Janice Winfrey (right in photo) lost everything in the devastating Paradise, CA fires of 2018, barely escaping with her husband and dog and the clothes on her back. This tragedy also managed to open the door of opportunity for her to move closer to family in Washington, and fulfill her dream of starting a business with her sister, April Laskey (left in photo). Professionally, Janice has been a nurse for many years and found the culture to be very stressful. Her co-workers barely knew each other and often worked different shifts. She wished she could find a way to incorporate more community building and support structure to her field. Her sister April, a weight loss coach, has a passion for art. How could they join forces in an effort that was meaningful for both of them? That's when Grounded Above the Clouds was born.
Squirreled away in the back of 30 Lakeshore Plaza is their adorable space where Grounded Above the Clouds has been open since November 8th. In the front room is where they have local artists creations for sale and in the backroom.............that's where the magic happens. Janice and April host workshops that bring people to together for an art project, which is less about the artistic outcome and more about the opening up the creative side of your brain and connecting with the people around you. Workshops are typically in a 2 or 3 part series and have a guided theme or objective which focuses on personal and professional growth and innovation.
Some of the classes they teach and others have guest instructors. This is not a step-by-step project because everyone is working on their own unique creation. These could range from fluid painting (messy fun!), hand-built ceramics, brush calligraphy, comic book drawing, hand knitting ( I totally want to try this!), or art meditation to name a few.
Here is the schedule. Classes range from $45-75 depending on materials. The goal is to provide a space that is comfortable and experiential that can connect people, build resiliency and encourage creativity. These ladies specialize in corporate team building sessions so people can bring some of these life lessons back to their work culture. The name "Grounded Above the Clouds" represents the way people can have normal jobs and still be dreamers and explore other possibilities that might be out there. You don't always have to have one thing or the other-why limit yourself? It's okay to dream.
Go say hi to Janice and April to learn more about their passion for opening your mind through art. Bring your team from work. They are open Tues-Sat 11-7 pm. You need to be a bit of a Kirkland expert to find it (despite the giant letters that say "Lakeshore Plaza"), so I drew you an arrow. It's just under the stairs that go down the side of Wilde Rover. Through the door and the lobby and it's back on the left. They'd love your suggestions for new classes and teachers too. Have fun, I can't wait to try it.