Knowing where to begin can be the hardest part of a new hobby. No matter how enticing it is, the first few steps are often an unfortunate roadblock.
One Kenmore resident has organized an up-and-coming event series designed to help locals pursue new hobbies and get past the initial humps. Suzanne Tseng is helping Kenmore creatives explore and build new skills through her collaborative community workshop, Just Get Me Started.
“My husband and I take on any home improvement idea and we’ve learned it’s overwhelming to learn on your own,” Tseng said. “The premise of this business is to connect and collaborate with those skilled in a trade, craft, skill or art to community members wanting to learn such topics.”
Tseng began this project as a simple quilting group about a year ago. She hosted it at The Hangar, across from City Hall and eventually opened the group to any type of art as it became more and more popular.
Now, Just Get Me Started is a twice-a-week creative event that teaches attendees about various arts, skills and hobbies from rock painting and chalk art, to zipper bag making and inventing. Locals can view the events calendar at www.justgetmestarted.today.
The project has three core focuses. Individually, Tseng wants to help locals learn about new skills and hobbies that they’ve been interested in or would help them with DIY projects.
“Our goal is to provide a learning opportunity to support this goal,” Tseng said. “We’ve taken suggestions from community members about something they’d like to learn — such as model kit building, quilting or furniture making — and turned it into a class.”
On a small business level, Tseng welcomes any local business to come and teach skills while gaining visibility for their business.
“The purpose would solely be on freely sharing a skill — rather than promoting one’s business — however, through the process of providing this service, the business would gain visibility,” Tseng said.
Tseng’s final goal is to support her neighbors and build a collaborative community with a skill sharing network.
“It is so awesome and it is so cool, just to see how happy people are,” Tseng said. “They’re so inspiring to me, this is a growing community, and that’s what I want the world to be: connected, empowered and friendly.”
Tseng runs this project as a business, but the classes are free for anyone and everyone to attend. As the events have grown, she has split it into two focuses, an art group that is a communal time for uninterrupted creativity and the core Just Get Me Started weekly workshop. Each week, the two-hour sessions take place at The Hangar with the art group meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Fridays and the Just Get Me Started workshop running from 5-7 p.m. on Saturdays.
“I would love for this to take off, this has been my dream and I love it,” Tseng said. “Eventually we’ll have a brick and mortar location — that’s my really big dream…to [have] a space where people could come and feel like they could learn something and eventually sell their own creations.”
Tseng added that she could not have created this project without help from local supporter, Sammie Roeun, Tammora Nedoroscik of TandZrocks.com, “Justin the Circler,” a geometric chalk artist, her tech supporter and Kenmore’s community space, The Hangar.
“I just wanted to give a shout out to all these community members that are so incredibly dedicated,” Tseng said. “Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to create a community that is supportive, creative, growing, learning, dynamic, diverse, and just flat-out wonderful. Kenmore’s cool.”