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Kidcreate Studio announces franchise expansion

In an effort to keep kids' creativity buzzing after the school bell rings, a local art education studio wants to bring its services across the country through a franchise opportunity.

Kidcreate studio, an art education studio that offers art education for pre- to school-aged children, announced last month that it plans to expand to more than 100 locations nationwide.

Founder Lara Olson said the concept for Kidcreate Studios came when she noticed her son received only about an hour of art education courses per week. "It absolutely broke my heart when I found out about that," she said.

She opened the Eden Prairie location in 2008 and opened a studio in Woodbury a few years later.

"Art education helps kids gain self-confidence. Art can be used to study just about any subject, particularly in the elementary years when they're learning about a particular animal or whatever that may be," she said. "it's easy to incorporate an art project into the learning process as well."

Before deciding to expand the Kidcreate brand, Olson said she wanted to make sure the two locations were successful.

Olson said the low initial costs were kind of a "lucky accident" when she herself was trying to keep the costs low while building the first location.

Initial investments for franchisees range from $54,000 to $120,000, as well as a $39,000 franchising fee.

"We want to make it as accessible as possible for people who are passionate about what we do," Olson said.

As well as after school classes, Kidcreate also offers camps and hosts art-themed birthday parties for children ages 12 to as young as 18 months.

Franchisees will also have access to thousands of lesson plans created over the years with an opportunity to develop their own plans as well, Olson said.

Olson added that she doesn't have any specific geographic location in mind for future locations. Instead, she said she hopes to attract potential franchisees who are both business-minded and passionate about art and education.

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