This is Staci. She’s the co-owner of The Hive NOTO and she’s also the owner of Laughing Hearts Preschool, for which she receives the first annual “Crystal Apple Award” earlier this year. This part one of her story.
“I’ve been painting since 2010 and I was really naive when I first started painting. I wasn’t very good at it, but I didn’t let that stop me. I kind of presented myself to the art community like I was great, even though it was just very early on and I was learning and because I was so naive about it, I didn’t let any of that stuff bother me. I was in a period of my life where I was looking to make some changes and try to find myself and figure out who I was and what I liked. Being part of the art scene and hanging around other artists was really energizing and it fed that piece of me that I didn’t have that I was looking for.
I didn’t have the best home life when I was growing up and there were a lot of struggles and there were a lot of moments when I had to fight. I would always say that those moments when things were the hardest is where I picked up most of my strength, so moving forward, it was all about survival skills. I went through two divorces before I married Ryan, so there were a lot of changes in my life back then that I wasn’t happy with. I was 26 and divorced twice and I was like ‘I know that there’s something missing in my life and I need to find something that makes me happy. I can’t keep finding it in relationships.’ I just wanted to be me and I just wanted to know who that person was. I didn’t want to have the stigma of everything that I had lived through in the past. I wanted to create my own person. I wanted to create my own life and make a name for myself that I knew was who I wanted me to be.
When I reflect on how I was 10 years ago and where I am now, I never would have thought that this would’ve been a part of my life. If somebody would have said to me, ‘You’re going to be an artist and be on television and doing this and that and go to London,’ I would have been like, ‘You’re out of your mind,’ but it’s nice to go from having all of these struggles growing up all the way into your adult life and then to come to a point when you don’t have those anymore and the future looks bright every day, even if you have a bad day.
I think a lot of my strength comes from all of the struggles that I had and so does my ability to be determined and passionate and to never give up.”