When Emile Stewart, a mom of two and former art teacher, began selling DIY calligraphy and art kits a few years ago, she couldn’t have predicted how successful they’d become. Soon the demand grew enough to warrant a brick-and-mortar storefront, and Wildflower Art Studio was born. Denton’s newest creative venture put down its roots a few months ago with a bright, airy studio space whose floor-to-ceiling windows let students draw inspiration from the sunny streets outside.
Today, Stewart and her sister Bailey work together to package the DIY kits in the studio, in addition to teaching workshops in calligraphy, watercolor, and hand-lettering to all ages. The two also offer weekly classes and art camps for elementary students, private events and parties, and homeschool-centered art enrichment. We caught up with Stewart to hear her studio’s story, why she loves its trendy Denton neighborhood, and what the future holds.
How did you get started with your studio?
I started out teaching workshops at my dining room table almost five years ago. As our workshops gained popularity, people were traveling from all over Dallas-Fort Worth, and all our workshops were selling out. I started receiving emails from people across the world asking me to come teach my calligraphy and watercolor workshops. At the time, I had a brand-new baby so that wasn’t a feasible option, although it sounded like a dream. That’s when I created our first DIY Kit. It was a calligraphy class in a box.
A year later, our Calligraphy Kit made it to the top of Amazon’s Best-Seller list. We’ve sold over 15,000 DIY Kits since. Until October of last year, we were packaging every kit in my house. Wildflower Art Studio took over my garage then eventually pretty much the whole house.
How did you choose the neighborhood in which your studio is located? Did you see a need to bring art to Denton?
Denton has the most incredible creative feel. Our new studio is located just off the square in Denton, so it’s a lot of fun being right in the heart of our community. It’s so exciting to have our DIY kit-making facility out of my house. And even more exciting to have our very own inspiring space for teaching workshops! It’s a dream come true.
We’re finding that people driving in for Saturday workshops tend to stay for the day. We’re just down the road from The DIME Store, which is the best shopping in town. Some days, half the class will just stay parked at the studio and walk over to the square for lunch at Barley and Board or coffee at West Oak. Students tend to leave the workshops feeling inspired, so it’s fun to spend some time in our creative little community.
What is your most popular workshop since opening?
Hand Lettering & Watercolor are our most popular classes. Our newest workshop is Beginning Drawing and it’s quickly becoming another favorite.
Are your children equally into crafting? Do they inspire the children’s classes you host?
My boys would probably rather be outside playing in the dirt (they’re ages two and four), but I think they will eventually embrace a love for art. I taught school at Northwest ISD for a few years. Children are such natural artists. I’ve always loved working with kids.
What is the best part of working with your sister Bailey?
Bailey and I shared a room growing up, so I feel like that somehow carries over into our jobs at the studio. We balance each other very well. She is super organized, which is very helpful when it comes to managing the studio and our other employees. We have different interests, but we both share a love for art.
What’s next up for you? Do you have any plans to release custom kits, seasonal kits, etc.?
It’s top secret. But yes, we do have something exciting coming in the future. We will be doing a sneak-peek on Instagram.