Here I go, running before I can walk. Nothing new there! If you asked my mother, she’d tell you that I’ve been doing just that since day 1. So, I’m going to spill my guts because I don’t know any other way…
My name is Stephanie, and I am an entrepreneurial spirit with a penchant for making things. Sometimes they’re cool things, sometimes they’re dumb things that are easier bought but I’m stubborn and broke. I’m raising three little humans in the weirding ways of self sufficiency in a modern world where we live the old ways whenever possible with respect for those who left us their knowledge, but we’re always open to progress and change for the better.
One of the most amazing things to witness is the igniting of a fire inside your child, and mine have all started to burn for the same goals in building a niche in the world where they will always be welcome.
As for a career, I have worked in the public and in private at home. I have been a homemaker and the breadwinner simultaneously, and often holding more than one insignificant income. I have dabbled in a lot of things on the internet, and played with the idea of starting a blog-like sharing and then maybe rolling it into some stream of revenue. That’s been a dream for a very long time, but I kept telling myself,”No one is going to read your words.” And I’d sink further into whatever pit I was inhabiting that week. Every day continuing to look through a hopeless list of job listings that couldn’t fit into our lifestyle and make it work without a huge sacrifice on mine or my children’s part or that I just couldn’t qualify for. Kids shouldn’t have to give up their parents to keep a roof over their head. And that belief led us about as close to a vow of poverty as one can get without the actual vow. Of course, that was after I went tens of thousands of dollars into debt trying to get the necessary formal education to increase my earning power. I burned out in less than two years at my second attempt at a college education. I felt hopeless and desperate. No rest. No happiness. No child support or babysitting. I was at my wit’s end.
That brings us to THE TIME OF INNER HEALING… It took a while, and I don’t really talk about it. That’s okay, too. I’ll listen to anyone who needs an ear. Someday I’ll talk about it a little more openly, but I’m still processing all the things I had to learn to survive it. If you’re facing anything like it, I’m rooting for you!
Remember you ARE enough, and you ARE loved. Keep fighting!
Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve grown a bit of self esteem and pride in myself and my work again. Who knew that could be SO HARD?! I’ve been writing bits and blurbs since as far back as I can remember. Journal-ing has been an almost constant comfort tool, except when I’d fall into those pits I mentioned earlier… Those times where even my written words were betraying me. Ugly, scrawling, black and white things dripping poison onto my smidge of a tiny rainbow of creativity. The most I could muster was just NOT to write.
I’ve concentrated heavily on my mental health and the stability of the close relationships in my life. Life is not always easy, but it is precious, and I had to reconnect with mine. I’ve come to know that as my strength. My strength of will in saying no. I didn’t know I could for almost 30 years! And now that’s I’ve learned how to and feel comfortable with saying no, I’m ready to say yes! To every way available to me to help those who need someone like I did. Which brings me a little closer to my point and little ways back from my tangent. (Get used to those, y’all!)
My new home away from home began as an online collection to hold onto my works as they got lost to age. I’m nothing amazing, but I do LOVE to express myself through the visual arts, and I almost didn’t. I had one of those relationships with art that led me down the “I can’t draw” path for a few years despite my love of it.
Then I came upon an amazing instructor in my twenties. Bernice Davidson. If you don’t know her stuff, look her up! She’s surely a sylph in human guise because her work elicits a beautiful response in my thrill zone. She taught me to look at myself and my work differently than I had before. She pushed me without hurting me through “constructive criticism”. And thanks to her grace touching my life, I’ve looked and worked harder to find my inner voice.
Through my bout of self discovery, I found that I wanted to help others like me, but how? That question and others that were related burned within me a long time, until one day a month or so ago an opportunity came knocking.
A friend/employer would have an open space come March 1st and he’d lose money without someone to fill it. It seemed like an epiphany walking! Why?, you might ask… Well, because without any idea what I wanted to do, there was a chance. And at this stage of my life, I feel like I should be making up all the chances I lost through fear, envy, or depression. I had $3 more than I needed to rent the space in my checking account, and that’s how our adventure began.
