However, Hurricane Irma did hit our family business. Despite our careful preparations for the storm, the winds ripped the roof off the two-story building, and subsequent rain accumulation during the storm caused part of the ceiling of our first-story space to collapse. We are facing severe water damage in the studio. Although our landlord is working on getting repairs done, it is unsafe to work in the studio because the power was shut off to avoid electrical fire. All of this has forced us to stay out of business until further notice; we have already applied for federal government loans.
It is difficult to be out of business, even when this state is temporary. The art studio is our main source of income, and we are facing the possibility of relocation. Per our landlord’s request, we have had to remove nearly all of our supplies—including furniture, artwork, equipment, and materials—out of the studio while the building is under repair; this has led to some unexpected extra expenses.
And of course, there is also the emotional part of this. We miss our students and their families dearly, and we understand our role as art educators within the community. Our journey with you during the past 5 years has been truly amazing, and we want to continue that collective journey for many years to come. We are determined to do everything we possibly can.
Some members of our community have been asking for ways to help us, so we thought that creating a campaign on this website would be the best option. This—asking for support—is not something we normally do. But we wouldn't be asking for your help unless it were really necessary.
We are determined to work hard, stay positive, and see this as a new chapter for Victorios. Given the unexpected nature of the storm, we are asking for support in order to get back on our feet as soon as possible. The funds we raise will be used to cover our current rent and temporary moving expenses, replace damaged art supplies and equipment, and, possibly, cover a fraction of relocation costs. We will be sure to keep everyone posted with updates about our site and our progress. We hope to reopen soon for all of our students who are patiently waiting for us, and to anyone else who wishes to come and create art.
With deepest gratitude for your generosity,
Stephanie and the Victorios Art Studio Team
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