Reduced hours, closures, layoffs – that’s the reality for small businesses across the globe as the
Covid-19 crisis continues to evolve.
Here in the Fraser Valley, several tech-savvy entrepreneurs are adapting to these changes with unique and creative ways to give back and stay afloat.
In this special series, Valley Mom has spoken to 10 small business owners from Chilliwack to Surrey to see how they’ve been impacted.
First up is Langley’s very own Bob Ross — Freda Lombard of Zealous Art.
It was just over a month ago when Freda Lombard didn’t think twice about entering a stranger’s house to facilitate a painting party.
Now with self-distancing rules in full effect to combat
While gatherings both big and small have come to a halt, Lombard doesn’t plan to shelve her easel and brushes any time soon.
Since the middle of March, the Langley resident has invited hundreds of men, women, and children into her home –virtually– to teach them how to paint.
Art can heal people in some of the darkest or most unexpected places, even at someone’s kitchen table. Just ask Lombard.
“I know the benefits of making art when you are stressed, overwhelmed, and not able to focus,” she said. The South African native started Zealous Art as a self-sustaining hobby around 10 years ago. To date, close to 20,000 people have painted with Lombard at home parties, conferences, and before it’s closure in the fall, her studio in downtown Langley.
“I knew I had to continue to bring art to people somehow.”
It all started with a Facebook live session that had close to 100 people painting along with her. Word got out fast about her free digital parties, and now she averages around 600 participants from all over the world.
Lombard doesn’t bring in any income through the events, but the reward has been plentiful.
“I spend my mornings reading the messages and looking at all the photos,” she said. “I cry, I laugh… it has been so well-received, and many have sent me messages about how this made them feel so much better. Spending a few hours painting, drawing doing some kind of art, has helped them relax, de-stress, and forget about this crazy life we are living right now.”
Lombard plans to continue offering her virtual parties until social distancing rules subside. To help her reach an even wider audience, she’s asking for Valley Mom fans to share this blog post and her events with their friends and family.
And while her digital sessions are free, she accepting donations of any amount. Readers can submit payment through e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Paypal (no account needed) PayPal.me/
Another way to support Lombard is to sign up for one of her courses at zealousart.teachable.com.
Any art supplies dealers looking to collaborate on a kit for painting participants are asked to get in touch via email.
For more information about Zealous Art, visit zealousart.com. or email email@example.com.
Psst…Don’t forget to grab your paint and canvas, and tune in to Facebook LIVE parties on Tuesday at 6 p.m.