So, here we are. Online store in the works. A just opened Studio space open Wednesday through Saturday to the public and available privately by appointment. Stock on the walls. And my rushing to catch up on it all between two other professions (there’s those multiple streams of negligible income; trust me. they add up to just barely enough and sometimes not even but they’re both things I can enjoy and take my kids along with). Ideas and ideas and ideas are more than willing to come flowing out of me, but the hard part is putting it to work for us. I am one person. I am building a shoestring budget business that will hopefully provide at least a meager income and an awesome amount of opportunity for people like my own children and you and yours.
And that’s what we’re here to do. I want to bolster our community through self expression and acceptance. Artistic endeavors help cognitive function for children and adults, so no matter how simple or complex your art takes you, we’d like to support your journey through whatever means we can! (supplies, applause, research materials, and even a helpful pointer here or there if you ask, etc.) We’re not art pros, but we are art lovers and we’d like to share our joy in it with you!
So, a quick recap of what Ittutra has to offer:
- Studio space. Rent the privacy you need to get that painting or sculpture finished… Or teach a yoga class! Have a lecture! Host a tupperware party! Whatever! (no alcohol or cigarettes allowed inside premises) Available by 2hr increments. Rates vary depending on needs, i.e. power, supplies, assistance.
- Led model project opportunities Saturday afternoon 12-5pm each week. Just stop in, pay a flat rate and jump into the project of the day. Recommended for ages 8+. $10.00/person insures unlimited paint pallet refills, use of necessary house supplies (i.e. wood glue, paint brushes, tools), and a finished product to take home at the end of the night. (Next week’s is a wooden pirate ship!)
- Coming soon! Open Group paint practice (age 18+) with project facilitator. $15/seat and you go home with your finished 10×14 Canvas Panel and the new pack of brushes your fee paid for to help you get painting more at home! Paint for project provided in shop. Theme announced each week. Paint brushes included subject to needs & availability.
- Paint Party packages (adult, themed, children’s birthdays… or anything in between!) Call or email us to plan and get a special rate booked today!
- Pop Up Shop by the day. Do you have an at home business that could benefit from a day in the public each month? Or maybe you’d like to put together a convention day for your favorite hobby… Whatever your business idea, let’s get it out there!
- Art Supplies. If you can think of it, we either have it or can get it. We’re willing to order it for you through wholesalers that the public usually wouldn’t have access to, so let us know what your specific needs are!
- Art tools. [for all disciplines] If we have it, you can usually borrow it to use during your time with us. Tools do not leave the premises without a deposit.
- Game Networking Night. Every other Thursday (beginning April 11th) we invite every Nerd & Geek we know (and those we don’t) to get together with your brethren and make new connections. No one should be stuck perpetually #lookingforgroup. Age 16+ unless you bring your own adult!
- A Library of still life props for use free of charge in house. In fact, there’s usually a large one pre-set up in the middle of the shop that can be altered upon request.
- Furniture Upholstery through our Automotive Upholstery affiliation. Specs of piece necessary for estimate.
- Fabric Ordering from one of our many current sample books through our fave fabric supplier. 2 yard minimum. Ask about pricing, specific to each line.
- A community hang out space. We have dozens of old (and some not so old) board games that are free to use during your time at Ittutra. The tea kettle is just a button push away from boiling at any time and the coffee is always on!
- Public Bulletin Board; the perfect place to post your business cards or a fundraiser you support! And learn about events in our neighborhood!
- And we’re always looking for ways to put back into our community, so if we can help, let us know!
We’ll add or alter things as needed, so reach out! We’d love to hear from you, and keep you posted on what’s coming! We’ll try to do that here, and on social media, but that doesn’t have to keep you from visiting. I’ll make the coffee! You bring the conversation! And thanks again for tuning in!
712 N. Locust Ave.
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
@ittutra on FB & Insta
931 242 9495