Flex Academies President Joshua Chernikoff interviewed Michele Foshee, owner of Young Rembrandts. Foshee explained how Flex takes a lot of the back office work off her plate so that she can focus on what she is providing to children — amazing art instruction.
Flex Academies: Can you first talk about your partnership with Flex Academies and how it has helped you grow your business?
Michele Foshee: I’ve been with Young Rembrandts for about three years now. Judy from Flex approached me maybe a year in and we met and had a very nice talk. Flex has brought us some new schools and they’ve actually come into some of the schools we were previously in and made some of that process easier for us. We don’t have to do all of the room reservation and the advertising we previously did in those schools, so it takes some of our workload off and makes life a bit easier in those schools. We are in quite a few schools in addition to those.
Flex: From a small business owner standpoint, how is Flex able to help you? How does Flex help with back office work and working with PTAs?
MF: One of the hardest things about working with the PTA’s is that they are unpaid volunteers. They are working with whatever time they have available and you don’t always get the quickest responses — sometimes you need a response more quickly than you can get it. So it’s very nice to have someone else on your team that is able to track those people down while we are doing other things, like organizing our teachers and getting our curriculum out and getting the program ready for the children.
Flex: I think you used a very important word which is ‘team.’ We try to work as a team and the part that you absolutely bring that is so important is a great curriculum and amazing instructors that I’ve seen firsthand. Talk about the process that you have as an owner of finding quality instructors.
MF: Thank you for that. That is a huge deal for us. Our instructors are absolutely the face of our organization. They are the ones that the children see everyday; we really strive to make sure they are of the highest quality. We do several interviews before we hire anyone. We background check everyone, we make sure they all have experience with children and with art, which definitely limits our pool. We really strive to make sure we have the best of the best and teachers that just love being with the children and love teaching art.
Flex: It’s so clear because I get to go into the schools and I see that they do love teaching, they do love art, they do love kids. What’s the feedback you get from parents about your instructors?
MF: We’ve gotten so much great feedback on our instructors. There will be cases where children were afraid to go to the classes and after meeting the instructors, it’s the thing that they want to do most during the week. They so look forward to the art classes. We hear success stories that my child’s handwriting has improved, my child’s attention to detail has improved — just their attentiveness in class in general. The art classes bring a lot more than just drawing to the kids. They get more out of it than they ever realized, but the parents see it and I think that’s pretty special.
Flex: You guys are a perfect example of the type of partner we like to have because you guys bring a great mix of enrichment and fun. So, last question: When you walk into a classroom, what do you see?
MF: Potential and excitement. You see those little faces and the first thing they say is, ‘What are we going to draw today Miss Michele, what are we going to draw today?’ Of course, I tease them and I don’t let them know for a while because that’s way more fun and everyone enjoys that more. Really just the sheer joy and excitement — you can see it in the kids and you can see it in how they interact with each other and how they interact with the teachers and their engagement as they are doing the drawings each week.
Flex: You are doing an amazing job with the kids and the parents have great feedback and the PTAs have great feedback. My feedback to you as a partner for Flex is keep on doing great work! We really appreciate it.
MF: Wonderful, thank you.
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