Client Success: Wendy James Shasta Studios and Mt Shasta Children’s Theater

success stories Apr 19, 2022

Expansion in the face of the Pandemic Economy—

Wendy James brings joy to the students who participate in classes at Shasta Studios and Mt Shasta Children’s Theater (MSCT). She comes from a long line of performers and has traveled the world through her talents as an actor, singer and dancer. Wendy made this community her home in 2014. She credits the successful launch of her business to the support that she received from JEDI.

 Shasta Studios had 12 students in the first year and enrollment has since grown to 102 kids. The studio offers hip-hop, ballet, jazz and tap classes, supporting 4 dance instructors. Wendy thrives on the positive impact the theater has on the kids.

 Wendy also started a nonprofit theater in 2018, Jefferson Center for the Arts. She bought a building that was once a church and remodeled it into a performance space.

The pandemic and subsequent public space closures hit these businesses hard.  Wendy was able to acquire $21,000 in covid relief grants and a PPP loan that was forgiven.

And then, what does a performance center and dance studio do when a pandemic hits?  Expand! 

Recently, Shasta Studios expanded its full schedule of classes and added another venue, the Mount Shasta Community Center. Wendy paid for new flooring in the banquet hall and pays a minimal amount for rent, so now Shasta Studios has a second location to hold dance classes. Wendy is relieved to have the accounting/budgeting technical assistance from the WBC at JEDI. The revenue of Shasta Studios and MSCT has increased 2700% since the first tap shoes walked through the door. Wendy wants to reach more young people and someday offer a low-cost after school program, like the Boys and Girls Club but with an arts focus.

“Without [the WBC at] JEDI, Shasta Studios wouldn’t even exist. They taught me grant writing, building a business plan and how to manage what was previously daunting. I am an artist being empowered as a small business owner.” 

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