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Ask Me Anything (AMA) for Community-Based Entrepreneurs

January 11, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This will be a fun and candid conversation between founders and a pure founder exchange of best practices, experiences and stories.

About this event

If you’re a community or service-based entrepreneur, especially if your business has a storefront, you definitely do not want to miss this event. It’s a great opportunity to connect with three successful entrepreneurs in the same space and ask them any questions you may have. Make sure you read their stories below before submitting your question on the registration page. Or just ask them in the LIVE event.


Ashley Cavadas and Hannah Lokken – Co-owners and lead teachers of Art Strong

Art Strong is a Long Island City based Arts Studio founded by NYC Art Teachers Ashley and Hannah. Art Strong brings exploratory art making practices including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and much more to children 2 to 16 years old. The inspiration behind this studio stems from the founders’ never-ending passion for the arts, creativity, and getting messy.

Ashley and Hannah met in grad school at Teachers College Columbia University and through their first teaching jobs they quickly realized how much art education is lacking in NYC schools. They began by doing classes and camps on weekends and when schools were closed for holidays and eventually picked up momentum and started to grow a following. After 3 years they finally found our own studio space and started to run the business full time and have programming 7 days a week.


Thuy Petersen – Owner of House of Playful Soul

House Of Playful Soul or HOPS as we affectionately call it, is a children’s learning and development play center located in Forest Hills. HOPS was purpose built to use play as the conduit for children and families to deliver on our founding principles to cultivate learning, connect with others, and serve our community together. We call this Play With Purpose

Thuy is a mom of three, has a full time job and still managed to start a business because she wanted to start a space for young families that nurtured development, connection and service to the community. HOPS was officially launched in March, 2020, right before the pandemic shutdown. The timing couldn’t get any worse. They have to close the space right away for several months. “We’ve had enormous challenges during Covid. But the silver lining is that it forced us to think about the business differently how we can serve our community. Recognizing all the concerns from the parents, we built our Pre-school program from the ground up and launched it in September 2020. We also launched a series of Play School classes in the beginning of 2021.” Fast forward to now, HOPS has been growing steadily and has become a community driven sustainable business.

Classes are sponsored by the Small Business Association.