Change and Growth in a Challenged World

Studio 33 began as a fully equipped jewelry studio and gallery in Waynesville, NC in 2006. The plan all along was to bridge the world of art and social needs by developing a social enterprise that embraced non profit organizations with a plan to help them sustain a revenue stream through the sale of art objects. I knew that bringing this vision to fruition required making my presence and my intention known.

Shortly after opening the business at 33 Pigeon Street, (Feb. 2007) I entered the second annual Small Business Start-up Competition, sponsored by the greater Haywood County Chamber of Commerce.  Studio 33 won the $10,000 award that year. The following year Haywood County was recognized as the first certified entrepreneurial community in America. Handmade in America had already completed their study of the impact that fine art and craft had in Western NC, determining it as a 206.5 million dollar industry. All of these pieces put together were supporting my vision. I had to press on with my plan.

Haywood Community College houses one of the finest programs for teaching Professional Crafts. This gem of a school systematically produces some of the countries finest craftspersons. It attracts students from many places. The school has plans that are hopefully underway soon to start building a state of the art Fine Art and Craft Center, yet another model for our community.

The Studio Earth Initiative outlines a scholarship program for Professional Craft students. The plan also includes a production art center that will employ graduating students in a paid internship program. When I graduated from the program in 1985, there wasn’t anywhere to go to work, so I waited on tables and made jewelry on the side, until I had bought enough tools and equipment and built enough of a business to rely solely on my work. In 1993 I became a member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild and my business really took off.

I maintained a home based business doing custom work and shows. My passion for altruism lead me to writing a business plan that allowed me to use my art as the means to an end. In March of 2006, I sought guidance from the SBTDC and from the Small Business Center at Haywood Community College as to how best go about opening a studio and gallery in downtown Waynesville. This was my firstborn, Studio Thirty Three.

For the next few years (despite the challenges in the economy) my business grew. I found myself busier and busier with custom work, with very little time left to pursue the vision of creating a body of work that supported nonprofit organizations with critical needs. After every busy Christmas season, I would reflect on the part of my plan that remained on the back burner. Being too busy to pursue this was not acceptable anymore, so I came up with a plan. To grow is to change. I know this.

Feeling these growing pains for the last couple of years has resulted in the best move I could make  to accommodate the needs of these changes. It was planned early this year,  January in fact, to begin to unfold the Studio Earth Initiative and to find the right location for the production studio. This month has been all about this move.

Many of you know that we have been rallying for support (on line and text votes) to secure a $50K grant from Pepsi that will assist us in getting phase one of the Studio Earth Initiative off the ground. I believe it will happen now that I have relocated to a facility that will enable the vision to materialize. I realized as soon as I moved, that giving birth to Studio Earth in the little rock house at 33 Pigeon Street was fine and needed to happen there, but to nurture the growth of this project, the proper environment was necessary, absolutely necessary.

I am really happy to have made this change and also to report that my goal of unpacking and getting the studio up and running, is now complete. Or complete enough for now, as I have important business to return to. With only 2 days left for August, we need to increase support for our partners and help them get their grants this month. I am calling on everyone in the community to help us prepare for our position in Pepsi Refresh for September, by voting on line for Studio33&Friends and text message from your cell phones if you have that function. These last few days and the first few days of each month are so critical. Each month is a little tougher, and we want to win this. Your votes – your dedicated votes to all of our partners as well, will make this happen. Please start voting these text votes now, and all through September. We will provide a new list on Sept. 1.

Text message to 737-74, using just the following #’s. You don’t have to type in the project name.

  • Studio 33  100505
  • Skip Program 100847
  • Pop Arts! 100843
  • Foundation of Fitness   101377
  • Multi-Arts School 102340
  • Paws of Michigan 100506
  • Redlands E. Valley High  102048
  • Redlands Bowl 102320
  • Paws of Michigan  100506

Thank you everyone, I mean really, THANK YOU! EVERYONE, for believing in this vision, for supporting it all this time, and for continuing to support it with your daily votes and encouraging your friends and family to do the same. Your votes will make this happen. We can make our world a better place, with this creative initiative we call Studio Earth. Bless you all!

Diannah Beauregard


Studio Thirty Three and Studio Earth

Waynesville, NC


2 Comments on “Change and Growth in a Challenged World”

  1. Mireya Kubis Says:

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    • Dear Mireya, Thank you for your recent comment. The Studio Earth Initiative idles for now – awaiting much needed funding to continue. Last years economic climate stalled this project, however the dream is very much alive as I await more (global) community participation and / or serious funding to carry out this vision. Thank you for your heart felt support. Please stay in touch.
      Diannah Beauregard for the Studio Earth Initiative

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