it’s come. New Year’s… well, it always feels like everyone is saying goodbye to the past. I read a lot of messages about how the next year will be better, or “goodbye 2018”. But really, isn’t  New Year’s just an anniversary celebration of our time as humans on earth? A simple measure of time just like birthdays and anniversaries? And if that is what it is, then shouldn’t we be celebrating all that we’ve accomplished so far?

Of course looking ahead to see what might come next, making plans, setting goals, well, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s always good to do that. But may I suggest that instead of looking back and thinking about what you didn’t accomplish, or what didn’t happen, you look at how much progress you have made.  As a parent. As a friend. As a teacher. As a human.

Dare I say that life NEVER moves as fast as we want. Not when renovations are getting done, not when you are waiting for a call back from something important. Everything moves slower than we want it to. Why would our lives in general be any different?

Take a look at what great things happened this year. The little things that might not have seemed so significant at the time, but as you look back realize they were.

Here at Grow and Sing Studios, we educate parents and young children. We celebrate each new milestone as if it were the biggest thing ever to happen. Am I right? Why does that stop as we get older? Our time here on earth is a journey. It’s a journey from the time we are born. Each year, full of learning, growth, mistakes, mishaps, misunderstandings and good times. Each year, things get perhaps, a bit more complicated because we have more life information gathered inside our brains.

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I took this photograph this year in Ireland. It was a trip I wanted to take my entire life. Traveling abroad was my dream. Just like life tends to be, it took a long time to happen for me. But it DID happen. As I searched each stone on this beach on the Ring of Kerry in County Kerry, Ireland, taking notice of color, texture, shape and size I realized I was honoring each small step that finally got me to this destination. I carefully piled the stones up while breathing in the cool crisp air, noticing the blue sky and smiling at my wonderful husband patiently waiting for me so we could move on to our next stop on the ring of Kerry. I took time here, with these stones, to honor and celebrate each and every challenge and triumph that got me there.

I will do that again, here on this New Year’s Eve.

I hope this message finds you invigorated and reflective. You are awesome!
Happy New Year friends.

All the very best,
xo Holly

 

Holly Lesnick is a Licensed Kindermusik Educator and Studio owner at Grow and Sing Studios, a Bachelor of Music Therapy, mom of 2 and this past September celebrated 20 years of marriage with her husband Will.  Kindermusik International Brand Ambassador, and always happy to collaborate with brands she believes in.

www.funboxphotos.com
www.growandsing.com

SCHOOL YEAR 2020-21 CALENDAR


Our School Year includes 30 weeks of classes with some scheduled weeks off which are noted below.
Kindermusik Virtual+ School Year begins – Aug. 31 – Sept. 4
Bilingual Birdies Online begins – New Unit begins Sept. 7 (Aug. 31 class is included in enrollment)
OFF – Thanksgiving week – Nov. 23 – 27
OFF – Holiday/Winter break 
– Dec. 21 – Jan. 15

SCHOOL YEAR 2020-21 CALENDAR


Kindermusik Virtual+ School Year ends – May 3 – 7
Bilingual Birdies Online end – May 3

All classes held online via zoom in a secure classroom. Due to licensing agreements and child protection laws, we do not record classes. All classes are live and interactive. We hope to resume in person classes as soon as it is safe to do so.

Central FL:  407-970-2774

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