PRATTVILLE – In 2007, Kasey Hope, owner of P’zazz Art Studio in Prattville, was expecting her first child and looking for a way to earn extra income when she decided to open a side business focused on art. “We started by simply saying, ‘Hey, we are going to have after-school art lessons, is anybody interested?’” Hope said. “It just kept growing.”
Today, Hope was honored as the Bronze Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category during the Alabama Retail Day awards luncheon in Birmingham. P’zazz Art Studio was one of 14 retail businesses honored today as Retailers of the Year. This year’s winners came from a pool of more than 70 nominees.
A former school teacher, Hope’s original goal was to provide a place to allow children to express their creativity, to explore different art mediums, to learn to make decisions and to think differently as they were creating art. P’zazz continues to offer children’s art classes and birthday parties in addition to offering adult classes, private parties, summer art camps, fundraisers and more. P’zazz also teaches classes online and offers subscription memberships.
Five years into business, the studio moved from a small space on Third Street to a larger location that allowed for more services. “We took the plunge,” Hope said. “We took a step out on faith, and we moved to Main Street, and we’ve been here ever since, and we’ve grown and grown and loved our spot in downtown Prattville.”
Hope’s ability to extend beyond her local community to teach art classes online to almost 500 students across the country was noted by the 2019 Retailer of the Year judges. “It is impressive that she could do what she has done with an art studio. She doesn’t limit herself to a brick-and-mortar location,” said one of the judges.
Patty VanderWal, president of the Prattville Chamber of Commerce who nominated Hope for the award, said, “We looked at her story and what she has done with the business and how she has grown it. It was such a great story … such faith in God, in the community, in herself and her team.”
P’zazz has also partnered with the Rice Bowls nonprofit organization to help provide food for orphans around the world. “I really wanted to teach our students how not to just think of self but how to think of others and how to have a heart that gave back,” Hope said.
The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities.
“Kasey Hope is a retailer who stands out every day for P’zazz Art Studio customers, her five employees, the Prattville community and online students from across the country,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.