WARSAW — Art has the ability to heal an unseen wound, encourage the mind to go beyond boundaries and bring people closer together in more ways than one. Erica, 35, and Matt Deuel, 41, Warsaw, own Spoonful of Imagination — a nonprofit business born from a dream of passion, located at 703 E Winona Ave. They and their three kids built the business together and opened their doors to a world of enriching possibilities.
Erica was a stay-at-home mom running a “do it yourself” blog, featuring various creations of tables and other home decor. Through blogging, Erica connected with other mothers who were trying to find fun creative activities to do with their kids. Matt, a former lead pastor, has committed himself to helping Erica enhance the studio as well as get more into his interest of video production, digital arts and storytelling.
The studio was a space they wanted to make as kid friendly as possible where they could be kids and be messy without worrying about spilling paint everywhere. Spoonful became a place where families can come together to create something at an affordable price.
“I come from a big family where I’m one of nine children. I’ve also seen how art was the one area in school where there was no right or wrong way to do things,” stated Erica. “So I think that’s why I want to help kids have that outlet and why we keep things inexpensive. Art doesn’t have to be expensive. We do a lot of recycled art projects where we take something that might be normally thrown away and turn it into something beautiful.”
While the studio is children oriented, fun events such as ladies night will be debuting, where women can come together to create something fun. With the entire family on board, more changes are likely to come for everyone to enjoy.
The Deuels are working on creating a life they love, primarily focusing on the business, their family and the ways their passions can reach out and enrich the community. While doing so, they’ve been striving to maintain a healthy balanced structure between work and family time as they don’t want their kids feeling like they have to be at the studio.
To their pleasant surprise, their children constantly want to be in the studio. They’ve had a front row seat in watching the kids transform and take initiative in new things, from growing out of their shyness to leading a workshop. By building the business and being foster parents, the Deuel family has transformed in ways they would’ve never imagined.
“We’ve been foster parents for the past five years. Through that, we learned about the healing aspects of art,” Matt explained. “Kids in crisis have a hard time processing their feelings and expressing what’s going on. We found, as our foster kids would sit down with a paintbrush, Playdough or Legos, their emotional temperature would turn down. They would start to process and talk.”
Being a foster family gave the Deuels the opportunity to talk to their children about lives and experiences other people have, letting them know that there’s a whole other world out there. While some situations can be difficult, explaining them to their children can not only make them more compassionate and understanding toward others, but make them well-rounded individuals.
With big dreams and larger hearts, the Deuels look forward to everything that has yet to come.