Things came full circle for an East Point art studio owner last week when she attended an event at Georgia State University, her alma matter.
Ashley “Bella” Daramola is the founder of ArtzyBella. In 2016, she left her day job and made her hobby a business. She used her last $50 to host a paint party and ultimately opened the studio.
» RELATED: Special kids go on a big Disney adventure
"We began with $50, bought art supplies, made a mural and hosted a paint party and the rest was history," Daramola said on her company website, adding that the company has "created art all over Atlanta and painted with some of Atlanta's most energetic, creative residents."
Creativity has become a full-fledged business for Daramola, who was one of several entrepreneurs in attendance at Demo Day during GSU's 2020 Cohort of Main Street Entrepreneurs, according to the university. During the event 10 companies in the Seed Stage path and ten companies in the Startup Stage path competed from the 2020 Cohort of the Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund. Only the top five from path went to the finals.
» RELATED: Coastal living linked to better mental health, study suggests
It was there that Daramola won first prize in the Startup Stage and earned a $10,000 check for her company. ArtzyBella is set to go from a mural and paint party services company to focusing on a new product line that helped them claim the top prize, according to the East Point Main Street Association. Launching this summer, the ArtzyBella box is a monthly subscription kit meant to help people jump start their mental health journey by doing artistic activities and being creative. It's in line with the company's mission to use art as a therapeutic tool, according to ArtzyBella's Instagram page and Demo Day pamphlet.
“ArtzyBella’s new products and services are inspired by Ashley Bella’s work as a social worker, behavior specialist, and psychologist,” the website states.