Kids Art Show – Making Heart Connections


15 Jun Kids Art Show – Making Heart Connections

Like many Vancouver cafes, at the time we wanted to put art up on our cafe walls. So we put the call out to local artists, in the Main street and Vancouver Jewish community. Local talented artists could expose their art to Solly’s large customer base and Solly’s would have real art on our walls. It was a Win Win.

We got lots of interest from artists and started exhibiting work on a monthly basis. Every month we mounted a new artist and held openings in the evenings with the artist’s friends and fans. Some artists even sold works but most of the art we put up generally went unnoticed by our customers. Perhaps because every cafe was doing the same art thing.

Our young kids, at the time regularly  came to the shop for a snack and to connect with their hard working parents. Our youngest was in the store on one day looking at the art and asked why can’t they put their art up on Solly’s walls? We were stunned and did not have an answer. In fact, it sounded like a great idea! We always loved the bright, fun and creative artwork our kids brought home from school and would proudly display it on our fridge like most parents do.

It struck me how cool would be be to put kid’s art up on our walls, profile and host an art opening for the child artist, and get customers to write their comments in their special book. We started off with our own kid’s art, which we mounted professionally. The response was immediate and it was pure magic. The bright, happy and playful images of children captured everyone’s attention and interest. The kids comment book was getting filled with positive, encouraging and appreciative comments from Solly’s wonderful customers. What child or parent would not want to read . Some kids came in daily to see what people had written. I loved reading the book as well. The comments were heart warming.

Tons of mother’s of other little “Monets” were contacting us about if and when their child could do a show. We had opened a whole can of creativity. It was wonderful; art shows in the evening with a crowd of people supporting the child and enjoying Solly’s treats. Instead of wine and cheese we served hot chocolate and Solly’s famous cinnamon rolls.

I decided to share our Solly’s Kids Art Shows with the media by writing and distributing a press release. CTV called me right away and we arranged for them to film the art show opening and interview one of our young artists. Her mother told us later she was floating for a week after the event.

Solly’s philosophy is very much about serving the community. While Solly’s customers came from near and far, many of our regulars were our neighbors, who we knew by name. Our Kid’s Art Shows proved to be a great example of how you can create real, heart connections with your customers by doing something as simple as promoting art of our community’s children.