An Eden Prairie-based art studio has its eyes on expansion.

Eden Prairie resident Lara Olson founded Kidcreate Studio 12 years ago. What began as a few locations in Minnesota has expanded to 14 franchises across the country, from Colorado to North Carolina. Olson knew expansion was in the future when she started the part art class, part retail business, but she’s kept growth slow and steady since 2017, when she first started offering franchises.

“We’re not going so fast that we lose our minds,” she told Eden Prairie News.

There are two locations in the southwest metro: Eden Prairie and Savage. In addition to the 14 operating locations, there are 20 more locations where Olson is in conversation with a local entrepreneur to open a franchise. In a decade, she envisions 50 to 100 franchise locations across the country, she said.

Olson started Kidcreate Studio when her son began having trouble in elementary school. She noticed while many of his classes frustrated him, he always enjoyed art classes, which he had only a few times a week.

“I was on a mission to find art classes for him and I couldn’t find what I wanted,” Olson said, so she created it.

Kidcreate Studio offers art classes, summer camps and some retail items. Summer is a busy season, with art camps every week. One of Olson’s favorite parts of camp is the designated “messy time,” when campers can dive into their own creative, and often messy, projects. It releases some of the energy that might otherwise be let out at home, she said, which can be a relief for parents.

“The kids get to do it but it’s not messing up the kitchen table,” Olson said.

Eden Teller is the multimedia reporter for Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about fostering productive conversations and empowering communities. When she's not reporting, she can be found reading a book, on a hike or tackling home improvement projects.


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