We had the good fortune of connecting with Stine Hildre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I grew up in a small, sleepy town in the country side of Norway. Risky opportunities rarely presented themselves, and if they did, my small-town, modest mindset would turn the other way. It wasn’t until I moved to Denver with my now-husband and business partner, Jackson, that I started taking bigger risks. Moving from Norway to the US was a huge transition. The uproot and change made risks feel less intimidating, since my life was in a flux anyways. The call to start pursuing a full time career with my art became stronger, and the pull to use my creative talents in a job overwhelmed the want for stability and security. When the opportunity to buy a paint and sip studio presented itself, we took some time to consider all the risks of course. But at the end of the day I believe it would have been a bigger risk to let the opportunity go. Who knows when/if you’ll ever get another chance? I think pursuing a riskier career path will pay off, as long you choose to follow a calling. No matter how hard you have to work, your life will be enriched and enhanced. Being a small business owner has taught me the mindset of “either it will work or it won’t, but you have to be able to enjoy the process”. Taking risks mean stepping our of your comfort zone and into your growth zone.
What should our readers know about your business?
My husband and I are the third owners of the now 10 year old paint and sip that started as a little gem in Erie. Whimsy Studios, formerly known as Whimsy Paint & Sip, has always been a Colorado family owned and operated business, and never been part of a franchise. I started working for the former owners in 2017 as a studio assistant, but it wasn’t long before I became the studio manager. We were offered the opportunity to purchase the studio in the fall of 2018, as my former bosses were eager to retire. Knowing the company, artists and guests, and with the encouragement of our families in Norway and New Jersey, we eventually jumped at the chance to become small business owners. Not being part of a franchise, as most other paint and sips, give us the freedom to shape and grow the business in ways that fit our guests and staff the best. As a paint and sip, creativity and flexibility are key. I therefor believe our small, family owned studio stand out in many ways from the big franchises. We are for example the only paint and sip in Colorado with a full bar, and we regularly hear from our guests that they chose us over another studio because of our great art. We are also the most spacious paint and sip in Denver, but it isn’t the space, drinks or art that make us rank as the best paint and sip in Denver on Trip Advisor, it is our amazing staff. Our staff consists of local, talented artists that are passionate about sharing their joy of creating with each and every adult and child that join us for a fun class in a supportive environment. We as the owners are very present and value the quality of each guest experience immensely, as well as our employees. The input from our guests and staff is what has helped us shape the studio into the great space we have today. It has taken a lot of work, but seeing all our new reviews, influx of customers and simply being able to help people relax and get creative, even just for a few hours, really make it all worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would of course have brunch at Annette’s and do some shopping at Stanley Marketplace. -go climbing at Ubergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag if the weather wouldn’t allow for outdoor climbing in Clear Creek Canyon. -enjoy drinks at the iconic Union Station and then visit galleries and check out street art in Rino. -drive trough Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in hope to see some bison close up! -listen to some live bluegrass music and drink craft beer at Station 26. -take a drip to boulder and hike the flatirons before walking/dining on pearl street
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to my parents and in-laws. My in-laws are Americans, and naturally inhabit the idea of The American Dream. They have taught me to be more ambitious and proactive. I’m not saying that we Norwegians don’t believe everyone should have the opportunity to achieve success trough hard work, sacrifice and risk-taking, I was simply raised in a society where the idea of success is measured a little different. Norway has a very high living standard and the lowest income inequality in the world. In short it is easier to be happier, and less is on the line. My parents taught me that leading a simple, comfortable life is a successful life. Jante Law is a social code that most parents in Norway teach their children, emphasizing modesty, collectivity and social equality. It means that no one should think they’re better than another person, be too proud or brag about accomplishments (or anything really). I believe combining the more competitive American mindset of individual accomplishments and the Norwegian law of Jante has helped me immensely in my journey to where I am today. I can thank a lot of my resent personal growth to my new American family, as they keep helping me learn and navigate “the American way” of life. I will always be grateful to my parents back in Norway for my upbringing, continuous support and word of Scandinavian wisdom.
Facebook: Whimsy Studios Denver – Paint, Sip & Shop at Northfield
Other: Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33388-d14094392-Reviews-Whimsy_Studios-Denver_Colorado.html