When you consider all that Lauren Parker Lasater has done in the last 10 or so years, you would think she would be exhausted and just looking for a place to rest. Instead, after stops in Japan, Philadelphia and Virginia, she has her most interesting business up and running in Kalamazoo. Colors & Cocktails teaches groups of 8-20 people how to paint on canvases or drinkable glassware in the comfort of their homes, locations of their choice, during public events at several of the areas’ most popular wineries and breweries, and now her newest adventure downtown on the Kalamazoo Mall.
Lauren was inspired to start her business after attending a painting event at a wine bar in Philadelphia. She launched Colors & Cocktails in February of 2014 in Virginia Beach, Virginia out of the desire of wanting a consistent career as a military spouse. In 2016, Lauren’s husband, Josh, received orders to Battle Creek. With the help of SCORE mentors Debi Howe and Cheri Bales, Lauren expanded her business from strictly a mobile art party company to a thriving studio space in the Park Trades Center.
If you know Lauren, you know she would not stop here. Lauren is very forward thinking. In less than 9 months at the Park Trades Center, she found an amazing opportunity to move her company to downtown Kalamazoo on the Mall. She said, “Yes”!
In two short months, with the help of contractors, family, and friends, she impressively renovated the company’s newest location at 240 S Kalamazoo Mall. Lauren’s beautiful art gallery, classroom, and boutique are flourishing downtown in the heart of Kalamazoo!
Lauren is a professional artist originally from Nashville, Tenn. She received her B.A. in Studio Art & Communications from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill. Her studies have taken her around the world. She met her loving and very supportive husband, Josh, while she was teaching English abroad in Japan.
How SCORE Helped:
With the help of SCORE mentors Debi Howe and Cheri Bales, Lauren expanded her business from strictly a mobile art party company to a thriving studio space in…
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?:
When asked what SCORE services she utilized in setting up her business, she answered “Every one that is available!” And when asked what suggestions she has for small business entrepreneurs, she quickly came up with five:
- Don’t be scared to ask questions
- It doesn’t happen overnight
- Just doing 1 task a day can propel your business forward
- Don’t wait for the perfect time, there isn’t one
- Always be open to the world of opportunities
Source – SCORE
Photo by Megan Johnson with Give Me a Shot Photography